The next-gen Ford Escape debuted for the 2020 model year. Ford revised the compact crossover’s powertrains, added new tech, and even reintroduced the hybrid model. Though it doesn’t bring a complete redesign, the 2023 Ford Escape’s most significant change is its updated exterior. But because the new Escape carries over the previous model’s model’s powertrain options, it might not earn Consumer Reports’ approval. While the 2022 Ford Escape earned praise during its road test, CR still notes two big problems.
What we know about the upcoming 2023 model
According to Consumer Reports, the 2023 Ford Escape has an ST-Line trim option complete with black exterior trim. The interior has standard black faux-leather seats complemented by exclusive red stitching.
Judging from the picture on the website, we can see the new Escape’s headlights and grille design have slight modifications. The 2023 model also has different wheels. And Ford renamed all trims, with the ST-Line and Platinum models leading the pack.
In addition, Ford added some new safety features and updated some old ones. When you take the 2023 Escape around corners, the automatic emergency braking system will now be able to detect pedestrians. And with the addition of the Sync 4 infotainment interface, higher Escape trims now offer a larger touchscreen with over-the-air updates.
Why Consumer Reports testers don’t like the 2022 Ford Escape
Though CR express excitement for the latest Escape model, testers also want Ford to fix “the base engine’s vibration and resonance at low rpm.” The standard engine is a turbo-three capable of 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque.
Buyers can equip certain Ford Escape trims with a turbo-four making 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Most can also have a hybrid engine, now producing 221 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. CR says neither suffers from the same vibrations as the base engine.
CR also gave the 2022 Ford Escape a negative rating overall because of its “below-average reliability.” Based on past owner surveys, the 2022 Escape might be prone to severe body integrity problems. Specific hardware components, such as seat controls or window switches, might also break down prematurely.
The 2022 Ford Escape could also have transmission and brake problems. Fortunately, this compact crossover SUV still boasts some of the most reliable engines in the segment.
Is the 2022 Ford Escape a bad car?
Despite CR’s misgivings about the 2022 Ford Escape, testers still praise the SUV’s acceleration. With the base engine, the Escape can reach 60 mph in under nine seconds. It also offers quick handling and confident stopping distances, though the brakes are somewhat tricky to control.
CR also appreciates the Sync 3 infotainment system’s user-friendliness and the base engine’s fuel economy. It earned 26 mpg overall during real-world testing. The hybrid setup was even more impressive, averaging 34 mpg city/highway combined.
In addition, both rows of seating are spacious enough for adults, but CR says the 2022 Ford Escape’s interior lacks refinement. Testers note many chintzy components, and some of the physical control knobs don’t feel solid.
According to Car and Driver, some of the higher trims and the hybrid model are more upscale. However, the gas-powered 2022 Ford Escape’s ride quality suffers because of its firm suspension.
Becuase the Escape Hybrid got a 56-hp increase for the 2023 model year, it’s possible the base engine might have gotten a tune-up. We’re also happy that the 2023 Ford Escape sees only a minimal price increase over the outgoing model.
The 2022 Escape is hardly the worst compact SUV, but the 2023 model promises numerous improvements.