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2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Honda CR-V: Which Is Better?

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author photo by Eric Brandt December 2018
  • The 2019 Ford Escape and the 2019 Honda CR-V are popular choices in the competitive compact crossover segment.

  • The Escape can be had with stronger performance, but the CR-V is better on gas.

  • Both crossovers come standard with front-wheel drive and are available with all-wheel drive.

You have a lot of options when it comes to compact crossovers. It has become one of the hottest automotive segments and two entries that have been around for a while now are the Ford Escape and the Honda CR-V. They both offer practical transportation appealing to a wide variety of drivers thanks to their affordable pricing, versatile capability and relatively frugal fuel economy.

Let's take a look at what's similar and what's different between the 2019 Ford Escape and the 2019 Honda CR-V and find the right crossover for you.

2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Honda CR-V exterior

Exterior

The exterior dimensions of the Escape and the CR-V are very similar with the Honda being a little longer than the Ford. The Escape is on the smaller side of its class, but it's still in line with the typical compact crossover. The designs of both have been around for a few years now, and you probably see them in traffic pretty often. Neither of them are real head-turners, but they're both nice looking crossovers with practical exteriors.

2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Honda CR-V interior

Interior

Since the CR-V is slightly bigger than the Escape, it has slightly more room on the inside. Both have seating for up to five, but like everything else in this segment, it gets pretty cramped with three people in the back seat. However, they're both quite comfortable for four adults. They also both have ample cargo space with the Honda having a little more room thanks to its bigger size.

As for interior design, both of these crossovers are toward the front of their class. They both have handsome interiors with quality materials, but we like the Honda's a little more. The inside of the CR-V looks a little more modern, while the Escape's interior is starting to show its age since it's a general design that Ford has been using for a while now. Both interiors can get very nice when you get into the upper trims with comfortable leather seats.

To put it simply, the Escape's interior is good, but the CR-V's interior is excellent.

2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Honda CR-V mechanicals

Mechanicals

The CR-V has two available engines and the Escape has two, as well. Both come standard with front-wheel drive and are available with all-wheel drive for better all-season traction and off-road capability.

2019 Honda CR-V Engines

  • 2.4-liter inline four; 184 horsepower, 180 lb-ft of torque; 26 miles per gallon in the city and 32 mpg on the highway

  • 1.5-liter turbocharged inline four; 190 hp, 179 lb-ft of torque; 28 mpg city/34 mpg hwy

2019 Ford Escape Engines

  • 2.5-liter inline four; 168 hp, 170 lb-ft of torque; 21 mpg city/29 mpg hwy

  • 1.5-liter turbocharged inline four; 179 hp, 177 lb-ft of torque; 23 mpg city/30 mpg hwy

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four; 245 hp, 275 lb-ft of torque; 22 mpg city/29 mpg hwy

The Honda CR-V is more fuel-efficient than the Escape by a considerable margin. The Honda also beats the Ford in performance with the exception of the Escape's available 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, which blows away both of the available engines in the Honda. This EcoBoost engine gives the Escape exciting performance characteristics that are hard to find in this segment in this price range.

If you're shopping on the lower end of the spectrum, then the CR-V is the more efficient, better-performing crossover. But if you're looking for an unassuming compact SUV with unexpected performance, a 2.0-liter EcoBoost equipped Escape is a strong choice for the driving enthusiast looking for a practical car.

2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Honda CR-V safety technologies

Safety Technology

The Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape both offer a nice suite of safety tech features, but the Honda makes it a little easier to access than the Ford. The Escape offers Ford's Safe and Smart package, which can be added to any trim, but doesn't come standard on any of them. Safe and Smart adds adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with brake support, lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, high-beam assist and rain-sensing wipers.

Honda's safety tech suite is called Honda Sensing and it includes a collision mitigation braking system, a road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control and a lane-keeping assist system. Honda Sensing comes standard on every 2019 CR-V with the exception of the base LX trim.

2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Honda CR-V pricing

Pricing

Pricing is very similar between the Escape and the CR-V, with the Escape being slightly more affordable. The starting MSRP of the 2019 Escape is $24,105 and the CR-V starts at $24,350. They both have four trims which add more features and technology along the way with the top trims starting in the low-$30k range.

2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Honda CR-V conclusion

Conclusion

For most people in the market for a compact crossover, the Honda CR-V is a better choice than the Ford Escape. With more widely-available driver assistance technology, a nicer interior and better fuel economy, the Honda has the Ford beat in some important areas. If you really want strong performance in a practical package, an Escape with the 2.0-liter turbo engine is a great choice. But if you don't have that much of a priority on performance, the Honda CR-V is the winner.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Honda CR-V: Which Is Better? - Autotrader