2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Subaru Crosstrek

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 2020/02/18

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 Subaru Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek 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.

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

Warranty

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There are almost 5 times as many Ford dealers as there are Subaru 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 Crosstrek 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine

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The Escape’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder produces 29 more horsepower (181 vs. 152) and 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (190 vs. 145) than the Crosstrek’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Escape’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 98 more horsepower (250 vs. 152) and 135 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 145) than the Crosstrek’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Ford Escape is faster than the Subaru Crosstrek (automatics tested):

Escape turbo 1.5

Escape turbo 2.0

Crosstrek

Zero to 30 MPH

3.3 sec

n/a

4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

6.9 sec

10.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.2 sec

n/a

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.9 sec

15.3 sec

17.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

89.3 MPH

82 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regardless of its engine, the Escape’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.) Subaru only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Crosstrek CVT.

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Ford Escape comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Crosstrek.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Escape

Crosstrek

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

10.8 inches

The Escape stops shorter than the Crosstrek:

Escape

Crosstrek

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

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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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escape’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Crosstrek (106.7 inches vs. 104.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escape is 1.4 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than on the Crosstrek.

The Escape Titanium AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Crosstrek Limited (27.7 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Escape has 3.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Crosstrek (104 vs. 100.9).

The Escape has .2 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 4.2 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Crosstrek.

Cargo Capacity

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The Escape has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Crosstrek with its rear seat up (37.5 vs. 20.8 cubic feet). The Escape has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Crosstrek with its rear seat folded (65.4 vs. 55.3 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Escape easier. The Escape’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.1 inches, while the Crosstrek’s liftover is 30.9 inches.

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

Escape

Crosstrek

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37.8”/68.5”

32.3”/64.2”

Max Width

57.3”

53”

Min Width

41.4”

43”

Height

34.8”

30”

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

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The Escape’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Crosstrek’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Crosstrek is only 1500 pounds. The Escape offers up to a 3500 lbs. 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 Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek 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 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 Crosstrek’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 Crosstrek’s 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.

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 Crosstrek has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Premium/Limited.

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Escape and the Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Escape is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escape is less expensive to operate than the Crosstrek because it costs $254 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Escape than the Crosstrek, including $65 less for a water pump, $140 less for a starter, $40 less for fuel injection, $58 less for a fuel pump and $154 less for front struts.

Recommendations

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The Ford Escape outsold the Subaru Crosstrek by 84% during 2019.

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