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Are you a compact crossover SUV shopper that’s thinking about getting either the Toyota RAV4 or the Ford Escape? While the Escape has some strong points, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has one giant strength over the 2023 Ford Escape: off-road capabilities.

2023 Toyota RAV4 has greater off-road capabilities than the 2023 Ford Escape

Front angle view of blue 2023 Toyota RAV4 crossover SUV
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Off-road-capable SUVs are all the rage these days. Drivers long to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy some wilderness adventures. And for off-road driving, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is better than the 2023 Ford Escape. 

While both crossover SUVs offer an all-wheel drive system, the one in the RAV4 is more advanced. As a result, it provides better traction for driving on rough terrain. Also, the RAV4 has higher ground clearance than the Escape (up to 8.6 vs. 7.8 inches). With higher ground clearance, it can more effectively and safely travel over uneven surfaces.

Furthermore, unlike the Escape, the RAV4 has off-road models. This includes the TRD Off-Road, Adventure, and Woodland Edition trims. The most capable of these models is the TRD Off-Road, which has a TRD-tuned suspension, protective skid plates, a multi-terrain select feature, and all-terrain tires

2023 RAV4 is also better for driving in snow and on poor-quality roads than the 2023 Escape

Front angle view of blue 2023 Ford Escape crossover SUV
2023 Ford Escape | Ford

Even if all of your excursions are on-road, the off-road capabilities of the 2023 Toyota provide other benefits over the 2023 Ford Escape. For one, the crossover SUV is better for driving in adverse weather conditions, such as snowy or icy roads. This makes the RAV4 a preferable choice for those that live in a place with harsh winter weather.

The off-road capabilities of the RAV4 are also helpful for driving on poor-quality roads. Sooner or later, most drivers encounter roads with cracks, broken concrete, and potholes. 

Other ways the Toyota RAV4 is better than the Ford Escape

There are other ways the 2023 RAV4 is better than the 2023 Escape. This includes a more powerful base engine. The RAV4’s base-level 2.5-liter four-cylinder generates 203 horsepower, compared to 181 horsepower for the Escape’s turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder. 

Also, there’s the potent RAV4 Prime model. It features a plug-in hybrid powertrain, which delivers 308 horsepower and sports car-like acceleration. In comparison, the most powerful engine that the Escape offers is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which produces 250 horsepower.

Additionally, the RAV4 is more maneuverable — with a turning circle as low as 36.1 feet, compared to 38.4 feet for the Escape. Plus, the RAV4 has slightly more storage space. It offers a total cargo capacity of 69.8 cu-ft, while the Escape has up to 65.4 cu-ft.

Furthermore, all RAV4 models have a complimentary maintenance plan. Good for two years or 25,000 miles, the plan provides free coverage for oil changes, topping off the fluids, multi-point inspections, and tire rotations. However, the Escape doesn’t offer a free maintenance program.

With its superior off-road capabilities, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has a big strength over the 2023 Ford Escape. The off-road prowess is something to keep in mind for crossover SUV shoppers — especially those that enjoy outdoor adventures.


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