Honda CR-V vs. Ford Escape

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - May 10, 2018

The Honda CR-V was one of the originators of the compact-crossover movement, but the Ford Escape wasn’t far behind it. Since their debuts, both the CR-V and Ford Escape have seen their fair share of updates, but they both remain popular models in a class that is all about balancing capabilities with comfort and maneuverability.

Which one of these small people haulers hits that sweet spot the best? Keep reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the CR-V & Escape »

What the CR-V Gets Right

Having recently gone through a redesign, the CR-V rolls in with a more modern look that is toned down but still attractive, whereas the Escape looks a little too rental-lot-like for some buyers. This continues inside, where the CR-V boasts a roomy and stylish cabin. Speaking of roomy, the CR-V boasts 40.4 inches of rear-seat leg room, crushing the Escape by 3.6 inches. Plus, it features 39.2 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats up and 75.8 with the seats folded – this is 4.9 and 8 cubes better than the already-roomy Escape, respectively.

The CR-V’s base 2.4-liter engine and its 1.5-liter turbocharged engines outmuscle the Escape’s base and mid-level engines by 16 horsepower and 11 hp, respectively. Comfort is incredible across the entire trim range in the CR-V, but the EX and higher trims take it to a new level with highly adjustable front seats and premium leather. Plus, the fit and finish is virtually perfect.

What the Escape Gets Right

The Escape starts $250 cheaper than the CR-V, leaving a little wiggle room to lower your payments a bit. Plus, the simpler styling of the Escape may appeal to some. Inside, the Escape Intuitive Sync infotainment system is not distracting and has a manageable learning curve.

Under its hood, the Escape’s optional 245-hp 2.0-liter engine offers a level of performance the CRV just cannot match. This engine pairs well with the Escape’s above average handling, making it better in the corners than the CR-V.

Looking for More Pep? Go With the Escape

Ford did what it could to keep pace with the CR-V, but it’s just a bit much for the Escape can handle. That said, the Escape’s 2.0-liter engine option gives buyers a level of performance the CR-V can’t come close to.

Verdict: Honda CR-V

With its near-perfect combination of power, fuel economy, roominess and cargo-hauling capability, it is hard to find a compact crossover better than the CR-V.

Take a closer look at the Honda CR-V »

Take a closer look at the Ford Escape »

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

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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