It's not by much, but it matters to cash-strapped consumers.
Popular with young families looking for a compact SUV, the Ford Escape enjoys great popularity in the US. With over 145,415 examples sold last year, there's no denying its appeal. Good looks, generous spec levels, and several engines and trim options give buyers plenty of choices.
Ahead of the 2023 refresh (a redesign is expected in 2025) penciled in for the Mazda CX-5 rival, Ford has implemented a number of changes to the trim levels and pricing. While the majority of trim lines have seen a price increase, one has actually decreased, reports Ford Authority.
The entry-level, front-wheel-drive S trim line is now $455 more expensive, bringing the current MSRP up to $26,010. The all-wheel-drive derivative received the same price increase, now retailing for $27,510. SE models are now $460 dearer, with SEL models now an extra $465.
Interestingly, the plusher Titanium models have actually seen a price decrease, with all four versions - the 2.0-liter, PHEV, and Hybrid (FWD and AWD) - now $100 cheaper. The pricing revisions are based on changes to trim levels, with Ford Authority reporting that the Escape Titanium will no longer be available with a standard Bang & Olufsen sound system, now part of the Titanium Elite Package. The most expensive model in the Escape line-up, the Titanium Plug-in Hybrid, now retails for $38,785 compared to last year's loftier $38,885.
Similarly, Ford has also dropped the standard roof rack side rails from SEL models, now a separate option for the trim. While US-spec Escape models retain the multi-link rear suspension setup, Australian models will swop theirs for a torsion-beam rear axle. This change applies only to front-wheel-driven models, though; the all-paw derivatives retain the original setup.
S, SE, and SEL models are equipped with the 1,5-liter EcoBoost engine which produces 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. Standard on the Titanium trim is the 200 hp 2,5-liter Hybrid powertrain and is available, as an option, on SE and SEL lines. The 225 hp 2,5-liter Plug-in Hybrid is an option for all trim lines with the exception of the base-model S. Finally, the most powerful powertrain, a 225-hp/280-Ib-ft 2.0-liter EcoBoost motor, is only available as an option on Titanium and SEL derivatives. Hybrid models make use of an eCVT transmission while conventionally powered models send power to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
For those not happy about the increases, it may be worth holding out for one of Ford's regular discounts.