2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander

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 2020/02/21

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

The Escape 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 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 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 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Escape’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 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Escape 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 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 and the Outlander 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and front and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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

There are over 8 times as many Ford dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escape’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Escape 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 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 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th, below the industry average.

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’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder produces 15 more horsepower (181 vs. 166) and 28 lbs.-ft. more torque (190 vs. 162) than the Outlander’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Escape’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 26 more horsepower (250 vs. 224) and 65 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 215) than the Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Ford Escape (base engine) is faster than the Mitsubishi Outlander (base engine):

Escape

Outlander

Zero to 30 MPH

3.3 sec

3.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

10 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.2 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.9 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

81 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Escape

FWD

1.5 turbo 3-cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

AWD

1.5 turbo 3-cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

Outlander

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

3.0 DOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escape 1.5 Turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Outlander doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Escape’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Outlander doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Escape 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 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Escape

Outlander

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.6 inches

The Escape stops much shorter than the Outlander:

Escape

Outlander

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escape offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Outlander’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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

The Escape 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 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

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

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

The Escape SE AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Outlander GT AWC pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Escape Titanium AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Outlander SEL AWC (27.7 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

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

The front grille of the Escape uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Outlander doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Escape SE AWD is quieter than the Outlander GT AWC (37 vs. 39 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Escape has 1.5 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 3.4 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear hip room than the Outlander.

Cargo Capacity

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The Escape has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Outlander with its third row folded and its second row seat seat up (37.5 vs. 10.3 cubic feet). The Escape has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Outlander with all its rear seats folded (65.4 vs. 63.3 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escape’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outlander 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’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Outlander’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

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When three different drivers share the Escape 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 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Escape SEL/Titanium’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Outlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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

The power windows standard on both the Escape and the Outlander have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Escape is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outlander 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 SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The Outlander 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 SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The Outlander doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

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

The Escape has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Outlander has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/LE/SP/SEL/GT.

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

The Escape Titanium has a 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 Outlander doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Escape 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 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escape is less expensive to operate than the Outlander because it costs $227 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Escape than the Outlander, including $143 less for a water pump, $109 less for fuel injection, $258 less for a fuel pump and $23 less for front struts.

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 2020/02/21

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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