One of the most popular compact SUVs on sale is the Ford Escape. I believe its due to how comfortable it is, its spaciousness and rides quality. You also have options with the powertrain; hybrid, phev, and gasoline which will meet buyer’s budgets and needs. For the 2023 model, it received a few updates such as the infotainment system, new styling, new line-up which includes a change in engine with new trim levels. During my week with the demo, I was able to test drive the 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite AWD HEV.
The 2023 Escape ST line has a 2.5L I-VCT I-4 Hybrid Engine, it produces 163hp and 155lb-ft of torque and total system horsepower of 192. Now this may not seem like a lot, but it drives well. It picks up speed and its one of those SUVs that wont necessarily want to make you drive enthusiastically. It is rated for 5.6L/100km in a city and 6.5L/100km in a hwy while I averaged a combined 5.4L/100km. So, if you drive without rushing then you can get better numbers than the rated. I was well below the rated combined average of 6.0L/100km.
Driving in the 2023 Ford Escape Hybrid is meant for comfort and not so much for an engaging ride but that’s ok because its not meant to be a sports SUV. This is a great compact SUV for a relaxed drive but also responsive when need be. Driving on highways is comfortable and driving over potholes or uneven pavement isn’t intrusive as it is absorbed due to its well sorted suspension. Coming to a stop is also very smooth, I do like how responsive both the gas and brake pedals are to your inputs. The Escape isn’t all that different to its competitors like the CRV or Rav4 for example.
I found myself sitting in the Escape for longer periods at a time and didn’t feel too uncomfortable. The seats are very well cushioned and have great thigh support especially for taller adults, so you won’t feel like half your leg is hanging. Finding a great driving position won’t be a problem so overall A + for comfort.
For 2023, the Escape receives an upgrade with a Sync 4 infotainment system. The touchscreen is also larger in size at 13.2-inches and very responsive; It does not lag or have any issues when using it. The Escape has decent space for a compact SUV at 40.7 inches of rear legroom when the rear seats are pushed back. Meaning the rear seats can slide forward/backwards. The CR-V for example, is slightly less at 40.4inches of rear legroom. It is equipped as standard with partial vinyl and cloth seats with red stitching and the front seats are contoured bucket seats, but you can also get them with leather upholstery. Overall, it has a great looking interior with the steering wheel and the infotainment system being my favourites. The steering wheel also has that red stitching which gives it a nice look and of course the touchscreen being the size that it is.
It is equipped with 19-inch ebony-painted aluminum wheels and honestly there isn’t anything from the exterior I would complain about. It obviously does not wow you when you see one, but it doesn’t mean its not great looking. It looks great and is suitable for small families who need that bit of extra space in a compact SUV.
The 2023 Ford Escape Hybrid has a starting price of $47,379 CAD ($39,850 USD) and for that price you get quite a few standard features such as the wireless charging pad, 360-degree camera, power liftgate and the list goes on. While comparing to its competitors, it is not fully equipped whereas others have more features at less expensive trim levels. The starting price, however, is competitive as we know Hybrids are mostly on the expensive side. It is great on gas; I drove a little over 400km during my week with about $40 CAD dollars worth of gas. Do I think it is worth it? Definitely. As mentioned, it is a comfortable ride, drives great as it is intended for, is spacious and looks great.