Some people want versatility from their sport utility vehicle. But others want to feel the pulse-pounding power of a machine that hasn't forgotten its rugged roots. In this comparison guide, we'll pit the 2019 Ford Escape up against the Toyota RAV4. If you are level-headed and want perks like cargo room and good fuel economy, the RAV4 might be what you're looking for. But if you're looking for something a little more primal, a little more untamed, we suggest the Ford Escape as your next compact sport utility vehicle.
Acceleration: 2019 Ford Escape
Once upon a time, the only sport utility vehicles on the road were, you know, sporty. There's been an explosion of SUVs, many of which are small, timid creatures that have forgotten their roots and only resemble its forebears in shape. Not so with the Ford Escape. Hit the gas and witness the Ford Escape go zero to 60 in just 7.1 seconds. That's because of its optional 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine that unleashes 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Can you say vroom, vroom?
The RAV4 is consigned to being a hair behind. The Toyota takes a full 8 seconds to accelerate to 60 miles per hour and only has a single engine option for non-hybrid RAV4s, namely the 203-horsepower 2.5-liter inline-4 engine good for 184 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, despite its looks, the Toyota RAV4 stays one step behind.
Ride and Handling: 2019 Ford Escape
All the horsepower in the world won't make a car feel sporty if the suspension is shoddy and handling subpar. You won't complain with the 2019 Ford Escape. Critics hail this SUV as sporty, with firm suspension, responsive steering, and capable ride. Embrace the mountain pass and the winding country highway. The Ford Escape will deftly navigate them both, not to mention rule the passing lane.
To its credit, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 is a pretty nimble vehicle, with very little body roll on corners and a comfortable ride. Also, steering is pretty sharp. While the RAV4 is a little more comfortable and composed than the Escape, the RAV4 just can't compete with the Ford Escape in terms of overall agility.
Price: 2019 Ford Escape
All that power for not a lot of money. Starting at $24,105, the 2019 Ford Escape sits in the middle of the compact SUV pack in price but not performance. The starting price nets you the base engine, cloth upholstery, six-way manually adjustable driver's seat, rearview camera, MyKey, and Ford's SYNC infotainment system with 4.2-inch display screen, six-speaker audio system, and USB port.
Meanwhile, the Toyota RAV4 is $1400 more expensive, starting at $25,500. That bump in price makes the RAV4 more expensive than most other compact SUVs on the market. The list of starting features includes front-wheel drive, cloth upholstery, and the Entune infotainment system with 7-inch touch screen, USB port, Siri Eyes Free, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hot spot, and six-speaker audio system. As you can see, there is a little more to the RAV4 in terms of features, like a bigger touch screen and Wi-Fi, but we're not sure they're worth the extra money. As we go up the trim levels, the disparity remains, with the Escape being consistently more affordable at several price points.
If you want better performance at a better price, look no further than the nimble and powerful 2019 Ford Escape.