Crossover & Midsize

Skip the Ford Escape and Pick One of These Alternatives Instead

Considering the burgeoning mid-size crossover category is currently filled with Japanese and Korean contenders, the 2021 Ford Escape offers buyers a unique package. In addition to being American-made, the Escape offers a sophisticated look, a roomy interior, and easy-to-use electronics making it user-friendly for almost everyone that sits in it.

But in case you might be stuck on choosing the Ford Escape, but are wondering what other options you may have, here are a few alternatives that could make you skip picking Ford’s popular crossover altogether.

Why should you skip on the Ford Escape?

Don’t get us wrong, the 2021 Ford Escape is a great vehicle, but it lacks some of the fundamentals that could make it a better competitor in its segment. According to Consumer Reports, the Ford Escape has a “below average” predicted reliability score and while its turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, three-cylinder engine is responsive, they found that it emits an annoying vibration at lower speeds and were only able to muster 26 mpg in combined driving out of it, compared to its EPA-estimated 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway ratings.

Consumer Reports also noted that the Escape exudes some sporty driving characteristics that “gives drivers confidence” and makes it fun to drive, however, they also found the ride to be less comfortable than its rivals. Additionally, although the Escape’s interior controls are easy to use, Consumer Reports found that its interior materials are “flimsy” and the plastic steering wheel feels cheap.

2021 Ford Escape driving up a hill
2021 Ford Escape | Ford

RELATED: Never Buy A Used Mazda Tribute Instead of a Ford Escape

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is a good alternative to the Ford Escape

One of the best alternatives to the Ford Escape that we can definitely recommend is the 2021 Mazda CX-5. Redesigned for the 2017 model, the current CX-5 boasts an upscale look and feel inside and out, agile handling, and excellent reliability scores from Consumer Reports. And although its interior controls might have a bit more of a learning curve for new users, the Mazda CX-5’s interior is nicely laid out and the materials the automaker used make it feel like it’s from a class above.

A metallic red 2021 Mazda CX-5 travels on a wet two-lane highway lined by metal guardrails and green mountains
2021 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda North American Operations

The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a good under-the-radar choice

You probably thought we were going to recommend the Honda CR-V, weren’t you? We wouldn’t blame you for thinking that, however, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a good choice under-the-radar choice as well. As another American contender in the wading pool of Japanese crossover, the Equinox presents a great value proposition as it boasts a comfortable ride, a quiet interior with a generous amount of room for up to five occupants, in addition to a comprehensive infotainment system.

A photo of the Chevrolet Equinox outdoors.
2021 Chevrolet Equinox | Chevrolet

RELATED: Who Should Buy a 2020 Ford Escape Over the 2020 Ford Edge?

The 2021 Subaru Forester can offer you a little more ruggedness

In the case that you do want another Japanese alternative to the Ford Escape that’s not a Honda or a Toyota, then we recommend the 2021 Subaru Forester. The Forester was redesigned for the 2019 model year when it received a new look inside and out in addition to a peppy engine and a host of standard driver-assist features via the brand’s Eyesight suite.

Additionally, the Forester comes standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system with different drive modes that can assist you in getting out of the slipperiest and deepest types of terrain.

A green 2020 Subaru Forester compact crossover SUV parked on a sunny, tree-lined road
2020 Subaru Forester | Subaru of America, Inc.