The Escape has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
The Escape’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
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-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive and front and rear parking sensors.
There are over 2 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.
The Escape has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.
The Escape’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 47 more horsepower (250 vs. 203) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 184) than the Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.
An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escape 1.5 Turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Escape’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Rav4 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The Escape 2.0 Turbo’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 (15.8 vs. 14.5 gallons).
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.
The Escape has 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 has 5.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rav4 (104 vs. 98.9).
The Escape has .5 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more rear legroom and 5.6 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4.
The Escape’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Rav4’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.
The Escape Titanium offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
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 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Rav4 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited.
The Escape Titanium’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Rav4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
Insurance will cost less for the Escape owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Escape with a number “5” insurance rate while the Rav4 is rated higher at a number “10” rate.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escape is less expensive to operate than the Rav4 because it costs $209 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Escape than the Rav4, including $16 less for a water pump, $10 less for front brake pads, $109 less for a starter, $100 less for fuel injection, $210 less for a fuel pump and $7 less for a timing belt/chain.