The 2020 Ford Escape is very much a utilitarian product, attempting to appeal to as wide a swath of the buying public as possible.
Everything might be turning into an SUV, but at the same time, Ford's latest ute is more carlike than ever before.
Now that the Focus is but a nostalgic glimmer in the automaker's eye, there's space to bring the Escape a little closer to earth and better embody the original idea of what a crossover was supposed to be.
The only real drawback from its sultrier shape is found in the cargo area, where its 34-to-38-cubic-foot capacity lags behind competitors such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
The cargo area's net capacity is adjustable because the Escape packs a clever trick -- sliding and reclining rear seats, which not only boosts comfort for rear-seat passengers, but it can ever so slightly expand trunk space in a pinch, too.
Even with the seat slid forward a bit, there's plenty of space in the second row for kids and adults alike.
The compact crossover segment is a hot one.
As comfortably equipped as the Escape is, it has a tall mountain to climb, because it's pitted against other sales champs like the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4, all of which bring their own benefits (and drawbacks) to the table.
The addition of a hybrid trim will keep things interesting, but then again, most of the Escape's competitors have gas-electric variants on offer, too.
The Escape's well-executed blend of on-road comfort and in-car tech should appeal to a wide cut of the American public, especially those who might bemoan the everything's-an-SUV-now zeitgeist.