Is the 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite Worth Over $38K?

The 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite is the most expensive Escape trim level. It starts at $37,960. Is the new Ford Escape ST-Line Elite worth the money, or is the small SUV too expensive? Here’s what you need to know about the priciest 2023 Ford Escape trim.

The 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite is packed with great standard tech

A gray 2023 Ford Escape is parked outside of a shop.
The 2023 Ford Escape | Ford

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The Blue Oval stuffed the Escape ST-Line Elite with plenty of tech to provide value for its price. It comes standard with a wireless charging pad, evasive steering assist, and rear parking sensors. The small SUV also includes ambient lighting and selectable drive modes.

The 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite features intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane centering, and speed sign recognition. This feature makes long drives in moderate traffic easier. Intelligent adaptive cruise control is fairly new to the industry. It alleviates the stress of stop-and-go traffic by allowing drivers to monitor their vehicles instead of fully operating the gas, brakes, and steering.

The Escape ST-Line Elite comes with heated front-row seats, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It has plenty of great standard features, but should you really pay over $38K for an Escape ST-Line Elite, or any Ford Escape trim for that matter?

Should you get the Ford Escape ST-Line Elite?

A blue 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite is parked.
The 2023 Ford Escape | Ford

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The 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite uses a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine to make 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It achieves 27 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway. The Escape ST-Line Elite comes with all-wheel drive and paddle shifters. It costs $10,460 more than the base model.

That $10,000+ gets you all-wheel drive, 69 more horses, and 90 more lb-ft of torque. Considering the amount of tech upgrades, the engine upgrade, and the addition of all-wheel drive, the Escape ST-Line Elite is worth its price. That being said, is the Escape ST-Line Elite the best Escape trim for the money?

What is the best 2023 Ford Escape trim for the money?

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The 2023 Ford Escape is available in six different trim levels: the Base, Active, ST-Line, ST-Line Select, ST-Line Elite, and Platinum. The Blue Oval even offers a plug-in hybrid version of the Escape. Car and Driver recommends the ST-Line.

The Ford Escape ST-Line starts at $29,840. It comes with a tire pressure monitoring system, a rear skid plate, and multiple powerpoints. The ST-Line also includes a lane-keeping system, power liftgate, and black roof-rack side rails.

The Ford Escape may offer decent value for the money, but there are better alternatives. The 2023 Mazda CX-5 has the potential to be one of the best small SUVs of 2023. It is more refined than most of its rivals. The CX-5 comes standard with all-wheel drive and luxurious standard features.

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