Comfort, dependability, and modest power, hallmarks of the compact SUV, are no better demonstrated than in the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4. Naturally, Canada’s #1 and #2 SUVs have a lot in common.
Escape S (MSRP $24,599)
RAV4 LE (MSRP $27,455)
|11.1/8.1 (city/hwy)||10/7.8 (city/hwy)|
|2.5-liter iVCT I-4||2.5-liter Dual VVT-i I-4|
|6-Speed SelectShift® Automatic Transmission||Adaptive Cruise Control|
|AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™||Lane Departure Alert|
|5-Star Front, 5-Star Side Crash Test Rating||4-Star Front/ 5-Star Side|
Based on the table above, the Escape and RAV4 are evenly matched. They’re nearly identical in performance categories. Further, their engines are the same size which corresponds to similar fuel economy and horsepower. In terms of standard equipment, they have different strengths. Although, when you add optional equipment, those differences will disappear quickly. Cargo space, too, is essentially the same (differences of approximately 0.1m3).
Unfortunately, I must disappoint you, but neither compact SUV is plainly the “best.” With so little to distinguish between the Escape and RAV4, crowning either one would be arbitrary. Each driver’s specific preferences will break the deadlock. Some buyers admire the Escape’s stellar safety record and performance technology. Others will appreciate the RAV4’s driver-assistance package with lane departure alerts and steering assistance. The SUV that’s right for you will depend on how you use it.
Ultimately, the Escape and RAV4 both offer a great driving experience. Neither vehicle will disappoint buyers. However, in saving around $3,000, Escape buyers may feel like they’re getting a little more value for their investment.