If you were to ask the average person what they look for in a car, they'd probably say something like this: "A fair price for a good car, one that's fun to drive and has the best technology to make my road trip/commute fun." Is that too much to ask? We don't think so. In this article, we dive into the most popular class of automobiles in America: the compact sport utility vehicle. Compact SUVs have broad appeal and should make the average person happy. The Ford Escape and Honda CR-V are two worthy contenders in the class. In this comparison guide, we're going to take a good, long look at the features that contribute to a great all-around car.
Price: 2019 Ford Escape
The American economy is doing well, but wages for the average American remain stagnant. Let's take a look at prices, which is becoming more and more of a consideration for the average consumer. The 2019 Ford Escape starts at just $24,105. For that price, we get standard features like a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, cloth upholstery, six-way manually adjustable driver's seat, rearview camera, MyKey, and Ford's voice-activated infotainment system with 4.2-inch display screen, six-speaker audio system, and USB port. We recommend springing for the SE trim level to add SYNC3, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, but it's your call.
By comparison, the 2019 Honda CR-V starts at just a bit more: $24,350, and sports even fewer standard features: rearview camera, 5-inch audio system display screen, Bluetooth, USB port, and four speakers. Again, we recommend the next trim level to get those infotainment and smartphone integration options that'll make your commute a pleasant experience. But at that trim level, the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V diverge even more in price, to Ford's advantage.
Reliability: 2019 Ford Escape
You don't want your car breaking down. Nobody needs that kind of aggravation. JD Power and Associates predicts the reliability of your car-how often it'll need repairs above the regular maintenance every car should receive-with their scoring system. The 2019 Ford Escape scored an above-average score of 3.5 out of 5. That means the Escape does better than most cars. On the other hand, the Honda CR-V got a 3 flat out of 5, meaning it's merely average. Chances are, you'll read more repair shop magazines with a CR-V than with an Escape.
Infotainment: 2019 Ford Escape
On all trim levels but the base one, the 2019 Ford Escape offers the SYNC3 infotainment system. This system is hailed as one of the best, both quick and easy-to-use. While Honda's system is good, users find it to be a little less responsive.
Acceleration and Handling: 2019 Ford Escape
If you want a sportier ride, the 2019 Ford Escape delivers more. Any one of its three engine options is great for the price. And the Escape can sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 7 seconds flat. Sporty handling means taking corners can be fun, with good road feedback to make you feel connected. Meanwhile, the CR-V comes in second in an all-out race, going zero to 60 in 7.5 seconds. And its ride is more composed, meaning the Honda handles well but doesn't feel sporty. If we were to bet, we think the average person would want the 2019 Ford Escape.