2020 Ford Escape vs 2020 Chevy Equinox – Albany, NY

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  • 2020 Ford Escape

    A blue 2020 Ford Escape is facing left.

    Starting at

    $24,885

    2020 Chevy Equinox

    A blue 2020 Chevy Equinox is facing right.

    Starting at

    $23,800

    27 / 33 MPGFuel Economy26 / 31 MPG
    180 - 250 HPHorsepower170 - 252 HP
    3,500 LBSTowing Capacity3,500 LBS

    Automakers across the industry are developing their own version of the compact SUV, and at the front of the pack is Ford. Ford has been in the SUV game since the beginning, developing vehicles that master utility and power. The compact SUV is a different beast entirely, hoping to combine the fuel conserving benefits and ease of handling like a compact car, with the performance prowess and plentiful interior space of an SUV. Ford has managed to find this intricate balance with the release of the 2020 Ford Escape, a compact SUV that does an excellent job of delivering a driving experience that is simply remarkable inside and out. Although it wouldn’t be fair to examine the Ford Escape in a vacuum, and so we’ve put the industry’s favorite compact SUV against its leading competitor the 2020 Chevy Equinox. Both the 2020 Ford Escape vs 2020 Chevy Equinox are incredible vehicles, but only one is going to provide the kind of stellar power, fuel economy, and utility that makes for a great compact SUV.

  • Performance

    A red 2020 Ford Escape is driving up a dirt hill with mountains in the background.

    2020 Ford Escape

    Part of the challenge in developing a great compact SUV is finding a balance between superb engine power and fuel conservation. You’ll need plenty of horsepower and torque to heft even a compact SUV, and that all costs fuel. Fortunately, Ford has managed to find that blend, giving drivers the option between engines that prioritize fuel conservation, and more robust builds that expand upon the delivery of performance.

    The Engines and Trims of the Ford Escape

    The 2020 Ford Escape is available in the S, SE, SEL, or Titanium, a bundle of trim options that provide some pretty impressive diversity across all lines. Packed into the S, SE, and SEL, you’ll likely find a 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which surprisingly enough has some serious kick, amounting to about 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft worth of torque. Coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive as standard, the baseline performance of the 2020 Ford Escape is commendable, especially when you consider that you’ll be getting around with an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

    All-wheel drive can be equipped to the Ford Escape, expanding upon the SUVs capabilities, even in the base model. That said, the 1.5L is far from the end of the line in terms of the Ford Escape’s degree of power. Spend a bit more cash, and you can upgrade to the Escape Titanium, which is equipped with a 2.0L EcoBoost that’s estimated at 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft worth of torque. The 8-speed automatic with this engine gets the job done, and Ford’s all-wheel drive option allows you to slip into different drive modes such as sport, slippery, snow/sand, and eco, all with seamless ease.

    Towing Capacity on the Escape

    Towing capacity is another high point for the 2020 Ford Escape. Towing tends to be where other SUVs fall a little short, as with such a small size, it can be difficult to haul anything of considerable size. The 2020 Ford Escape solves this with the punchy 1.5L able to tow a max of 2,000 pounds, and the 2.0L getting a top towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

    Escape Hybrid

    To give the 2020 Ford Escape another point there is a hybrid powertrain to choose from, as well. The SE Sport and Titanium trims can be purchased with a hybrid motor. On the fuel side, the hybrid Ford Escape is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine and in terms of electric power, an electric motor, and a 1.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack for power storage. The combined force of fuel and electric results in a pretty substantial 198 horsepower. And the addition of an electric motor gives the Ford Escape some serious fuel economy.

    2020 Chevy Equinox

    The 2020 Chevy Equinox is arguably a comparable vehicle with performance that does a decent job but still falls a little short of what the 2020 Ford Escape can deliver. For starters, the 2020 Chevy Equinox is available in a decent spread of trim options, including the L, LS, LT, and Premier. Base models of the Chevy Equinox do get a turbocharged 1.5-liter Turbo four-cylinder engine, and you’ll only end up getting around 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft worth of torque.

    Front-wheel drive is standard, and the 6-speed automatic transmission is good enough, but you’ll have to spend a bit more cash to catch up to the 2020 Ford Escape. Unfortunately, even fuel economy falls rather short, as the highest mpg you can get is 31 on the highway.

    What about a 2.0L on the Equinox?

    Fortunately, the 2020 Chevy Equinox can be upgraded to house a larger turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that does a considerably better job, providing 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft worth of torque. The 9-speed automatic transmission does a solid job, too, and the option of an AWD drivetrain expands the Chevy Equinox’s capability and overall performance. At its best the 2020 Chevy Equinox can tow up to 3,500 pounds putting it in range of the 2020 Ford Escape.

    Hybrid Equinox?

    While the 2020 Chevy Equinox does a decent job in terms of performance, the lower engine specs, and the lack of any hybrid options make for a good but not great driving experience. However, there is more to an SUV than just the engine humming beneath the hood.

  • Interior

    A side view of the front tan leather interior of the 2020 Ford Escape is shown.,

    2020 Ford Escape

    At 180.5 inches long and a wheelbase of 106.7 inches, the 2020 Ford Escape is a bit larger than the previous model. This expansion of size really counts, amounting to about 40.7 inches of legroom in the rear seats. Cargo space is a pretty solid perk in the 2020 Ford Escape, with about 37.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 65.4 cubic feet when those seats are put down. While the Hybrid version does sacrifice some spacing for an electric battery, the measurements don’t change all that much.

    Driver (and Passenger) Convenience Features

    Both front and rear seats are plenty comfortable and can be fitted with either cloth or leather upholstery. Base models come with a 4.2-inch LCD center screen, two USB ports, and an AM/FM radio. Although these baseline amenities can be upgraded to a staggering 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, complete with a 10-speaker audio system by B&O. Other incredible optional interior features include a hands-free power tailgate, a power front passenger seat, remote start, reverse parking sensors, ambient lighting, acoustic glass, and a 110-volt AC power outlet.

    2020 Chevy Equinox

    In the rear seats of the Chevy Equinox, passengers will find about 39.9 cubic inches of legroom. Cargo volume almost matches the Escape, but the Chevy Equinox falls quite a bit short totaling to 29.9 cubic feet when the rear seats are upright, and 63.9 cubic feet when those seats are folded down.

    Interior Convenience Features on the Equinox

    The 2020 Chevy Equinox has some solid basic interior amenities, including a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 4G-LTE hotspot is onboard as well at no extra cost to the buyer. The basic cloth upholstery gets the job done, and while many of these features can be upgraded, it doesn’t feel too necessary at first glance.

  • Safety

    A white 2020 Ford Escape, which wins when comparing the 2020 Ford Escape vs 2020 Chevy Equinox, is driving out of a restaurant's parking lot near Cincinnati, OH.

    2020 Ford Escape

    Ford packed their 2020 Escape SUV with a full package of safety features. At no extra cost to you, you can drive with peace of mind thanks to automatic emergency braking, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high-beam headlights. What’s truly remarkable is that the automatic emergency braking system can slow the vehicle even while it's traveling up to 75 mph.

    This package can be expanded upon to include additional features like adaptive cruise control, lane-centering control, a surround-view camera system, and a nifty head-up display.

    2020 Chevy Equinox

    The 2020 Chevy Equinox sports some comparable safety features, even going so far as to offer a similar standard safety package. In every model of the 2020 Chevy Equinox, you can enjoy seamless driving thanks to automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, automatic headlamps, a spiffy following distance indicator, and forward collision alerts. Adaptive cruise control is available in the safety package of the 2020 Chevy Equinox, as is rear-cross traffic alert, rear park assist, and lane change alerts with side blind zone alerts.

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