We know an updated Ford Escape is coming. In fact, we recently featured an unofficial render of what the next model might look like. Now we have a nice set of spy photos showing a camouflaged prototype that we believe will debut for the 2023 model year.
As you can see, we are dealing with a modest facelift as opposed to a brand new model. This is not surprising, given that the current model is barely two years old. The fourth-gen Escape debuted in 2019 as a 2020 model, but the compact SUV segment is one of the most crowded and competitive groupsets in all of automotive. Staying fresh in the midst of an overwhelming sea of choices is absolutely necessary to maintain sales.
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This facelift should indeed refresh the Escape, and not just with a new set of headlights. The camouflage wrap on the front fascia is snug, allowing us to see the outline of the grille. In short, expect a bit more aggression from the current model, which was a drastic car change from the previous generation Escape. We see a wider grille sitting atop the revamped fairing, flanked on either side by narrower headlights. This is reminiscent of the unofficial rendering we mentioned earlier.
Things at the back are less obvious. We don’t see any noticeable difference, but the taillights appear to be mismatched placeholders. The lenses match what we see on the current Escape, but the clear corners are obviously not original. Lower down, the corner reflectors and dual tailpipes also match the current Escape. We suspect that there are only minor updates to the body lines hidden under the casing.
At this early stage, we haven’t heard anything about any changes to the interior or the powertrain. Engine options will almost certainly remain the same, and interior upgrades will likely stick to the new colors and revised trim. Updated electronics are highly likely, and it’s possible Ford’s BlueCruise driver assistance system could find its way to the Escape. This would give the compact SUV an edge over competitors in the segment.
If Ford reveals the updated Escape next summer, that would be three years after the current-gen debut, and that fits a typical mid-cycle refresh schedule. If that theory is correct, that would make the refreshed Escape a 2023 model, going on sale towards the end of 2022.