2019 Honda HR-V vs. 2019 Ford Escape

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The HR-V EX/EX-L/Touring has standard Collision Mitigation Braking System, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Escape offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Both the HR-V and the Escape have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Honda HR-V is safer than the Ford Escape:

 

HR-V

Escape

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

205

2417

Neck Injury Risk

41%

47%

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

106 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Honda HR-V is safer than the Escape:

 

HR-V

Escape

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

2 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

20 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Honda HR-V is safer than the Ford Escape:

 

HR-V

Escape

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

321 lbs.

351 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

385 lbs.

649 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

18 inches

HIC

203

357

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability

The engine in the HR-V has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Escape have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the HR-V’s reliability 13 points higher than the Escape.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 3 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda HR-V is faster than the Ford Escape turbo 4 cyl.:

 

HR-V

Escape

Zero to 60 MPH

9.5 sec

9.6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

16.4 sec

17.7 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

4.8 sec

5.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

82.2 MPH

78.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the HR-V gets better fuel mileage than the Escape:

 

 

 

MPG

HR-V

 

 

 

 

FWD

1.8 SOHC 4 cyl.

28 city/34 hwy

 

AWD

LX 1.8 SOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/31 hwy

 

 

Sport/EX/EX-L/Touring 1.8 SOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

Escape

 

 

 

 

FWD

2.5 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

 

 

Titanium 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

AWD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

 

Titanium 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda HR-V uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Escape with the 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The HR-V has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Escape doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The HR-V stops much shorter than the Escape:

 

HR-V

Escape

 

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The HR-V EX-L AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Escape Titanium AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The HR-V EX executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Escape SE (27.8 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the HR-V’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Escape’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

The Honda HR-V may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 pounds less than the Ford Escape.

The HR-V is 7.7 inches shorter than the Escape, making the HR-V easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The HR-V Sport/EX/EX-L/Touring uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Escape doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the HR-V EX-L AWD is quieter than the Escape Titanium AWD (69 vs. 70 dB).

Passenger Space

The HR-V has .9 inches more front shoulder room and 2 inches more rear legroom than the Escape.

Ergonomics

The HR-V’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Escape’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

The HR-V has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Escape doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the HR-V’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Escape’s headlights, which were rated “Fair” to “Good” (depending on model and options).

Economic Advantages

The HR-V will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the HR-V will retain 47.71% to 48.19% of its original price after five years, while the Escape only retains 41.72% to 45.81%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the HR-V is less expensive to operate than the Escape because it costs $108 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the HR-V than the Escape, including $268 less for a timing belt/chain and $167 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda HR-V will be $5244 to $6663 less than for the Ford Escape.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Honda HR-V, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford Escape isn't recommended.

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

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