Here’s how the 2023 Ford Escape stacks up against the Honda CR-V | Rare Techy
For the 2023 model year, the Ford Escape will come standard with a new design, improved interior, and more technology and safety. It continues the powertrain line-up of the previous model and still comes with a plug-in hybrid variant. In addition, Ford ditches the Escape’s previous trim line to streamline the nomenclature, including Active, Platinum and PHEV trims. There is also a new sporty Escape ST-Line, but it remains purely cosmetic.
The Ford Escape gets this update right after Honda introduced the new CR-V. But has it grown enough to take on Honda’s comprehensive package? Let’s find out.
The 2023 Ford Escape will get a powerful EcoBoost engine
The new Escape continues with the powertrain selection of the previous model. Base models have a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque. It is available in front- and all-wheel drive configurations. Higher-end models feature an EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The 2023 Escape will also get two hybrid models. Both are available with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine mated to two electric motors. This powerplant produces 210 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque in the standard hybrid. Power goes up to 221 horsepower for the Escape plug-in hybrid, while torque remains the same. However, both use the same continuously variable transmission.
Compared to the Ford Escape, the choice of powertrains for the new CR-V is not very extensive. Its base EX and EX-L trims feature a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. In addition, there is a choice between front and all-wheel drive configurations.
The 2023 CR-V Sport and Sport Touring trims come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 204 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Both trims are only available as a hybrid and have two electric motors in addition to this petrol engine. In addition, the Honda CR-V comes standard with a CVT automatic. A plug-in hybrid isn’t available with the CR-V, but the standard hybrid offers 1,000 pounds of towing capacity.
The new Ford Escape matches the fuel efficiency of the CR-V
The EPA has not yet rated the 2023 Escape against official fuel economy figures. However, since the engine options remain the same as the previous model, the ratings are unlikely to differ. By comparison, the Escape’s 1.5-liter gasoline engine is rated at 28 MPG in the city, 34 MPG on the highway, and 30 MPG in front-wheel drive configuration. Those numbers drop to 26 MPG in the city, 31 MPG on the highway, and 28 MPG combined for this all-wheel drive version.
Last year’s Escape with EcoBoost 2.0-liter was rated by the EPA at 22 MPG city, 31 MPG highway and 26 MPG combined. This hybrid model is rated at 41 MPG in the city, 44 MPG on the highway and 37 MPG combined. The plug-in hybrid is the most fuel-efficient model in the Escape lineup, offering 40 MPG combined fuel economy in addition to 37 miles on EV alone.
The Honda CR-V is closely comparable to the Escape in terms of fuel efficiency. The non-hybrid model with the 1.5L front-wheel drive engine is rated at 28 MPG in the city, 34 MPG on the highway and 30 MPG combined. However, in the all-wheel drive setup, those ratings drop to 27 MPG city, 32 MPG highway and 29 MPG combined.
The EPA rates hybrid models of the new CR-V at 43 MPG in the city, 36 MPG on the highway and 40 MPG with front-wheel drive configuration. With all-wheel drive, these models offer 40 MPG in the city, 34 MPG on the highway, and 37 MPG combined for fuel economy.
2023 Ford Escape Trumps CR-V With More Tech
The new Escape base models have an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as the Ford Sync 4 system, are also available as standard equipment. Lower trims get by with cloth seats and manual single-zone climate control. Higher Escape grades get a 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital driver display. In addition, the seats are upgraded with leatherette upholstery and dual-zone automatic climate control is available.
There is also an option to upgrade from the standard six-speaker sound system to a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. In terms of practicality, the Ford Escape has sliding second-row seats and up to 65.4 cubic feet of maximum storage space for non-hybrid variants with the second row folded flat. With the second row up, the total trunk volume is 37.5 cubic feet.
The Honda CR-V base EX model has a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and analog gauges. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available, but in a wired configuration. The CR-V EX-L and Sport come with a 9-inch touchscreen with wireless connectivity for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The range-topping Sport Touring adds leatherette seats with orange stitching and a 12-speaker Bose Sound system. The CR-V offers 76.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row. With the second row up, the capacity is 39.3 cubic feet.
2023 Ford Escape Vs. Honda CR-V: Which is more affordable?
MSRP for the 2023 Escape starts at $27,500, while the top-of-the-line Platinum starts at $36,965. The plug-in hybrid model of this compact SUV retails for $38,500. By comparison, you can get an EX Honda CR-V with a starting price of $31,100. The Sport Touring trim level of the CR-V starts at $38,600.