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Even after five years, most SUVs still have at least 100,000 good miles to go before you need to consider buying a replacement. The Ford Escape and Chevy Equinox are two of the most popular cars in the compact SUV segment, but which one is right for you? Let’s review the reliability, common complaints, and typical asking prices of these 2018 model year SUVs.

The 2018 Ford Escape is cheaper than the 2018 Chevy Equinox

J.D. Power says that most drivers pay between $15,040-$22,530 for a 2018 Ford Escape. The base engine is a 165-hp four-cylinder, while the range-topping Titanium model has a 245-hp turbocharged engine. If you opt for the SEL or Titanium trim, you’ll also get access to the SYNC 3 infotainment system with smartphone integration.

While the 2018 Chevy Equinox’s base trim is nearly as affordable, buying a used Premier model will likely cost over $25,000. Fully-loaded models have a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, navigation, and several advanced driver assistance systems. Every Equinox Premier has leather seats with a heating function for the front-seat passengers, LED headlights, and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen.

The 2018 Chevy Equinox also has more standard features than the Escape, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Per U.S. News, the Ford Escape’s standard infotainment display only measures 4.2 inches and has no touch controls. The Equinox L has a 7-inch touchscreen as standard equipment, plus Teen Driver technology and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Which 2018 SUV is more reliable?

J.D. Power gave the Ford Escape a reliability score of 80/100, while the Chevy Equinox has a slightly higher rating of 84/100. According to owner evaluation surveys, the Chevy Equinox also offers a better driving experience between the two SUVs. 

However, the 2018 Chevy Equinox has been included in more recalls than the Ford Escape. There is a fracture risk for both the right front driveshaft and the fuel pump flange on affected models. Some units might have compromised rear brake performance because there isn’t enough coating on the calipers. There’s also a risk of improperly tempered window glass on this Equinox, and some units were recalled because of a malfunctioning start/stop mechanism.

On the other hand, the 2018 Ford Escape was one of the millions of vehicles affected by the Takata airbag scandal. Shrapnel is released into the cabin once the airbags are deployed, an issue that can be life-threatening if not addressed. There’s also the risk of a brake fluid link if you don’t get the front hoses replaced. The 2018 Ford Escape is only included in one other recall concerning unstable bushings on the transmission’s shifter cable.

The Equinox has fewer owner complaints

Judging from CarComplaints data, this Chevy Equinox has no problems that could result in high repair bills. The most common issue is an illuminated Check Engine Light, which can reportedly be ignored in most cases. However, a handful of drivers had to have their car’s turbo engine serviced during cold weather.

The 2018 Ford Escape has a slightly higher volume of issues on CarComplaints, including several reports of engine misfires. A few unlucky owners had to replace their Escape’s engine at very low mileage, with the average repair costs totaling over $5,000. While less common, some users also dealt with peeling paint around the Escape’s windshield.

2018 Chevy Equinox vs. 2018 Ford Escape: The bottom line

While both of these used cars are similar in terms of powertrain options and price, we’d feel safer buying the 2018 Chevy Equinox. It’s slightly more dependable than the Ford Escape and has more features on any given trim. We’ve heard of Chevy Equinox models lasting up to 300,000 miles with routine maintenance, so it’s definitely worth your money.

Related Popular and Dependable SUVs From 2018 Under $40,000

Popular and Dependable SUVs From 2018 Under $40,000