2023 Ford Escape vs. 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 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 only slightly less expensive a starting MSRP of $27,975.  Ford lists the Escape’s starting MSRP as $28,000.

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 m7pg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway with a 1.5-liter engine. If you upgrade to theplug-in hybrid model, it bumps those numbersa all the way to 44 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The Toyota RAV4 isn’t too far behind with its 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway for the gas model or41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway with the hybrid powertrain. The fuel economy here is close enough though that it’s not really a make or break.

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 37.5 cubic feet. After folding down the seating, the RAV4 gets a massive 69.8 cubic feet. While the Escape doesn’t have a paltry amount of room, it only gets 65.4 cubes of space with the seats down.


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 1.5L four-cylinder engine that gets 181 hp and 190 pound-feet of torque. Drivers do have the option to upgrade a 2.0-liter Ecoboost engine which produces 250 horsepower and 280 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 203 horsepower and 184 pound-foot of torque. That’s not a lot – though it’s a little more than the standard Escape engine. Moreover, an efficient eight-speed automatic transmission makes good use of the power the engine does produce. It’s been clocked going 0 to 60 mph in 9.1 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.

(Images via Ford and Toyota)