2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vs. 2020 Ford Escape

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 2020/04/07

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Atlas Cross Sport 4Motion’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Escape doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium has a standard Overhead View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Escape only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Atlas Cross Sport and the Escape have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport weighs 537 to 1113 pounds more than the Ford Escape. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 2020/04/07

The Atlas Cross Sport comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Escape’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Escape’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Atlas Cross Sport for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Escape.

Reliability

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The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Escape’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Atlas Cross Sport’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Escape’s camshafts. If the Escape’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

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The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 54 more horsepower (235 vs. 181) and 68 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 190) than the Escape’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder. The Atlas Cross Sport’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 26 more horsepower (276 vs. 250) than the Escape’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Atlas Cross Sport has 3.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Escape FWD’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Atlas Cross Sport has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Escape AWD’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 15.7 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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

Atlas Cross Sport

Escape

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Escape are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Atlas Cross Sport has larger standard tires than the Escape (245/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Escape (265/45R21 vs. 225/65R17).

The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Escape’s standard 65 series tires. The Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Escape’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Atlas Cross Sport has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Escape. The Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Escape.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Atlas Cross Sport’s wheelbase is 10.6 inches longer than on the Escape (117.3 inches vs. 106.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas Cross Sport is 4.6 inches wider in the front and 5.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Escape.

For greater off-road capability the Atlas Cross Sport has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Escape (8 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Atlas Cross Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The Atlas Cross Sport has 8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Escape (112 vs. 104).

The Atlas Cross Sport has 3.9 inches more front shoulder room and 4.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Escape.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Atlas Cross Sport’s rear seats recline. The Escape’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Atlas Cross Sport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Escape with its rear seat up (40.3 vs. 37.5 cubic feet). The Atlas Cross Sport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Escape with its rear seat folded (77.8 vs. 65.4 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Atlas Cross Sport. The Escape doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Ford Escape is limited to 3500 pounds. The Atlas Cross Sport offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Atlas Cross Sport uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Escape uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The Atlas Cross Sport’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 Escape’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Atlas Cross Sport the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. The driver of the Escape can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Escape’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Atlas Cross Sport SEL to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Escape doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Atlas Cross Sport offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Escape doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Atlas Cross Sport SEL also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Atlas Cross Sport to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Escape doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Escape SE/SEL/Titanium.

When the Atlas Cross Sport SEL is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Escape’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Atlas Cross Sport and the Escape offer available heated front seats. The Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium 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 Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SE/SEL has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Escape doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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