Those changes start with a totally revamped trim level lineup which now includes the Base, Active, PHEV, ST-Line, and Platinum, which replace the outgoing S, SE, SEL, and Titanium trims. While the plug-in hybrid becomes its own entity, the Active and ST-Line are brand new, with the ST-Line being offered in three different trims of its own – ST-Line, ST-Line Select, and ST-Line Elite.
The base ST-Line is equipped with the turbocharged Ford 1.5L I-3 EcoBoost engine that is targeted to produce 180 horsepower and standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive, or a hybrid option with front-wheel drive. Meanwhile, the ST-Line Select and Elite are equipped with either the turbocharged Ford 2.0L I-4 EcoBoost powerplant with standard all-wheel drive or the hybrid.
However, the main attraction for the ST-Line series is its sportier looks, with unique features including a black mesh front grille, unique rear skid plate, a single-wing rear spoiler, and standard 18-inch wheels, as well as a monochromatic exterior with matching painted surfaces. The ST-Line Elite is also equipped with a “coast-to-coast” LED light bar between the headlights and 19-inch machine-faced Ebony-painted wheels. Inside the cabin, the ST-Line features an ebony hue accented by red stitching on the seats, door panels, arm rest, steering wheel, and floor mats, along with a flat-bottom steering wheel.
As for the rest of the lineup, Base and Active models come equipped with the 1.5L EcoBoost engine with front-wheel or all-wheel-drive, while the Platinum offers the 2.0L EcoBoost with all-wheel-drive or the hybrid powertrain option with front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. Base models feature an Ebony interior, while the Active, PHEV, and Platinum offer a choice between Ebony or Space Gray threads. On the outside, all 2023 Escape models come standard with LED headlamps.
Inside the cabin, the 2023 Ford Escape offers a standard 8-inch infotainment screen or a larger 13.2-inch unit that’s optional on Active, ST-Line, ST-Line Select, and PHEV trims, as well as standard on the ST-Line Elite and Platinum. Both screens run Sync 4 with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel cluster is also available. The Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of driver-assist features has been updated with Intersection Assist and Blind Spot Assist, while the automaker’s Power-Up over-the-air update capability will keep the crossover up to date over time.
The 2023 Escape will continue to be offered with both hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, though now, each features a targeted driving range of 400 miles, while the hybrid with front-wheel-drive is aiming for an EPA-estimated range of more than 550 miles. The PHEV features FoMoCo’s advanced fourth-generation hybrid propulsion system, which consists of the 2.5L Atkinson cycle gas engine and an electronic continuously variable transmission. The front-wheel-drive hybrid model is projected to produce a combined output of 210 horsepower, while the PHEV is targeting an EPA-estimated range of 37 miles in electric-only mode and can be charged in 3.5 hours using a 240-volt Level 2 charger.
Meanwhile, the 2023 Escape has regained its mini spare tire as standard equipment, but won’t be available with Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free highway driving assist or MyKey features. The refreshed crossover will continue to be built at the Louisville Assembly plant in Kentucky, and order banks are open now. Production is currently scheduled to begin on December 12th, 2022, with the first deliveries slated for early 2023.