2023 Ford Escape

2023 Ford Escape
2023 Ford Escape Rear Angle View 1
2023 Ford Escape Dashboard 1
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2023 Ford Escape Review: Ford Escape 2.0

The new Ford Escape crossover SUV is an update of last year's car, with refreshed looks and realigned trims. The powertrains remain mostly as before, with 180-horsepower 1.5-liter and 250-hp 2.0-liter engines available, as well as a hybrid and a PHEV version, although we review the Ford Escape hybrids separately. The sharpened looks and updates hone a competent offering, but its general talents are quite average and some of rivals, like the Mazda CX-50 and Volkswagen Tiguan are better to drive, while the all-conquering Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V sell in far greater numbers in the USA. The 2023 Ford Escape has to try harder to make an impression in this hotly contested corner of the market and faces tough competition not only from the above-mentioned rivals but also from within the family in the shape of the much more distinctive Ford Bronco Sport, with which it shares a platform. Ford is hoping that the 2023 updates will spark fresh interest in its compact crossover.

Read in this review:

7.8
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2023 Ford Escape Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Escape?

The 2023 Escape receives a facelift, with a much sharper front bumper containing a wider grille, topped by flatter headlights and a "coast to coast" full-width light bar atop the grille on the Platinum and ST-Line Elite trims. Aft, the changes are more subtle, but the taillights are redesigned and the trunk catch is now hidden and now longer plonked in the middle of the tailgate's lower sheet metal. There are various new wheel designs too. All trims in the range are realigned and renamed, with Base, Active, ST-Line, and Platinum trims replacing the old S, SE, SEL, and Titanium trims.

On the tech side, the electrical architecture is new and the infotainment systems' software is upgraded from Sync 3 to Sync 4, bringing with it cloud connectivity, over-the-air updates, and the option of a larger 13.2-inch touchscreen that is standard on the top two trims. An 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster becomes standard fare on all trims, upgraded to a 12.3-inch screen on upper trims.

Pros and Cons

  • Comprehensive standard driver assists
  • Roomy and comfortable interior
  • Absorbent ride
  • User-friendly controls
  • 2.0L's good towing capacity
  • Coarse base engine
  • Some substandard cabin plastics
  • Stodgy automatic transmission
  • Unexceptional driving experience

What's the Price of the 2023 Ford Escape?

The price of the 2023 Ford Escape is competitive, starting at $28,000 for the Base trim, increasing to $29,345 for the Active, and $30,340 for the ST-Line with the gas engine; ST-Line models with the hybrid engine cost $3,000 more. Adding AWD to the Base will cost you $1,500, with $2,170 more needed to add AWD to the Active or ST-Line.

The ST-Line Select, priced at $34,040 with the gas engine, can also be had with the hybrid powertrain for $35,040. Next in line is the Platinum at $37,465 for the gas version, and surprisingly, the hybrid version is cheaper by $500. ST-Line Elite trims start at $38,460 with $1,000 extra needed to equip the hybrid powertrain. The PHEV tops the lineup with a $40,500 MSRP. These prices don't include the $1,495 destination fee, extras, packages, or any other charges.

Best Deals on 2023 Ford Escape

2023 Ford Escape Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Base
1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$28,000
Active
1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$29,345
ST-Line
1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,340
ST-Line Select Hybrid
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$35,040
Platinum Hybrid
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$36,965
See All 2023 Ford Escape Trims and Specs

2023 Escape Exterior

2023 Ford Escape Front View Ford 2023 Ford Escape Front Angle View Ford 2023 Ford Escape Rear Angle View Ford
2023 Ford Escape Front View
2023 Ford Escape Front Angle View
2023 Ford Escape Rear Angle View
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Dimensions

  • Length 180.5 in
  • Wheelbase 106.7 in
  • Height 66.1 in
  • Max Width 74.1 in
  • Front Width 62.4 in
  • Rear Width 61.8 in
  • Curb Weight 3,283.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Cinnabar Red Metallic Premium Colorant +$495
  • Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat +$495
  • Star White Metallic Tri-Coat +$995
  • Atlas Blue Metallic
  • Vapor Blue Metallic
  • Iconic Silver Metallic
  • Agate Black Metallic
  • Oxford White
  • Carbonized Gray Metallic

2023 Escape Performance

2023 Ford Escape Front View Driving Ford 2023 Ford Escape Side View Driving Ford 2023 Ford Escape Gearbox Controls Ford
2023 Ford Escape Front View Driving
2023 Ford Escape Side View Driving
2023 Ford Escape Gearbox Controls

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas, 2.5L Hybrid, 2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid, 2.5L Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
  • Transmissions
    8-Speed Automatic, Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

2023 Ford Escape Handling and Driving Impressions

The Escape has been on the market for a couple of years and its rivals are moving ahead of it in terms of driving dynamics. The Mazda CX-50 and VW Tiguan are more fun to drive and, by comparison, the Escape is starting to feel a bit soft and wallowy, with plenty of lean around corners and comparatively low grip levels - but at least the ride is compliant and commendably quiet. Even if you dial things down a few notches and drive sedately, there are complaints. The rather coarse three-cylinder base engine has adequate power, but the automatic transmission disappoints, not shifting particularly smoothly and often being slow to respond to commands from your right foot. Slowing down, you can feel every downshift, and the stop-start system is jerky and intrusive too. It's simply not as well-resolved and refined as it should be. At least the 2.0-liter engine provides plenty of shove and the steering has a bit of feel to it in Sport mode.

2023 Escape Interior

2023 Ford Escape Dashboard Ford 2023 Ford Escape Infotainment System Ford 2023 Ford Escape Front Seats Ford
2023 Ford Escape Dashboard
2023 Ford Escape Infotainment System
2023 Ford Escape Front Seats
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Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.4 in
  • Front Head Room 40.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 40.7 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.3 in

2023 Escape Trunk and Cargo Space

2023 Ford Escape Glove Box Ford 2023 Ford Escape Cup Holder Ford 2023 Ford Escape Trunk Space Ford
2023 Ford Escape Glove Box
2023 Ford Escape Cup Holder
2023 Ford Escape Trunk Space

2023 Escape Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Ford Escape A Good SUV?

Compared to its natural rivals, the Escape is no longer the able contender it once was. It offers a good selection of powertrains and has two hybrid options - but so do other cars in this class that blend the compact crossover form factor with more luxurious cabins, better driving manners, and superior refinement. Its own stablemate, the Bronco Sport, arguably offers a wider breadth of abilities on the same platform and is a lot more interesting to look at than the somewhat bland Escape. On the plus side, there's a good towing capacity with the 2.0-liter engine, a comfortable cabin, and a long list of features to justify the purchase if you're set on an Escape.

What 2023 Ford Escape Model Should I Buy?

It does an adequate job, but we don't love the gruff base engine, so the ST-Line Select makes the most sense to us, being the cheapest trim with the 2.0-liter engine and also coming with standard AWD and an impressive towing capacity. You could opt for the hybrid if you want more economy. Standard equipment is not overly generous, but at least it has a power driver's seat, heated front seats, remote start, and LED foglights, while a comprehensive list of driver assists is standard anyway on all Escapes. We'd add the high-value Tech Pack #1 which adds several desirable features and still come out more than $2k cheaper than the Platinum.

Check out other Ford Escape Styles

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