If you’re in the market for a reliable SUV, the Ford Escape and Ford Explorer may be two choices you’re considering. Not sure which direction to go? Let’s take a look at both of these capable SUVs and break down the differences. At Jarrett Scott Ford, we’re here to help you find the vehicle that’s just right for you.
Passenger Count / Cargo Space
First, let’s look at the passenger count and cargo space for each of these vehicles. Depending on the size of your family or your desired available cargo space, each of these vehicles has something to offer.
The Escape has room for 5 people and can hold up to 65.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row of seating.
If you are looking for something that carries just a few more passengers and a bit more cargo, then the Explorer may be the best option. It seats 7 passengers and has an incredible 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row of seats.
Style / Comfort
Next on the list of things to consider is what you are looking for when it comes to the vehicle's style and comfort. The newly redesigned Escape has a spacious interior with a fresh and contemporary feel accompanied by a sleek exterior. It has available Leather-Trimmed Front Bucket Seats and an available Heated and Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel. You also can choose a model that includes a beautifully stylish and functional moonroof.
The Explorer has also been redesigned inside and out, featuring a mix of high-end feel and rugged off-road comfort. There is available leather seating with massaging front seats, carbon-fiber-lined front dash and available Heated Steering Wheel. The Explorer can also be upgraded to include a larger Twin-Panel Moonroof.
Convenience / Infotainment
Both the Escape and the Explorer share some of the same FordPass Connect, SYNC®, and Ford+Alexa connectivity features. They both have their own version of the available B&O Sound System, with the Escape carrying 6 speakers and the Explorer upto 14 speakers. One of the biggest differences between the Escape and Explorer in this department is the available powerpoint options. The Explorer is fully equipped with up to nine powerpoints including USBs, USCs, 12V, 110V, regular plugs, and available wireless charging pad in the center console. While the Escape does come standard with a few 12V powerpoints to keep you charged, it doesn’t have quite the number or variety of the Explorer.
Towing Capacity / Fuel Efficiency
Being the smaller of the two, the Escape is perfect for the more compact traveler. It has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs and comes in both Front Wheel Drive and available All Wheel Drive Disconnect, which preserves fuel by automatically disconnecting the rear driveline when All Wheel Drive is not needed.
There are 4 different engine options for the Escape. The standard for most models is the 1.5L EcoBoost® engine which gets 23 mpg City / 27 mpg Highway. Some models have the option to upgrade to the 2.0L EcoBoost® engine with Auto Start-Stop Technology which gets 23 mpg City / 31 mpg Highway. There are two models that come standard with the 2.5L iVCT Atkinson-Cycle Hybrid Engine, which is available in a plug-in version and gets an astounding 44 mpg City / 37 mpg Highway. Each model comes with the following Selectable Drive Modes that allow you to completely customize your driving experience with the push of a button - Eco, Sport, Normal, Slippery, and Deep Snow/Sand.
The 2020 Explorer is the most powerful Explorer to date. It has Rear Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive options and now offers a new Hybrid engine. The 2.3L EcoBoost® I-4 Engine with Auto Start-Stop Technology gets 20 mpg City / 28 mpg Highway, and is standard on three of the models, whereas the 3.0L EcoBoost® V6 Engine with Auto Start-Stop Technology gets 18 mpg City / 24 mpg Highway, and is Standard on the other two models. If you are looking for the 3.3L Hybrid Engine which gets 27 mpg City / 29 mpg Highway, then you will need to select the midgrade Limited Model to have that option. When properly equipped, the Explorer can tow up to 5,600 lbs. Select the available Terrain Management System™, and you will have the ability to switch between seven drive modes to suit any of your on- or off-road adventures. Those drive modes include Normal, Trail, Deep Snow/Sand, Slippery, Sport, Tow/Haul and Eco Mode. There is also the available Intelligent 4WD which delivers the right amount of traction for current driving conditions by optimizing the powertrain and braking systems.
Both the Escape and Explorer share a lot of the same available safety features like the Auto High-Beam Headlamps, Rear View Camera, Lane Keeping System, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, and BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross-Traffic Alert. The biggest difference for the two vehicles is that the Escape offers the option to have a Head up display on the windshield whereas the Explorer does not.
Lastly, let’s look at the price point for each option. The Escape’s starting price for the base model is $24,885, with the starting price for the top-of-the-line Titanium model is $33,400.
The Explorer is larger in size and does come with a larger price tag. The starting price for the base model is $32,765, with the starting price for the top end Platinum model is $58,250.
When comparing these two incredible SUVs there are a few key things to think about. The Explorer is geared more toward providing fun for the whole family on the highway or mountainous terrain. It hauls more people, more stuff, and is more capable when it comes to outdoor adventures. You get a lot with the Explorer, but you also get a higher price tag.
The Escape is directed more to those looking for an attractive and comfortable ride to commute in and enjoy the occasional weekend adventure. The Escape carries fewer passengers and little less cargo, but it also keeps more money in your pocket. So, the decision ultimately comes down to a few factors - price point, needed passenger count, and whether you are looking more for a stylish family commuter, or a family off-road adventure maker. Either way, both vehicles are sure to impress!