2021 Volvo XC60 vs. 2020 Ford Escape FHEV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The XC60’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Escape FHEV doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC60 and Escape FHEV have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC60 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 FHEV’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 Volvo XC60 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Ford doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Escape FHEV. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC60 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The XC60 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 FHEV doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC60 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Escape FHEV 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 XC60 and the Escape FHEV 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, driver alert monitors and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

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The XC60 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Escape FHEV’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Escape FHEV’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 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 FHEV.

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 XC60’s reliability 14 points higher than the Escape FHEV.

Engine

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The XC60 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 50 more horsepower (250 vs. 200) than the Escape FHEV’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The XC60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 116 more horsepower (316 vs. 200) than the Escape FHEV’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The XC60 T8’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 200 more horsepower (400 vs. 200) than the Escape FHEV’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 215 more horsepower (415 vs. 200) than the Escape FHEV’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the XC60 T5 is faster than the Ford Escape FHEV:

XC60

Escape FHEV

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.5 MPH

84.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 19 miles. The Escape FHEV must run its internal combustion engine to move.

The XC60 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 4.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Escape FHEV (18.5 vs. 14.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XC60’s standard fuel tank has 4.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Escape FHEV (18.8 vs. 14.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Escape FHEV:

XC60 T8 P. E.

Escape FHEV

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

11.9 inches

The XC60’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 FHEV are solid, not vented.

The XC60 stops shorter than the Escape FHEV:

XC60

Escape FHEV

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC60 has larger standard tires than the Escape FHEV (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Escape FHEV (265/35R22 vs. 225/65R17).

The XC60’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 FHEV’s standard 65 series tires. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Escape FHEV’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Escape FHEV. The XC60’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Escape FHEV.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC60 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Escape FHEV’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Escape FHEV doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC60’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Escape FHEV (112.8 inches vs. 106.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC60 is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Escape FHEV.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum handles at .87 G’s, while the Escape FHEV SE Sport 4x4 pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Escape FHEV SE Sport 4x4 (26.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The XC60 has 1.2 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Escape FHEV.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC60 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Escape FHEV with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 60.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC60 easier. The XC60’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Escape FHEV’s liftover is 27.9 inches.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC60. The Escape FHEV doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The XC60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Escape FHEV’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The XC60 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Escape FHEV 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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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Escape FHEV Titanium, the XC60 R-Design/Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The XC60’s front power windows 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 FHEV’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 XC60 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 lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Escape FHEV can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The XC60’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 FHEV’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 XC60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Escape FHEV doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the XC60’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Escape FHEV’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Escape FHEV doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC60 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Escape FHEV doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC60 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the XC60 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 FHEV’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The XC60’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 FHEV offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the XC60 and the Escape FHEV offer available heated front seats. The XC60 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Escape FHEV.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the XC60 Inscription keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Escape FHEV doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the XC60’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Escape FHEV doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The XC60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Escape FHEV.

The XC60 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 FHEV Titanium.

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 XC60, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford Escape FHEV isn't recommended.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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