Back in September, Ford Authority reported that the Ford Escape would be receiving a mid-cycle refresh in 2023, followed by a redesign in 2025. In the months since, Ford Authority spies have spotted a number of 2023 Ford Escape prototypes, each featuring different types of trim. With sales of the current model – which launched for the 2020 model year – closing out that year dismally and continuing to disappoint last year, there’s no question that the upcoming Ford Escape refresh needs to try something a bit different, and it appears that it will, with edgier, more modern styling. However, we think that Ford should take things a step further.
More specifically, the Ford Escape refresh should incorporate more of the Kuga’s styling elements, including its body color-painted cladding, which would replace the unpainted black plastic cladding present on the current-gen Escape. Generally, black plastic cladding is used on vehicles that are more off-road focused, which the Escape is not. Additionally, the Ford Bronco Sport already holds that spot in FoMoCo’s lineup as a more rugged compact crossover with real off-road capability.
This sort of look was recently previewed by an artist (seen below) that incorporated Ford Mustang Mach-E-inspired styling into some renderings of the next-generation Escape/Kuga, which has body-color cladding to go along with sharper LED headlights, an edgier oval-shaped front grille, and large front air vents. Those simple updates give the rather soft crossover more of a grown-up look and one that presents much better than the current model, at least in our humble opinion.
Giving the upcoming Ford Escape refresh more of a refined look would go a long way to differentiate it in the red-hot and ultra-crowded compact crossover segment, where it has recently struggled to gain traction. However, we’d also like to know what our readers think, so be sure and cast your vote in the poll below!