2019 Toyota Rav4 vs. 2019 Ford Escape

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Rav4 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 (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.

The Rav4 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 and the Escape 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 all wheel drive, 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 is safer than the Escape:

 

Rav4

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 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 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’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 35 more horsepower (203 vs. 168) and 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 170) than the Escape’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (203 vs. 179) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 177) than the Escape’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

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

 

Rav4

Escape 4 cyl.

Escape 1.5 Turbo

Zero to 60 MPH

8.2 sec

9.1 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

16.9 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

80.9 MPH

78.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Rav4

 

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

 

AWD

LE 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/34 hwy

 

 

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/33 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

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

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Toyota Rav4, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Escape.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Rav4

Escape

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

11 inches

The Rav4 stops much shorter than the Escape:

 

Rav4

Escape

 

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Escape.

The Rav4 Adventure handles at .81 G’s, while the Escape Titanium AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Rav4 Adventure executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Escape SE (27.5 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Rav4 LE/XLE’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Escape’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Escape’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Rav4 LE/XLE has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Escape (8.4 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the Rav4 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s minimum ground clearance is .8 inch higher than on the Escape (8.6 vs. 7.8 inches).

Passenger Space

The Rav4 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 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 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).

Ergonomics

The Rav4’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.

Both the Rav4 and the Escape offer available heated front seats. The Rav4 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 Adventure/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.

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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