The 2022 Toyota RAV4 is one of the best compact SUVs on the market right now, but there are plenty of great options in the segment. The Ford Escape is one of those great options that competes against the RAV4, and it’s a pretty close race between the two compact crossovers. That said, the 2022 Ford Escape is slightly better than the Toyota RAV4, and here’s why.
A look at the specifications of the 2022 Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4
US News wrote that it is a tough decision between these two SUVs, as they are evenly matched in many areas. In terms of pricing, the standard Escape is $15 cheaper. However, the Escape’s top models are more expensive than the RAV4’s, so the RAV4 wins narrowly in price. It’s a similar story in terms of cargo capacity.
Both SUVs have 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space when the seats are not folded down. The Toyota has slightly more cargo space when the seats are folded, getting 69.8 cubic feet, while the Ford gets 65.4 cubic feet.
There are some more significant differences under the hood, but it’s still close. The RAV4 has one engine and gets 203 hp. The Escape has two engine options, with the most powerful getting 250 hp.
While the Escape is the more powerful car, the two are almost even in fuel economy. Both SUVs get 31 mpg combined when equipped with front-wheel drive, but with all-wheel drive, the Toyota is slightly more efficient.
Why the 2022 Ford Escape May Be the Best SUV
The Toyota also won in some categories, like interior quality, but overall, the race is too close because the Escape won in other categories as well. For example, the Escape has more comfortable seats, since Ford designed the SUV to have more legroom. In addition, Toyota gave the RAV4’s seats less cushioning, so drivers and passengers feel the difference on long drives.
Another area where the Escape won outright was ride and handling. US News wrote that the Ford SUV “has a smooth ride.” It also “feels serene in the corners.” The same cannot be said of the Toyota. Also, the RAV4’s cabin is noisier than the Escape’s cabin. Also, while Toyotas are well known for their safety, the Escape did better in its crash tests than the RAV4, so it will be a slightly safer SUV.
Finally, in terms of technological features, the two are tied. The Escape starts with a smaller screen, but both get an optional 8-inch touchscreen and Ford’s infotainment system is easier to use. Overall, both SUVs did well in almost every category, and even in the categories they did win, it was usually close. Therefore, it is possible to say that the Escape is the better option.
The best car will ultimately depend on what you need as a buyer.
Ultimately, this race may be too close and the winner depends on what buyers care about. For example, the RAV4 technically won out in the price category, but the starting versions of the two SUVs are $15 apart. If buyers only want the standard version, then the RAV4 doesn’t win in this category.
Similarly, while the RAV4 gets more cargo capacity with the seats folded down, this may not be a relevant specification for some buyers. The two SUVs are tied for cargo capacity if that spec doesn’t matter. As such, the real winner is the owner of the car they buy, since they will have access to a large SUV.