2019 Volvo XC40 vs. 2019 Ford Escape

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Ford Escape doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC40’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Escape doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC40 and Escape have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC40 offers optional power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Escape’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The XC40 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Escape doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC40 has standard City Safety and Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, 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.

The XC40 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Escape doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XC40 offers an optional CTA Auto Brake that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Escape doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The XC40 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround 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 XC40 and the Escape have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, 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.

Warranty

The XC40 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Escape’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The XC40’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Escape’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Escape.

Engine

The XC40 has more powerful engines than the Escape:

 

Horsepower

Torque

XC40 T4 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

187 HP

221 lbs.-ft.

XC40 T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Escape 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

168 HP

170 lbs.-ft.

Escape 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

179 HP

177 lbs.-ft.

Escape Titanium 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

245 HP

275 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the XC40 T5 is faster than the Ford Escape:

 

XC40

Escape 1.5

Escape Titanium

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

9.2 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.4 sec

36.2 sec

22.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

9.7 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16.9 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

81 MPH

86 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

114 MPH

116 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC40 gets better fuel mileage than the Escape:

 

 

 

MPG

XC40

 

FWD

T4 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

 

AWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/31 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

Regardless of its engine, the XC40’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Ford only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Escape EcoBoost.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo XC40 higher (5 out of 10) than the Ford Escape (3 to 5). This means the XC40 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Escape every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo XC40, 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 XC40’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Escape:

 

XC40

Escape

Escape EcoBoost

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11 inches

11 inches

The XC40 stops much shorter than the Escape:

 

XC40

Escape

 

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the XC40’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Escape (245/45R20 vs. 235/55R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC40 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Escape. The XC40’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Escape.

Suspension and Handling

The XC40 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Escape’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XC40 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC40’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Escape doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Escape.

For better maneuverability, the XC40’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 XC40 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Escape (8.3 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The XC40 is 3.9 inches shorter than the Escape, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The XC40 has .2 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 2.2 inches more rear hip room and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Escape.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XC40’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Escape doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC40. The Escape doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

The XC40’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Escape’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Ford Escape is only 3500 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The XC40 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Escape uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The XC40’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.

If the windows are left open on the XC40 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Escape can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The XC40 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.

The XC40’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Escape’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC40 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Escape doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the XC40’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Escape’s headlights, which were rated “Fair” to “Good” (depending on model and options).

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Escape doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC40 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Escape doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC40 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The XC40’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Escape and aren’t offered on the Escape S.

When the XC40 with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Escape’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The XC40 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Escape offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the XC40 and the Escape offer available heated front seats. The XC40 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Escape.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC40 is less expensive to operate than the Escape because it costs $117 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC40 than the Escape, including $63 less for a timing belt/chain and $321 less for a power steering pump.

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

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