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2023 Ford Escape Platinum Review: A Refreshed Compact Crossover with Hot Hatch Vibes

The 2023 Ford Escape Platinum receives a mid-cycle refresh, featuring subtle yet significant enhancements both inside and outside. The compact crossover has an appealing design, with notable features such as the distinctive grille, headlight treatment reminiscent of the Mustang Mach-E, and a sleek Panorama sunroof. The Platinum trim, equipped with all-wheel drive, carries a price of $41,965 (including destination charges), offering a premium Tech package and other features.


The design of the 2023 Escape is well-received, with a shark scale-like grille and sleek headlight treatment adding to its character. The hatchback aesthetic is prominent in the new design, yet the crossover maintains its crossover capabilities due to the generous ground clearance and spacious trunk.


Inside the cabin, the Platinum trim impresses with a comfortable and spacious interior. The rear seats offer adequate legroom, and the panoramic sunroof adds a sense of openness. The Platinum trim includes features like a numeric pad for secure key storage, a digital gauge cluster with appealing graphic design, and a user-friendly infotainment system powered by Ford's SYNC 4, providing access to a variety of settings and information.


The infotainment system features a home screen for quick access to various functions, and it supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The touchscreen climate controls, although always visible, are unobtrusive and offer an ergonomic design. However, the reviewer finds the animation-heavy climate controls distracting and wishes for more physical buttons for climate settings.


Under the hood, the Escape Platinum boasts a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that generates 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The reviewer praises the vehicle's peppy acceleration and agile handling, describing it as driving like a "hot hatch in disguise." The suspension is firm, which contributes to its sporty feel, though it might not be ideal for rough roads.

All-Wheel Drive System:

The Platinum trim comes with an all-wheel drive system that can adapt its power distribution based on different driving modes (Normal, Sport, Slippery). The reviewer takes the vehicle through an off-road test course called "Chicken Run." While the Escape is not designed for aggressive off-roading, its all-wheel drive system proves capable on the easy course, especially when switched to the Slippery mode, which optimizes power distribution for low-traction situations.


The 2023 Ford Escape Platinum offers a compelling package with its refreshed design, powerful engine, and well-implemented technology. Its driving dynamics resemble those of a hot hatch, making it a fun and versatile choice for those seeking a sporty compact crossover. The reviewer praises its performance and functionality while highlighting a few areas for improvement, such as the climate control user interface and the animation-heavy controls.

Overall, the 2023 Ford Escape Platinum appears to be a well-rounded choice in the compact crossover segment, particularly for those who prioritize style, technology, and a dynamic driving experience.

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