Ford Authority

2023 Ford Escape PHEV Will Not Offer Optional All-Wheel Drive

After undergoing a complete redesign for the 2020 model year, the Ford Escape is set to receive a mid-cycle refresh for the 2023 model year. Ford Authority spies have spotted a number of 2023 Ford Escape prototypes driving around in recent months, including several that were wearing no camouflage whatsoever, giving us a good idea of what to expect from the refreshed crossover. Now, sources familiar with the matter have told Ford Authority that the 2023 Ford Escape PHEV – which recently leaked online – will not offer optional all-wheel drive, and will instead soldier on with in front-wheel drive configuration only.

As such, the 2023 Ford Escape PHEV will be the only powertrain that isn’t available with optional all-wheel drive. Additionally, the model’s platform mate and more luxurious counterpart – the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring – is only offered in an all-wheel drive configuration, which won’t be available at all on the refreshed Escape PHEV.

Meanwhile, the 2023 Escape will bring forth some big changes for the new model year, as Ford Authority has reported over the past several weeks. That includes ditching the outgoing model’s trim levels completely in favor of all new monikers, a change that involves adding the new, sportier-looking ST-Line variant to the lineup. Last month, Ford Authority spies also spotted a more rugged 2023 Escape Active for the very first time, too.

2023 Ford Escape

In addition to new, sharper exterior styling, the 2023 Ford Escape will also receive a revamped interior with a large infotainment screen that looks like the same 13.2-inch unit that debuted in the refreshed 2022 Ford Focus, capacitive touch buttons, a digital instrument cluster, and even a flat-bottom steering wheel, though some of these features may be available as options or as part of the new ST-Line variant.

We’ll have more on the 2023 Escape soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Escape news and comprehensive Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Nico

    A really BAD move…what are you thinking! The competition is eating your lunch!

  2. Bbot

    All Wheel Drive is Standard on Hyundai, Toyota , Kia and most other Hybrid Vehicles. What a mistake!

  3. John

    Very disappointed to hear about no AWD for the Escape. Was planning on ordering one in September. Maybe I will just keep my Jeep!

  4. Chaddy

    Yes, bad idea considering like Bbot stated all the competition have it, some have it as a standard feature. Ford bean counters must be afraid that a PHEV Escape with AWD will destroy Lincoln sales even more. We know AWD doesn’t affect the mileage of the HEV Escape. Bad move FORD!!

    1. J1978

      My thoughts exactly! It’s a chess move to get buyers into their premium tier brand models such as Lincoln Corsair that would offer all the expected standards. Instead, they retaliate with some self-serving defacto opposition as to why this is not offered with Ford’s Escape PHEV 2023 when in fact their main competitors have all been offering AWD within a radius of pricing structures. To state this is a “bad” move is a understatement especially for those of us up here in Canada where we understand the necessity of AWD utilization of harsh winter and terrains. Sure with good winter tires you can trudge it through with some effort but that’s not optimal. I was going to buy this new model but they lost me as a buyer. Now I’m going Rav 4 Prime route and I’ll pay the ridiculous 58k CAD. At least it get over 900 km and is a future proofed choice in my view point.

  5. Dust

    Welp there goes any chance of being competitive in the PHEV market. This is a very, very bad move on their part.

  6. NJ

    For those of us looking for a tow vehicle, this is good news! It’s exceptionally difficult to find a phev that is towable because of awd. Once they get the bugs ironed out, I’d buy one!

  7. JW

    Around Toronto area I am told it is a 4 year wait for a Rav4 prime. What are you hearing?


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