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Old 10-05-2019, 08:27 AM   #1
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New 4 down towable for 2020

With the ever shrinking choices of a toad and the discontinued C-Max was wondering (hoping) for the 2020 Escape Hybrid. Any reference was always absent in their marketing material. While the hybrid version isn't on the lots yet with the handful of 2020 gas version just arriving, the owners manual was published online, confirming that the 2020 2.5l hybrid with HF45 transmission (but not the 1.5 or 2.0 with 8sp transmission) is 4 down towable. In the 3500 lb SUV toad class, that will expand the choice from the Jeep Cherokee 4wd (NOT basic/standard Active I), Chevy Equinox and Buick Envision. It will have a 70MPH limit vs Chevy's 65MPH and unlimited with Buick and Jeep.

While section pasted below, it is poorly written. First sentence infers both FWD and AWD versions as it doesn't specifically state. AWD may require some clarification. Then the 'alternately' FWD dolly and AWD flat trailer. Perhaps that option was if AWD was not set up for 4 down connection and had to otherwise tow.

From page 282 of owners manual...

"You can tow your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground using the Neutral Tow mode in the information display. Alternatively, if you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, you can tow with the front wheels off the ground by using a tow dolly. If you have an all-wheel drive vehicle, you can tow with all four wheels off the ground using a vehicle transport trailer. If you are using a tow dolly or a vehicle transport trailer, follow the instruction specified by the equipment provider."

(Additional setup proceedures not pasted from page page 282) 70 MPH max speed, quick transmission run beginning of day and at least every 6 hours towing.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:51 AM   #2
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That's excellent information and I'm sure it will be of interest to many folks here.

That paragraph from the owner's manual is, indeed, one of the worst I have ever read. I would want a better clarification from Ford, in writing, before buying an Escape and using it as a toad. As I recall, it wasn't all that many years ago that Ford had declared the Escape to be towable only to "change its mind" in mid-year!
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:05 PM   #3
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I'm surprised this thread hasn't received more attention than just one reply. I'm looking forward to seeing a new Escape Hybrid in the flesh as soon as our local dealer has one.

We've had a lot of fun adventures in our Jeep Wrangler over the years but I've grown tired of the harsh ride, poor road handling and lousy gas mileage. We don't go off-road anymore and pretty much stay on pavement or at worst a forestry service road.

I've been waiting for a manufacturer approved towable 4 wheels down compact hybrid suv to come along. This just may be it as the C-Max is too small.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rocky68D View Post
... snip ...

I've been waiting for a manufacturer approved towable 4 wheels down compact hybrid suv to come along. ... snip ...
Us too! Our 2012 Escape is super, but nice to have a possible alternative.
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:57 PM   #5
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2021 ford bronco is slated to be release for sale maybe late 2020. It’s on the ford ranger platform sharing same engine and trans. Ranger is flat towable! Hope the Bronco is the same, can’t see why it wouldn’t be, especially since it’s going to be a head to head vehicle with the jeep wrangler!, but you never know what these engineers will come up with, or not come up with!
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky68D View Post
I'm surprised this thread hasn't received more attention than just one reply. I'm looking forward to seeing a new Escape Hybrid in the flesh as soon as our local dealer has one.

We've had a lot of fun adventures in our Jeep Wrangler over the years but I've grown tired of the harsh ride, poor road handling and lousy gas mileage. We don't go off-road anymore and pretty much stay on pavement or at worst a forestry service road.

I've been waiting for a manufacturer approved towable 4 wheels down compact hybrid suv to come along. This just may be it as the C-Max is too small.
This thread just made my day and I agree that these posts should have received more attention. I've been seeking a new, flat-towable hybrid that I can drive daily and yet tow when RV-ing. Almost bought a 2019 Ford Focus hybrid but DW did not like that it was being discontinued (and I agreed)....

Many Fords were towable and the new 2020 hybrids had piqued my interest but could find no info.

I drive a 2015 F150 and went so far as to visit my local Ford dealer and asked about flat towing the Escape; i was promised an answer but never received one.

i've been googling for 2020 flat towable since fall and getting little info, so again, this post is most appreciated and gives me hope!

Happy RV-ing!
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Old 12-07-2019, 06:01 AM   #7
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This thread just made my day and I agree that these posts should have received more attention. I've been seeking a new, flat-towable hybrid that I can drive daily and yet tow when RV-ing. Almost bought a 2019 Ford Focus hybrid but DW did not like that it was being discontinued (and I agreed)....

Many Fords were towable and the new 2020 hybrids had piqued my interest but could find no info.

I drive a 2015 F150 and went so far as to visit my local Ford dealer and asked about flat towing the Escape; i was promised an answer but never received one.

i've been googling for 2020 flat towable since fall and getting little info, so again, this post is most appreciated and gives me hope!

Happy RV-ing!
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Rather than asking the dealer, the best place to check for Ford vehicles is https://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/ It is extensive for all types of towing, like truck capacity and various other chassis, but if you scroll down it will have a section dedicated to 4 Down. Also it will break it down within model so you just don't assume that all of a specific model will be towable. Like the 2 gas engine Escape = No but the 2 hybrid Escape = Yes, Edge = No but the rare souped up Edge ST = Yes.

The Bronco is not listed yet, however the Ranger 4x2 = No where the Ranger 4x4 = Yes. Appears all 4x2 trucks and truck based SUV (Expedition) = No where the 4x4 = yes.

There is also another separate dedicated section addressing vehicles that can be dolly towed.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:04 PM   #8
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So I just discovered that the 2020 Escape can be a toad.
We were about to look for a 2017-18 Edge but now I want to investigate the Escape.
So which AWD Escapes come with the HF-45 transmission? Anyone know?
Would want a Titanium level with AWD. I think it has to be a hybrid, but they have 2 different hybrids, regular and plug-in.
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tizeye View Post
Rather than asking the dealer, the best place to check for Ford vehicles is https://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/ It is extensive for all types of towing, like truck capacity and various other chassis, but if you scroll down it will have a section dedicated to 4 Down. Also it will break it down within model so you just don't assume that all of a specific model will be towable. Like the 2 gas engine Escape = No but the 2 hybrid Escape = Yes, Edge = No but the rare souped up Edge ST = Yes.

The Bronco is not listed yet, however the Ranger 4x2 = No where the Ranger 4x4 = Yes. Appears all 4x2 trucks and truck based SUV (Expedition) = No where the 4x4 = yes.

There is also another separate dedicated section addressing vehicles that can be dolly towed.
Regarding your question about the 2020 Escape - see the link above that was posted. I found it very useful. You have to do some digging but you can find the section where Ford addresses towing behind a motorhome specifically, with a table of 2020 vehicles (if you look in the 2020 section). It lists the various model permutation and whether flat-towable or not. Cant recall if the plug in was listed.

The Escape hybrid is listed, but 2WD only; the 4WD is not flat towable i believe.
I live in Connecticut, with snow and ice and wanted 4WD but will probably take the compromise and get the 2WD hybrid.

Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:38 AM   #10
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Where does it say Hybrid 2WD only?
Footnotes 1,2,&3 don't mention it.
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Old 12-11-2019, 04:16 PM   #11
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So I just discovered that the 2020 Escape can be a toad.
We were about to look for a 2017-18 Edge but now I want to investigate the Escape.
So which AWD Escapes come with the HF-45 transmission? Anyone know?
Would want a Titanium level with AWD. I think it has to be a hybrid, but they have 2 different hybrids, regular and plug-in.
First the easy answer. The plug-in hybrid won't be released until spring...so there are none on the lots anywhere unless you have an extended timeframe.

The HF-45 transmission is one of 3 transmissions in the Escape listed in the owner's manual. In the manual the HF-45 is noted as hybrid with no specification AWD/FWD while the 8 speed 8F24/8F35 are for the 1.5L and 2.0L turboboost engines. In marketing material and the Moroney sticker for the Hybrid AWD/FWD it is referred to as the eCVT transmission rather than HF-45. When searching just look at the 2.5L engine or group 400A (Titanium) and 200A (SE). Notably, the hybrid is the default in the Titanium line where group 401A switches to the optional 2.0L engine.

The "Recreational Towing" section in the manual, the most critical sentence is poorly written where it's lack of explicit AWD and FWD becomes confusing but does note a "Neutral Tow mode" accessed through settings, then the second sentence begins with "Alternately" addressing alternate tow methods. Emergency towing tow truck instructions while prohibiting 4 down in cars with 8F24/8F35, it does note that hybrid engine can be 4 down without specifying AWD/FWD. The closest it comes to specifying AWD/FWD is "regardless of powertrain/transmission configuration" when towing 4 down. Notably, it gives an abbreviated setup placing only in Neutral, omitting the more extensive accessing "Settings" "Neutral Tow" instructions discussed in the next paragraph in the manual titled Recreational Towing. The abbreviated instruction also had more restrictive speed/distance restrictions than when going through the "Neutral Tow" setup process.

Obviously, you could get it clarified through the dealer if both AWD/FWD are 4 down towable. But if you don't trust them, have either you or ask the salesman to engage the "Neutral Tow" setup per the Recreational Towing in the manual. If the software has been programed to be assessable or grayed out/missing on AWD..then there is your answer
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:39 PM   #12
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Where does it say Hybrid 2WD only?
Footnotes 1,2,&3 don't mention it.
well - you are correct! Now I don't know where i got the AWD part - perhaps a different site or I simply cannot read.

Either way, from my perspective, I thought this was the most clearly written/assembled summary of the 2020 Fords and flat tow/dolly tow capability.

The versions of the owners manuals available to date are confusing, a real cluster*#*&.

So...perhaps the Escape hybrid AWD manual transmission is flat towable - the last piece of the puzzle?

good catch!
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:13 PM   #13
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Far as I know, the only difference between regular hybrid an plug in hybrid is the battery size, currently drive a 2014 lincoln mkz hybrid, love it!
Quote:
Originally Posted by F4Gary View Post
So I just discovered that the 2020 Escape can be a toad.
We were about to look for a 2017-18 Edge but now I want to investigate the Escape.
So which AWD Escapes come with the HF-45 transmission? Anyone know?
Would want a Titanium level with AWD. I think it has to be a hybrid, but they have 2 different hybrids, regular and plug-in.
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:15 PM   #14
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well - you are correct! Now I don't know where i got the AWD part - perhaps a different site or I simply cannot read.

Either way, from my perspective, I thought this was the most clearly written/assembled summary of the 2020 Fords and flat tow/dolly tow capability.

The versions of the owners manuals available to date are confusing, a real cluster*#*&.

So...perhaps the Escape hybrid AWD manual transmission is flat towable - the last piece of the puzzle?

good catch!
There is no manual transmission.

I'm hoping the Hybrid/Plug-in Hybrid Titanium AWD will be towable.
Then again there is no base plate yet and the Hybrids don't come out until spring 2020.
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