Jones Ford Verde Valley Compares 2011 Ford Escape VS 2011 Toyota Rav4 Near Verde Valley, AZ

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2011 Ford Escape

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2011 Toyota Rav4

Safety Comparison

The Escape’s blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver's blind spots. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver's blind spots.

The Escape offers optional SYNC, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies.

Both the Escape and the Rav4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Escape is safer than the Rav4:





5 Stars

5 Stars

Head Injury Index



Leg injuries (L/R)

667 / 987

941 / 1146



5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Index



Chest forces

42 g’s

47 g’s

More stars indicate a better overall result. Lower numbers indicate better individual test results.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the Escape is safer then the Rav4:



Overall Evaluation



Head Restraint Design



Distance from Back of Head

30 mm

40 mm

Distance Below Top of Head

28 mm

42 mm

Dynamic Test Rating



Seat Design



Torso Acceleration

7.3 g’s

11.2 g’s

Neck Force Rating



Max Neck Tension



(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

Warranty Comparison

There are over 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Escape’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Escape has a 110-amp alternator. The Rav4’s standard 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 21st, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Escape Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Rav4:




2.5 4 cyl. hybrid/Auto

34 city/31 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto


2.5 4 cyl. hybrid/Auto

30 city/27 hwy

21 city/27 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

The Escape has a standard capless fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation which causes pollution. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a capless fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Escape’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4:



Rav4 7-Passenger/V6

Front Rotors

11.9 inches

10.8 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Escape has larger standard tires than the Rav4 (225/65R17 vs. 215/70R16).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Escape’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Rav4 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For greater off-road capability the Escape has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Rav4 (8.4 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the Escape to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The Escape is 4 inches shorter than the Rav4, making the Escape easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Escape has a much larger cargo area than the Rav4 with its rear seat up (31.4 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

The Escape’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Rav4’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

The Escape’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Rav4’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics Comparison

The engine computer on the Escape automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Rav4’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

The power windows standard on both the Escape and the Rav4 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Escape is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Rav4 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the standard exterior keypad (not available on Escape XLS). The Rav4 doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Rav4’s power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Escape’s standard doors lock when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Escape’s standard power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The Rav4’s power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Escape has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Rav4 doesn’t offer rear vents.

With optional Sync, the Escape offers the driver hands free control of the radio, cell phone and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a voice control system.

The Escape Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Rav4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escape is less expensive to operate than the Rav4 because it costs $264 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Escape than the Rav4, including $76 less for a water pump, $79 less for a starter, $90 less for fuel injection, $94 less for a fuel pump, $191 less for front struts and $152 less for a timing belt/chain.

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