The Ford Escape has a new look for 2020, and by general consensus it's more interesting and diverse than ever, notably thanks to hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants joining the lineup. It's also roomier inside than the model it replaces, despite outwards appearances. And yet, the moves have apparently not been enough to get sales off the ground.
Normally, when a vehicle is renewed, its popularity increases – but that hasn't been the case with the Escape since it was upgraded last fall. And the pending arrival of the Bronco Sport, which is built on the same platform, likely won't help.
See also: Review of the 2020 Ford Escape
See also: Review of the 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid
Now, Ford has apparently gone into solution mode for its compact SUV. According to the trustworthy Ford Authority website, the automaker is developing a three-row version of its SUV, capable of accommodating up to seven occupants. The stretched Escape would be built on the same platform as the regular version, but it would benefit from an extended wheelbase, which implies a change in the exterior design. We can expect a more-conventional roofline that would add volume for the occupants of the back seat.
With the exception of the third row, no significant changes are planned to the interior or under the hood.
The site adds that the three-row Escape would also be sold in Europe, where the regular model is marketed under the Kuga name. In North America, a three-row version of the Escape would allow Ford to offer a direct rival to the Volkswagen Tiguan, which also offers this configuration. And that would give the Blue Oval brand a much-needed edge over the model’s big rival, the Toyota RAV4.
As for the third row, probably we shouldn't expect miracles in terms of space. At the least, though, It will help transport younger children. Above all, with an extended wheelbase, cargo volume will be more generous, which is likely to please many buyers.
Ford hasn't confirmed plans for a longer Escape, but if the report is accurate, the vehicle should be ready for the 2022 model year.