2023 Ford Escape PHEV: Treading Water

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From the September 2023 situation of Automobile and Driver.

As plug-ins proliferate, we’ll proceed to see extra SUVs just like the Ford Escape PHEV. Launched in 2020, the Escape PHEV competes in a rising phase that features the plug-in variations of the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Toyota RAV4. For 2023, the Escape receives a makeover, but it surely lacks the efficiency, richer inside, and all-wheel drive provided by rivals.

HIGHS: Sharper styling, large new touchscreen, stable electrical vary.

Ford beforehand provided the plug-in powertrain throughout a number of trims. Now the PHEV is a stand-alone model, and it is expensive. The Escape PHEV’s $41,995 base value is increased than that of each competitor besides the RAV4, and our take a look at automotive’s $1595 panoramic sunroof and $4530 Premium bundle helped push the overall to $48,320.

A brand new nostril borrows closely from the Ford Edge. Inside, there is a new 13.2-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are wi-fi, and there are fewer bodily buttons, with local weather controls built-in into the underside of the display. Regardless of the excessive base value, most goodies require getting the Premium bundle, which features a head-up show, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and quilted leather-based. But irrespective of the way you possibility it, plenty of ugly exhausting plastic stays.

The hybrid powertrain once more connects a 2.5-liter inline-four to 2 electrical motors by means of a planetary gearset that enables for constantly variable ratios. Mixed output is 210 horsepower, down 11 ponies from 2022. When the Escape is working as an EV round city, the traction motor offers clean and enough acceleration. However the SUV feels torpid when merging onto highways or executing passes. This Escape hits 60 mph in a leisurely 7.7 seconds, greater than a second behind the Outlander and properly off the RAV4’s 5.4-second run.

LOWS: No all-wheel drive, steep pricing, rivals are faster.

The Escape does take advantage of its lithium-ion battery, which is smaller than opponents’. The ten.7-kWh pack affords an EPA-estimated electrical driving vary of 37 miles, placing the Escape between the RAV4 (42 miles) and the Sportage (34 miles). The Escape was equally midpack in our 75-mph freeway vary take a look at, returning 30 miles in opposition to the RAV4’s 32 miles and the Outlander’s 24.

The comparatively stiff suspension might do extra to filter the bumps but would not translate to athletic dealing with or a lot grip, returning simply 0.78 g on the skidpad. Sport mode turns the sunshine steering rubbery, and the interaction of regenerative and friction brakes results in a sensitive brake pedal. Nonetheless, the Escape’s 176-foot cease from 70 mph is nineteen ft shorter than the RAV4 Prime’s prolonged end result.

VERDICT: New tips make this a great PHEV in a category of nice ones.

The minor makeover would not handle sufficient of the plug-in Escape’s shortcomings, and so it struggles to make a mark within the PHEV class. Not solely is the plug-in Escape the slowest of the group, but it surely is also lacking an all-wheel-drive possibility and will use a extra luxuriously appointed inside. Or, a giant value reduce.

Marc Urbano|Automobile and Driver

2023 ford escape phev

Marc Urbano|Automobile and Driver

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Specs

Specs

2023 Ford Escape PHEV
Automobile Sort: front-engine, front-motor, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE

Base/As Examined: $41,995/$48,320
Choices: Premium bundle (10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, six power-adjustable passenger’s seat, 360-degree digital camera, Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker sound system, entrance rain-sensing wipers, wi-fi charging pad), $4530; panoramic sunroof, $1595, ground mats, $200 

POWERTRAIN
DOHC 16-valve 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-4, 163 hp, 145 lb-ft + 2 AC motors, 90 and 129 hp, 48 and 176 lb-ft (mixed output: 210 hp, 10.7-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 3.5-kW onboard charger)

Transmission: constantly variable computerized 

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 13.0-in vented disc/11.9-in disc

Tires: Michelin Primacy A/S
225/60R-18 100H M+S

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 106.7 in

Size: 180.1 in

Width: 74.1 in
Peak: 66.1 in
Curb Weight: 4038 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 7.7 sec

1/4-Mile: 16.0 sec @ 91 mph
100 mph: 19.2 sec

Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.4 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 7.7 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.3 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.4 sec

Prime Pace (gov ltd): 122 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 176 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.78 g  

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

75-mph Freeway Driving, EV/Hybrid Mode: 84 MPGe/40 mpg
75-mph Freeway Vary, EV/Hybrid mode: 30/440 mi 

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 40/42/37 mpg

Mixed Gasoline + Electrical energy: 101 MPGe
EV Vary: 37 mi 

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

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Affiliate Information Editor

Caleb Miller started running a blog about automobiles at 13 years previous, and he realized his dream of writing for a automotive journal after graduating from Carnegie Mellon College and becoming a member of the Automobile and Driver workforce. He loves quirky and obscure autos, aiming to at some point personal one thing weird like a Nissan S-Cargo, and is an avid motorsports fan.

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