Since I will post this in FordEscape.org & Rav4world I thought I’d try to write this as objectively as possible. After having an Escape SE on vacation earlier this year, I decided I REALLY wanted one.
Our other vehicle is a 14 Rav4 Limited, so in comparing the Escape the Rav4 seemed like the perfect vehicle to compare it to. In short, I wound up getting a 2015 Rav4 Limited – but I always felt like it was a huge settle, the ride, and comfort seemed less than the escape.
So, recently when a local Ford dealer had a 2013 Escape Titanium with 14500 miles, I thought I’d take a look. In short, my wife’s vehicle is now the 2015 Rav4 Limited, and a I have a 2013 Escape Titanium 2.0.
Here are some thoughts: The Rav4 positives – Backup camera, Gas Milage, Toyota reliability, holds it value. The weaknesses – The Horrible Entune JBL audio system, sound crappy and manages to perform even worse, no homelink, screen placement, fake leather seats, and the noise level & suspension.
The Escape positives – Sony Sound, Full Leather Seats, RIDE & NOISE level, and comfort, screen does not get washed out, Ford’s CPO warranty, outstanding headrests, HID headlights. The escape weaknesses – Gas Mileage, Reliability ‘not as proven’ as Toyota’s.
So, let me get this out of the way up front, if I had to get a vehicle to last 10+ years – it would be the Rav4. The 2.4 liter I-4 and 6 speed auto should be good for 200,000 miles if taken care of.
With that out of the way, those miles are going to be MUCH quieter and more comfortable in the Escape. The Rav4 seems to ‘clank’ over every surface that is no ‘smooth quiet pavement’, the Escape proves much quieter and more comfortable on the daily ride to work.
The Escape’s Sony 10 speaker audio system sounds at least like a ‘factory premium’ should sound like. The Rav4’s JBL (Just Barely Listenable) Sound system is unequivocally the worst factory sound system I have heard since the cassette went away. That and the 15 minutes it takes to ‘read information from a USB’ makes one want to rip out the unit and replace it – but you can’t do that or you’ll lose access to the light, and locks setting. The MFT still perform better than the entune system and the Escape’s screen is readable and does not suffer from sun washout.
From almost the beginning the Rav4 averaged 29.5 to 31.0 mpg (more on pure highway trips). My best guestimate is the Escape will get about 24.5 – 26.0 mpg weekly (I averaged 29.0 mpg with the rental on vacation).
The 2014 Rav4 (program car) was sold with Toyota’s 3/36k warranty. The 2013 Escape (used 14500 miles) came with Ford’s 4/48 CPO warranty.
The Rav4 is a significantly less expensive vehicle approx. 29500 sticker (Rav4 Limited plus JBL). The Escape stickers out at 33,500 – 34000 (Escape Titanium, 401a package. 19” wheels, Full Leather, panoramic roof). The Rav4’s cost may be part of the problem, no homelink (how much can this cost to add 20$, Very little sound proofing (again cost), rough suspension (this shouldn't be a cost issue as springs and struts are part of the car), lots of cheap looking plastic (again cost). My personal feeling is had Toyota put another 2000$ into the manufacturing (homelink, insulation, better suspension, better radio & sound and interior, HID / LED lights) they would have had an INCREDIBLE product. The Ford costs more, BUT gives you a more refined fit and finish, the RAV4 gave me a good feeling but left me wanting more. The Escape gives me more fulfillments but I will buy a Ford extended warranty and hope I don't need it.