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Comparison2019 Toyota RAV4 vs 2019 Ford Escape Quick Comparison

2019 Toyota RAV4 vs 2019 Ford Escape Quick Comparison

Take a look at the 10 best-selling vehicles in Canada and more often than not you’ll see the Toyota RAV4 and the Ford Escape.

Not only are these two SUVs constantly battling it out in their segment for sales supremacy with the Honda CR-V, but the RAV4 Ford Escape are also among the best-selling vehicles overall in Canada. With that in mind, we couldn’t think of a better comparison than the 2019 Toyota RAV4 and 2019 Ford Escape.

We had the chance to drive both back-to-back in January in the dead of the Canadian winter and came away with with a clear winner. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, here’s a quick overview of these two very popular compact SUVs.

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 was completely redesigned this year. This brand-new generation features more power, a completely new design, more space and capability, and an upgraded list of features and technology. The 2019 Ford Escape isn’t as new. the current generation has been around since 2014 with a refresh in 2017.

As you compare both SUVs, the age difference between both models’ generation becomes evident very quickly.

2019 Toyota RAV4
2019 Toyota RAV4 | Photo: Toyota
2019 Ford Escape Titanium
2019 Ford Escape Titanium | Photo: Ford

Which is more enjoyable to drive?

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 203 horsepower and184 pound-feet of torque. Regardless of which RAV4 trim you choose, that’s the engine you’ll get under the hood.

On paper, the RAV4 has more power out of the gate than any other compact SUV including the Ford Escape. A very uninspiring 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 168 horsepower powers the base Escape. We’ll tell you right now, the RAV4’s engine is better in every single way.

That said, the Escape also comes with a 1.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder with 179 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. That’s the engine most will go with. Although it’s slightly underpowered compared to the RAV4’s 2.5-liter, it feels just as fast.

The thing about the 2019 RAV4’s engine is that it doesn’t feel as fast as its power number leads the driver to believe. It’s a bit slow to react and can be very loud when you push it even a little.

On the other hand, the Escape’s turbo mill doesn’t mind it when you floor the right pedal. It jumps forward with gusto and conviction, and it’s not even the most powerful engine in the 2019 Escape lineup.

That award goes to the 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost with 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. That’s then engine we tested a few weeks back and it’s not only faster than the RAV4’s four-cylinder, it feels stronger and more powerful than just about any four-cylinder in any other compact SUV.

The Escape simply feels livelier and more engaged than the 2019 RAV4 with both the 1.5-liter and the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines.

Answer: 2019 Ford Escape

2019 Toyota RAV4
2019 Toyota RAV4 | Photo: Toyota
2019 Ford Escape
Ford Escape Interior | Photo: Ford

Which is more fuel-efficient?

There’s really no comparison here. Toyota did an amazing job making sure the new RAV4 was among the most fuel-efficient compact SUVs you can buy. Even with all-wheel drive, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 has an average combined fuel economy rating of 8.0 liters per 100 kilometers.

The 2019 Ford Escape has an average fuel economy rating for 9.9 liters per 100 kilometers with the 1.5-liter engine and 10.2 liters per 100 kilometers with the 2.0-liter engine.

Real world results show the same gap. Our average fuel consumption rating during our week with the RAV4 in the dead of winter was less than 10.0 liters per 100 kilometers. Our Ford Escape average more than 10.0 liters per 100 kilometers. That says it all.

Answer: 2019 Toyota RAV4 

Which is more spacious?

Cargo capacity for the new RAV4 is set at 1,064 liters while the Ford Escape has 967 liters behind the rear seats. You therefore get roughly 100 liters of additional cargo space in the 2019 Toyota RAV4.

You’ll also get more interior space for your passengers in the Toyota RAV4. The cabin feels more spacious and it actually is. The Escape feels a bit cramped inside and you’ll notice a little less head and elbow room in the Ford.

Answer: 2019 Toyota RAV4

2019 Toyota RAV4 Cargo Capacity
2019 Toyota RAV4 | Photo: Toyota
2019 Ford Escape
2019 Escape cargo area | Photo: Ford

Which offers better value?

The Ford Escape is slightly more affordable out of the gate than the RAV4. The 2019 Escape starts at $26,399 while the RAV4 starts at $27,990. That said, the RAV4 offers more equipment and that base Escape has the 2.5-liter engine with 169 horsepower. It’s underpowered and can’t compare with the RAV4 in terms of features.

To even compare both the Escape and the RAV4, you have to look at the Ford’s two EcoBoost engines. In that case, the Escape and RAV4 are offered at roughly the same price. The 2019 Ford Escape with all-wheel drive and the 1.5-liter EcoBoost starts at $30,849 while the RAV4 gets AWD starting at $30,690.

A top-of-the-line Ford Escape with the more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost starts at $37,699 and gets you all the bells and whistles. A fully-loaded 2019 RAV4 will cost you $40,690. That’s a lot of numbers, we know.

In simple terms, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 has more features at every price point, and unless you’re looking at the top-of-the-line versions it also has more power. It gets better fuel economy at every model and can tow more than the Ford Escape (every RAV4 can tow 1,500 pounds while only the Escape Titanium with the most powerful engine can tow that much. The RAV4 Trail can tow 3,500 pounds).

It has more active safety equipment with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 standard (radar-based adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic braking with pedestrian detection and automatic headlights) in every version.

The long and short of it is that the 2019 Toyota RAV4 is slightly more expensive, but it has more equipment and features in every trim and model.

2019 Jeep Cherokee vs 2019 Ford Escape Quick Comparison

Answer: 2019 Toyota RAV4

2019 Toyota RAV4
2019 Toyota RAV4 | Photo: Toyota
2019 Ford Escape
Ford Escape Rear | Photo: Ford

Which one would we buy?

Despite its age, the 2019 Ford Escape is still an enjoyable SUV to drive with the EcoBoost engines. It’s more fun to drive than the RAV4, but we still would choose the Toyota. It’s more modern, more comfortable, has more space and is more fuel-efficient. There’s just too many important areas where the 2019 Toyota RAV4 does a better job than the Escape.

Answer: 2019 Toyota RAV4

2019 Toyota RAV4 Images Gallery

2019 Ford Escape Images Gallery


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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including and as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email


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