2021 Kia Seltos 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 2020/08/11

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Seltos are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Escape doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Seltos’ standard Downhill Brake Control allows you to creep down safely. The Escape doesn’t offer Downhill Brake Control.

Both the Seltos 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, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

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The Seltos comes with a full 5-year/60,000-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 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Seltos 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Escape. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Escape ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

© 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 2020/08/11

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Seltos’ 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 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked fourth.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 7 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

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The Seltos S 1.6T/SX’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 190) than the Escape’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder.

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 2020/08/11

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

Seltos

Escape

2WD

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

29 city/34 hwy

27 city/33 hwy

1.5 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

4WD

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

27 city/31 hwy

26 city/31 hwy

1.5 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./7-spd. Auto

25 city/30 hwy

23 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Seltos 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.

Transmission

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The Seltos has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Escape doesn’t offer a CVT.

The Seltos offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Escape doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Seltos Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Escape (235/45R18 vs. 225/65R17).

The Seltos 2.0L’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Escape’s standard 65 series tires. The Seltos Turbo’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Escape’s optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the Seltos’ turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the Escape’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.2 feet).

Chassis

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The Kia Seltos may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Ford Escape.

The Seltos is 8.5 inches shorter than the Escape, making the Seltos easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/08/11

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Seltos EX/SX has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Escape doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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