2020 Ford Escape PHEV vs. 2020 Nissan Leaf

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 2020/08/09

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 Nissan Leaf 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 Leaf 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.

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 Leaf doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Escape PHEV and the Leaf 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, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

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 Leaf has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

© 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 2020/08/09

There are almost 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escape PHEV’s warranty.

Engine

© 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 2020/08/09

The Escape PHEV’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 53 more horsepower (200 vs. 147) than the Leaf’s standard electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/08/09

The Escape PHEV’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 518.6 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Leaf’s range is only 149 and the Leaf PLUS’ range is only 226 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 45 minutes for only an 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 53 hours and 40 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/08/09

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

Escape

Leaf

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.5 inches

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/08/09

For better traction, the Escape PHEV has larger tires than the Leaf (225/60R18 vs. 205/55R16). The Escape PHEV SE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Leaf (225/60R18 vs. 215/50R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escape PHEV has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Leaf S. The Leaf’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

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 Leaf; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/08/09

For superior ride and handling, the Ford Escape PHEV has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Nissan Leaf has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escape PHEV is 2 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Leaf.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/08/09

The Escape PHEV has 11.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Leaf (104 vs. 92.4).

The Escape PHEV has .3 inches more front legroom, 3.5 inches more front hip room, 3.3 inches more front shoulder room, 2 inches more rear headroom, 5.4 inches more rear legroom, 3.3 inches more rear hip room and 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Leaf.

Cargo Capacity

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The Escape PHEV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Leaf with its rear seat up (34.4 vs. 23.6 cubic feet). The Escape PHEV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Leaf with its rear seat folded (60.8 vs. 30 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escape PHEV SEL/Titanium’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Leaf doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

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The Escape PHEV has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Leaf has no towing capacity.

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 Leaf can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/08/09

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Escape PHEV has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Leaf doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

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 Leaf 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 Leaf doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Escape PHEV’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Leaf’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the Escape PHEV and the Leaf 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 Leaf prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Escape PHEV SEL/Titanium’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 Leaf’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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 Leaf 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 Leaf doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Escape PHEV’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Leaf’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Escape PHEV Titanium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

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

The Escape PHEV has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Leaf doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Both the Escape PHEV and the Leaf offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Escape PHEV has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Leaf doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Escape PHEV’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation that can trigger allergies or asthma. The Leaf’s air conditioner doesn’t offer a filtration system.

The Escape PHEV Titanium offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Leaf doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 Leaf 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 2020/08/09

The Ford Escape outsold the Nissan Leaf by almost 20 to one during 2019.

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