There’s good news if you’re interested in the hybrid.

With all the focus on the new Ford F-150 and Bronco over the last few months, it’s easy to forget about some of the brand’s staple SUVs. One of these is the Ford Escape, which was the second biggest-selling Ford SUV in the US last month after the Explorer. That’s despite the fact that Escape sales have dropped in recent times. For the 2021 model year, Ford has made some notable updates to the Escape. The main alteration is that the hybrid powertrain now becomes available on the SE and SEL trims. If you opt for the Titanium variant, then the hybrid powertrain is standard. The lineup is now comprised of the S, SE, SEL, and Titanium.

Both regular and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions of the Ford Escape will be offered, and each uses a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with 165 horsepower. The total system output is 200 hp. Notably, however, the production of the PHEV variant was delayed but should commence in early April. Elsewhere in the lineup, the base 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine produces 181 hp, while the bigger 2.0-liter EcoBoost makes 250 hp. The regular hybrid can be specified with an all-wheel-drive system but the PHEV is limited to a front-wheel-drive layout. Both hybrids use a continuously variable transmission, while the gas-only models employ an eight-speed automatic.

According to the EPA, the Escape Hybrid will manage 44/37/41 mpg city/highway/combined, while the AWD version can do 43/37/40 mpg. Previous reports indicate that the PHEV will do 100 MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent) combined and be capable of an all-electric range of 37 miles. There have been other smaller changes introduced for the 2021 Escape such as the removal of paddle shifters across the lineup, new colors like Bronze Fire metallic, and the inclusion of a 10-speaker B&O sound system when equipping the Technology Package. Ford has not yet indicated pricing for the 2021 Escape – the 2020 Escape Hybrid started at $28,265 – but we expect this to be revealed imminently.