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10 Biggest News Stories of the Week: Ford Escape Steals Dodge Charger’s Thunder

ford escape st line elite 2023 05 exterior front angle scaled jpg 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

The “Transformers” movies have reportedly grossed more than $5 billion worldwide, and though they’re certainly popular, that doesn’t make ’em all good. While it would be unfair to compare the refreshed-for-2023 version of the Ford Escape — one of the top-selling SUVs on the market — to Michael Bay’s confoundingly interminable film franchise, its popularity does not presuppose perfection. Like the “Transformers” series got some things right, albeit occasionally (“Bumblebee” was pretty good!), there’s much to like and a few things to dislike about the current Escape.

Related: 10 Biggest News Stories of the Month: Toyota Highlander Hybrid Runs Higher Than Mazda CX-5

In one of Cars.com’s most popular news articles of the past week, we offer a rapid-fire roundup of the compact SUV’s pros and cons. To the Escape’s credit are its impressively powered turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine; surprisingly sporty curve-carving capabilities; rival-besting fuel economy; an attractive, user-friendly infotainment experience courtesy of the latest version of Ford’s Sync 4 operating system and 13.2-inch touchscreen; and excellent outward visibility to the front and sides. Things that got away from the Escape include its confidence-sapping steering feel; cabin quality evocative of something you drive away from the airport as opposed to the dealer lot; an unfortunate dearth of physical knobs and buttons along with a confusing configuration for the tactile controls that do exist; and hard-to-argue value proposition, particularly with regard to the nearly $44,000 model we tested.

For full details on what we loved and loathed about the 2023 Ford Escape, follow the link below to the No. 2 news story of the week.

Absconding with the fifth-place spot is a report on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s annual report on most stolen cars. Seemingly on brand for auto thieves, three of the top five vehicles most likely to secede (from your driveway) comprise iconic muscle car variants including the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and Charger Hemi, as well as the Dodge Challenger. Meanwhile, the Infiniti Q50 luxury sedan (No. 3) continues to confound authorities as to its perennial popularity among pilferers. The balance of the top 10 includes the Land Rover Range Rover luxury SUV, Kia Sportage SUV and Land Rover Range Rover Sport luxury SUV, as well as all-wheel-drive variants of the Kia Sportage, Honda CR-V compact SUV and BMW X6 luxury SUV. If you’re shopping for a new car and averting grand theft auto is a high priority, you might opt for one of the least stolen cars, including Teslas Model 3, Model Y and Model X, Volvos XC90, XC60 and XC40, GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Lexus UX 250h.

For the full top 20 most and least stolen vehicles, follow the link below to the No. 5 news story on our weekly countdown of most read articles.

Beyond that, we have headlines on the GMC Canyon, Mitsubishi Outlander, Acura Integra, Volkswagen ID. GTI Concept and much more — so don’t stop reading till the digits double. Here are the top 10 news stories Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past week:

1. Here Are the 11 Cheapest Electric Vehicles You Can Buy

2. Is the 2023 Ford Escape a Good SUV? 5 Pros and 4 Cons

3. 2023 GMC Canyon Review: Better and Brawnier, But at What Cost?

4. Electric Cars With the Longest Range

5. Report: These Are the Vehicles Most Likely to Be Stolen

6. 2024 Mitsubishi Outlander Lands IIHS Top Safety Pick Rating

7. 2024 Acura Integra Type S Review: S Is for Snazzy, Snarky and Spendy

8. Which Cars Have Cooled Seats?

9. Which SUVs, Minivans and Sedans Have the Most Cargo Space?

10. A Charged Icon: Volkswagen ID. GTI Concept Electrifies Munich Auto Show

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Matt Schmitz
Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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