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I had an opportunity to drive a 2020 Escape SE today for 68 mi/110 km as I was having my 2018 SEL in for some TLC and an FSA (Field Service Action): 19B37- Powertrain Control Module Reprogramming. Check your FordPass App to see if this pertains to your car. This is not a recall.

Anyway, I asked for a Ranger loaner, but they had retired the lone 2019 they had in service and hadn’t put a ’20 in the pool yet. So, I was lent a 2020 Escape SE AWD (If they would add “Electronically Enacted” they could put all the alfa-babble together to make SEAWEED). I didn’t pay much attention to what all was on the car for options, but the SE’s standard-and-only package 200A is pretty well loaded. It did not have Co-pilot 360 (nav & adaptive cruise) but it did have old-school cruise.. The only engine available in an SE is the 3cyl. 1.5L EcoBoost Dragon, mated with the new 8-speed auto. Some minor differences in the 4G; the infotainment volume is now grouped in the left steering wheel pod so no longer dualled with the phone buttons. The controls have been changed from abbreviations to symbols. The 8” Sync3 screen now is a standard stand-alone device rather than integrated into the dashboard, and it is fixed, does not retract, although it looks like it could have been made that way. The wipers now operate in parallel rather than opposition. My preference is for opposing swipes, as “parallellers” leave a large swath of unswept windshield in the upper right corner. The heater controls are now much larger and easy to operate with gloved hands. Overall, an attractive update and some stuff moved around but nothing that I couldn’t get used to. Rear seat head and legroom appears larger the the 3G.

What I could not get used to was the Dragon engine. Man, this car is geared tall: ~1500 rpm @60 mph/100 kmh. At a steady speed there is a constant, intrusive booming drone, like a subwoofer in the car next to you at the light. At speeds between 50 and 75 mph in top gear it is very much present. If I was considering a 2020 Escape, It would be an SEL with the available 2.0L/AWD or the Sport Hybrid with AWD, provided they had acceptable NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harmonics) The car had only 121mi/194km on it when I drove it, so maybe it will get better with time. It shifted smoothly during acceleration and during hard acceleration, it got down 2-3 gears with minimal hesitation, much better than the 3G’s IMHO. Sounds kinda like a GEO Metro with Stage Three tuning, and feels like about the same power as the 1.5s and 1.6s in the third generation FE's. The SE's 8 speed is controlled with a knob on the center console, and it’s lit! But there is no manual shift mode, (only Low and Drive) as there still is on the 2.0L AWD, and it’s called AWD now, not 4WD. Rounding out the center console, Traction Control, Electric Parking Brake (I’m an every-timer), Start/Stop-OFF, and another switch with a symbol showing a brake drum with a palm-up hand in the center; “Stop Applause?” Auto collision braking on/off, I’m guessing. The two-bin storage is now one, still has the USB port inside, and at the bottom of the center stack is a 12v port and a smaller one, which is not USB; Lightning charger I suspect, though I didn’t try it. Overall, It seems like a nice car, but not in my garage with the 3cyl.
 
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The wipers now operate in parallel rather than opposition. My preference is for opposing swipes, as “parallellers” leave a large swath of unswept windshield in the upper right corner.
i prefer the parallel, so that it sweeps right where the rear view mirror is, where my dash cam sits. (this wasnt an issues with my '14 escape, but it is on my civic.)

you're right, the 2.0 has select shift. as per https://media.ford.com/content/dam/...t/2020/escape/2020-Ford-Escape-Tech-Specs.pdf

the 8 speed has 2 overdrive gears, so if you do make it to 8th, ya, its tall 0.69.
Interestingly, the 2.0L has different (even lower) gear ratios.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
America/US/product/2020/escape/2020-Ford-Escape-Tech-Specs.pdf

the 8 speed has 2 overdrive gears, so if you do make it to 8th, ya, its tall 0.69.
Interestingly, the 2.0L has different (even lower) gear ratios.
Same with the 1.5L in my 2018. I can get It to lug in 6th at 40mph, and it will drone somewhat until I tip in the throttle a little and it shifts down to fifth. The 4G drones louder and seemed more prone to stay in a higher gear. If this is to be the standard powertrain in the upcoming "Baby Bronco," I don't think it would do very well off road with these ratios and shift points.

I don't have a dash cam, Thenorm, but if I did I'd install it in the upper right corner. ?
 

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I can get It to lug in 6th at 40mph, and it will drone somewhat
ya, my '14 2.0 does the same. i take it as a badge of honor, because that is the most efficient the car can be. high 30s' mpg.

i like the middle for the dash cam. it is so unobtrusive behind the rear view mirror. i cant see it, and it is somewhat camoflage from the outside.
 

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I'm with you on the 3 cylinder. Definitely a buzzy, noisy thing at some speeds, and droning at others. I just can't embrace it yet. I mean, I don't mind engine noise, but I'd like it to be good engine noise. The downshifting on slight grades at 60 mph made me chuckle. It doesn't even have to be a steep or noticeable hill (or slant!I). My mother has a 2011 Escape with the 2.5 NA, and it doesn't downshift nearly as often, unless you're maintaining 80+. Less horsepower, (not sure on the torque figures for the 2020 1.5 and the 2011 2.5), and the six-speed, and it feels somehow slower, but overall better than the 3 cyl.
 
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