Regional location-based changes are nothing new for Ford vehicles. For example, the 2022 Ford Maverick equipped with FoMoCo’s 2.0L EcoBoost I-4 is only available with all-wheel drive in Canada, as Ford Authority reported last month. Now, that appears to be happening once again as the front-wheel drive 2022 Ford Escape is losing its multi-link rear suspension in Australia, according to Car Expert, a change that hasn’t been announced for the U.S. version of the crossover or the European Kuga.
Ford will replace the Escape’s multi-link rear suspension with a torsion-beam rear axle setup, which is less expensive and more efficiently packaged. This change applies to all front-wheel drive 2022 Ford Escape models across the series, including the base model, ST-Line, PHEV, and Vignale. Meanwhile, all-wheel drive models will continue to utilize the existing multi-link rear suspension.
This decision is an unusual one, at least in Australia, where most of the Escape’s rivals utilize a multi-link or double-wishbone rear suspension, including the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Hyundai Tuscon. It’s also a big departure from Ford’s recent decision to give the entire Focus range a standard independent rear suspension.
The Australian market Escape is produced alongside the European Kuga – essentially a rebadged Escape – at the Ford Valencia Assembly Plant in Spain. There aren’t many notable differences between any of these models, though it’s worth noting the Australian Escape is only available with two powertrains – Ford’s 2.0L EcoBoost I-4 and the plug-in hybrid variant.
Meanwhile, the front-wheel drive Maverick pickup – which shares the Ford C2 platform with the Escape – utilizes a twist-beam rear suspension in all trims, while the all-wheel drive version is equipped with a multi-link trailing arm suspension. It’s unclear if the Australian Escape’s rear suspension is the same as the one present in the Maverick, though the two are similar, at the very least.
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This means that the project can continue as planned.