The refreshed 2023 Ford Escape is, like every other car, highly stratified.

But after a week driving a fully loaded ST-Line Elite, complete with a newly class-leading tech suite,

a powerful turbocharged engine, and a competitive active safety system,

I’m worried the gap between the haves and the have nots of the Escape line is a bit too wide.

From $37,000 on, this is a compelling compact crossover, with more power and better tech than competitive models.

The problem is that below that price point, the Escape is left to trade on its slightly updated looks and a cabin that still trails the competition.