Ford decided to shake things up for the 2023 Ford Escape. While this is not a new generation for the model, there are a number of major changes that have been made to the Escape for the 2023 model year. In fact, the 2023 Escape is technically a continuation of the fourth generation of this compact SUV. First, the designers at Ford have given the Escape a more aerodynamic outward profile, making it look more aggressive than it had in previous years. In addition, the technology on the Escape has been upgraded, especially concerning the infotainment system.
Finally, Ford has also replaced the trim levels on the Escape. In 2022, the Escape offered four different trims. The Escape S was the entry-level model, with the Titanium as the top trim and the SE and SEL taking up the middle positions. Now, Ford offers the Escape with six different trim levels. The entry-level model is now cleverly named the Base, with the Active offering slightly more features. The middle level is now taken up with the ST-Line and ST-Line Select, which are geared toward performance. Finally, the top trims are the Platinum and the ST-Line Elite. I guess the folks at Ford looked at the metallurgy charts and decided that Platinum was more valuable than Titanium. However, to get the most out of your 2023 Ford Escape, consider stepping up to the ST-Line Elite.
While Ford offers two different engines on the Escape, the ST-Line Elite gets the larger one as a standard feature. This is a 2.0-liter EcoBoost Turbo I-4 gas engine. It comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission with a set of paddle shifters so you can emulate manual driving without the hassle of working a clutch. The engine features auto start-stop technology to improve fuel economy. As a result, the Escape ST-Line Elite can get an estimated 23 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. The engine is also equipped with a twin-scroll turbocharger, boosting performance to an impressive 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque and getting you from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, with a top speed of 126 mph. The ST-Line Elite also rides on a set of 19-inch machined-face ebony-painted aluminum wheels.
An Elite Interior
Ford has given the 2023 Escape ST-Line Elite a very roomy and comfortable interior. There is seating for up to five passengers, with a roomy 104 cu.ft. of passenger space. This gives front-row passengers 42.4 inches of legroom, while second-row passengers enjoy a spacious 40.7 inches. In addition, the Escape features unique sliding seats in the second row, allowing the rear seat passengers to adjust the legroom to suit their needs. It also makes it easy to move the seats when you need to increase the cargo space in the Escape’s trunk.
The ST-Line Elite features partial vinyl and cloth seats with red accent stitching, giving the interior a striking appearance. It also makes for very comfortable seating. Leather-trimmed seats are available as an option and feature a quilted design with mini-perforations to increase comfort. The front-row seats on the ST-Line Elite are heated, which will come in handy on cold days. A set of unique carpeted floor mats with the ST-Line logo completes its unique interior look.
Elite Connectivity and Entertainment
Ford has upgraded the entertainment system on the 2023 Escape, and as a result, the ST-Line Elite features a SYNC 4 system with a 13.2-inch LCD capacitive touchscreen. This allows you to scroll through the features with the touch of a finger, making usage of the SYNC 4 easier than ever. The touchscreen is also one of the largest featured on any model in the Escape’s compact SUV vehicle class.
You can hook up your smartphones with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, giving you access to your favorite apps. Also helping you stay connected is FordPass Connect with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing you to stay connected as long as you are within 50 feet of your Escape. You also get three years of connected built-in navigation on the ST-Line Elite’s SYNC 4 system. This will give you turn-by-turn directions to whichever destination you are looking to escape to.
The days of annoying charging cables are over in your Escape ST-Line Elite. Instead, you and your passengers can keep your devices charged with a wireless charging pad. Even so, Ford includes four USB power points inside the Escape ST-Line Elite, two in the front and two in the rear center console.
The SYNC 4 features a 6-speaker AM/FM stereo, which comes with a 3-month complimentary subscription to SiriusXM with 360L. This is their most comprehensive package of music, news, sports, and talk radio, all offered commercial-free. If you are a true audiophile, you can opt for the available B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen. This features 10 speakers and a subwoofer and can make anyone’s music sound great.
Elite Safety Features
Ford has made some of its Co-Pilot 360 driver assist technology features standard on all models of the 2023 Escape. For example, pre-collision assist will ensure that all Escape drivers are alerted to a potential front-end accident. In addition, when this is activated, the system will engage the automatic emergency braking to help you bring your Escape to a safe stop. In addition to the standard equipment on all 2023 Escape models, Ford has added several additional safety features on the ST-Line Elite. The rear parking sensors will make it easier for you to parallel park, letting you know if you are getting too close to the curb or a vehicle behind your Escape.
Intelligent adaptive cruise control also comes standard on the 2023 Escape ST-Line Elite. When cruising on the highway, you can turn this feature on and set a desired speed. If a slower vehicle gets into your lane in front of you, the system will slow your Escape down until that vehicle exits. At that point, the system will return your vehicle to your desired speed. If there is a traffic slowdown, it will engage the Stop-and-Go feature until traffic has cleared. There is also a speed sign recognition feature that will adjust your Escape’s cruise control speed so that you don’t risk getting a speeding ticket. Finally, the lane-centering feature will ensure you don’t drift out of the lane while the cruise control is engaged.
Ford also equipped the Escape ST-Line Elite with a 360-degree camera and split view, in addition to the rearview camera featured on all Escape models. The 360-degree camera will give you views from in front of your Escape, the sides, and the rear. There is even a bird’s-eye view feature that allows you to see your Escape ST-Line Elite from the top as you drive in traffic.
Join the Elite and Take Your SUV Travels to the Next Level
The folks at Ford have chosen a great name for its newest trim level on the 2023 Escape. The ST-Line Elite gives you elite features that you would expect from the top trim level of a vehicle. This one pulls out all the stops, with a wonderfully appointed, roomy interior and plenty of technology features for entertainment, connectivity, and safety. To top it off, the Escape ST-Line Elite gives you exceptional performance that truly earns the “Elite” name.