Ford Authority

2023 Ford Escape Trims Revealed, PHEV Becomes Its Own Thing

Ford Authority spies have spotted a number of 2023 Ford Escape prototypes driving around over the past several months – in some cases, completely uncovered, which confirmed an earlier report that the new ST-Line trim will debut on the refreshed crossover. However, as Ford Authority reported in early August, the 2023 Ford Escape is also ditching the current model’s trim levels completely in favor of an entirely new lineup, and now, sources familiar with the matter have revealed all of those new trims.

2023 Ford Escape Lineup
2023 Ford Escape Lineup 2022 Ford Escape Lineup
Base S
Active SE
ST-Line SEL*
Platinum Titanium

As we can see in the table above, there are numerous changes for the 2023 model year, starting with the fact that the Base is now called the S, while the more rugged Active replaces the outgoing SE. However, perhaps even more interestingly, the SEL has gone away as well, and in its place are the PHEV and ST-Line, which are standalone trims. Sources have said that Ford considers the Base, Active, and Platinum to be direct replacements for the S, SE, and Titanium, while there is no true equivalent replacement for the SEL.

This is notable because the plug-in hybrid used to be offered in conjunction with SE, SEL, and Titanium trims, but it will now stand along as its own trim level. Meanwhile, the regular hybrid powertrain will be offered with the Active, ST-Line, and Platinum. At the same time, there are actually three different ST-Line trims – ST-Line, ST-Line Select, and ST-Line Elite. These are the trims that will boast body color front and rear fascias, body color rocker panels, and painted front and rear bumpers, as we’ve already seen.

In addition to these changes, the 2023 Ford Escape is set to receive revised interior and exterior styling, along with a larger touchscreen to boot. However, as Ford Authority previously reported, the 2023 Escape PHEV will not be available with all-wheel drive, while the refreshed crossover won’t offer BlueCruise in any configuration. As Ford Authority reported back in June, order banks for the 2023 Escape opened up on September 19th, and will be followed by the start of production on November 1st.

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

Subscribe to Ford Authority

For around-the-clock Ford news coverage

We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates. It's totally free.


  1. Dave D

    Can I find out the features in the new Platinum package?

    1. Chaddy

      Looking over the order guide, the platinum is essentially the current titanium. Even the premium tech package is the same, hud, B&O, park assist, leather and HD radio. The ST line elite sounds to be more “sportier” in look be these descriptions, but it is pretty much equipped like a Titanium as well. ST line eleite has option for all black 19″ wheels.

  2. Njia

    I ordered my wife’s Titanium Hybrid back in March – we’re still waiting, these many months later. Last update from Ford said the build date was pushed back into early October. But with the model changeover expected for early November, I doubt very much we’ll ever get the 2022, and have to re-order. I’m not holding my breath. I’m in the supply chain business, so I understand the problems. But when a customer has to wait longer than 6 months, all of the so-called “updates” from Ford don’t mean a thing. What a terrible CX.

    1. Edward

      When I ordered, in Sept 2021, my Lincoln Corsair GT, it was supposed to be a 2021 model. But, days turned into months and finally I received an email from Lincoln that my order had been converted to a 2022 model. I didn’t have to do anything. My car was built in December 2021 and delivered to me in January 2022 as a 2022 model.

    2. J Fraizer

      It took 8 months to receive our Escape Hybrid PHEV. We have had it 8 months and have had a recall. When we got our car after the fix the air conditioner didn’t work and the engine light remains on. Took it back in and now we are waiting for back order parts. Not a good start on our first Ford purchase and we are a one car family.

  3. Bbot

    You can offer but can you deliver. Toyota car lots are just as empty as Ford. It is best to limit and then deliver, but not offering AWD probably will end my Ford Escape ownership .

    1. Drew Ford Retiree

      I have zero interest in AWD. CORRECTION – I have negative interest in AWD. What do you get in exchange for a higher price, higher fuel consumption, higher weight, more driveline noise/vibration, and more things to go wrong? Your answer is one thing… the ability to accelerate on slippery surfaces. Well, if the surface is that slippery, stay off the roads as AWD will not help up you corner or brake.

  4. Matthew Carter

    Is FoMoCo FINALLY Getting the message that no one likes the cheap plastic wheel wells and rocker panels? The ST looks good almost as good as a Mazda. Let’s hope this translates to all of the other vehicles especially Lincoln which still has cheap plastic around the wheel wells. Paint the whole car Ford!

    1. Cheap and plastic

      Lol. The best-selling model in this segment – the Toyota RAV4 – has what you refer to as “cheap plastic wheel wells and rocker panels.”

      Clearly, plenty of people like that and/or are completely fine with those things. Just because you think something doesn’t mean it applies to everyone.

    2. stangcbr

      Completely agree!! I hate all this black plastic crap. Maybe it is fine up north, but in the south (Florida for me), it turns grey within a few years and really ages the car. Then you are applying black plastic dye to try to keep you few year old car from looking like a decade or two old car. Just because people are buying the cars with this doesn’t mean they like it.

  5. MJ

    As of today , there is no order bank open at all. It was announced to open on 9 -19-22, it has not , and no updates at all. Time to look at other more reliable brands. Ford is #1 in recalls for the past 3 years, they are making junk now. The revamped Escape is still an odd clunky looking vehicle

  6. Al B

    Maybe the Escape is going to be competitive at last. These changes look good to me, and we will consider a regular hybrid AWD version if the interior is upgraded sufficiently. There is talk about Ford dropping the Escape and that strikes me as a terrible admission that they can’t compete in the #1 segment after pickups. Hope sales of the 2023 change their minds.

  7. Drew Ford Retiree

    I looked at the order guide and was horrified. The regular hybrid on the Active series is only available to fleets. And the Platinum comes with vinyl seats (leather in an expensive option package). And they dropped MyKey! Shameful. A lot of kids will be driving Escapes (during the vehicle’s lifetime).

    All of the changes indicate to me that Ford no longer cares to listen or understand customers. Ford’s death is coming soon.

  8. SWFescape

    I think we are unfortunately in never never land on this car. Given the announcement that they have 50K incomplete 2022 hulks to finish that they don’t have parts for, and probably a significant backlog of 2022 orders that now will have to be converted to 2023, who knows when it can be ordered and when you might get a vehicle. If your trying to buy a Hybrid or a PHEV that’s just another complicating factor to add to the rest of the mess.

  9. Jon

    wish the Escape just looked like a Maverick with no bed and a third row of seats.

    1. Mike

      I’ve actually been thinking that a cross between a Maverick and Bronco Sport would be an economical three row seat suv.

  10. Siouxzan

    I want my ordered Ford 2023 fwd Escape phev! My dealership has my deposit but has no idea when order banks will open. What a way to buy a car.

    1. Janice S.

      My dealer wanted a deposit, I said no. They ordered it anyway. If I change my mind, they’ll still be able to sell it in a heartbeat. Platinum phev.

  11. Collings

    Not sure what the issues are with other dealers but we ordered our 23MY on the 20th and already received the confirmation email from Ford.

    1. SWFescape

      Dealers here in FL can’t order and no idea when they can. Ford has given them
      NO information. If you can place a order (not a reservation) it’s great news for you. BTW this is any Escape, not just PHEV.

  12. Ford Family

    We have a 2020 Escape Titanium Hybrid and a 2019 Fusion Titanium Hybrid.
    We have had No issues with either vehicle. The only problem is that the Escape seats are not that comfortable and are not ventilated. The Fusion Hybrid seats are super comfy and ventilated. Also the Fusion did not come with a spare tire. Only a pump.. Doesn’t work when you hit a pot hole in the Northeast and the side of the tire gets damaged. Had to have it towed..

  13. Trevor Maynard

    The Ford Escape PHEV is one of a few PHEVs that qualifies for the federal incentives. However, Ford’s refusal to offer an AWD option means thousands will purchase another brand even without the incentives. I would sacrifice mileage for the AWD option. Congress literally gave them an advantage on a platter yet they bungled the opportunity.


Leave a comment