North Georgia Ford Compares 2015 Ford Escape VS 2015 Toyota Rav4 Near Jasper, GA

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2015 Ford Escape

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2015 Toyota Rav4

Safety Comparison

The Escape offers optional SYNC ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Escape and the Rav4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Escape is safer than the Toyota Rav4:





4 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Stress

367 lbs.

510 lbs.

Neck Compression

15 lbs.

19 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

262/227 lbs.

448/514 lbs.



4 Stars

3 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.5 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

403/116 lbs.

409/284 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Escape is safer than the Toyota Rav4:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Abdominal Force

96 G’s

148 G’s

Hip Force

351 lbs.

453 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

4 Stars




Hip Force

707 lbs.

983 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escape’s warranty.

Engine Comparison

The Escape’s optional 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 2 more horsepower (178 vs. 176) and 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 172) than the Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Escape’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 64 more horsepower (240 vs. 176) and 98 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 172) than the Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Escape turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Toyota Rav4:



Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.8 MPH

84.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Escape has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Escape’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4:



Rav4 LE

Rav4 XLE/Limited

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

10.8 inches

11.7 inches

The Escape stops shorter than the Rav4:



60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Escape has larger tires than the Rav4 (235/55R17 vs. 225/65R17).

The Escape’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rav4 LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The Escape Titanium’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Rav4 Limited’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escape Titanium has standard 19-inch wheels. The Rav4’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Escape has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Rav4’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Escape has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Rav4 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Escape’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Rav4 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escape’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Rav4 (105.9 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

The Escape Titanium AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Rav4 XLE 4WD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Escape Titanium AWD goes through AutoWeek’s slalom faster than the Rav4 XLE 4WD (42.5 vs. 41.68 MPH).

The Escape Titanium AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Rav4 XLE (27.3 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Escape has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Rav4 (7.9 vs. 6.3 inches), allowing the Escape to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Escape (except 2.0L ECOBoost) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Rav4 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Escape Titanium AWD is quieter than the Rav4 XLE 4WD (39 vs. 40 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Escape has .1 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front hip room, .1 inches more rear headroom and 3.5 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4.

The front step up height for the Escape is 1.7 inches lower than the Rav4 (16.8” vs. 18.5”). The Escape’s rear step up height is .3 inches lower than the Rav4’s (17.5” vs. 17.8”).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escape Titanium’s liftgate can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Escape offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Escape and the Rav4 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Escape is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Rav4 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Escape Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Rav4 XLE/Limited’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Escape SE/Titanium’s exterior keypad. The Rav4 doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Escape’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Rav4 LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. The Escape Titanium’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Rav4 XLE/Limited’s manually variable intermittent wipers don’t change delay with speed.

The Escape’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Rav4’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

Both the Escape and the Rav4 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Escape has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Rav4 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Escape (except S) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Escape Titanium’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Rav4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escape is less expensive to operate than the Rav4 because typical repairs cost much less on the Escape than the Rav4, including $67 less for a water pump, $296 less for an alternator, $8 less for front brake pads, $72 less for a starter, $183 less for fuel injection, $296 less for a fuel pump, $14 less for front struts, $1413 less for a timing belt/chain and $206 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Escape has won recognition from these important consumer publications:



Car Book “Best Bet”



Kiplinger’s Award



J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escape second among compact suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Rav4 isn’t in the top three.

The Ford Escape outsold the Toyota Rav4 by 15% during the 2014 model year.

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