The Ford Escape has already received a pretty substantial update. Just three years into its product cycle, Ford has given the Escape a whole new look for 2023.
The styling is the biggest and most obvious update. It’s not as cute as it was before, which is a good thing. The redesigned front facia comes across as more grown-up and handsome. Aside from the new grille and headlights, some models can be equipped with a full-width light bar that Ford describes as running from “coast to coast.” It’s reminiscent of the light bar seen on Mercury models in the 1990s, but slimmed down to a narrow LED strip.
Inside is more or less the same as the previous model, but Ford has updated the interior with new materials for an upscale feel on certain trims. The Escape is also jumping on the big-screen wagon with an available 13.2-inch landscape-oriented touchscreen that runs Ford’s cloud-based SYNC 4 operating system. There’s also built-in Amazon Alexa with voice recognition, a suite of driver safety aids that include Ford’s Co-Pilot 360, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
There’s also some thoughtful features that show Ford paid attention to customer needs. For example, the new dashboard design places the most frequently used controls at the bottom of the touchscreen so you don’t waste your time sifting through menus to find them. The sliding rear seat also gives the Escape some serious rear legroom: Ford says the Escape has more second-row legroom than a Toyota Sequoia, which, for reference, offers 39.2 inches of second-row legroom.
The next big news is the addition of ST-Line trims to the Escape lineup. The Escape has never been a sporty vehicle, but for 2023 Ford hopes to inject a little sportiness. You’ll be able to tell the ST-Line apart by the black mesh grill, rear spoiler, and that LED light bar up front. The sporty version also gets standard 18-inch wheels, with optional 19s available. Inside, the ST-Line gets a black interior with red stitching on everything from the doors to the steering wheel and even the floor mats. Ford even threw in a flat-bottomed steering wheel for good measure. The ST-Line join the existing base, Active, Platinum, and plug-in hybrid trims.
As before, the 2023 Escape comes standard with a 180-hp 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo engine and either front- or all-wheel drive. This setup is available on base, Active and ST-Line models. Premium, ST-Line Select and ST-Line Elite models offer the 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder making 250 hp with standard all-wheel drive. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants will be offered as well.
And Ford is making some big promises with those hybrid drivetrains. Final EPA numbers have not yet been released, but Ford says we can expect the plug-in hybrid to make 210 hp total and go 37 miles on battery power alone. And while the automaker says every 2023 Escape should be able to exceed 400 miles on a tank of fuel (again, pending final EPA numbers), the full hybrid Escape will trounce that, aiming for more than 550 miles on a tank of fuel.
Ordering for the 2023 Ford Escape opens today, with vehicles due to reach dealers in early 2023. Pricing starts at $28,995 for a front-drive base-model Escape with the 1.5-liter engine; ST-Line models start at $31,335; and the top-of-the-line 2.5-liter plug-in hybrid will run you $39,995.