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The Ford Escape’s appeal has been weakening in recent years, and many potential buyers would question its value. That’s likely a large reason why Ford decided to redesign this SUV with a different look and new tech. Just like its bigger cousin, the Ford Escape now also has a few athletic ST-Line trims to consider. Is a complete redesign enough to fix the Ford Escape’s most annoying problem areas?

The Ford Escape’s interior quality hasn’t been the best

Each new car in the U.S. is subject to the J.D. Power APEAL study, in which new owners are surveyed about what they like most (and least) about their vehicles. The Ford Escape has been absent from the past few APEAL studies due to insufficient data. However, J.D. Power did give us enough details to determine what drivers dislike about the 2022 Ford Escape. 

Owners of these Escape models criticized their cars for having subpar interiors. The S and SE trims from this year featured cloth seats situated inside a cabin surrounded by hard plastic. Edmunds seems to agree with drivers’ sentiments, calling attention to the shoddy door handles and interior paneling gaps. 

The Ford Escape test driven by J.D. Power was the range-topping Titanium PHEV model, which has an identical interior to the gas-only version. The leather seats are reportedly pleasant, though they do lack sufficient lateral support. The front seats feature softback padding for additional coziness. This 2022 Ford Escape also features durable tuning knobs and a good amount of soft-touch surfaces to spruce up overall interior quality. 

Drivers doubt the Ford Escape’s safety capabilities

Many owners don’t think that they would survive an accident unscathed inside the Ford Escape. Part of that might be due to the brakes, another area that owners complained about. Edmunds confirms that the Ford Escape also exhibits a lot of body roll, which likely won’t make drivers feel any safer. 

To its credit, the Ford Escape features many advanced driver safety systems to prevent collisions and keep drivers focused on the road. Any 2022 Ford Escape also has lane-keeping features and blind-spot monitors. Higher trims have automatic parking assist and adaptive cruise control.

The 2022 Ford Escape also received Good ratings for the majority of its IIHS examinations. It got Marginal scores for both the headlight illumination and updated side impact tests. Even so, it still managed to receive a Top Safety Pick award for that year. 

Has Ford successfully resolved these issues?

The 2023 Ford Escape’s interior still has the odd plastic part here and there, even on the ST-Line Elite. The interior is made better by the addition of the SYNC 4 infotainment interface, which offers quick responses and a high degree of user-friendliness. However, J.D. Power still thinks the interior is too plain in comparison to other compact SUVs.

Test drivers were also concerned with the performance of a few ADAS features. The lane-centering software can get confused as two lanes join together. Additionally, the adaptive cruise control wants to accelerate the Ford Escape back to its preset speed immediately after rounding a curve. However, test drivers had no complaints about any of the other ADAS components that they examined. The 2023 Ford Escape hasn’t been fully crash-tested by the IIHS just yet, but it appears that most of its previous scores have carried over.

There’s always hope for the next generation of the Ford Escape, assuming that it stays in production for that long. Judging from GoodCarBadCar 2023 sales data, the Escape’s popularity is still on a steady decline. Selling 90,000 units (so far) is certainly no small number, but we know from previous years that this SUV can do better. 


These 2023 Ford Escape Problems Need Your Attention