2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2019 Ford Escape

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Equinox’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Ford Escape doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Equinox are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Escape doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Equinox has standard Automatic Emergency Braking, 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 Equinox Premier offers an optional Surround Vision 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 Equinox and the Escape have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, 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.

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

Equinox

Escape

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

159

243

Neck Injury Risk

17%

43%

Neck Stress

190 lbs.

396 lbs.

Neck Compression

10 lbs.

112 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

376

2417

Neck Injury Risk

26%

47%

Neck Stress

153 lbs.

175 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

106 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

264/236 lbs.

453/192 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 Chevrolet Equinox is safer than the Escape:

Equinox

Escape

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

86

113

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

2 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

22 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia forces R/L

1.2/.2 kN

1.7/2.2 kN

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 Chevrolet Equinox is safer than the Ford Escape:

Equinox

Escape

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

109

110

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

288

290

Hip Force

630 lbs.

649 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

18 inches

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

44 G’s

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Equinox the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Escape was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Equinox’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Escape’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Escape was rated second.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

The Equinox has more powerful engines than the Escape:

Horsepower

Torque

Equinox 1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

170 HP

203 lbs.-ft.

Equinox 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

252 HP

260 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 Motor Trend the Chevrolet Equinox is faster than the Ford Escape:

Equinox 1.5

Equinox 2.0

Escape 2.5 4-cyl.

Escape 1.5 turbo

Zero to 60 MPH

8.7 sec

6.6 sec

9.1 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

15.2 sec

16.9 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.1 MPH

92.1 MPH

80.9 MPH

78.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Equinox

FWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 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 Equinox’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.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4-cyl., for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Escape.

Brakes and Stopping

The Equinox stops much shorter than the Escape:

Equinox

Escape

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Equinox has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Escape doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Equinox’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the Escape (107.3 inches vs. 105.9 inches).

The Equinox Premier AWD handles at .86 G’s, while the Escape Titanium AWD pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Equinox Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Escape SE (27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Equinox’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 Equinox has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Escape (7.9 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the Equinox to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Equinox may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 250 pounds less than the Ford Escape.

The Equinox 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.

Passenger Space

The Equinox has 4.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Escape (103.2 vs. 98.7).

The Equinox has .1 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 2.6 inches more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Escape.

Cargo Capacity

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

Equinox

Escape

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

34.9”/67.4”

33.6”/67”

Max Width

53.7”

45.6”

Min Width

40.7”

40.4”

Height

31”

34.5”

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

Ergonomics

The Equinox’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Escape does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Equinox’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, 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.

On a hot day the Equinox’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Escape can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Equinox’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 Equinox 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 Equinox 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 Equinox and the Escape offer available heated front seats. The Equinox Premier 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 Equinox Premier 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.

Economic Advantages

The Equinox will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Equinox will retain 46.06% to 49.61% 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 Equinox is less expensive to operate than the Escape because typical repairs cost much less on the Equinox than the Escape, including $526 less for a muffler, $58 less for front struts, $239 less for a timing belt/chain and $107 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Escape isn’t in the top three.

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Ford Escape by 22% during 2018.

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

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