2019 Ford Escape vs Toyota RAV4
In what is shaping up to be a real rivalry, the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 with the fresh paint of a new model year stand before us. In this article, we take a good look at each of these compact SUVs. The RAV4 was completely redesigned this year. Was it enough to edge out the Escape or has the Ford retained its standing among other compact sport utility vehicles? That's exactly what we'll find out in this comparison guide.
Acceleration: 2019 Ford Escape
If you're like us, the first thing you look for in an SUV is power. Leave the weak engines to the sedans. The engine lineup on the Ford Escape is a tour de force. We start with the base 168-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. If your budget allows, we recommend upgrading to a powerful 245-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. With this engine, the Ford Escape goes zero to 60 in about seven seconds. A 179-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo-four is also an option. All these powertrains are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Your engine options narrow with the Toyota RAV4. Instead of three to choose from, there's only one, a 203-horsepower four-cylinder. That's better than the Escape's base engine, but not as good as its turbocharged engines. The best the RAV4 can muster in terms of acceleration is zero to 60 mph in eight seconds, a full second slower than the Escape. All-wheel drive is available in both the RAV4 and Escape, and comes standard in the RAV4 adventure model.
Ride and Handling: 2019 Ford Escape
The Ford Escape's sporty handling is hard to beat. The steering is in harmony with your touch on the wheel and its smooth and comfortable ride makes sitting in the cabin a joy. While driving the Escape, you'll feel connected to the road, but that might translate to jostling on cobblestone and dirt paths.
The Toyota RAV4 is decently composed, smooth, and precise. But the RAV4 cannot compete with the Escape in terms of agility. Taken together with its engines, the Escape is the better compact SUV when you want to be flying down a leaf-strewn country highway. As seen on TV.
Price: 2019 Ford Escape
Lest you think you'll pay an arm and leg for the 2019 Ford Escape, or even just more than you would buying the RAV4, look at these prices. The Ford Escape this year starts at just $24,100. For that price, you get standard tech features like rearview camera, MyKey, the SYNC system with a 4.2-inch display screen, six-speaker audio system, and USB port. We recommend upgrading to the SYNC 3 system if it's in the budget. The top-tier Escape Titanium starts at $32,600 and offers all the coolest tech, plus that outstanding 245-horsepower engine.
The RAV4 starts $1400 higher than the starting price of the Escape. Its Entune infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, USB port, Siri Eyes Free, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot, and six-speaker audio system. Entune is better than SYNC, though SYNC 3 bests them both. There's more technology and smartphone integration features on the RAV4, but the Escape SE gives you all that plus a superior engine. The RAV4 tops out with the RAV4 Limited, which starts at $33,500. The Limited's tech lineup is very similar to that of the Escape Titanium, even while the Titanium has a much better engine. Overall, the Ford Escape gives you more bang for your buck.
We appreciate the RAV4's redesign, which has produced an improved compact SUV. But the Ford Escape still outdrives, outmaneuvers, and out-values the Toyota RAV4.