2023 Ford Escape Gets Dressed in a Vignale Suit, Looks Like a Worthy Mazda CX-5 Rival

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The third-generation Ford Escape, known as the Kuga overseas, looks like a Ford Focus on stilts. That’s more or less understandable, considering that it’s built on the same platform as its low-riding sibling.

For the facelifted iteration, however, the Blue Oval has tried to make it more appealing in terms of styling, and while it has yet to shed its artificial skin, the peeps at Kolesa have digitally peeled it away.

Their unofficial renderings are based on the latest spy shots of the car and portray the 2023 Kuga/Escape as a Vignale. The changes revolve around the front and rear ends of the compact crossover, imagining it with slender headlamps flanking the new, more upright grille.

Unlike the scooped prototype, the one imagined by the quoted website features no fog lamps, as instead, they gave it some rather aggressive-looking side air intakes. Out back, it looks pretty much spot on, with the new reflectors mounted on each side of the tailgate, and the overall design of the taillights. The diffuser and exhaust pipes seem to have been lifted from its predecessor, however, whereas the wheels are identical to the ones equipping the test car.

The charging port on the left front fender suggests that we’re dealing with the plug-in hybrid variant, which will soldier on, next to most (if not all) powertrains found in the current Escape/Kuga. Logic dictates that some of them might be upgraded in order to become more frugal and less polluting, but we obviously don’t know which one yet, and truth be told, nobody outside the Michigan car firm knows anything about them yet.

Ford should keep testing and fine-tuning the 2023 Escape/Kuga, which will keep rivaling the likes of the Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue Sport, and Hyundai Tucson, for a few more months, as the official unveiling is rumored to take place in the second half of next year.