2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite
Detroit – Ford Motor It modernizes the popular Escape as part of a two-pronged sales strategy alongside the newest and most powerful Bronco Sport in the highly competitive compact SUV segment.
Ford expects the new design of the 2023 Escape, along with additional comfort and safety technologies, to help it maintain, if not grow, the car’s sales.
“The Escape is already the fourth best-selling vehicle in our portfolio, and we believe we have an opportunity to grow even more,” said Craig Patterson, Ford SUV Marketing Director, during a media briefing.
With the update, Ford is also adding a new ST Sport package that the company expects to account for nearly half of the car’s sales going forward. It will be available in three models, starting at $995. It has a darker design, bigger wheels and other features.
Pricing for the 2023 Escape starts at about $29,000 for an entry-level model to $40,000 for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. This compares to the current lineup with going for about $27,000 to $41,000.
The 2023 Escape is expected to hit dealer showrooms early next year. The automaker began taking reservations for the car on Tuesday.
The goal is to differentiate the mainstream Escape from the more rugged Bronco Sport, allowing each vehicle to carve out a niche in the compact vehicle segment, according to Adrian Zasky, Escape Brand Manager.
“This part is big. It can feel commodity. We believe that with the reinforcements we have here we will be able to break out of the sea of symmetry,” she said.
The Escape in the United States outperformed the Bronco Sport by nearly 30,000 units during the third quarter of this year. The Bronco Sport began arriving at Ford dealerships in the middle of last year.
Both cars share the same vehicle platform, or foundations, but are produced in different factories. The Bronco Sport is built at a plant in Mexico, while the Escape is assembled at Ford’s Louisville Assembly plant in Kentucky.
The 2023 Escape features headlights similar to the Mustang Mach-E electric lights, and is also available with a full LED light strip across the front of the vehicle. Other updates include an updated interior, including larger screens; wireless apple CarPlay and Android Auto; and additional security features.
Escape retains its powertrain options, including the conventional hybrid vehicle and the hybrid electric vehicle. Each model in the new lineup targets an EPA-estimated range of at least 400 miles per tank, according to Ford. The front-wheel drive hybrid targets an EPA estimated range of over 550 miles.
Ford said the plug-in hybrid electric model accounts for only about 7% to 8% of current unit sales. Depending on parts and raw material costs, the automaker may be looking to expand sales of these vehicles, according to Zasky. Patterson said traditional hybrid car sales are constrained by supply chain issues and account for about 15% to 20% of sales.
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