2017 Ford Escape vs. 2017 Toyota RAV4

SUVs are perfect for families or for weekend warriors that want to go into the mountains to camp. Either way, the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 are two of the best compact SUVs out there, but how can you choose between them?

Price

Price is a huge factor for anyone when they purchase a new vehicle. An auto payment can take up a huge chunk of your budget. Ford and Honda are both known for making fairly inexpensive options, and that’s still true with these two vehicles.

Of the two, the RAV4 is the more expensive with a starting MSRP of $24,910. However, it isn’t much more than its competitors, with Ford listing the Escape at a starting MSRP of $23,750. At first, $1,160 seems like a lot, but in a 60-month auto loan, before taxes and fees, it only breaks down to about an extra $20 per month.

Fuel Economy

SUVs are known for being gas guzzlers, which can turn off some consumers. It’s natural for buyers to be concerned about how much fuel economy their new vehicle gets. In the past, Ford hasn’t focused on producing vehicles that achieve high gas mileage, but that’s changing.

The Ford Escape manages 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with a 1.5-liter engine. If you upgrade to the 2.0-liter, it gets 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The Toyota RAV4 isn’t too far behind with 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The fuel economy here is close enough to not really be a huge factor.

Cargo Space

SUVs can easily transform from people haulers to cargo haulers. Whether you’re a family person or need space for your camping gear, you have to know how much cargo space you can get out of both vehicles. In this competition, Toyota beats Ford.

With the seats up, the Toyota gets 38.4 cubic feet of space, while the Ford gets just 34.3 cubic feet. After folding down the seating, the RAV4 gets a massive 73.4 cubic feet. While the Escape doesn’t have a paltry amount of room, it only gets 67.8 cubes of space with the seats down.

Powertrain

Which has more power? That may be another question on some driver’s minds, and it makes sense. The Escape S is comes standard with a 2.5L iVCT engine that gets168 hp and 170 pound-feet of torque. Drivers do have the option to upgrade to a 1.5L EcoBoost with a little more oomph, or a 2.0-liter Ecoboost engine which produces 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. While that does give you more power, it’ll cost more, and your gas mileage will take a small hit.

On the other hand, Toyota equipped all RAV4 models with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It gets 176 horsepower and 176 pound-foot of torque. That’s not a lot – though it’s a little more than the standard Escape engine. Moreover, an efficient seven-speed automatic transmission makes good use of the power the engine does produce. It’s been clocked going 0 to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds, which isn’t bad considering the types of vehicle we’re looking at. If power is your concern, the RAV4 is the better choice, unless you feel like upgrading to the top-tier engine on the Escape.

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