Equipped better than ever before to conquer daily adventures – from heavy traffic to lunch with co-workers or maneuvering into the last parking space on the block – the new Ford Escape SUV is ready to shine in the city and for quick getaways.
Ford has given the compact SUV a thorough makeover that includes a stylish new ST-Line series, a 13.2-inch display with cloud-connected SYNC 4 Technology, and new advanced driver-assistance system technologies. Continuing popular features include a sliding second-row seat with more second-row legroom than the Toyota Sequoia and hybrid and plug-in hybrid engine choices.
“The new Escape is the perfect getaway vehicle,” said brand manager Adrienne Zaski. “From large touchscreens that can wirelessly display Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ while your phone stays in your pocket to a sliding second row that offers more legroom, it makes everyday adventures easy to handle – from meetings on the fly, to coffee runs with friends, or even a power nap in the back seat.”
Sporty New ST-Line, New Series Lineup
A new sporty ST-Line series, offered in three models, boosts the look of Escape with athletic touches. The ST-Line offers a 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine targeting 180-hp with front-wheel or available all-wheel drive, as well as an available hybrid option with front-wheel drive. ST-Line Select and ST-Line Elite offer a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine targeting 250-hp2 and standard all-wheel drive and an available hybrid option.
The ST-Line models stand apart from the crowd with a series-specific black mesh grille, a unique rear skid plate, and a large single-wing rear spoiler. Every surface is monochromatically painted down to the moldings for a dynamic, refined appearance. The well-equipped ST-Line Elite model includes an available eye-catching “coast-to-coast” LED light bar that stretches from headlamp to headlamp for a distinctive addition.
The calming interior offers a respite from the outside world. The Ebony environment is highlighted with red stitching on the door panels, seat trim, center armrest, floor mats, and steering wheel. Also, a flat-bottom steering wheel and 18-inch Rock Metallic painted aluminum wheels are standard. The ST-Line Select model offers the optional 19-inch Machine-Faced Ebony Painted aluminum wheels that are standard on the ST-Line Elite model.
“Not every customer wants a rugged and boxy SUV, so we’ve made the new Escape more energetic, confident, and sleeker,” said Amko Leenarts, director, of Ford Design. “The Escape interior complements the exterior, with a relaxing space that’s stylish yet comfortable with easy access to technology for the road or staying connected with friends and family.”
In addition to the ST-Line models, the Escape lineup also includes Base, Escape Active™, Platinum, and Plug-in Hybrid models. Escape Base and Active models offer a 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine with front-wheel or available all-wheel drive. The platinum model offers a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine with all-wheel drive and a hybrid powertrain option with front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
In the Base model, the interior color is Ebony, while in Escape Active, Platinum, and Plug-in Hybrid models, there’s a choice of Ebony or Space Gray.
The 2023 Escape SUV also comes standard with new LED reflector headlamps with signature lighting. Inside is ample seating for up to five, along with a rear seat that can slide nearly 6 inches – simply move forward to maximize cargo room or slide back for more leg room.
Newly available amenities include a 13.2-inch center-stack screen for easy viewing, and available technologies include Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Predictive Speed Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Braking, Reverse Brake Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, and Connected Built-In Navigation. Other available amenities include a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel cluster, Rear Parking Sensors, a 360-degree camera, and a wireless charging pad.
Hybrids Offer Consumers Power of Choice
Escape, which debuted the world’s first hybrid SUV in 2005, brings back two hybrid choices for 2023, a full hybrid and a Plug-In Hybrid model.
“Ford is among the leading hybrid automakers in the U.S. because we understand that not all of our customers are ready to go all-electric,” said Zaski. “With two hybrid powertrain choices, customers can spend less time at the gas station and keep more money in their pockets.”
Every model in the 2023 Ford Escape SUV lineup, whether powered by one of two available EcoBoost engines or hybrid powertrains, targets an EPA-estimated range of at least 400 miles per tank. The full hybrid model with front-wheel-drive targets an EPA-estimated range of more than 550 miles.
The Escape Plug-In Hybrid model includes Ford’s advanced fourth-generation hybrid propulsion system, which includes a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle hybrid engine and electronic continuously variable transmission. The front-wheel drive hybrid model is projected to produce a combined system of 210 horsepower.
The 2023 Ford Escape SUV Plug-In Hybrid model targets an EPA-estimated range of 37 miles in electric-only mode. Escape Plug-in Hybrid has a Level 1 / Level 2 AC charging port. Using a 110-volt Level 1 charge, the estimated time to fully charge the battery is 10 to 11 hours. Using a 240-volt Level 2 charge, charge time drops to roughly 3.5 hours.
The Escape Plug-In Hybrid model** features four EV modes that allow customers to select the settings most suitable for their individual needs.
- In Auto EV mode, the vehicle decides whether to run on gas or electric power
- In EV Now mode, drivers can operate on all-electric driving
- In EV Later mode, drivers can switch to full gas-powered driving to conserve electric miles for later
- In EV Charge mode, drivers can continue to charge the battery while driving and generate electric-only miles to use later
New Levels of Connectivity, Driver-Assist Features
The new Escape is also smart and connected with SYNC 4 , providing cloud-connected navigation and integrating standard wireless Apple CarPlay software feature and Android Auto smart driving capability for fast, easy connectivity.
The cloud connectivity combines SYNC 4 with available Enhanced Voice Recognition with the power of internet-based search results, so drivers and passengers have access to the latest information with almost every request – from close restaurants to nearby charging stations. Available Connected Built-In Navigation delivers accurate traffic information on closures, accidents, and more, while a digital owner’s manual lets owners find information about their vehicles quickly and easily.
In addition, Ford Power-Up over-the-air software updates are transforming the ownership experience by regularly adding new software features and other improvements that keep making Ford vehicles better over time. Customers can pre-schedule software updates at convenient times – perfect for owners with busy schedules.
Alexa Hands-Free Experience
The Alexa built-in hands-free experience with complimentary connectivity for Alexa for up to three years makes it easy to listen to music, navigate, control smart home devices, add items to a shopping list, and more.11 The integrated system offers seamless voice commands such as “Alexa, find the closest gas station,” “Alexa, play my road trip playlist,” or “Alexa, call Mom.” Enhanced Voice Recognition also can tailor Alexa to customers’ natural way of speaking.
Available Ford Co-Pilot360 technology now features Intersection Assist 2.0, which helps clients avoid potential collisions with pedestrians while turning. Escape also will debut Blind Spot Assist, which will alert the driver with a light on the sideview mirror, applying a nudge in the steering system to help caution against an unsafe action in a case where the driver has missed warnings from the Blind Spot Information System. This feature will detect other vehicles and motorcyclists in blind spots.
The new Escape SUV is assembled at the Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky, available to order now, and will reach dealerships early in 2023.
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.