What is the Escape?
The 2023 Ford Escape is a compact crossover SUV that's both one of Ford's most popular vehicles and one of the best-selling crossovers around today. Slotting between the even smaller Ford EcoSport and the larger Ford Edge, the Escape offers multiple powertrains — gas, hybrid and plug-in hybrid — lots of in-car tech, and a variety of standard and available driver aids. We've found the Escape to be comfortable and roomy, and that hybrid powertrain nets some impressive fuel economy.
While Ford hasn't made any official announcements, spy photos we've seen show prototype Escape models with camouflaged front and rear bumpers, suggesting that a midcycle update is on the way for 2023. The fourth-generation model debuted in 2020, and mainstream cars and SUVs like the Escape tend to get full redesigns every five to six years, with a handful of updates and refreshes along the way. A refresh for 2023 would bring updated exterior styling, and we wouldn't be surprised if Ford offers improved powertrains or updated tech and driver aids. We have some issues with the Escape's slow, jerky transmission, so we hope Ford addresses powertrain refinement too.
The Escape has rivals from just about every corner. Some of Edmunds' favorites include the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Rogue. Ford itself offers a wide array of SUVs as it's shifted its focus away from car production. In addition to the EcoSport and Edge, Ford offers the Bronco and Bronco Sport as well as larger models including the Explorer and Expedition, though all but the EcoSport have base prices higher than the Escape's. While we don't think the Escape is the class leader, it offers a solid mix of features, comfort and utility.