2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Nissan Kicks

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 2020/02/29

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 Nissan Kicks 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 Kicks 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 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Kicks doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Ford Escape has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Kicks doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

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 Kicks 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 and the Kicks 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, rear cross-path warning and available front and rear parking sensors.

The Ford Escape weighs 578 to 875 pounds more than the Nissan Kicks. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

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 2020/02/29

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’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 Kicks 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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 7th.

Engine

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The Escape’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder produces 59 more horsepower (181 vs. 122) and 76 lbs.-ft. more torque (190 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Escape’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 128 more horsepower (250 vs. 122) and 166 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Escape (base engine) is faster than the Nissan Kicks:

Escape

Kicks

Zero to 60 MPH

7.7 sec

9.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

23.5 sec

36.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.3 sec

10.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

80 MPH

Top Speed

122 MPH

110 MPH

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 2020/02/29

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 Kicks 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 Kicks doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Escape FWD’s standard fuel tank has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (14.8 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Escape AWD’s standard fuel tank has 4.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (15.7 vs. 10.8 gallons).

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 Kicks 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 Kicks:

Escape

Kicks

Front Rotors

13 inches

10.16 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

8” drums

The Ford Escape has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Kicks. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Escape stops much shorter than the Kicks:

Escape

Kicks

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

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 2020/02/29

For better traction, the Escape has larger tires than the Kicks (225/65R17 vs. 205/60R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escape has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kicks S. The Escape’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Kicks SV/SR.

The Ford Escape’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Nissan Kicks only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Ford Escape 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 Kicks has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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

The Escape has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Escape flat and controlled during cornering. The Kicks’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escape’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the Kicks (106.7 inches vs. 103.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escape is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Kicks.

The Escape’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58% to 42%) than the Kicks’ (60.7% to 39.3%). This gives the Escape more stable handling and braking.

The Escape SE AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Kicks SR pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Escape Titanium AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Kicks SR (27.7 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Escape has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Kicks S (7.3 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Escape to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Escape’s minimum ground clearance is .3 inch higher than on the Kicks SV/SR (7.3 vs. 7 inches).

Chassis

© 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 2020/02/29

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 Kicks doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Escape has 10.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Kicks (104 vs. 93.9).

The Escape has 4.3 inches more front hip room, 4.6 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 7.5 inches more rear legroom, 4.2 inches more rear hip room and 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kicks.

Cargo Capacity

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The Escape has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Kicks with its rear seat up (37.5 vs. 25.3 cubic feet). The Escape has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kicks with its rear seat folded (65.4 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escape 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 Kicks doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

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The Escape has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Kicks has no towing capacity.

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

The Escape’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Kicks has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

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

The Escape 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 Kicks’ 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 SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The Kicks 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 Kicks doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Escape’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 Kicks’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Escape Titanium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

On extremely cold winter days, the Escape SEL/Titanium’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Kicks doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Escape SE/SEL/Titanium has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Kicks doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Escape Titanium’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Kicks doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Escape and the Kicks offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Escape SE/SEL/Titanium has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Kicks SV/SR doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Escape (except S) offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Kicks doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the Escape (except S). The Escape’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 Kicks doesn’t offer a navigation system.

With standard voice command, the Escape offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Kicks doesn’t offer a voice control system.

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 Kicks 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 Kicks 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 2020/02/29

The Ford Escape outsold the Nissan Kicks by over four to one during 2019.

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

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