2023 Ford Escape refreshed with new tech and ST-Line trim

The 2023 Ford Escape compact crossover sports a new ST-Line grade and more standard and available connected car technology, Ford announced Tuesday. The big change for 2023 is the cosmetic upgrades of the ST-Line and a new Active trim replacing SE and SEL trims. 

Offered on all but the Escape plug-in hybrid, the ST-Line sports a black mesh grille, black rear bumper, and a body color rear roof spoiler. Consider it Ford’s version of blacked-out trim packages such as Toyota’s Nightshade, Nissan’s Nightshade, Subaru’s Onyx and so many more. The ST-Line Elite adds an LED lightbar that spans the face between the LED reflector headlights standard across the whole lineup.

The ST-Line rides on 18-inch black wheels (19-inch available), and Ford says it has firmer suspension damping. On the inside it gets a flat-bottom steering wheel, and black interior with red contrast stitching. Ford estimates that the three grades of the ST-Line will compose 50% of 2023 Escape sales. 

2023 Ford Escape ST-Line

The four powertrains carry over for 2023. The base, Active, and ST-Line use a 180-hp 1.5-liter turbo-3 with an 8-speed automatic transmission sending power to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available on all but the Escape plug-in hybrid. The ST-Line Select, ST-Line Elite, and Platinum trims employ a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 with standard all-wheel drive. 

The 2023 Ford Escape Hybrid carries over with a 2.5-liter inline-4 and traction motor that combine for 200 hp. Unlike other compact crossover hybrids such as the Toyota RAV4, the available all-wheel-drive system is connected by a propshaft system to the rear wheels instead of a designated rear motor. The 2022 Ford Escape Hybrid had a competitive EPA rating of 41 mpg combined with FWD or 40 mpg with AWD. 

2023 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid

2023 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid

2023 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid

The plug-in hybrid employs the same 2.5-liter inline-4 but its motor is fed by a 14.4-kwh battery pack. The powertrain makes 210 hp, and the all-electric range lasts for 37 miles. That trails the RAV4 Prime, but outlasts the 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV. On a 240-volt Level 2 charger, it takes 3.5 hours to charge. 

Other upgrades across the lineup include a sliding rear seat that moves 6.0-inches for either more rear seat leg room, or more cargo room, depending on your needs.

The 2023 Escape runs Ford’s latest Sync 4 infotainment system that supports standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as over-the-air software update capability. Enhanced voice commands compliment an available 13.2-inch center touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument panel.

The popular crossover adds more available safety tech, including adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic braking, and blind-spot steering. Other available features include rear parking sensors, a surround-view camera system, and a wireless smartphone charger. 

Built in Louisville, Kentucky, the 2023 Ford Escape arrives at dealerships early next year. Expect pricing to be announced then. 

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