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2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Ford Edge: What’s the Difference?

  • The Edge offers a performance-oriented ST model. The Escape should gain an ST trim in the coming years.

The Escape and Edge are two 5-passenger crossover SUVs from Ford. The Escape, which has been fully redesigned for the 2020 model year, competes in the compact class, counting vehicles like the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Forester as its main rivals. The Edge, which has been around in its current generation since the 2015 model year and received an update for 2019, is a 5-passenger midsize SUV and competes with the likes of the Honda Passport, the Nissan Murano and the Hyundai Santa Fe, all of which sacrifice a third-row seat in the interest of an overall more sporty and luxurious experience. Still, the differences between these two SUVs go beyond just size, and below we’ll compare them in a number of categories to help you determine which one may be better for you.

2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Ford Edge: exterior


Both the Edge and the Escape wear sporty yet conservative styling. The role of the new Escape is not only to replace the outgoing Escape but also to take over for the Focus — which has been discontinued — as Ford’s go-to compact vehicle. The new Escape even shares a platform with the new Focus, which won’t be sold in the U.S. As a result, the new Escape has a lot of carlike qualities. It’s got rounded features, relatively little ground clearance and a low belt line. As Ford will be introducing an off-road-oriented compact SUV as part of the reborn Bronco family in the coming months, the new Escape makes no effort to be rugged, and while it does offer available all-wheel drive, it should appeal primarily to buyers who plan to stay on-road. See the 2020 Ford Escape models for sale near you

While the Edge wears a slightly more chiseled look than the Escape, it’s hardly any more rugged or utilitarian. The SE through Titanium trims get a chrome grille, while the performance-oriented ST model gets a blacked-out mesh design. A taught crease runs between the Edge’s wheel arches, while the vehicle’s greenhouse is trapezoidal shaped. Oddly, the Edge’s update for 2019 did away with its charming wraparound rear taillight design, replacing it with more traditional lights connected by a black trim piece. Frankly, the previous design was easily the more attractive and modern-looking setup. As it leans more toward performance than the new Escape, every trim level of the Edge gets dual rear exhaust pipes, while the ST comes with a unique lower fascia and unique wheel options among other styling elements. See the 2020 Ford Edge models for sale near you

2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Ford Edge: interior


In theory, since it’s a larger, more expensive and more upscale vehicle than the Escape, the Edge should come with the nicer interior. That isn’t really the case anymore, though, as the Escape wears a brand-new design, while the Edge’s interior is largely the same as it was when the vehicle debuted way back in 2015.

The 2020 Ford Escape can be had with both wood and metallic interior finishes. The vehicle’s standard infotainment screen sits atop the center stack like a tablet, which improves visibility and makes the cabin feel more open overall. A large trim piece spans the width of the dash. Overall, the Escape’s interior is conservative, but also modern and attractive.

Whether you get it in its base or top-of-the-line ST or Titanium trims, the Edge’s interior is dominated by a lot of matte black plastic and flat surfaces. In giving the vehicle its recent exterior refresh, Ford opted to leave the Edge’s dated dashboard virtually unchanged. The center infotainment screen is integrated into a large plastic bulge coming out of the center stack, while all of the HVAC and multimedia buttons are located on a single plane just below it. Overall, the Edge’s interior is pretty weak and looks quite dated.

In terms of cargo volume, the new Escape offers 38 cu ft. of space behind the second row and 65 cu ft. with the second row folded. In this area, the Edge is barely any bigger, with 39 and 73 cu ft. on tap, respectively.

Both vehicles use a rotary dial rather than a gear lever to control their standard automatic transmissions.

2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Ford Edge: mechanicals

Mechanicals and Capability

The new Escape offers two available gas engines and two electrified powertrains. The base gas engine is a 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder that puts out 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. The upgraded option is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder making an impressive 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque — more power than you can typically get in a mainstream compact SUV. Both of these engines come with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The Escape Hybrid pairs a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with an electric motor for a total output of 200 hp. The Hybrid’s transmission is a continuously variable transmission. AWD is optional on either the base gas engine or the hybrid. It’s standard with the more powerful 2.0-liter turbo.

The 2020 Ford Edge is offered with two different engines. Non-ST models come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 245 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. ST models come with a potent 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 that puts out 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. ST models come standard with AWD, while lesser trims come standard with front-wheel drive but offer AWD as an option. Every Edge comes with an 8-speed automatic.

Expect the Escape to return considerably better fuel economy than the Edge in all configurations.

2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Ford Edge:tech

Features & Technology

The Escape offers a variety of features that buyers will find convenient, like a foot-activated power tailgate, a standard electronic parking brake, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, proximity-based keyless entry, a standard center infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility starting on SE trims, 4G LTE capability with Wi-Fi, full-range adaptive cruise control, push-button start, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, leather seats, an integrated garage door opener and more. Needless to say, the new Escape can be had with a lot of equipment.

The Edge is on par with the new Escape with regard to features. Just about everything you can get on the Escape is offered on the Edge. The Edge’s ST variant offers something for buyers with performance car aspirations but SUV needs, combining a potent turbocharged engine with paddle shifters, unique exterior colors, a sport setting for the traction control system and an available big brake package.

2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Ford Edge: pricing


An entry-level 2020 Escape S starts at about $26,000 and will exceed $40,000 in the fully loaded Titanium trim. Since the Edge offers more in terms of space and image, it’s more expensive than the Escape. A base 2020 Ford Edge SE starts at about $33,000, while a fully loaded ST model will exceed $53,000.

2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Ford Edge: conclusion 


Unless you really need the Edge’s extra space or love the sportiness of the ST model, the improvements Ford has made to the new Escape close the gap with the compact SUV’s larger counterpart by a significant margin. The two vehicles offer largely the same content with regard to features and technology, but the Escape does so at a much lower price. Additionally, the freshness of the 2020 Escape’s design will be appreciated, especially when compared to the Edge, which has an aging interior that harks back to a previous era of Ford design. While the Edge still plays an important role within the Ford lineup, the new Escape has us looking forward to the Edge’s redesign, which should take place in the next few years. Find a Ford Escape for sale or Find a Ford Edge for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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