While both ride on the same Ford C2 platform and both are classified as compact crossovers, the Ford Escape and Ford Bronco Sport are two totally different products that cater to two different kinds of customers. This much was apparent when the Bronco Sport launched for the 2021 model year bearing more rugged and traditional squared-off styling compared to the curvier Escape, though the latter has received a more conventional appearance for the 2023 model year. Regardless, the 2023 Ford Escape and Bronco Sport each have their own niche as far as Ford is concerned.
“So who are those Escape customers? We went out and talked to a lot of them. Overwhelmingly, we heard from them and authenticity is key,” Adrienne Zaski, Escape Brand Manager, said during a presentation on the 2023 Ford Escape. “They are strong and independent people, they know who they are, they are proud of who they are and they’re genuine. And we feel like the 2023 Ford Escape fits a lot of those same attributes.”
“Craig talked about how Escape and Bronco Sport compete in the same segment and you may be wondering – why two vehicles? Customers have said ‘it feels like a sea of sameness’ in the small utility segment,” Zaski added. “They all look the same and all do the same things. Well now, with Bronco Sport and the new Escape, we feel like we can provide a new point of view for those customers. For Escape, those customers want a getaway vehicle. And I mean that as a night in the town with their friends or you’re pulling into your driveway after a long day at work, turn off the vehicle, and you just take a deep breath because you have to escape for just a minute. As for the Bronco customers, they want their vehicle to take them on an adventure and go off road. We have two options in our portfolios to speak to those customers so they feel like they’re breaking out of that sea of sameness.”
Indeed, it certainly seems as if the 2023 Ford Escape and Bronco Sport can co-exist for these very reasons, as one is more of an around-town, road-going crossover, while the other is focused on off-road capability and adventure-seeking customers. On that note, the Bronco Sport has certainly struck a chord, ranking as one of the most satisfying such vehicles to own in recent studies from both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. Having just debuted last week, only time will tell if the 2023 Ford Escape resonates with consumers in that manner, but The Blue Oval expects the more stylish ST-Line trims to be the most popular in the lineup.