2023 Toyota RAV4 Beats 2023 Ford Escape in 5 Key Areas

Consumers have many choices for the compact crossover SUV segment, including the highly popular Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. Find out how the two crossover SUVs stack up in this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Ford Escape comparison. With its numerous advantages, the RAV4 beats the Escape in five key areas. 

2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Ford Escape

Front angle view of Cavalry Blue 2023 Toyota RAV4 crossover SUV
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

In this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Ford Escape comparison, we evaluated multiple areas. This includes performance, gas mileage, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, and price.

RAV4 vs. Escape: Performance

Front angle view of red 2023 Ford Escape
2023 Ford Escape | Ford

For performance, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has a higher base engine horsepower output and maximum horsepower output than the 2023 Ford Escape. Engine options for the RAV4 include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (203 horsepower), a hybrid (219 horsepower), and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) with the RAV4 Prime (308 horsepower). 

In comparison, the Escape offers a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine (181 horsepower), a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (250 horsepower), a hybrid (210 horsepower), and a plug-in hybrid (210 horsepower).

Also, with its tighter turning circle (as low as 36.1 vs. 38.4 feet), the RAV4 is more maneuverable than the Escape.

RAV4 vs. Escape: Gas mileage 

For efficiency, the fully gas-powered RAV4 has an estimated fuel economy of up to 30 combined mpg, while the RAV4 Hybrid has a gas mileage of up to 40 combined mpg. Also, the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid has a fuel efficiency of 94 combined MPGe when in electric-only mode and 38 combined mpg in hybrid mode. 

In comparison, the fully gas-powered Escape gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 30 combined mpg, and the Escape Hybrid gets a fuel economy of up to 41 combined mpg. Additionally, the Escape PHEV has a fuel efficiency of 105 combined MPGe when in electric mode and 40 combined mpg in hybrid mode. The Escape PHEV is the most efficient of all these models.

RAV4 vs. Escape: Towing

The 2023 RAV4 and 2023 Escape are evenly matched for towing. Both crossover SUVs have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

RAV4 vs. Escape: Off-road capabilities

The RAV4 is better than the Escape for off-road use. Both crossover SUVs offer a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system. However, the RAV4 has higher ground clearance (up to 8.6 vs. 7.8 inches) for driving over rugged terrain. Also, unlike the Escape, the RAV4 has off-road-focused models with the TRD Off-Road, Woodland Edition, and Adventure trims.

RAV4 vs. Escape: Safety

The RAV4 and Escape are safe vehicles. For the previous model year, both crossover SUVs earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

RAV4 vs. Escape: Passenger and cargo space

Which crossover SUV is bigger: the 2023 RAV4 or the 2023 Escape? The Escape provides more passenger space, with a total passenger volume of 103 cu-ft, compared to 98.9 cu-ft for the RAV4. However, the RAV4 offers more storage space, with a maximum cargo capacity of 69.8 cu-ft, compared to 65.4 cu-ft for the Escape.

RAV4 vs. Escape: Warranty coverage

For warranty coverage, both the RAV4 and Escape are backed by a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. However, unlike the Escape, the RAV4 has a free maintenance plan, with two years or 25,000 miles of coverage.

RAV4 vs. Escape: Price

Which crossover SUV costs more: the 2023 RAV4 or the 2023 Escape? The starting price of the 2023 RAV4 ranges from $27,575 MSRP for the LE trim up to $45,460 MSRP for the RAV4 Prime XSE trim. In comparison, the starting price of the 2023 Escape ranges from $27,500 MSRP for the Base trim up to $38,500 MSRP for the PHEV trim.

2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Ford Escape: Which crossover SUV is better?

In this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Ford Escape comparison, the RAV4 has advantages in five key areas. This includes advantages for a higher base engine and maximum horsepower output, maneuverability, off-road capabilities, cargo space, and a free maintenance plan. Conversely, advantages for the 2023 Escape include passenger space and higher fuel economy for the plug-in hybrid model. 

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