While you can see the same engine and dimension specs for every compact SUV here, for this comparison with the Escape, we've decided to define "top rivals" as those that the 2018 model was most frequently cross-shopped with: the 2019 Chevy Equinox, 2019 Honda CR-V, 2019 Nissan Rogue, 2019 Subaru Forester and 2019 Toyota RAV4. Also, for the purposes of this comparison, we're only looking at each vehicle's gasoline internal combustion engines, so we're leaving out the hybrid versions of the Escape, Rogue, RAV4 and the diesel Equinox. Now, let's check out the stats.
How big are they?
The 2020 Ford Escape is impressively light, coming in just 25 pounds heavier than the lightest Chevy Equinox. Matching the light weight is a lack of length, as the Escape is the shortest of the bunch. But it has the second longest wheelbase and the most width.
Despite having some exterior numbers that could translate into impressive interior room, the Escape comes up midpack for rear legroom, and second to last for cargo space just ahead of the Equinox. For rear legroom and cargo space behind the rear seats, the Honda CR-V is the clear champ, and for the maximum amount of cargo room, you should check out the Subaru Forester.
How do their engines and fuel economy compare?
When it comes to standard engines, all of the competition is very close in numbers, and they get there in very different ways. The 2020 Ford Escape takes the most unique path using the only three-cylinder engine in the class, but with 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, it's right on par with the CR-V, Rogue and Forester. The latter of those also has a unique take on propulsion with the only flat engine of the group. But the most powerful of the standard engines is the 203-horsepower unit under the hood of the RAV4, and the Equinox's turbo four-cylinder makes the most torque at 203. Combined fuel economy is nearly identical for all of these vehicles, too, with the turbo Honda CR-V and the naturally aspirated Toyota RAV4 eking out a slight edge with 30 mpg. Unfortunately, we don't know where the Escape lands because fuel economy hasn't yet been announced.
But if you really want some gusto from your crossover, you'll need to go with either the Escape or the Equinox, the only vehicles to offer substantially more powerful optional gas engines. Of the two, we give the edge to the Escape because, while its down 2 horsepower, it has 15 more pound-feet of torque.
Worth noting is the Subaru Forester is the only one of these vehicles to have all-wheel drive standard. To get it on any of the other vehicles will cost extra and often drops fuel economy by one or two mpg.
Another thing to keep in mind is what transmission each vehicle uses. Although CVT transmissions have come a long way, they can still occasionally be buzzy and create a "rubber-band" sensation has it holds rpms. The Subaru, Honda and Nissan all use CVTs. If you don't like that sensation, you'll want to go with the Ford, Chevy or Toyota, all of which use more conventional automatic transmissions.
How much do they cost?Ford hasn't released pricing information for the Escape yet. That info will likely come closer to the crossover's on-sale date this fall. But among the other crossovers, the one with the lowest base price is the Equinox at $24,995. The most expensive base crossover is the RAV4 with a starting price of $26,595. The Forester, Rogue and CR-V all fall in the $25,000 price bracket.
ConclusionsThe 2020 Ford Escape looks like it will certainly be competitive if not class-leading based on the numbers alone. As such, it will occupy a place similar to the outgoing model. But the numbers are only part of the picture. A full conclusion will only be possible once we've driven it. So stay tuned for a full review from us in the near future, and be sure to check out our reviews (linked below) of the other crossovers for more detailed observations.
How they compare in pictures
2020 Ford Escape