You Bought a LOT of Ford Escapes. Ford Wants to Say Thank You with the 2023 Ford Escape

The 2023 Ford Escape St Edition Featured Image
The 2023 Ford Escape ST Edition

Ford hears you, and not only when you say, “OK, Ford.”

What can Ford do for you today? It’s almost like they already know.

Slide the center rear seat forward so you can reach the baby in her rear-facing seat. Slide the passenger side rear seat back so your six year old stops kicking the seat back.

Plug in the Escape at the end of each day to avoid gas station trips, save time, save money, save your freshly blown out hair from wind and humidity. 

Connect to your phone effortlessly, connect with your rear seat passengers, pick the engine type that makes the most sense for you.

How did Ford know these are the things you wanted? When they sat down to plan for updates to the Ford Escape, they first talked to customers. This isn’t anything new or unusual, though brands don’t always listen to customers and implement what they ask for.

The end result is a newly redesigned Escape that kept the existing engine choices and updated all the features and comforts.

Related: The 2021 Ford Escape PHEV Hybrid Is Surprisingly Deep

2023 Escape Plug In Hybrid Electric

2023 Escape Plug in Hybrid Electric. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Pick The Power And Engine that Suits Your Drive

You can still choose between the plug-in hybrid, that delivers 199 HP and about 44 mpg, the lower priced 1.5L EcoBoost engine that generates 180 HP and about about 28MPG city/34 MPG highway, or the sportier, more powerful 20.L EcoBoost engine that puts out 250 HP that gets 23 MPG city/31 MPG highway. But with the plug in hybrid, you can literally never buy gas. With regular re-charging you can drive 37 miles a day on electric, though the hybrid gas engine is there when you need it for longer trips.

Hop in the Escape with your phone on and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto automatically appear on the screen (once you’ve made the initial  connection to the wireless projection phone function). Directions you’ve searched on your phone are now just a tap on the screen, and you can see if your sister FINALLY texted you back.

Related: Ford Steals a Country Girl’s Heart with the 2022 Ford Maverick

Sync 4 Includes Voice Assistance!

Sync 4 includes voice assistance! Photo: Scotty Reiss

An Updated SYNC 4 System for 2023 

Ford has been rolling out the updated Sync system in many of its models, and that includes the 2023 Escape. Now, in addition to the voice activated assistance (“OK, Ford…”) the system can install updates over the air, which means just like your phone and laptop, the system will update with new features periodically.

Then, you can see everything on the large, easy to use updated media touch screen system, as well as a clear 360 degree surround view camera. It’s like you have eyes on every side of your head.

The Front Seat Of The Ford Escape Plug In Hybrid

The front seat of the Ford Escape plug in hybrid. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Ford CoPilot 360 is Standard

We just love this: Escape’s driver assist and safety features, including blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, lane keep assist, rear sear reminder and more, are now standard. HUGE yay. 

Related: The Ford F-150 Lightning is Finally Here and It’s All It’s Said to Be

Rear Seats In The 2023 Ford Escape Can Move Forward And Back

Rear seats in the 2023 Ford Escape can move forward and back. And this lovely white and gray interior? It’s in the PHEV model. Photo: Scotty Reiss

New Trim Names that Make More Sense – And How They’re Priced

The biggest finding that Ford found when talking to customers the complicated alphabet soup of Escape’s models. It was a barrier when it came to shopping for, and understanding the Escape, so Ford renamed the lineup: 

  • Base, which is just that: the basics for getting around; $27,500
  • Active, which gives buyers some good features; $28,84
  • Platinum, added to keep up with how Ford’s other SUVs are named,  adds more features and spoilers; $35,965
  • ST-Line, which is designed for fun driving and sporty appeal; $29,840; there are two additional versions, tot: the AWD ST Line Select ($34,040) and AWD Elite ($38,460);
  • PHEV, or plug in electric hybrid; $38,500

What Ford didn’t change are the engine options; there are 4: a 1.5L EcoBoost, a 2.0L EcoBoost, a hybrid and the PHEV.  Here is what is available in each model:

  • The 1.5L EcoBoost engine with 180 HP is available in the Base, Active and ST-Line models
  • The ST-Line also offers the 199 HP hybrid engine in all models
  • In the ST-Line Select and Elite editions, buyers can choose the more powerful 2.0L 250 HP EcoBoost engine
  • Platinum offers the two premium engine offerings: Hybrid and 2.0L Eco Boost
  • The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, or PHEV, offers 37 miles of all electric driving and can be recharged in 3.5 hours at a level 2 charger or overnight at a standard 110V household outlet.

What Else Did Customers Say?

Customers also said they love the sliding rear seats, so Ford kept them. You can push the seats for ward 3 inches or back 3 inches and they recline quite a bit. If you’ve ever installed kids car seats, you’ll be grateful for this. Customers said they never use the motion activated lift gate, so Ford got eliminated it in the Escape. 

Customers in snow country said they need all wheel drive, so it was made on the ST-Line Select and Elite but not the PHEV, which due to the design of the battery placement, isn’t a candidate for AWD (let’s hope lots of customers ask for this in the future and Ford figures it out).

The Command Center In The 2023 Ford Escape Has A Phone Cubby, A Dial Gear Selectors And Cup Holders

The command center in the 2023 Ford Escape has a phone cubby, a dial gear selectors and cup holders. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Pick Your Drive Style: City Chic or Country Adventure

The Ford Escape is designed for city driving and light off-road adventures, such as parking on the grass at the soccer field or hauling paddle boards to the lake. But for more adventure capability, buyers may want to consider the Ford Bronco Sport, which shares much of its underpinnings with the Escape. The Bronco Sport is better equipped for moderate off roading with standard 4×4 all wheel drive, more rugged interiors, Bronco-branded exterior details and conveniences like a flip-up rear window.

Not all SUVs are created equal, nor should they be. Just because I NEVER take my SUV off the pavement doesn’t mean I don’t want or need those capabilities. And, I like the higher ground clearance, comfortable ease of getting in and out of an SUV and the flexibility of the seats. Not to mention not spending all my cash on gas. It’s nice to be able to pick the type of SUV that graces my driveway, and handles all my daily driving. 

Disclosure: I was a guest for this sneak peek; travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are my own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss