2020 Ford Escape PHEV vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/08

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Escape PHEV 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 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Escape PHEV has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Outlander PHEV 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 Escape PHEV offers an optional backup collision prevention system that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Escape PHEV’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Escape PHEV has standard 911 Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Escape PHEV and the Outlander PHEV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available rear parking sensors.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the Escape PHEV is safer than the Outlander PHEV:

Escape

Outlander

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Restraint Design

GOOD

GOOD

Distance from Back of Head

8 mm

48 mm

Dynamic Test Rating

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Seat Design

Pass

Fail

Torso Acceleration

10 g’s

10.3 g’s

Neck Force Rating

Low

Low

Max Neck Shearing Force

0

47

Max Neck Tension

294

488

(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Escape PHEV the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Outlander PHEV is not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty

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The Escape PHEV’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Outlander PHEV’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are almost 9 times as many Ford dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escape PHEV’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Escape PHEV has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 4 places higher in reliability than Mitsubishi.

Engine

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The Escape PHEV’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 3 more horsepower (200 vs. 197) than the Outlander PHEV’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Escape PHEV running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander PHEV running on electricity (109 city/91 hwy vs. 78 city/70 hwy MPGe).

On the EPA test cycle the Escape PHEV running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander PHEV running its gasoline engine (43 city/38 hwy vs. 25 city/26 hwy).

The Escape PHEV’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 37 miles, 68% further than the Outlander PHEV’s 22-mile range.

The Escape PHEV has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Escape

Outlander

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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The Escape PHEV offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Outlander PHEV; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The Escape PHEV has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Outlander PHEV’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Escape PHEV has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escape PHEV’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Outlander PHEV (106.7 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

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

Chassis

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The Ford Escape PHEV may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 pounds less than the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

The Escape PHEV is 4.3 inches shorter than the Outlander PHEV, making the Escape PHEV easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Escape PHEV has 1.5 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear hip room than the Outlander PHEV.

Cargo Capacity

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The Escape PHEV has a much larger cargo volume than the Outlander PHEV with its rear seat up (34.4 vs. 30.4 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escape PHEV’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The Escape PHEV can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Escape PHEV can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Outlander PHEV can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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The Escape PHEV offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When three different drivers share the Escape PHEV SEL/Titanium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Escape PHEV Titanium offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Escape PHEV and the Outlander PHEV have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Escape PHEV is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outlander PHEV prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Escape PHEV’s exterior PIN entry system. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Escape PHEV’s exterior PIN entry system. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Escape PHEV has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Outlander PHEV only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Escape PHEV SEL/Titanium has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer extendable visors.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the Escape PHEV. The Escape PHEV’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a navigation system.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Ford Escape PHEV Titanium has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Escape PHEV Titanium’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/08

The Ford Escape outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander by almost six to one during 2019.

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

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