Ford isn’t content to refresh the next-generation Escape’s skin and instrument panel. Ford Authority sources told the outlet the trim names will be entirely overhauled as well. At the moment and starting at the bottom, the Escape comes in S, SE, SEL, and Titanium flavors, with all from SE up available with an optional plug-in hybrid powertrain. When the new Escape arrives, its trim walk is expected to be Base, Active, ST Line, ST Line Plus, ST Line Premium, and Platinum. The inclusion of Active comes after Ford submitted a June application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to reserve the name Escape Active. It will succeed the EcoSport Active here, and one day could be joined by the Focus Active wagon. It’s possible only four trims will remain, however, with the ST Line trim able to be optioned with Plus and Premium packages, but that’s not clear yet.
If this is the way it works out, it provides a glimpse of where Ford is taking things. The soft-roader crossovers — EcoSport, Escape, and Edge — wouldn’t possess a single shared trim between them once the Escape eliminates the SE level. Seems Ford aims to shift perception of the Escape closer to the Explorer and Expedition, the Escape adopting the ST nomenclature put to excellent use on the Explorer and giving up its precious Titanium for a top-tier Platinum trim as with the larger SUVs. This makes even more sense when we remember the EcoSport dies at the end of this year and the Edge dies at the end of next.
The revamped Escape picks up design cues from the Mustang Mach-E and other recent Fords such as the Evos concept and the new Mondeo outside. Inside, there’s a new, larger infotainment screen with HVAC controls moved from the console to the base of the touchscreen. Order books are expected to open in September, production commencing in November.