How will we know when we finally have too many SUVs on the market? Many experts have cited the recent lack of updates in certain brands as a sign that automakers would need to make some tough choices about their lineup. Loyal brand enthusiasts have been increasingly nervous as they watch their favorites become a little stale, wondering if this complacency is part of the supply chain shortage or a sign that their favorite vehicle is on the chopping block for the next model year. Some wondered if the Ford Escape was not long for this world– that is, until the 2023 model was announced.
Ford has gone big with some serious updates for 2023 across its model lineup, and the 2023 Ford Escape is a great example of how a big makeover can refresh a brand’s entire personality. The Ford Escape enters the new model year with a sportier face, a bigger grille, and tons of updates to the overall lineup. Given the level of competition in the five-seat SUV market, it’s quite reasonable that Ford would go big with this refresh. Judging from early feedback, it seems very likely that drivers will respond positively to this move. Take a peek at the newly redesigned 2023 Ford Escape to see how it’s changed and grown for the new year and new drivers.
The Latest and Greatest in Comfort and Safety Tech
There comes a time in our lives when we look at the car we’re driving and wonder, “Is this the vehicle for me? Did I make the right choice?” Usually, these events are triggered by watching a neighbor zip by in their brand-new pony car or catching a glimpse of that gorgeous high-price off-roader that you don’t need but would love to drive. Staring at a compact SUV like the Escape with a modest price point may not give you the same rush as a Mustang or Bronco, but you have to admit, the new Escape is awfully good-looking for a compact SUV. If you really look at it, it does have some sporty features that it’s borrowed from its Ford cousins.
Furthermore, the comfort and convenience features have been edged into the impressive zone for 2023. Once upon a time, drivers were thrilled if their cars had air conditioning, a tape deck, and cruise control. Now, drivers can enjoy Ford’s SYNC 4 infotainment system, which includes over-the-air updates, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 4 devices, and wireless charging for smart devices. Depending on the trim you choose, you’ll have all of the information you could need at your fingertips, courtesy of the 8 or 13.2- inch infotainment and digital gauge display. The times have changed.
But it’s not just about being able to shout commands at Amazon Alexa while behind the wheel, though the Escape also offers that capability. Safety is a huge part of the 2023 Escape’s overall package, with the Ford Co-Pilot360 driver assistance suite on board as standard equipment across the Escape trims to help mitigate accidents. This package includes pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, as well as Ford’s lane-keeping system.
Also standard is Ford’s BLIS (Blind Spot Information System), which includes a cross-traffic alert. Moving up the trims or adding packages provides extra safety technology, including intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane centering, and speed sign recognition, along with evasive steering assist and a 360-degree birds-eye view camera with split screen. Suffice it to say that the 2023 Ford Escape may still be a compact SUV on paper, but the list of features reads like James Bond’s car shopping criteria. The new Escape is certainly well-equipped.
Introducing the ST-Line Trims of the 2023 Ford Escape
The Ford Escape’s trim lineup has also changed for the 2023 model year. Technically, there are now three different ways to look at the Escape, which can be slightly confusing. The Base model starts things off, followed by the Active trim. Then enters the ST-Line, which includes the ST-Line, ST-Line Select, and ST-Line Elite. The Plug-In Hybrid and Platinum trim round things out. So what is an “ST-Line?” Ford has been adding ST-Line models to a variety of models over the past years, and the Escape is the newest recipient of the honor.
The three ST-Line models are sportier than their siblings, with their own unique black mesh grille, skid plate, and rear spoiler. Instead of a black lower body, the ST-Line includes body-colored cladding, giving it a more aggressive appearance. Inside, these models are offered with black simulated upholstery with red contrast stitching for a sharp look inside the cabin. The steering wheel comes with a flat bottom– a nod to its Sport Technologies heritage– and the wheels are either 18-inch Rock Metallic aluminum or 19-inch Ebony aluminum, depending on the trim level and options selected.
Hybrid Options Are Available for Those Looking for Fuel Efficiency
A hybrid Ford Escape is not new; after all, the world’s first hybrid SUV was offered as part of the 2005 Escape lineup. However, two choices are offered for 2023: a full hybrid engine option and a Plug-In Hybrid model. The 2.5L iVCT Atkinson-Cycle I-4 Hybrid engine is optional on all but the Base and Active trims. Ford has announced that this option is designed to provide up to 210 hp with a targeted combined EPA-estimated range of over 550 miles. The Plug-In Hybrid includes a Level 1 and Level 2 charging port, with Level 1 charge providing a full battery in 10-11 hours and Level 2 completing a full charge in just 3.5 hours, and offers up to 37 miles of electric-only driving.
Furthermore, drivers have more control over their hybrid driving with four selectable EV modes. Auto EV mode allows the vehicle to use gas or electric power as needed. EV Now mode ensures the Escape runs on electric power only. EV Later mode allows for gas-powered driving only, and EV Charge mode allows drivers to charge the battery while driving to conserve and generate battery power for later use.
The Surprising Coolness of the 2023 Ford Escape
It’s not often that a compact SUV leaves experts and drivers alike almost giddy with anticipation. After all, competition is fierce in this segment. As a result, manufacturers have had to carve their niche in the market with vehicles that truly represent the best options for the picky American driver. Luckily, Ford understood this need for diversity, and has offered a diverse selection of SUV models for the discerning driver. It’s no surprise Ford has dominated the SUV market for decades and the Escape is a shining example of the brand knowing what their drivers want.
The 2023 Ford Escape took a big leap into its makeover, but to all appearances, it has paid off. Not only does the Escape have a bolder, sportier look than ever before, but it’s brimming with features that drivers want, need, and will use frequently. Though it can be easy to write off a compact SUV as “just another five-seater,” the 2023 Ford Escape is actually something very special, which is quite apparent from the moment you get behind the wheel of this standout compact SUV.