The compact SUV class gets more and more competitive with each new year. Still, there are a few models that consistently stand out like the Toyota RAV4 as well as the Ford Escape. The RAV4 is known for being a versatile crossover but you might be surprised by the Ford Escape’s key features. Here we will help you pick between these two popular 2020 SUVs.
Performance and capability
So, the RAV4 comes with more power than the Escape, however, the Escape feels sportier, depending on the engine you get anyway. The Escape comes with a standard turbocharged EcoBoost three-cylinder engine that makes a180 horsepower. This engine helps the Escape move quickly and efficiently. However, the available 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates a 250 hp and 275 pound-feet of torque steal the show.
With the RAV4, you get a 203-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and 184 pound-feet of torque. This SUV provides adequate speed but some auto critics say that the RAV4 doesn’t offer enough torque to help you push forward quickly after a complete stop. Some also complain that the RAV4’s engine is too loud. Even so, it’s still a smooth enough ride.
Both the Escape and the RAV4 boast some of the best fuel economy ratings for the small SUV class. The Escape gets a combined 30 mpg and the RAV4 gets about 31 mpg overall. Both of these SUVs are also available as hybrids.
Cabin comfort and infotainment
Compared to the Escape, the RAV4 feels slightly more upscale on the inside. The RAV4 comes with an attractive looking cloth upholstery that’s durable and comfortable. There’s also a sizeable amount of head- and legroom. Our main critique here is that the RAV4’s seats could be a tad more supportive.
The Escape offers a comfortable and spacious cabin too. It’s main drawback though is that it’s heavy on the plastic finishings. You can make your Escape feel fancier with faux leather or genuine leather.
When it comes to infotainment, the RAV4 wins out here too. The RAV4 comes with a fine 7-inch touchscreen display, a wifi hotspot, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. With the Escape, you get a standard 4.2-inch display screen and that’s about it. To get more modern infotainment features, you would have to upgrade to the SYNC 3 system.
So far, this year’s RAV4 has been recalled twice for issues related to its engine and suspension. The 2020 Escape has been recalled once for its rear-seat assembly. Still, both SUVs have earned good crash-test scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named them both Top Safety Picks. Both of these SUVs also come with a ton of advanced safety features including forward-collision warning and lane keep assist. What’s a little awkward on the Escape though is that it displays its safety features on the dashboard, and not the windshield as other models do.
The final verdict
Technically, the RAV4 is a better value. It comes with adequate power, lots of comforts, and standard tech features. However, if you want more available power and ruggedness, the Escape might be for you. Plus, critics like J.D. Power gave the Escape a much higher reliability rating.