Out of the two, which one should you buy? It’s challenging to decide. Well, U.S. News & World Report put the two together to see how well each stood up to the other. Let’s see what each one offers and then see which one comes out on top.
Categories the Ford Escape won
The Ford Escape beat out the RAV4 in the price, acceleration, handling, reliability, and safety categories. The 2020 model brought a whole new redesign for the Escape. Its spacious interior, sportier handling, and near-perfect reliability scores helped squeeze it out on top on the list that U.S. News & World Report put together.
When it comes to price, the Escape won out with an MSRP of $24,885 for the base model. For more features, the Titanium model is the best choice, and it runs $36,835, which comes with AWD and the four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. The RAV4 base model has a price tag of $25,950.
Ford offers more pep with the engines in the Escape.
The base model comes with a three-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost that puts out 180 hp. You can also opt for a four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 250 hp. The RAV4 only has one motor option, and it’s a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that runs with 203 hp.
U.S. News thought the Escape was more fun to drive with its sportier handling and comfortable ride. Reliability scores given to the Ford were near perfect at 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power. The RAV4 only received an average score for reliability.
Categories the Toyota RAV4 won
Toyota’s RAV4 won in several categories as well. It beat out the Escape in interior quality, technology, cargo space, and fuel economy. Toyota didn’t make any significant changes this year, but that’s because they gave it a redesign in 2019.
RAV4’s interior materials are of high quality. Many of the surfaces were soft to the touch and aesthetically pleasing, while the Escape used tons of cheap, hard plastics throughout the cabin. Toyota won with its technology offerings in the RAV4 as well. The 2020 model comes standard with a 7-inch display screen, Wi-Fi hotspot, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, USB ports, and voice recognition.
Cargo space is much better in the RAV4 with 37.6 cubic feet of storage. If you fold down the rear seats, you could extend that to 69.8 cubic feet. The Ford Escape only has 33.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats.
Toyota also beat out the Escape with an EPA rating of 35 mpg on the highway with the front-wheel-drive model. For the AWD version, though, the RAV4 could still get 34 mpg, which you rarely see. The Escape can’t compete with that. It can handle 33 highway mpg, but it can only muster 31 mpg on the highway when it comes to AWD.
Which one is really better?
Using their scores, U.S. News chose the Escape as the winner due to winning the reliability, safety, and price categories. While that sounds great, it depends on what people are looking for in a vehicle.
Fuel economy, cargo space, technology, and interior quality seem to be the most popular items owners look for when buying an SUV. Out of the two in this head-on competition, the Toyota RAV4 takes the prize in all of those categories.
It has more cargo space to store all your items, more standard technological features than most compact SUVs, and what more can you ask for when it can get 34 mpg on the highway with the All-wheel drive train?
In the end, both vehicles have proven their worth in different categories. But the Toyota RAV4 wins by a hair in the features that matter most to SUV buyers.