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The Ford Escape has been refreshed for the 2023 model year. The update came with a few styling tweaks, added tech features, and a few other updates. I’m driving the Ford Escape ST-Line this week and found that the updates make it a lot better than before. However, there are a few drawbacks as well. Check out the pros and cons I’ve found during my time with the Escape ST-Line.

Pro: The 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line has an eye-catching look

A close-up view of a red Ford Escape.
Ford Escape | Ford

As mentioned before, Ford made a few styling tweaks to the Escape for 2023. Some of those changes include the “coast-to-coast” LED light bar that extends across the front bumper. There are also revised taillights, but the real story here is the ST-Line appearance package.

The package includes sporty features like a blacked-out grille, black 19-inch wheels, and black trim. Overall, the Ford Escape is very eye-catching compared to past models.

Con: The Ford Escape’s interior looks nice but feels cheap

A front view of the interior in the 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line
2023 Ford Escape ST-Line | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Some of those styling tweaks extend to the Ford Escape’s interior, which looks simple and sporty. The seats have a nice quilted pattern, and the whole interior looks great, but it feels cheap. There are hard plastics and surfaces around the cabin, and the leather doesn’t feel high-quality.

Pro: The Ford Escape is fuel-efficient

The Escape is a small SUV, but it’s pretty fuel-efficient for one. During my time with the Ford Escape ST-Line, I have averaged 25.8 mpg, which is on par with the EPA’s estimate of 26 mpg combined.

Con: The head-up display and climate controls are a little annoying

Although the Ford Escape ST-Line is packed with all kinds of safety and tech features, there are a couple that I’m not too fond of. My main gripe is the HVAC controls integrated into the infotainment screen. They’re tough to press while driving, and certain functions, like recirculation, aren’t readily available. The HVAC controls would be far better as hard buttons, which would be easier to operate.

Additionally, the head-up display does not project onto the car’s windshield as in other cars. Instead, a little screen pops out of the dashboard, and the speed is projected onto it. The only issue is the little screen is annoying to look at, especially at nighttime.

Pro: The Escape ST-Line has plenty of power and excellent handling characteristics

A front corner view of the 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line
2023 Ford Escape ST-Line | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The Ford Escape has two different engine choices – a turbocharged 1.5-liter and a 2.0-liter. The Escape ST-Line comes with the larger engine, which produces 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. It’s very powerful and can get the car up to 60 mph in less than six seconds.

On the road, the Escape’s power is impressive, and comes on smoothly. What’s even more surprising is how agile the Escape is in the corners. I drove it through a canyon, and it carved it up like a knife through a turkey on Thanksgiving.

The 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line has many pros and a few cons

Ultimately, there’s plenty to love about the 2023 Ford Escape and all of its updates. There are a few cons, but honestly, they’re easy to overlook considering how much the little SUV offers.