2021 Volvo XC60 vs. 2020 Ford Escape PHEV

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 PHEV doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC60 and Escape PHEV 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 PHEV’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 PHEV. 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 PHEV doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC60 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Escape PHEV doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the XC60’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Escape PHEV doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

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 PHEV only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the XC60 and the Escape PHEV 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.

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 PHEV’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 PHEV’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 PHEV.

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 PHEV.

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 PHEV’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 PHEV’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 PHEV’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 PHEV’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The XC60 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 7.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Escape PHEV (18.5 vs. 11.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 PHEV:

XC60 T8 P. E.

Escape PHEV

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 PHEV are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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

The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Escape PHEV’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Escape PHEV’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 PHEV’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 PHEV 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 PHEV (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 PHEV.

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 PHEV.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC60 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Escape PHEV 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 PHEV’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 PHEV 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 PHEV’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 PHEV 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 PHEV SEL/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 PHEV’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 PHEV 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 PHEV’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 PHEV doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

Both the XC60 and the Escape PHEV 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 PHEV.

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 PHEV doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 PHEV.

The XC60’s 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. The Escape PHEV doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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.

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