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Ford is a popular automaker that invested heavily in the SUV segment, but not every Ford SUV has been a hit. Many Ford SUVs are notorious for frustrating problems, and the Detroit-based automaker even produces one of the worst small SUVs on the market right now. Here’s a look at the 2023 Ford Escape and why it may be one of the worst small SUVs of the model year in terms of value.

Why the 2023 Ford Escape?

The Ford Escape is a compact crossover SUV that starts at about $27,000. It begins with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, getting 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. The Detroit-based automaker has three other powertrain options, two of which are hybrids. There’s a traditional hybrid and a PHEV option. The last engine option is gas-powered, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that gets 250 hp.

These options may sound compelling, but they’re also why the Escape is ranked so poorly. The SUV’s base price tag is competitive with its rivals, but car shoppers who want a premium trim must pay a lot more. In the Escape’s case, its top trim is its PHEV trim, and it will set drivers back about $40,000, according to Edmunds

The Escape PHEV is very fuel efficient as it gets over 105 MPGe, but $40,000 is a lot of money for most drivers. There are many other options that SUV shoppers could explore if their budget is that much.

For example, the Explorer and the Bronco are two midsize SUVs from Ford that start at around that price point, and they offer more features than the Escape PHEV does. 

It’s not that the Escape has any glaring issues or problems; it just fails to deliver a stand-out value proposition to consumers.

The 2023 Ford Escape does have some positive qualities, though

While some car critics didn’t like how expensive the Ford Escape’s options were, its standard version is decent enough as is. In particular, the site liked the Escape’s interior. This shouldn’t be a surprise since the automaker gave the SUV some interior upgrades for the 2023 model year. The seats are spacious, and the SUV can seat five and comes with cloth upholstery. Drivers can swap that out for synthetic leather or real leather upholstery.

One of the main upgrades that the Escape got was its infotainment system. It has an 8.0-inch touchscreen and an 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster display as standard. Owners can upgrade the touchscreen to a 13.2-inch display, and the digital gauge cluster display can become a 12.3-inch display. More importantly, though, the Escape now comes with Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system. This is the automaker’s latest version of its infotainment system.

These bright spots don’t, however, erase the fact that you can probably find better value elsewhere.


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