Meet the all-new 2023 Ford Escape. Mid-cycle update brings a much-needed update to the compact SUV’s look, new sporty ST-Line models and a major cabin tech overhaul focused on the latest generation of Sync 4 infotainment of Ford.
The 2023 Escape sees the usual complement of mid-cycle styling revisions, starting with the reshaped front bumper. The grille has been raised in the fascia and now features an octagonal shape and wraps around the oval Ford badge. The headlights also look angrier than last year’s gazelle eyes and are now highlighted by an optional “coast-to-coast” LED light bar that runs the width of the Escape’s face for certain specs.
New to the lineup is the sport-styled ST-Line spec with its gloss black exterior trim and accents, including its thick black grille mesh. ST-Line models also feature a unique rear bumper garnish and larger rear spoiler than their stablemates. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard for the Escape ST-Line, with inline 19-inch rolling stock on the ST-Line Elite trim level. Inside, you’ll find red contrast stitching and a flat-bottomed steering wheel that complete the sports car cosplay, but also an upgraded quality of materials.
Ford’s 1.5- and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine options remain largely unchanged for the 2023 model year. The 1.5T EcoBoost still makes 180 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque and is available in front- or rear-wheel-drive configurations. on all four wheels. The ST-Line Select spec steps up to the 2.0T EcoBoost with its 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque with standard all-wheel drive.
Updated 2023 Ford Escape PHEV Debuts Sporty ST-Line Styling
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The refreshed Escape will also continue to be offered in Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid flavors, each based on the automaker’s fourth-generation 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle hybrid system. Total system output for the standard hybrid is now set at 210 hp (up 10 hp from last year) and 155 pound-feet of torque (unchanged). It’s unclear if the adjustments Ford made will affect fuel economy, as new estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency have yet to be released. You’ll find the hybrid system powering the Platinum and ST-Line Elite models.
Meanwhile, the Escape Plug-in Hybrid still has a combined 221 hp (unchanged from last year) and up to 37 miles of EPA-estimated electric range per charge. Plugging it into a 110-volt wall outlet will recharge the PHEV in about 10 to 11 hours. On a 240-volt level 2 station, that time is reduced to 3.5 hours.
One of the biggest changes to the 2023 Escape is the move to offer a 13.2 Sync 4 infotainment system with Alexa built-in. The new generation features web-connected destination search, enhanced voice recognition, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless connectivity. Less visible from the driver’s seat are enhancements to the Ford Co-Pilot360 driver assistance suite, which now includes updated Intersection Assist 2.0 and Blind Spot Assist collision avoidance technologies.
The 2023 Ford Escape also sees a streamlining of its lineup, doing away with the previous S, SE, SEL and Titanium structure and shrinking from 10 discrete trim levels to seven. The new hierarchy includes Base, Active, Platinum, the three ST-Line models and the Plug-in Hybrid.
The Base Escape starts at $28,995, including the required destination charge of $1,495. That’s only about $315 more than the 2022 Escape S. Further up the totem pole are the new ST-Line, ST-Line Select, and ST-Line Elite models, which range from $31,335 to $39,955 depending on trim and trim. selected powertrain. The Escape Plug-in Hybrid now has its own top-of-the-line trim level for the 2023 model year starting at $39,995, an astonishing $2,200 less than the outgoing Escape Titanium PHEV.