The 2023 Ford Escape is here, and like its luxury Lincoln cousin, it’s a pretty lightly updated SUV. Most of the differences are in the nose, where the grille looks more like what you would find on a Ford Edge or Mustang Mach-E. It also gets new headlights with an available full-width daytime running light. The rear is mostly unchanged, as is everything in the middle.
There’s also more variation in exterior styling thanks to the new ST-Line trim. The grille mesh is different on this model, and the contrast body cladding is painted to match the body. It even picks up little ST-Line badges on the fenders. The trim sits just above the new base trim called Active. The Plug-in Hybrid becomes its own trim level, and at the top is the Platinum.
The interior has been updated as well, primarily with new instrument and infotainment screens. As standard, the Escape gets a pair of 8-inch screens, and better-equipped models get a 12.3-inch instrument screen and a 13.2-inch infotainment screen. Ford Sync 4 is installed along with the ability for updates to be uploaded over-the-air. Furthermore, there is now standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and the available Co-Pilot 360 safety suite will include automatic emergency braking functionality when turning in intersections and a blind-spot warning system that can nudge the wheel back slightly as an additional warning about a possible obstacle in the blind-spot.
Powertrains are pretty much carryover. The standard engine is the turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder with 180 horsepower. Optionally available is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 250 horsepower. The regular hybrid 2.5-liter four-cylinder makes 199 horsepower. Rounding out the line-up is the plug-in hybrid 2.5-liter engine with 210 horsepower, 37 miles of range and only comes with front-wheel drive. The Active can be had with the three-cylinder or hybrid. The ST-Line can have every engine but the plug-in, and the Platinum is only offered with the turbo four or the hybrid. The ST-Line when ordered with all-wheel drive also gets stiffer, sportier suspension tuning.
Full pricing hasn’t been released yet, but the base Active will start just under $29,000 with destination. The ST-Line is also available for just $995, making it a pretty affordable appearance option. Order books are open right now, and Escapes will start arriving in the first quarter of next year.