The History of the Ford Escape Compact SUV

2013 Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is a compact crossover SUV that fits below the Ford Explorer in the Ford SUV lineup. It’s built on a car-like platform, rather than sharing one with a pickup. Ford was an earlier adopter of the crossover SUV, realizing most first-time SUV owners were not buying one to go off-roading and would rather see improved fuel economy. The Ford Escape is still going strong at our Peotone Ford dealership.

First Generation

Created in collaboration with Mazda, the first generation Ford Escape debuted for the 2000 model year. While not designed for off-roading, the vehicle did have an all-wheel drive system available. It also featured unique reclining rear seats, which tend to be only found on more luxury-oriented cars.


For the 2004 model year, Ford introduced the Escape Hybrid. Besides being 70% more fuel efficient than the normal model, the vehicle was notable for being the first hybrid SUV on the market, the first put into production by Ford, and the first released by an American manufacturer.

Second Generation Ford Escape

The Ford Escape returned in its second generation for the 2008 model year. It featured styling cues from the Ford Explorer and the Expedition. While it was still using the same platform, it had a few performance changes thanks to electronic stability control and a new electronic power steering system. The hybrid also returned with a more powerful engine and increased fuel economy.

Third Generation Ford Escape

The third generation of the Ford Escape was released for the 2013 model year, sharing a platform with the Ford Focus sedan. Due to advances in fuel economy, thanks to new EcoBoost four-cylinder engines, Ford decided not to bring back the Escape Hybrid since the regular gasoline engines could achieve similar fuel economy. This generation also featured the newly updated MyFord Touch infotainment system.

Test Drive the Ford Escape at Terry’s Ford

Terry’s Ford of Peotone carries the current 2013 Ford Escape as well as many used models. We encourage you to come test drive the Escape to see if it’s the right fit for you. Our dealership is located at 363 S. Harlem Avenue, about 25 minutes from Bradley, Illinois by taking IL-50 North. Be sure to contact Terry’s Ford if you have any questions about the Escape or our other models.