New Model News

New Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid gets 100 MPGe and 37 miles of all-electric range for under $35,000

The new Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid is a fuel-efficient SUV.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Add another model to the fuel-efficient SUV roster. Ford redesigned its Escape for the 2020 model year but it was introduced, three of its four powertrain options were available. Now, the fourth option is making its way to market - a plug-in hybrid electric system.

The 2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid delivers best-in-class EPA-estimated all-electric fuel economy rating of 100 MPGe combined and an EPA-estimated 37 miles of all-electric driving range. When running on strictly gasoline, the SUV gets 41 mpg.

MPGe, or miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent, is an Environmental Protection Agency metric to compare the amount of energy consumed by alternative fuel vehicles to what traditional gas-powered vehicles consume.

The Escape Plug-In Hybrid's closest competition is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime. It's a PHEV model that achieves 94 MPGe and gets 42 miles of all-electric rage.

2020 Ford EscapeThe SUV looks the same as every other new Escape, except for its unique badging and power plug door, located on note driver's side near the hood.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

"The original Ford Escape was the world's first hybrid SUV and the all-new Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid represents how far we've come in technology and efficiency," said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer. "The all-new Escape plug-in has more power and more passenger space than the Fusion Energi plug-in, as well as up to four times the cargo volume behind its second-row seats."

This Escape is powered by a new 2.5-liter hybrid engine and electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Its liquid-cooled, 14.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery is positioned below the second-row seats.

The Escape Plug-In Hybrid has a Level 1/Level 2 AC charging port. Using a 110-volt Level 1 charger, the estimated time to fully charge the battery is 10 to 11 hours. Using a 240-volt Level 2 charger, charge time drops to roughly 3.5 hours.

2020 Ford EscapeThe SUV's battery is located under the rear seats so that it doesn't disrupt cargo room in the model.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Hybrid models feature four drive modes: Auto EV, EV Snow, EV Later, and EV Charge. In Auto EV mode, the vehicle decides whether to run on gas or electric power. Using EV Now mode, drivers can operate on all-electric power. In EV Later mode, drivers can switch to full gas-hybrid driving to conserve electric miles for later. Ford's new EV Charge mode allows drivers to continue to charge the battery while driving and generate electric-only miles to use later.

Every Escape comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot360, a suite of driver assist and safety technology that includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go and lane centering. Active Park Assist is also available.

Buyers can get the PHEV powertrain on every Escape trim level except S and SE Sport. The Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid has a starting MSRP under $35,000.

That MSRP is lower than the RAV4 Prime, but the Toyota model's over $38,000 starting price is reflective of the fact that it features mid-grade and higher features and equipment right off the bat.

Other engine options

AutomotiveMap has already reviewed the Escape's other three powertrains as part of a larger 2020 Ford Escape review.

The 2020 Escape's base engine is a 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder (S, SE, SEL trim levels) that achieves 180 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque.

The available 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder (SEL, Titanium trim levels) is significant peppier getting 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.

Both of those engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Escape Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter hybrid four-cylinder, which is paired with an electronic continuously variable transmission.

Looking for a fuel-efficient SUV that isn't a plug-in? Check out AutomtoiveMap's list of 20 SUVs with the best gas mileage here.

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Updated EV

2023 Nissan Leaf pricing announced

The Leaf got a mild facelift for 2023.

Nissan

Nissan is nearing the release of the Ariya, its first new EV in several years. Even so, the brand hasn't forgotten about its first mass-market EV, the Leaf. It was an early entrant in the space, and has been an efficient, affordable, commuter car for over a decade. The car got a mild facelift for 2023, with updated wheels and exterior styling accents. Today, Nissan announced pricing for the Leaf, which starts at just under $29,000.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf feels lively, despite middling power numbers.Nissan

The base Leaf comes with a 40-kWh battery capable of delivering a 149-mile range. Its 110-kW electric motor produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The Leaf SV Plus features a 60-kWh battery for a range of 212 miles. It comes with a 160-kW motor that makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Nissan backs all Leaf models with an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

ProPilot Assist comes standard for the Leaf SV Plus, and brings a full suite of advanced driver aids that include adaptive cruise control, driver alertness features, and a surround-view monitor. All Leaf models get Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic high beams, and rear automatic braking.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf SV Plus offers up to 212 miles of range.Nissan

The new Leaf starts at $28,895, which includes a $1,095 destination charge. The Leaf SV Plus starts at $36,895. The 2023 Nissan Leaf is on sale now, and may be eligible for federal tax credits of up to $7,500. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to receive a state tax credit or other incentives.

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The 2023 Crosstrek starts at $23,645.

Subaru

Subaru is one of the best at listening to its customers' needs, and the Crosstrek is a great example of that mindset. It's a useful vehicle with plenty of interior space and enough ground clearance to take its passengers well of the beaten path. Today, Subaru announced pricing for the 2023 Crosstrek and Crosstrek Hybrid. The duo will go on sale this summer.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek's cabin is adventure-ready and packed with great tech. Subaru

The standard Crosstrek starts at $23,645 before destination and the Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $36,845. Five trims are available for the standard model, including Base, Premium, a new Special Edition, Sport, and Limited. The Hybrid comes in a single trim level. All Crosstrek variants get all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring and 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

The Base, Premium, and Special Edition trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower. The Sport and Limited trims get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 182 horsepower. Most models come with a continuously variable transmission, but the Base and Premium trims come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. The Crosstrek Hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with two electric motors. The plug-in system can deliver 17 miles of electric range.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek delivers 8.7 inches of ground clearance.Subaru

True to Subaru form, the Crosstrek comes with a full suite of advanced driver aids, including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure alerts, adaptive cruise, and more. These features are only available for CVT-equipped models. The Limited trim and the Crosstrek Hybrid add automatic high beams, reverse automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

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