- The 2023 Ford Escape features a revised front and is available with new wheel designs.
- A 12.3-inch digital gauge display is available, along with a 13.2-inch touchscreen.
- Sales of the 2023 Escape begin in early 2023.
2023 Ford Escape Has New Look and Sportier Trim
A much-needed reworking of a hot-selling formula
The 2023 Ford Escape compact SUV isn't sitting on its haunches while rivals like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue zoom off into the distance. Ford has given the Escape an exterior makeover, added a new trim level, and upgraded available tech and safety features. All in an effort to ensure its compact crossover isn't forgotten in one of the hottest-selling segments in the U.S.
Subtle but substantial exterior tweaks
The outgoing Escape had a smooth nose with a grille positioned relatively low in the front fascia. For 2023, the Escape's grille moves upward, the Ford Blue Oval badge moves into its center, and the headlights are narrower with a more aggressive look than before. It's a dramatic departure from the 2022 model year, and the result gives the Escape a fresh and modern look without getting heavy-handed with wonky design details.
If you're looking for something with added visual punch, the new ST-Line model comes with body-color lower trim accents versus black plastic trim used in other variants. Additional ST-Line-specific hardware includes alloy wheels ranging from 18 to 19 inches in diameter, a small rear spoiler, and black mesh pattern used in the grille, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and black synthetic-leather cabin trim with red highlights. The available ST-Line Elite package adds a distinctive lightbar across the front end, spanning from one headlight to the other.
Trims, tech and safety gear
The 2023 Escape will be offered in five main trims: Base, Active, ST-Line, Platinum and Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV). Ford has jettisoned its previous acronym trim system, which included models such as the S, SE and SEL.
An 8-inch infotainment screen is standard in the base model, as is wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. Escape shoppers can upgrade to an optional 13.2-inch touchscreen, along with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. (Lower trims still have to live with a standard 8-inch digital gauge display.)
New options include a 360-degree parking camera, Amazon Alexa, enhanced voice recognition, and navigation with over-the-air updates. In terms of safety, the 2023 Escape can be had with intelligent blind-spot assist, which will tug the steering wheel if the driver somehow continues to change lanes despite alerts from the blind-spot warning system.
Powertrains remain the same
One thing that doesn't change is what you can put under the hood of the 2023 Escape. The base powertrain continues to be a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder that delivers 180 horsepower to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel drive is an option.
Engine upgrades include a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, along with two choices of hybrid. Each delivers a total of 210 hp, though only the hybrid version can be had with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Opting for the plug-in hybrid powertrain means sticking with front-wheel drive, though with the bonus of having 37 miles of electric-only driving range.
Prices for the 2023 Escape start at $28,995 and go all the way up to $39,995 (with destination) before you start toying with optional extras. Look for the new Escape to show up in dealers by the end of this year.
The 2023 Ford Escape gets a handsome new look and added features to keep it relevant in the hugely competitive compact SUV market. The new ST-Line even adds a jolt of sportiness to this sensible sport-ute too.