Ford EcoSport vs. Ford Escape

By

Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - June 1, 2018

The Ford EcoSport is the latest subcompact crossover from the American automaker. Now that Ford has plans to ax a lot of its smaller sedans and hatchbacks, the EcoSport represents the beginning of a new era of tiny SUVs. The EcoSport's compact size is one of its strong points, as well as one of its downsides. It'll appeal to consumers wanting versatility in a small package, but its tiny stature will also push others away.

To put the new EcoSport into context, we decided to compare it to another one of Ford's compact crossovers, the Escape. Ford updated the Escape for 2018, adding more features to the model to make it even more competitive in the segment. But can the Escape hold off the smaller and newer EcoSport?

See a side-by-side comparison of the EcoSport & Escape »

What the EcoSport Gets Right

Since it's smaller, the EcoSport costs less than the Escape. The 2018 EcoSport starts at $20,990, while the 2018 Escape carries a price tag of $24,935 – both prices include destination. You'll be able to move up to the EcoSport SE trim, which starts at $23,995, before encroaching on the Escape's starting price tag. The big difference in price between the two models gives the EcoSport the edge.

The EcoSport is also noticeably smaller than the Escape. The subcompact crossover is 16.8 inches shorter in length, three inches smaller in width, and has a wheelbase that's six inches shorter. While the Escape isn't exactly the largest crossover on the road, the EcoSport is tiny, which makes it easier to drive and park.

When it comes to fuel economy, the EcoSport shines there, too. The vehicle comes with a 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine that's paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The tiny motor helps the EcoSport achieve an EPA fuel economy rating of 27 miles per gallon city, 29 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined. The most fuel-efficient Escape manages to get better fuel economy on the highway with a rating of 30 mpg, but its city figure trails well behind the EcoSport's at 23 mpg. The Escape has a combined rating of 26 mpg.

What the Escape Gets Right

Thanks to its larger stature, the Escape can hold more cargo than its little stablemate. With the rear seats in place, the Escape can hold up to 34 cubic feet of cargo. Fold the seats down and you have 68 cubic feet of cargo capacity to work with. The EcoSport can't match those numbers with a cargo capacity rating of 20.9 with the rear seats raised and 50 cubic feet with them lowered.

Power may not be a large determining factor for purchasing a compact crossover, but the Escape has the upper hand when it comes to performance. The Escape is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's rated at 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. The base engine in the EcoSport is a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder motor that makes 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque.

If you enjoy spending time in a spacious cabin, the Escape is the clear winner. The larger crossover offers passengers with 98.7 cubic feet of interior space. That's 7.6 cubic feet more than what the EcoSport has. The Escape also offers more head room, leg room, hip room, and shoulder room than the EcoSport – for both the first and second row.

Where the Smaller EcoSport Makes Sense

For consumers that live in cities and need something that's easy to drive and park, the EcoSport is the better option. It's smaller stature makes it the easier vehicle to live with. It's tiny though, and its small size and more affordable price tag are the only things it has going for it against the likes of the larger, more refined Escape. If small is what you need, then the EcoSport will fit the bill.

Our Verdict: Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is the more comfortable, refined, and versatile crossover, making it the best option for the majority of drivers. It can hold more cargo and doesn't require you to sacrifice a lot in terms of interior space. It's the clear winner in this match-up, except for urbanites.

Take a closer look at the Ford Ecosport »

Take a closer look at the Ford Escape »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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