2019 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid vs. 2019 Ford Escape

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Rav4 Hybrid has a standard Pre-Collision System, which uses 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Rav4 Hybrid (except LE) offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Escape doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Rav4 Hybrid. But it costs extra on the Escape.

The Rav4 Hybrid Limited offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Escape only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that flash a light and beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Rav4 Hybrid and the Escape 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 blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid is safer than the Escape:

 

Rav4 Hybrid

Escape

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

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

25 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Rav4 Hybrid the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 167 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Escape was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Rav4 Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Escape.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.

Engine

The Rav4 Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 51 more horsepower (219 vs. 168) than the Escape’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Rav4 Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 40 more horsepower (219 vs. 179) than the Escape’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid is faster than the Ford Escape:

 

Rav4 Hybrid

Escape 4 cyl.

Escape 1.5 turbo

Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

9.1 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.9 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.4 MPH

80.9 MPH

78.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Escape:

 

 

 

MPG

Rav4 Hybrid

 

AWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. Hybrid

41 city/37 hwy

Escape

 

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

AWD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Rav4 Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Escape doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid 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 Rav4 Hybrid 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

For better stopping power the Rav4 Hybrid’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Escape:

 

Rav4 Hybrid

Escape

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

11 inches

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 Hybrid is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Escape.

For better maneuverability, the Rav4 Hybrid’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Escape’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Rav4 Hybrid has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Escape (8.1 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the Rav4 Hybrid to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Rav4 Hybrid has 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, .5 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Escape.

Cargo Capacity

The Rav4 Hybrid has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Escape with its rear seat up (37.6 vs. 34 cubic feet). The Rav4 Hybrid has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Escape with its rear seat folded (69.8 vs. 68 cubic feet).

Towing

The Rav4 Hybrid’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Escape’s (1750 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Rav4 Hybrid’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 Escape’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Rav4 Hybrid Limited offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Escape doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the Rav4 Hybrid and the Escape offer available heated front seats. The Rav4 Hybrid Limited also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Escape.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Rav4 Hybrid Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Escape doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Rav4 Hybrid has a 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. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Escape SE/SEL/Titanium.

Recommendations

The Toyota Rav4 outsold the Ford Escape by 57% during 2018.

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

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