2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Subaru Crosstrek

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Escape’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Crosstrek has a metal gas tank.

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

Warranty

There are almost 5 times as many Ford dealers as there are Subaru 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 Crosstrek 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

Engine

The Escape’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 16 more horsepower (168 vs. 152) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (170 vs. 145) than the Crosstrek’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Escape’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 27 more horsepower (179 vs. 152) and 32 lbs.-ft. more torque (177 vs. 145) than the Crosstrek’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Escape Titanium’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 93 more horsepower (245 vs. 152) and 130 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 145) than the Crosstrek’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Escape is faster than the Subaru Crosstrek (automatics tested):

 

Escape 1.6

Escape Titanium

Crosstrek

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

n/a

3.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

6.8 sec

9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

15.2 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

82.4 MPH

88.8 MPH

80.8 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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Ford Escape comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Crosstrek.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Escape

Escape EcoBoost

Crosstrek

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11 inches

11 inches

10.8 inches

The Escape stops much shorter than the Crosstrek:

 

Escape

Crosstrek

 

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Escape has larger tires than the Crosstrek (235/55R17 vs. 225/60R17).

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 Crosstrek’s standard 60 series tires. The Escape’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Crosstrek Limited’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escape offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Crosstrek’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Escape has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Escape Titanium AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Crosstrek Premium pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Escape Titanium AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Crosstrek Limited (27.3 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Escape has .1 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more rear headroom and .8 inches more rear legroom than the Crosstrek.

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

Cargo Capacity

The Escape has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Crosstrek with its rear seat up (34 vs. 20.8 cubic feet). The Escape has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Crosstrek with its rear seat folded (68 vs. 55.3 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Escape easier. The Escape’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.3 inches, while the Crosstrek’s liftover is 30.9 inches.

The Escape’s cargo area is larger than the Crosstrek’s in almost every dimension:

 

Escape

Crosstrek

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

33.6”/67”

32.3”/64.2”

Height

34.5”

30”

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Crosstrek is limited to 1500 pounds. The Escape offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The engine computer on the Escape automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Crosstrek’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

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 Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Crosstrek’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 Crosstrek’s 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.

The Escape has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Crosstrek has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Premium/Limited.

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Escape and the Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Escape is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escape is less expensive to operate than the Crosstrek because it costs $153 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Escape than the Crosstrek, including $155 less for a water pump, $85 less for a muffler, $23 less for front brake pads, $315 less for a starter, $135 less for fuel injection, $61 less for a fuel pump and $200 less for front struts.

Recommendations

The Ford Escape outsold the Subaru Crosstrek by almost two to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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