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The 2023 Ford Escape is a versatile compact SUV offering numerous trims to suit various preferences and budgets. Thanks to its stylish design, advanced technology, and fuel efficiency, the Escape has become a popular model. However, one 2023 Ford Escape trim is more popular than the others.

Let’s look at this small crossover’s many trims, highlighting their prices and notable differences. Additionally, we’ll detail the most popular trim and speculate why consumers gravitate toward it.

Overview of the 2023 Ford Escape trims

2023 Ford Escape trims: ST-Line Elite
2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite | Ford Motor Company

Ford offers seven 2023 Escape trims:

Base: The Base model starts at $28,000 and has a standard 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine, providing a blend of power and efficiency. It also includes the Ford Co-Pilot360 safety suite, incorporating advanced safety features such as pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking. Additionally, the Base features Ford’s Sync infotainment system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen display.

Active: Starting at $29,345, the Active trim builds upon the Base model’s features. The Active includes conveniences such as a power liftgate for easy access to the cargo area and dual-zone electronic automatic climate control.

ST-Line: Priced at $30,340, the ST-Line trim encompasses all the features of the Active trim and adds elements such as unique exterior and interior ST-Line styling. It also has 18-inch Rock Metallic-painted aluminum wheels and second-row sliding seats with 60/40 split-fold backs.

ST-Line Select: The ST-Line Select trim starts at $33,540 and takes the features from the ST-Line trim to a higher level. It introduces a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, delivering increased power and performance. The inclusion of LED reflector headlamps with standard signature lighting adds a unique flair to the exterior. The ST-Line Select also has heated front seats, adding a touch of luxury to the interior.

ST-Line Elite: Priced at $32,250, the 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite trim adds a distinct character to the Escape lineup. It comes standard with a 360-view camera with a split view. It also has a larger Sync 4 13.2-inch touchscreen and a black mesh grill to make it stand out in the crowd. 

Platinum: Priced at $36,965, the Platinum trim adds a body-color rear spoiler, chrome upper window molding, and dual-chrome exhaust tips. It also features a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 10 speakers and a subwoofer.

Plug-In Hybrid: Starting at $40,500, the Escape Plug-In Hybrid features a plug-in hybrid 2.5-liter iVCT Atkinson-Cycle inline-four engine and continuously variable transmission. Additionally, it comes with three years of connected built-in navigation with enhanced voice recognition for access to live traffic updates and real-time route guidance.

The Active has emerged as the most popular 2023 Ford Escape trim, and it’s not hard to see why. It adds desirable features but remains affordable. The Active is only slightly more expensive than the Base, with both models priced under $30,000.

“For most shoppers on a budget, the Active trim strikes the best balance between price and features by adding several convenience items not offered on the Base Escape,” Edmunds reports.

Which trim do experts recommend?

“If you plan on keeping your Escape for more than five years while covering a lot of miles, it may make sense to step up to the ST-Line and its hybrid powertrain,” Edmunds suggests.

Similarly, MotorTrend recommends Escape trims with the 2.0-liter engine, like the ST-Line, for improved acceleration.

The 2023 Ford Escape offers a range of trims to suit different needs and preferences. However, the Active stands out as the most sought-after model, likely thanks to its additional features at an affordable price.