U.S. News compares it with one of its rivals, the Honda CR-V. The Escape Hybrid comes out on top, but why?
What to expect with the 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid
The 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid has plenty of room in the cabin with a decent amount of cargo space. However, storage is a bit smaller than what the gas-powered Escape offers. You’ll find some quality interior materials, but unfortunately, there are cheap materials mixed in. It also has one of the easiest infotainment systems to use.
Powering it up is a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor and a continuously variable transmission. This combination produces 200 hp total. The plug-in variant with the same setup generates a total of 221 hp. Ford’s Escape Hybrid has the front-wheel drive standard. You can opt for the all-wheel drivetrain, but it does cost more.
The Escape Hybrid comes in three different trim levels. The base is the SE, which starts at $27,605 and offers second-row sliding seats and Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 technology. Upgrade to the Hybrid SEL, which costs $30,200 MSRP, and you’ll get Halogen fog lamps, ActiveX seating material, and reverse sensing system, according to Ford.
The top-of-the-line trim, the Titanium, starts at an MSRP of $33,300 and gets you Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 Assist, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, and the available Active Park Assist 2.0.
What you’ll get with the Honda CR-V Hybrid
Under the hood of the Honda CR-V Hybrid is a 2.0-liter Inline four-cylinder gas engine combined with two electric motors. Paired with it is a continuously variable transmission. Together they can produce approximately 212 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. The CR-V offers a composed ride and smooth handling with little to no body lean.
Honda installs a smooth regenerative braking system that works much like the friction ones seen with the gas-powered SUVs. The CR-V has three levels of regeneration that you access through steering wheel-mounted paddles.
Honda’s base model, the EX starts around $30,500 and comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, eight-speaker stereo system, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, and heated front seats to name just a few. The EX-L is $33,150 and offers leather-trimmed seats, a heated steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a power liftgate.
The CR-V Hybrid Touring model is the top-of-the-line version that starts around $36,350. This model adds navigation, a nine-speaker stereo system, wireless device charging, rain-sensing wipers, and a hands-free liftgate.
What put the Ford Escape Hybrid on top?
The Ford Escape Hybrid beats out the Honda CR-V Hybrid in a few different ways. The first one is its fuel economy ratings. The Ford SUV can get 44 mpg on city roads with its front-wheel-drive version and 43 mph with its all-wheel-drive model.
Of course, if you choose the plug-in version, you could get up to 100 MPGe. The Honda CR-V comes with all-wheel drive as standard, and it gets 40 mpg in the city and 35 mpg when traveling on the highway.
Another strength of the Escape Hybrid is its infotainment system, which is user-friendly for drivers. The CR-V Hybrid is unimpressive and frustrating to use. U.S. News reports it lags, is unintuitive, and can require maneuvering through several screens to perform an action at times. This is annoying as it tends to keep your eyes off the road for too long.
Ford also offers a few more standard safety features in the Escape Hybrid than the CR-V Hybrid offers. You can get lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rearview camera, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, and post-collision braking. You can also get the SOS post-crash alert system, forward collision warning, curve control, and automatic high-beam headlights.
The CR-V Hybrid only offers adaptive cruise control, rearview camera, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and automatic high-beam headlights. Front and rear parking sensors are available.
Both hybrids are pretty similar, and each one has something good to offer consumers. However, the Ford Escape Hybrid model has just a bit more for your money.