Ford’s three-row rival for the Mitsubishi Outlander and Honda CR-V looks set to escape Australia’s clutches.

    Ford Authority reports the upcoming three-row Ford Escape will be produced and sold only in China, reaching showrooms there late this year or early next year, despite previous reports it could be offered in other markets.

    This would scupper any plans for Ford’s European and Australian operations to introduce the model as a rival for the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace and Mazda CX-8.

    It also means the Ranger-based Everest will continue to be the cheapest three-row Ford in Australia.

    The three-row Escape is expected to feature a longer wheelbase and a boxier rear end than the regular Escape, in the same vein as the Chinese-market, three-row Ford Edge that we’ve also missed out on.

    The stretched Escape would have given Ford Australia an indirect replacement for the Endura (aka Edge), which was axed last year.

    Endura sales figures never approached those of the class leaders, perhaps in part because it lacked a third row of seating despite being a large SUV.

    The Edge has also been discontinued in Europe and may be discontinued in the North American market at the end of its lifecycle despite steady sales across two generations.

    The Oakville, Ontario plant where the Endura/Edge is currently built is being retooled in 2024 to produce battery-electric vehicles.

    Ford is introducing a replacement for the Mondeo and related North American Fusion that’s expected to be called Fusion Activ and Mondeo Activ, featuring a high-riding wagon body style à la the Subaru Outback.

    This could effectively take the place of the Edge and help reduce clutter in the North American Ford range, which now features two similarly-sized crossovers in the Escape and related Bronco Sport.

    Both models use Ford’s C2 platform, also shared with the Focus and the Lincoln Corsair crossover. The upcoming Ford Maverick ute will also use a version of this platform.

    Even in the North American market, you need to step up to an Everest-sized SUV to get a third row of seating.

    There, Ford offers the rear/all-wheel drive Explorer crossover which, conceptually, is the closest thing to a replacement for the Australian Ford Territory. Unfortunately, it’s been ruled out for right-hand drive.

    MORE: Ford Escape news, reviews, comparisons and videos
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    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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