Crossover & Midsize

Avoid the Ford Escape for the Mazda CX-5 Instead Says Consumer Reports

The Ford Escape is a crossover SUV that is undeniably popular. In fact, it has been for a long time. However, there may be alternatives that play out a little better. In fact, Consumer Reports recommends opting out of the Ford Escape to buy the 2020 Mazda CX-5 instead.

The 2020 Ford Escape like this one driving down a city street is not an SUV that Consumer Reports recommends.
2020 Ford Escape on the road | Photo via Ford

The 2020 Ford Escape received a full redesign, so we get the appeal. Still, there are reasons why Consumer Reports encourages buyers to purchase the Mazda CX-5 crossover SUV instead. This Ford favorite apparently falls short of the Mazda choice. Here’s why.

The side view of a red 2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD on a rainy city street
2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD side | Matthew Skwarczek

Ford Escape complaints

For Consumer Reports, the redesigned Ford Escape crossover SUV is one to avoid. The all-new 2020 Ford Escape isn’t necessarily a terrible product. However, it did garner some problematic complaints in reviews. For example, the “annoying vibration at low engine speeds” is enough to drown out the 26 miles per gallon CR saw the standard 1.5-liter turbo 3 cylinder powerplant return in the road tests.

“Ford redesigned the Escape for 2020, featuring fresh styling, new drivetrains, and advanced safety features that come standard.”

Consumer Reports
2020 Ford Escape crossover SUV driving in the desert at speed on the highway. It's not a car Consumer Reports recommends
2020 Ford Escape | Ford

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In addition, Consumer Reports found the ride to feel firm and less comfortable than competitors like the Mazda CX-5 crossover SUV. Sometimes a bit of a bump could also be felt during gear changes in the road test. Cabin materials are, unfortunately, reported to look and feel a little less upscale than expected.

Plus, the 2020 Ford Escape shows a below-average predicted reliability score. Consumer Reports recommends waiting a few more model years into this new generation before considering the purchase of an Escape. It also gives an example of a highly recommended alternative––the 2020 Mazda CX-5.

The Mazda CX-5––the Consumer Reports choice

Consumer Reports encourages buyers to look elsewhere. The Mazda CX-5 crossover SUV is an ideal option that offers comparably similar features. According to CR, the 2020 Mazda CX-5 gets power from an “unobtrusive powertrain.”

The 2.5-liter 4 cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission returns a lackluster 24 mpg average. It’s not bad, but not great either. That said, in the Consumer Reports review the handling of the Mazda CX-5 crossover SUV received praise for a “steady, compliant ride” that’s “among the best in its class.”

Consumer Reports recommends the 2020 Mazda CX-5 like this crossover SUV parked on street
2020 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

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“The cabin is quiet, and interior quality is substantial and looks attractive. Soft-touch surfaces, some detailed stitching, and chrome trim add to the interior ambiance.”

Consumer Reports

In addition, Consumer Reports appreciates the 2020 Mazda CX-5 over the 2020 Ford Escape for its comfortable seats in both the front and the rear. The only negative comments the review reveals are that the infotainment system takes some getting used to in terms of learning to operate. Also, “the rear and side visibility are a bit compromised.”

Crossover SUV competition

With a segment as dense and competitive as the crossover and SUV segment, it’s hard to choose between one or the other. If you are shopping for a two-row crossover, you may find yourself deciding between the Ford Escape crossover SUV and the Mazda CX-5. If so, this info gleaned from the Consumer Reports review may prove helpful.