In 2000, the Ford Motor Company introduced the Ford Escape as a sports utility vehicle (SUV) to the consumer market. Designed as a compact crossover SUV unit, the first generation of the Escape was the result of joint development with the Japanese automaker, Mazda. The Mazda Tribute, along with Ford’s Mercury Mariner, are just two of twenty cars similar to the Ford Escape. Although Ford’s compact crossover SUV today has undergone a few design changes over the years that may not have so much in common with the Mazda models nowadays, there are still enough similarities to keep them in the same league together as automobiles.
While the 2013 model of the Ford Escape was designed to unify with its European Ford Kuga model, the fourth generation saw the North American Escape models share Kuga’s identity more closely. Aside from minor cosmetics, these two cars have so very much in common. In North America, the Kuga is the fourth generation Ford Escape. Prior to this, from 2001 until 2008, there was also the Ford Maverick, which was the predecessor to the Ford Kuga for the Asian and European markets.
Today’s Ford Escape
Today, the Ford Escape has entered its fourth generation in 2019. It also serves the next generation of the Ford Kuga outside North America. The fourth generation offers four new engine-transmission combinations. This includes a plug-in gas-electric hybrid that can travel thirty-seven miles on electricity alone with a miles per gallon efficiency rating of one hundred miles. There’s also the conventional hybrid transmission, as well as two turbocharged engines attached to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline three-cylinder. It has a 181-horsepower output and a 190-pound-per-foot torque performance level.
This is paired with either an eight-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. There is also a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine that’s capable of 250 horsepower and 280-pound-per-foot torque output. This, however, comes only in an all-wheel drivetrain. As for the Escape Hybrid, the all-new plug-in hybrids are powered by a 2-5-liter gasoline inline-four that runs on the Atkinson cycle, along with a pair of electric motors and a planetary gearset that combines these power sources.
It also allows for gear-ratio changes as they operate as a continuously variable automatic transmission. The standard hybrid battery pack has a 1.1-kilowatt-per-hour rating. The plug-in hybrid is much larger at 14.4 kWh. They’re both lithium-ion packs that fit under the car’s floor. The combined horsepower for the standard hybrid is measured at 200 horsepower while the plug-in models are at 209 horsepower. The Ford Escape comes in five different trim levels, namely S, SE, SE Sport, SEL, and Titanium.
As of 2019, the Ford Escape has a 105.9-inch wheelbase and is measured at 178.1 inches long and 72.4 inches wide (without mirrors). It stands 66.3 inches tall and weighs anywhere between 3,515 to 3,755 pounds. The weight is based on the vehicle’s powertrain. The base price of a Ford Escape starts at $27,185.00 USD. Which among the twenty cars similar to the Ford Escape comes closest to it as a worthy competitor?
1. Buick Envision
Starting at $36,995.00 USD, the Buick Envision is a compact crossover SUV, just like the Ford Escape. Standing at 64.60 inches high, it’s a bit shorter than the Escape It is longer, however, at 182.50 inches in length with a wheelbase of 109.40 inches. It’s also wider at 74.10 inches. The cargo room is in Ford’s favor as the Envision has a capacity of 52.70 cubic square feet. Like the Escape, it has the front-wheel drive as a standard. All-wheel drive is also available as the Envision has more than one trim model to choose from.
2. Chevrolet Equinox
Chevrolet is well known for its impressive lineup of SUVs. Its Equinox fits in the category of crossover SUV units and has been one of the models often compared to the Ford Escape as a competitor. Chevrolet and Ford have been rivaling each other for as long as both companies existed. When Equinox made its debut with a 2005 model, it gave the Ford Escape a run for its money. As of 2018, Equinox has entered into its third generation with a significant makeover that was due.
Just like the Escape, the Equinox has three different four-cylinder engines available. They also have gasoline turbo units that are 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter. The 1.5-liter has a horsepower performance of 170 horsepower while the 2.0-liter is measured at 252 horsepower. The base price of a Chevrolet Equinox goes for $25,800.00 USD. The maximum cargo space of the latest Equinox series measures 63.9 cubic square feet. With the Ford Escape, it’s up to 65.4 cubic square feet behind the first row. The hybrid model is at 60.8 square inches.
3. Dodge Hornet
According to sites like Car Buzz, the 2023 Dodge Hornet is the first new Dodge model in over a decade. Despite the secrecy behind the compact crossover SUV, what is known about the Hornet is it shares the same underpinnings as the Alfa Romeo Tonale and Jeep Compass. The story has it the Hornet will rival the likes of Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and the Ford Escape. Will it?
4. Ford Kuga
The third and fourth generation models of the Ford Escape share Ford Kuga’s basic design and schematics. The only real difference between these two vehicles boils down to simple cosmetics. The Ford Kuga was first designed in 2008 for the European market. Now going into its third generation, this SUV comes as a front-wheel drive unit as well as a four-wheel drive. It wasn’t until 2012 that it was introduced as the 2014 Ford Escape for the North American consumer base. Yes, they’re the same vehicle today, but at one point they were designed separately as a means to cater to different markets.
5. GMC Terrain
The GMC Terrain starts at $35,395.00 USD and is an impressive crossover SUV that has a wheelbase of 107.30 inches, a length of 182.30 inches, and a width of 72.40 inches. It’s slightly bigger and broader than the Ford Escape but slightly shorter at 65.40 inches. The Escape stands 66.3 inches tall. Granted, the Terrain doesn’t have the front-wheel drivetrain as Ford does but it is equipped with all-wheel drive, just like the other trim models belonging to the Escape.
6. Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V is a compact crossover SUV, just like the Ford Escape. It was actually the top seller for many years through the five generations it produced since 1997. This title was recently taken over by the Nissan Rogue, which is another worthy candidate as a Ford Escape alternative. As for the CR-V, it still remains a benchmark vehicle due to its sophistication and performance levels. The 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine has a horsepower output of 184 while the 1.5-liter turbocharged Touring edition has a 190-horsepower performance rating. Both engines have a continuously variable automatic transmission, just like the Escape does. It also has the front-wheel drive train as a standard. There is also the all-wheel drivetrain that’s available for all the CR-V trims. The starting price of Honda’s favorite crossover SUV is $26.800.00 USD.
7. Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai’s Tucson made its debut as a 2005 model that has since seen a number of refinements and improvements that make the latest editions of the model into one of the favorite crossover SUVs it is now. The base price of a Hyundai Tuscon goes for $25.800.00 USD and has a horsepower rating that starts at 164 and goes up to 181. This depends entirely on the three different four-cylinder engine choices at hand. The Tucson comes either as a front-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive.
8. Jeep Cherokee
The Jeep Cherokee was a popular SUV during the 1980s and 1990s. When it came back into circulation in 2014, it became the crossover successor to Jeep’s Liberty SUV. As of 2019, the Jeep Cherokee has become an urbanized SUV that still has it where it takes as an off-roader. Cherokee’s horsepower range from 180 to 271 depending on which model you choose. The 4×2 is standard while the 4×4 is an option on all models. The starting price of a Jeep Cherokee is $24,1905.00 USD.
9. Kia Niro
The compact crossover, Kia Niro, comes as either a fuel-efficient hybrid or as a plug-in hybrid model. The attractive style and shape of Niro offer a good interior room and cargo space. This five-seater comes in eight different trim levels. The most popular style starts at $24,690.00 USD, which is the Hybrid LXS 1.6L I4 engine with front-wheel drive.
10. Kia Sportage
As a 1994 model, Kia Sportage officially put the company on the North American map as an inexpensive SUV model that served as a compact crossover. The engineering genius behind the Sportage came from the teams of Ford and Mazda. As a fourth-generation lineup, the Kia Sportage has since become a worthy rival against the Ford Escape. The horsepower output of the Sportage ranges from 181 to 237, depending on which of the two four-cylinder engines you choose. The front-wheel drive comes as a standard but all-wheel drive is offered with a locking center differential. The price of a Sportage begins at $25,990.00 USD
11. Lexus NX
Granted, the Lexus NX is a luxury brand compared to the Ford Escape. However, as a crossover SUV, the two match up with each other well as a five-seater unit that comes with more than one trim level. The wheelbase is measured at 106.9 inches and has a length of 183.5 inches. It’s 73.4 inches wide and stands at 65.4 inches tall. How does this compare with the Ford Escape? They’re both classified as compact crossover SUVs. They both have an all-wheel drivetrain. The Lexus, however, doesn’t have the front-wheel drive as the Escape does. As for fuel economy, the Lexus is rated at twenty-nine miles per gallon while Ford’s is at thirty-four miles per gallon on the highway. In the city, the Escape has the edge over the NX with twenty-eight miles per gallon versus twenty-two.
12. Lincoln Corsair
The Lincoln Corsair is new to the Lincoln lineup. Built just like the Ford Escape with the shared underpinnings, the Corsair is the luxury option for the popular crossover SUV. The price is there for it too at $35,580.00 USD. The fuel mileage is twenty-nine miles per gallon on the highway and twenty-two miles per gallon in the city. It’s not quite as fuel efficient as the Escape but she has it where it counts everywhere else.
13. Mazda CX-5
The second-generation Mazda CX-5 is a stout crossover SUV that’s comparable enough to the Ford Escape. Ford and Mazda have worked side by side since the first generation of the Ford Escape was produced. The CX-5 replaced the Mazda Tribute of 2013 and was the first vehicle to feature the complete suite of Mazda’s Skyactiv technology. The front-wheel drive is standard while the all-wheel drive option is available for all trim levels. The Mazda CX-5 starts at $26,250.00 USD.
14. Mazda Tribute
Just like the Ford Escape and the Mazda Mariner, the Mazda Tribute was a model that was built in 2000. The first generation of all three of these SUVs was built on identical platforms and shared identical features. The two shared the same CD2 platform, as well as the same all-wheel drivetrain and a choice between a transversely mounted two-liter Ford Zetec four-cylinder engine or a three-liter Ford Duratec six-cylinder engine. The Ford Escape and the Mazda Tribute made their debut at the same time in 2000.
The only main difference between the Tribute and the Escape was the suspension. The Tribute was tuned for a firmer ride in order to correspond with Mazda’s sporty image. It also had a lower price point. Eventually, the Mazda Tribute was replaced by the more aggressive Mazda CX-5 for the North American market. As of 2011, the Mazda Tribute was discontinued. According to Motorbiscuit, Mazda discontinued the Tribute due to a lack of sales and not quite measuring up to the rest of the competition in the crossover SUV market.
15. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
The Mitsubishi Outlander is a compact crossover SUV that starts at $25,795.00 USD. Just like the Ford Escape, it can seat up to five people. The length of the car is measured at 179 inches and its width is 71.1 inches. The wheelbase is 105.1 inches, just slightly smaller than the 105.9 inches. Both vehicles have the front-wheel drive standard, as well as the all-wheel drive options. When it comes to fuel economy, however, the Escape has the edge over the Eclipse Cross when it comes to the standard front-wheel drive models.
16. Nissan Rogue
The Nissan Rogue has become the new star of the compact crossover SUV, especially after the introduction of its second generation. The current models have a horsepower range from 141 to 176. $27,150.00 USD is the starting price for a Nissan Rogue as a front-wheel drive. All-wheel drives are also available as an option. In fuel mileage, there’s a reason why the Rogues are favored. At thirty-seven miles per gallon on the highway and thirty miles per gallon in the city, it outclasses the Ford Edge in this department. The cargo space measures up to 74.1 cubic square feet, which is bigger than Ford’s. Yes, this really is a compact crossover SUV.
17. Subaru Forester
When traveling to the coastal regions of North America, as well as the Rockies, finding a Subaru Forester has become relatively common. The biggest appeal of these SUVs is the symmetrical all-wheel drivetrain. Since 1998, the Forester has been part of the Subaru roster as a compact crossover SUV and has grown to become one of the most popular choices for drivers seeking a fun vehicle that’s capable. The current generation of the Subaru Forester starts at $25,895.00 USD.
18. Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 has been one of Ford Escape’s top competitors for five generations. The pricing of a RAV4 starts at $26,975.00 USD. This gives you a vehicle that has a 176 horsepower output from its 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine. There are trim options for a more performant vehicle, just like any other model. Front-wheel drive is standard with the RAV4 with an all-wheel drive option available.
19. Volkswagen Taos
Starting at $23,495.00 USD, the Volkswagen Taos is a compact crossover SUV, just like the Ford Escape. Rated at 158 horsepower, the Taos shares the front-wheel drivetrain as a standard. On the highway, the Taos has a thirty-six miles per gallon rating. In the city, it’s at twenty-eight miles per gallon. This has the edge over the Ford Escape when it comes to fuel economy but that may be due to the Taos having a lighter curb weight of 3,175 pounds compared to Ford’s 3,298 pounds. Inside the vehicle, the measurements are comparable but for leg room, the Escape is a bit roomier. However, for headroom, the Taos was a wee bit more of that. When the seats are down up to the first row, the Taos has a cargo capacity of 65.9 cubic square feet. It slightly edges over Ford’s 65.4 measurements.
20. Volvo XC40
The Volvo XC40 is Sweden’s answer to the compact crossover SUV market at a price that starts at $36,350.00 USD. Yes, it’s more expensive than Ford Escape, but this is also a luxury-based premium alternative. Just like the Escape, the front-wheel drive is standard. Just like the Ford, it also has all-wheel drive options, as well as trim options. XC40’s measurements are very close to the Escape’s, as is the fuel economy. When it comes to cargo capacity, the Escape outdoes the XC40 with up to 65.4 cubic square feet capacity compared to Volvo’s 57.5 measurements. The towing capacity was identical at 3,500 pounds.