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Wow, the competition among SUVs is getting wild. The 2021 Ford Escape just challenged the 2021 Jeep Cherokee with a head-to-head comparison. Ford Motor Company recommends shopping for a Ford Escape if you’re interested in the Cherokee, so let’s see how they compare. 

The 2021 Ford Escape vs. the 2021 Jeep Cherokee 

Ford released a video on YouTube that compares the 2021 Ford Escape and 2021 Jeep Cherokee in a head-to-head competition. They must feel pretty confident about the Escape if they’re using it to challenge the Cherokee. 

The video promotes the Ford Escape for having the highest brand loyalty, more legroom in the second row, more cargo space, impressive horsepower, towing capabilities, parallel parking assist, a motion-activated liftgate, intelligent all-wheel drive with five modes, pre-collision assist, and automatic braking. 

But let’s see how they really compare. The Ford Escape begins at about $25,555, and the Jeep Cherokee starts at around $27,210. The Escape gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and up to 34 mpg on the highway. The Cherokee gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and up to 31 mpg on the highway. So the Escape has a lower price and better fuel economy. 

Does the Escape or Cherokee have more power? 

A blue 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid driving
2021 Ford Escape Hybrid | Ford

The base engine in the 2021 Jeep Cherokee is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder option with 180 hp and 173 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. You can also upgrade to the 3.2-liter V6 for 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, the Cherokee can tow up to 4,500 lbs. 

The base engine in the 2021 Ford Escape is a 1.5-liter three-cylinder option with 180 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine pumps out 198 hp and 153 lb-ft of torque. It’s the hybrid option with an even better fuel economy. You can upgrade to the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for 250 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, the Escape can tow up to 3,500 lbs. 

Off-roading is where the Jeep Cherokee shines with a high ground clearance, intelligent 4×4, skid plates, high air in intakes for water fording, a traction management system, tow hooks, and more. But the Escape is still well equipped to get you to your campsite and can traverse inclement weather situations. 

The Escape easily zooms through traffic on the road, but the transmission can be jerky, and the handling is a little loose. The Cherokee has responsive steering and a sporty nature with smooth braking. 

Does the Cherokee or Escape have better features? 

A dark 2021 Jeep Cherokee parked in a grassy field
2021 Jeep Cherokee | Jeep

The 2021 Ford Escape provides a smooth and quiet ride. The 2021 Jeep Cherokee might be a little bumpier and has an average amount of wind and road noise. Also, the Cherokee’s climate control system is a little stronger. 

There are 34.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats of the Escape with up to 65.4 cubes. The Cherokee provides 25.8 cubic feet behind the second row with up to 54.7 cubic feet of cargo space. 

The base model of the Escape comes with a 4.2-inch radio, but you can upgrade to a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen. The Cherokee has a standard 7-inch screen that can be upgraded to an 8.4-inch screen. Both SUVs come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Both options come with standard forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring. But the Escape received higher safety ratings. 

The Escape serves as an affordable daily driver, but the Cherokee has a little more muscle and a taller ride height. The Escape also provides more space while the Cherokee has better tech reviews. You may want to test drive them both!