2021 Volvo XC40 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 2020/10/27

The XC40’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Escape doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC40 and Escape have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC40 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Escape’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The XC40 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Escape doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the XC40’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Escape doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The XC40 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround 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 XC40 and the Escape have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC40 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 82 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Escape is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

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The XC40 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 XC40’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Escape’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo 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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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the XC40’s reliability 35 points higher than the Escape.

Engine

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The XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 6 more horsepower (187 vs. 181) and 31 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 190) than the Escape’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the XC40 T5 is faster than the Ford Escape turbo 3 cyl.:

XC40

Escape

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.4 sec

24.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

86 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

122 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/10/27

For better stopping power the XC40’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Escape:

XC40

Escape

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

The XC40 stops shorter than the Escape:

XC40

Escape

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

137 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 2020/10/27

For better traction, the XC40 has larger standard tires than the Escape (235/55R18 vs. 225/65R17). The XC40’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Escape (245/45R20 vs. 225/65R17).

The XC40’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 XC40’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Escape’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC40 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Escape. The XC40’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Escape.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is .6 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Escape.

The XC40 T5 R-Design AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Escape SE AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Escape (8.3 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The XC40 is 6.3 inches shorter than the Escape, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD is quieter than the Escape SE AWD (74 vs. 75 dB).

Passenger Space

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The XC40 has 1.3 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Escape.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XC40’s optional 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 XC40. The Escape doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The XC40’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 XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The XC40 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 XC40’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 XC40 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Escape can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The XC40’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 optional on the XC40 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.

Consumer Reports rated the XC40’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Escape’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The XC40’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Escape’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Escape doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC40 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Escape doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC40 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The XC40’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 XC40 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 XC40’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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 XC40 and the Escape offer available heated front seats. The XC40 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Escape.

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 2020/10/27

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC40, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford Escape isn't recommended.

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