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Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Passport deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Passport’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Escape’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.
Both the Passport and the Escape have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
The Honda Passport weighs 408 to 938 pounds more than the Ford Escape. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Passport the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 106 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Escape has not been tested, yet.
The engine in the Passport has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Escape have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 4 places higher in reliability than Ford.
The Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 99 more horsepower (280 vs. 181) and 72 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 190) than the Escape’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder. The Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 30 more horsepower (280 vs. 250) than the Escape’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Passport is faster than the Ford Escape:
Escape turbo 3-cyl.
Escape turbo 4-cyl.
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Passport uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Escape with the 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Passport has 4.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Escape FWD’s standard fuel tank (19.5 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Passport has 3.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Escape AWD’s standard fuel tank (19.5 vs. 15.7 gallons).
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Passport, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Escape.
For better traction, the Passport has larger standard tires than the Escape (245/50R20 vs. 225/65R17). The Passport Touring/Elite’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Escape (265/45R20 vs. 225/65R17).
The Passport Sport/EX-L’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Escape’s standard 65 series tires. The Passport Touring/Elite’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Escape’s optional 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Passport has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Escape. The Escape’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
The Passport has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Escape doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Passport’s wheelbase is 4.2 inches longer than on the Escape (110.9 inches vs. 106.7 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Passport is 4.4 inches wider in the front and 5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Escape.
The Passport Elite AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Escape Titanium AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
For greater off-road capability the Passport has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Escape (8.1 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Passport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Passport uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Escape doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Passport Elite AWD is quieter than the Escape SE AWD (65 vs. 70 dB).
The Passport has 11.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Escape (115.9 vs. 104).
The Passport has .1 inches more front headroom, 3.9 inches more front hip room, 4.4 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom, 4 inches more rear hip room and 5.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Escape.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Passport’s rear seats recline. The Escape’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Passport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Escape with its rear seat up (41.2 vs. 37.5 cubic feet). The Passport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Escape with its rear seat folded (77.9 vs. 65.4 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Passport’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Escape doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Passport. The Escape doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The Passport’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Escape’s (3500 vs. 2000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Ford Escape is only 3500 pounds. The Passport AWD offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.
The Passport’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Escape’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.
If the windows are left open on the Passport the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Escape can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Passport to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Escape doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.
When the Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Escape’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Passport Elite has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Escape offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Both the Passport and the Escape offer available heated front seats. The Passport Touring/Elite also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Escape.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Passport Elite keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Escape doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
The Passport has a 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. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Escape Titanium.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Honda Passport Elite has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Escape doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
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