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The Ford Escape is a compact SUV with an appealing shape, multiple powertrains, and available all-wheel drive. For drivers on the go, the Escape is an ideal tool to get things done. It’s no surprise it’s such a strong seller.

However, compared to other Ford model sales, the Escape’s on the decline, with a drastic drop year over year. Despite that, the Ford Escape continues to be a solid package, offering excellent value for budget-minded buyers. Let’s compare the Escape to the competition and review the features that make it so good.

2023 sales figures of the Escape compact SUV

According to GoodCarBadCar, Ford sold 64,839 Escapes in the first half of 2023. During that period, more Ford Escapes rolled off the lot than Toyota Tundras (59,735), Kia Tellurides (55,284), and Honda HR-Vs (53,910). It would seem like the Escape’s on a hot streak. However, that isn’t the case.

Since last year, the Escape has experienced a 12.28% decline in sales. What could be the reason(s)? One place to look is Ford’s growing stable of hot-selling vehicles.

As the best-selling vehicle in the U.S., the Ford F-150 easily outpaces the competition. In 2023, its lead continues growing. In the first six months of 2023, the classic pickup sold 382,893 units, for a year-over-year increase of 27.91%. That’s one popular truck.

Wherever you drive, you’re also likely to see a new Ford Bronco cruising the streets. With its retro style and modern capability, the Bronco’s a popular choice among new car buyers. Its sales figures tell the story. To date, Ford has sold 138,580 Broncos in 2023. That’s a YTD increase of 152.69%.

Additionally, the Ford Explorer continues as a trusted family hauler with all-around versatility. So far in 2023, 104,393 Explorers found new owners, representing a 1.43% increase since last year. While that’s not dramatic, it shows consumers continue to value the long-running model.

However, although Ford Escape sales are declining, the compact SUV still has plenty to offer.

Specs, features, and pricing of the 2023 Ford Escape

The Ford Escape has taut, athletic styling that looks cool driving down the boulevard. For the 2023 model year, Ford gave it a refresh with LED DRLs and a light bar connecting the headlights, creating a sophisticated, modern feel.

The base trim Ford Escape starts at $28,000 (excluding destination). From there, buyers can opt for more power, luxury, and tech with configurations like the Active ($29,345), ST-Line ($30,340), Platinum ($37,645), and Plug-In Hybrid ($40,500). AWD is standard on ST-Line Select and ST-Line Elite models and optional on Base, Active, ST-Line, Platinum, and PHEV trims.

Under the hood, the Escape offers two gasoline and two hybrid options. The stock engine is a sprightly turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder with 181 horsepower. Or, for more power off-the-line, drivers can opt for a turbo 2.0-liter four with 250 hp. An eight-speed automatic transmission handles gear changes for both.

However, it’s the hybrid powertrains that steal the show. Both the Escape Hybrid and Escape Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) pair a 2.5-liter four with dual electric motors. The total output for the Hybrid is 192 hp, with the PHEV at 210 hp. Still, it’s their fuel efficiency that stands out the most.

The Escape Hybrid obtains a 36/42/39 city/highway/combined mpg rating. Meanwhile, the Escape PHEV offers 37 miles of all-electric driving and 40 combined mpg using gasoline/electric power. Both hybrid models use a CVT transmission.

Inside, the Ford Escape has an elegant design and ample tech for enhanced comfort and convenience. Car and Driver found the Escape’s interior plenty roomy for occupants front and rear. Additionally, with the second-row seats folded, there’s a spacious 65.4 cubic feet of storage.

All Ford Escapes come with the Sync 4 infotainment interface that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base trim uses an 8.0-inch touchscreen, while the Active model and above are available with a 13.2-inch version. Over-the-air updates keep drivers up-to-date with the latest software.

The Ford Escape is a full-featured SUV in a compact package. With its good looks and versatility, it’s a solid pick for drivers needing one vehicle to do it all. While the Escape declined sale-wise since 2022, it’s still a strong seller among the competition. Additionally, with other Ford vehicles growing in popularity, the company offers consumers abundant choices.

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