Ford Authority

2025 Ford Escape ST-Line Series Ditches Body Color Moldings

For the 2023 model year, Ford decided to refresh the Escape with updated styling, Sync 4, and a completely revamped trim lineup. Additionally, it debuted the ST-Line series, which featured a very distinctive monochromatic appearance that separated itself from most of its rivals in the compact crossover segment. Unfortunately, the 2025 Ford Escape will pivot back to black body cladding in a big way, as two of the three ST-Line Series models will not boast body color painted bumpers or rocker panels.

2025 Ford Escape ST-Line front three quarters

With the 2025 Ford Escape online configurator now live, it’s clear that the ST-Line and ST-Select will ditch their monochromatic paint for molded-in-color components. These changes include the bodyside cladding and rocker panel, along with the front and rear bumpers. The ST-Line will still keep its unique grille, skid plate, and 18-inch tires while the ST-Line Select will retain its body color mirrors. Only the ST-Line Elite will offer the fully painted and monochromatic body components going forward, meaning buyers will have to spend at least $36,540 for the privilege of having the distinctive appearance on their Escape.

2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite Hybrid

With these changes to the 2025 Ford Escape lineup, the ST-Line series arguably loses its reason for existing, as the ST-Line and ST-Line Select will become much less distinctive when compared to the Active and Platinum. In the American mainstream crossover segment, the monochromatic aesthetic is a rarity, with the Escape and Mazda CX-5 likely being the only two models that offer it. The Ford Kuga – otherwise known as the Escape nearly identical sibling – broadly features the style across its European lineup. The design meshes well with the Escape’s sleeker body shape, which stands in contrast to the Ford Bronco Sport and other models that have adopted a more rugged appearance in recent years.

It isn’t clear what prompted the company to ditch the painted moldings for the 2025 Ford Escape lineup aside from something like cost cutting. Upon its introduction, the ST-Line series represented 40 percent of overall Escape sales, or 10 percent less than the team’s targeted figure. Ford Escape sales are up 15 percent in the second quarter of 2024.

We’ll have more on the 2025 Ford Escape soon, so subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Escape news, and for continues Ford news coverage.

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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. eltoro1one

    Chintzy move, Farley. Cheap bass-turd.

    1. Nico

      Agreed…a really bad move! Cheapens the overall look.

  2. Tadpole

    Anything above a base should have body color moldings. Lincoln shouldn’t have plastic moldings at all (or at least make it optional)

  3. Tigger

    Anything to save a buck.

  4. Papa Shoe

    The styling of this generation of Escape never equaled the previous one.
    Ford finally got the front end correct last year, and it is now a has been car.
    I went for a 2023 GMC Acadia SLE with a 3.6, Bose and Navigation and it rides and performs way better that the cramped Escape, not to mention way better looks power and size.

    1. Brian

      To be fair, the Escape and Acadia are two different size vehicles. That being said, I just checked out the 2024 Acadia (comparing it to the Explorer instead of the Escape). The base “Elevation” model has significantly more features than the 2025 Explorer for less. In order to get what’s offered on the base Acadia, you’d have to go the entire way up to the Titanium Explorer. It’s insane. I like the Explorer, but I hope Ford reworks their packages and options. As it stands, I’d be an idiot to go with the Explorer over the competition (GMC or otherwise).

  5. Andy

    I agree with the above comments. I didn’t buy the Escape for the cheap interior door panels. Maybe Ford ought to consider sitting in a Rogue and let your arms and elbows touch the door panels.

  6. Anon

    Ford has pretty much said they don’t see a path forward for the Escape after 2025. If that’s really the case, it’s no surprise they would cut production costs as much as possible to maximize profit before sunsetting it. They cut cost on the interior, plastics, cut cost on the seats, put in a 3cyl engine, and now cut costs on the exterior finish. It would be forgivable if the current Escape was at the top of the quality/reliability ratings but it doesn’t even have that going for it. It’s a product they seemingly don’t really care about.

  7. SCEcoBoost

    I doubt the Escape will leave the lineup after the ’25 model year. if it does, Ford is certifiably crazy. Decontenting is the absolute LAST thing that it needs. It’s been horribly overpriced for what you get since the ’20 was released and is a poor value. Reviewers agree. But all that matters to Ford is the stock price and paying for the idiotic “EV Pivot”, from buyers of non-EVs.

  8. Drew Ford Retiree

    Other than niche vehicles, Ford vehicles are very poor value… completely uncompetitive quality, yet higher price with less content.

  9. D

    Ford is known for its cost cutting a d cheapening of its vehicles, especially before a redesign or refresh. This could mean a new design for 2026 or the removal of the Escape to be EV, as is speculated. That aside… Ford needs to ditch Farley, and fast. He’s not doing anything positive for the brand.


Leave a comment