• Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

2023 Ford Escape Cupholder Mega Test: Will the Nalgene bottle fit?


Jun 6, 2023
2023 Ford Escape Cupholder Mega Test: Will the Nalgene bottle fit?


Ford gave its Escape compact crossover a few changes for the 2023 model year in a mid-cycle refresh. One thing Ford can’t change, however, is just how goldarn thirsty I am all the time. With the many ounces of water I pound every day, I need a container that can carry it all as a middleman to my dry, dry gullet. For me, that’s a 32-ounce Nalgene (though I do sometimes rock the comically tall 48-ounce version). For others, that might be a Yeti, Stanley or some other oversized bottle. The brand doesn’t matter … if it’s huge, it’s very likely you’ll have trouble finding a cupholder that can accommodate it in your vehicle. That’s why I document my Nalgene tribulations, so we know which cars best foster an environment of convenient and complete hydration.

This week, it’s this new Ford Escape. Specifically, this is the 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite, with fresh new looks and updated technology. I’ll have a full review on the car later this week, but, for now, let’s focus on the important question: Will the Nalgene fit?

As always, let’s start with the front cupholders.

They’re conveniently placed in a fore/aft configuration on the center console. The passenger gets the easiest access, but Ford’s rotary drive selector doesn’t exactly get in the way for the driver. Those look a bit small, though, don’t they?

Yep, too small. More often than not, that’s the case with cupholders. As a backup, I go to the pockets in the doors, if available.

There are two bottle-shaped depressions in these front doors, but neither really looks big enough for the Nalgene.

But looks can be deceiving. The Nalgene fits in the rearward holder, at an angle that looks a little odd, but makes for easy reach. If the bottles contents were under pressure, though, like carbonated water, it might leak out at that angle. Gotta screw that cap on tight, bud. It’ll work for me, though.

Let’s see what the options are for our also megathirsty rear passengers.

The Escape has a fold-down center armrest with a pair of cupholders, these side by side instead of fore and aft like the ones up front. That’s good. You’re less likely to get your beverage confused with your seatmate’s … if they fit, that is.

They don’t. Let’s go to the doors again.

This does not look promising. But neither did the front door pockets, and they ended up working out. 

Well, hopefully the folks in the back can keep their hands free to hold their giant beverages, as they’ve got no place to securely set them down.

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