2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Nissan Kicks

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The Escape offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Kicks doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Ford Escape offers Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Kicks doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Escape SE/SEL/Titanium’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Kicks doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Escape SE/SEL/Titanium’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Kicks doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Escape has standard SYNC®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Kicks doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Escape and the Kicks have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The Ford Escape weighs 829 to 1116 pounds more than the Nissan Kicks. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

There are almost 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escape’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escape second among compact SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Kicks isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

Engine

The Escape’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 46 more horsepower (168 vs. 122) and 56 lbs.-ft. more torque (170 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. The Escape’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 57 more horsepower (179 vs. 122) and 63 lbs.-ft. more torque (177 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. The Escape Titanium’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 123 more horsepower (245 vs. 122) and 161 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Escape is faster than the Nissan Kicks:

 

Escape 4 cyl.

Escape 1.5 turbo

Kicks

Zero to 60 MPH

9.1 sec

8.9 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.9 sec

16.7 sec

17.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

80.9 MPH

82.4 MPH

77.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Escape EcoBoost’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Kicks doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Escape has 4.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (15.7 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Escape has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Kicks doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Escape’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Kicks:

 

Escape

Escape EcoBoost

Kicks

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

10.16 inches

Rear Rotors

11 inches

11 inches

8” drums

The Ford Escape has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Kicks. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Escape stops much shorter than the Kicks:

 

Escape

Kicks

 

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Escape has larger tires than the Kicks (235/55R17 vs. 205/60R16).

The Escape’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Kicks S’ standard 60 series tires. The Escape’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Kicks SV/SR’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escape has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kicks S. The Escape’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Kicks SV/SR.

The Ford Escape’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Nissan Kicks only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Ford Escape has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Nissan Kicks has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Escape has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Kicks’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Escape’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Kicks doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escape’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the Kicks (105.9 inches vs. 103.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escape is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Kicks.

The Escape’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the Kicks’ (60.8% to 39.2%). This gives the Escape more stable handling and braking.

The Escape Titanium AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Kicks SR pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Escape Titanium AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Kicks SR (27.3 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Escape has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Kicks (7.8 vs. 7 inches), allowing the Escape to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the Escape (except 2.0L ECOBoost) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Kicks doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Escape has 4.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Kicks (98.7 vs. 93.9).

The Escape has 3.6 inches more front hip room, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 4.1 inches more rear legroom, 3.3 inches more rear hip room and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kicks.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Escape’s rear seats recline. The Kicks’ rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Escape has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Kicks with its rear seat up (34 vs. 25.3 cubic feet). The Escape has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kicks with its rear seat folded (68 vs. 32.3 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Escape SEL/Titanium has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Escape Titanium, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Kicks doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The Escape has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Kicks has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

When three different drivers share the Escape (except S), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Kicks doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Escape (except S)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Kicks doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Escape and the Kicks have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Escape is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Kicks prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Escape SE/SEL/Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Kicks’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Escape SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior keypad. The Kicks doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Escape’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Kicks’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Escape SE/SEL/Titanium’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Escape SE/SEL/Titanium detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Kicks doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

On extremely cold winter days, the Escape Titanium’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Kicks doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Escape SE/SES/Titanium has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Kicks doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Escape SE/SEL/Titanium’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Kicks doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Escape and the Kicks offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Escape has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Kicks SV/SR doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the Escape SE/SEL/Titanium. The Escape’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Kicks doesn’t offer a navigation system.

With standard voice command, the Escape offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Kicks doesn’t offer a voice control system.

The Escape Titanium has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Kicks doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Escape Titanium’s Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Kicks doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

The Ford Escape outsold the Nissan Kicks by almost 12 to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos