2018 Ford Escape vs. Competition

March 5th, 2018 by

2018 Ford Escape vs. the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

The Ford Escape continues to be one of the manufacturer’s best-selling models, and for good reason. Consider a test drive of the 2018 Ford Escape at Zeck Ford in Leavenworth, KS, or take a look at our comparisons to its closest competitors below.

The 2018 Ford Escape and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport are both compact SUVs or ‘crossovers.’ While similar in their stature and size, there are some important differences in trim level offerings and what they include.

Trim Levels

Ford’s 2018 Escape is available in S, SE, SEL, and Titanium trim levels. The S is pretty basic and it climbs steadily up the four levels, adding features along the way to a reach the pinnacle with the Titanium. The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has fewer levels with base, 2.0T, and 2.0T Ultimate trim levels but is similar in that the base models can, to some degree take on the options of the higher trim levels. At the base and middle levels, the Escape and Santa Fe Sport are similar in terms of options like sound systems and other driver amenities but differ in more concrete differences in wheels and engine choices among the trim levels.


The 2018 Ford Escape and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport are closely matched in interior space and the options available. Both the Escape and Santa Fe, in their various trim levels, are similar in that they have a wide array of interior features that include premium sound systems, split-seating, climate controls, keyless entry, parking assistance, automated mirrors, inputs for mobile devices, voice controls and safety features such as blind spot monitoring.

There are a few subtle differences in interior options such as the maximum display size of 7 inches on the Santa Fe Sport as opposed to 8 inches on the Ford Escape. When it comes to gadgetry and driver assistance, the major difference between the two is in how they are allocated in the trim levels. The Ford Escape offers a more gradual transition with more choices whereas the Hyundai is more abrupt with basic transitioning to major differences. This can make the Ford Escape less expensive to get the things you really want.

Power and Traction for the Road

At all trim levels, the 2018 Ford Escape and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport offer similar powertrain options. The Escape S kicks things off with a four-cylinder 2.5-liter engine that produces 168 horsepower with 170 pound-feet of torque and front-wheel drive. The Hyundai base Sport has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 185 HP with 178 pound-feet of torque and front-wheel drive.

On the upper end, the Ford Escape Titanium sports a four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 245 horsepower. The Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0T and 2.0T Ultimate are driven by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces a slightly lower 240 horsepower. Both have six-speed automatic transmissions and available all-wheel drive.

Another subtle difference is that the Escape is available with 19-inch wheels where the Santa Fe tops out at 18 inches. Like the interior amenities, the major difference is that the Escape offers a bit more refinement in the choice given the four different trim levels.

No matter how one slices it, both the 2018 Ford Escape and 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport offer a great deal for the crossover lover. The choices are many, with the Ford Escape slightly edging out the Santa Fe Sport with the ability to offer a bit more choices.

2018 Ford Escape vs. 2018 Kia Sportage

Storage Capacity

Both the 2018 Ford Escape and the 2018 Kia Sportage have similar overall vehicle measurements, with only about 1 or 2 inches of a difference all around. The Ford Escape is slightly taller and wider, being 66.3 inches tall, while the Kia Sportage is 64.4 inches tall. While the Ford Escape is 178.1 inches wide, the Kia Sportage is 176.4 inches wide.

Although their measurements are nearly the exact same, just a couple of inches on the height and length of a vehicle can make a big difference. The Ford Escape has a maximum cargo capacity of 68 cubic feet, while the Kia Sportage is only capable of holding 60.1 cubic feet worth of cargo.

The 2018 Ford is only marginally taller and wider than the 2018 Kia but is capable of holding a considerable amount more cargo per volume. Additionally, the Ford Escape is able to hold even more cargo externally, with a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. The 2018 Kia Sportage has a maximum towing capacity of up to 2,000 lbs.

Interior Styling

As far as the interior goes, the 2018 Ford Escape comes with an 8-way power driver seat for seat adjustment, while passenger seats come with 4-way manual adjustments. The 2018 Kia Sportage comes with a 6-way manual driver seat for adjustments and a 4-way manual adjustment for passenger seats. Both vehicles feature cloth seats and height-adjustable driver seats.

The 2018 Ford Escape offers multi-level heat adjustments on the driver and passenger seats, which comes standard on all models. Heated seats help keep you and your car warmer in the cold winter months. Both vehicles have nearly similar front hip room, leg room and shoulder room in the seats, and are only 1 to 2 inches different. The rear seats of both vehicles offer a folding center armrest, reclining seats and rear ventilation ducts, all standard features across all models.

Tech Features

The Kia Sportage offers 3 months of a satellite radio service subscription, while the Ford Escape offers 6 months. After this free trial, a paid subscription is needed to continue the service. Both cars have a total of 6 speakers, a USB connection, and an auxiliary input.

With upgraded models, the Ford Escape also offers 1 subwoofer, up to 10 speakers, premium Sony speakers, and a monitor. The Kia Sportage does not offer these features, even on the more upgraded models.

Both cars have backup cameras on all models, but only the Ford Escape has climate control across all models and offers front and rear parking sensors. The 2018 Ford Escape also has dual illuminating vanity mirrors for convenience at night. Both vehicles also offer keyless ignition and turn signal mirrors, but only on the most upgraded models.

2018 Ford Escape vs. 2018 Toyota RAV4

Interior and Styling

The 2018 Ford Escape offers heated seats as a standard feature on all models, unlike the 2018 Toyota RAV4, which only offers it on the higher priced limited edition. Heated seats are a great feature for the cold winter months and will keep you warm as soon as you exit your home and enter your vehicle. Both cars also include a backup camera and auto climate control, standard on all models of each vehicle.

When looking at each car’s features and weighing the pros and cons, the price is an important factor to consider. Although the two cars are very similar when it comes to interior features and styling, it is important to note that the 2018 Ford Escape is priced $2,000-$6,000 cheaper than the Toyota RAV4, depending on the model you choose.

Engine Performance

Both cars have similar engine performance, with inline-4 cylinders, 16 valves, variable valve timing and a double overhead cam. These vehicles both have nearly equally powerful engines and performance, although their gas tank capacity differs, with the 2018 Ford Escape holding less fuel than the 2018 Toyota RAV4.

The Ford Escape does one thing differently from the Toyota RAV4, and that is its direct injection feature. This feature gives vehicles a better fuel economy and a stronger, more powerful engine. Direct injection has also been shown to decrease car emissions, making vehicles that possess this feature more environmentally friendly and efficient.

Entertainment Features

With a 6-month free trial of satellite radio service, the Ford Escape lets you try before you buy. All models of both vehicles come with a total of 6 speakers, a USB connection, and an auxiliary input. But only the 2018 Escape features satellite radio and speed-sensitive volume control as a standard feature on all models. It’s natural for cars to sound louder the faster they go, and having to turn the volume up and down when the speed changes is not only an inconvenience but also a distraction from the road. When the car adjusts the volume for the driver, it makes a more seamless, secure driving experience.

As far as entertainment goes, in more advanced models, the Ford Escape also offers even more things that the Toyota RAV4 does not offer. These features include a subwoofer, 4 additional speakers, premium Sony speakers, a memory card slot and a video monitor.

Although high-quality sound and entertainment is not a must with any vehicle, it is useful for entertaining kids or other passengers for a long road trip. The 2018 Ford Escape offers a more engaging experience than the 2018 Toyota RAV4 in this aspect, simply because of the additional features available.

Posted in New Vehicles