Our Opinion - 2023 Ford Escape Review

When it came out in 2001, the first Ford Escape looked like it was made for the trail, with a tough exterior, an available V-6 engine, and an all-wheel drive system ahead of its time. Today, the Ford Bronco Sport, which uses the same platform as the Escape, is the most popular small off-road SUV. This leaves the Escape to live a quieter life, even though it is about the same size. The rest of the package, which includes a turbocharged three- or four-cylinder engine and one of two hybrid powertrains, one of which is a plug-in hybrid, is anything but strong. All-wheel drive can be added, but the front-wheel purpose is standard. The Escape looks nice and has a roomy interior for people and things, but it could be a more high-end car. Even though the performance is average for the class, you’ll enjoy driving much more in rivals like the Mazda CX-50 and the Volkswagen Tiguan, which are more fun to drive.

Ford has changed the front of the Escape for 2023. The grille is now more prominent and has the company’s oval logo. Different types of wheels and changes to the hood and front bumper make the car look better from the side. Active, ST-Line and Platinum models have replaced the well-known S, SE, SEL, and Titanium trims in the new lineup. All models go from Sync 3 to Sync 4 for their infotainment needs, and the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model stands alone as its trim. The Sync 4 system can be updated over the air and has a more prominent 13.2-inch display for entertainment. Now, all models have a digital gauge display 8.0 inches wide. Some models can also have a 12.3-inch show, which is more extensive. The ST-Line looks more sporty, but this is just a matter of style.


  • Seats that are both comfortable and have a lot of room
  • Excellent quality of riding
  • Easy-to-use buttons and knobs
  • There is a hybrid engine that achieves somewhere about 40 miles per gallon.


  • Unexpected shifts in the transmission
  • Insufficient management

The Escape has a variety of engines, starting with a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine that makes 181 horsepower and can be a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Ford makes two hybrid versions of the Escape to compete with the Honda CR-V hybrid and the Toyota RAV4 Prime. One is a plug-in hybrid with a four-cylinder engine that is 2.5 liters in size and two electric motors that produce 210 horsepower. Even though the standard turbo-three gas engine is a little rough and unrefined, it can get an all-wheel-drive Escape SE to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds on our test track. The plug-in hybrid model is called the same speed. The exciting upgrade is the 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which can reach 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Hybrid cars have transmissions that change all the time, while the two cars with gas engines have automatic transmissions with eight speeds.

All Escape models come with the Co-Pilot 360 driver-assistance package from Ford. Among the essential safety features are the following:

  • Automatic emergency braking and a warning of a possible front-end collision are standard.
  • You can get both lane-keeping assistance and formal lane-departure notification.
  • Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert come as standard features.

The Escape’s inside is well-designed and has plenty of room for people in the front and back seats. Even though some lower-end trims have cheap plastic panels, the ST-Line and Platinum Escape models look more expensive. The standard seat material is textured cloth, but the Platinum model has seats that look and feel like leather. Behind the Escape’s back seat is a large cargo area similar to its crosstown rival, the Chevrolet Equinox. It can fit up to eight carry-on bags. When they folded down the rear seats, we could fit 21 suitcases in the Escape, but the Equinox could hold two more.

According to the EPA, the model with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive gets the best gas mileage. With all-wheel purpose, the car reaches 26 City/31 highway mpg and 28 mpg. It gets 27 miles per gallon in the city, 33 miles per gallon on the road, and 30 miles per gallon. On our 75 mph fuel economy route on the highway, we tested an all-wheel-drive model with a turbo three-cylinder engine and got an excellent 35 mpg. The larger turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with all-wheel drive is supposed to get 23 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg overall, but in our tests, we got 32 mpg on the road. The Escape PHEV has the best fuel economy ratings from the EPA, with city values as high as 44 mpg. The Escape PHEV got 36 MPGe on our highway fuel efficiency route during our testing.

The Active trim level and higher can get a 13.2-inch touchscreen display, but the base model comes with an 8.0-inch system. As part of Ford’s new Sync 4 infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be used wirelessly on both screens. Ford says that the Escape will automatically update itself and accept upgrades over the air, so the user won’t have to worry about using an old software version. As options, you can get a digital gauge display with a 12.3-inch screen, a head-up display that pops up, an in-dash navigation system, and a 10-speaker B&O Play sound system.

The plug-in hybrid car has an 11.2-kWh battery pack, which the EPA says is enough to drive 37 miles on electric power alone. During our test of how well the Escape used gas on the highway, we could only go 25 miles before it switched to gasoline power.

They can have the more powerful 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for the least amount of money in the new ST-Line model. To do this, you need the Select package, which comes with an all-wheel drive. The ST-Line box has unique 18- or 19-inch wheels, a mesh grille, and a rear spoiler. The lower body cladding is the same color as the car. The interior is all black, with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and red stitching that stands out. If you choose the Premium Technology package, the Escape ST-standard Line’s 8.0-inch infotainment display and 12.3-inch digital gauge display will be replaced by a 13.2-inch infotainment display and a 13.2-inch screen, respectively.

Invoice Pricing

Take out the drama and hassle of negotiating at the dealership. Find the best price fast!