A blue 2023 Ford Escape is shown from the front driving on a winding road lined with trees.

How the 2023 Ford Escape Stands Out Among Its Compact SUV Competition

There’s a discussion you and I need to have. Drivers are constantly looking for the next great thing, but what about the drivers simply looking for a vehicle that makes the competition look subpar? It’s not uncommon for drivers to diligently look for Ford Escapes for sale, but is this for any particular reason? The answer is multi-faceted, but it all comes back to one broader solution: the Ford Escape can do things its competition can’t match.

From performance and efficiency to its cargo space and standard features — the Ford Escape trumps the competition, and the entire experience is crafted with that indistinguishable quality you’d expect from a vehicle crafted with the iconic Ford badging. The Ford Escape is a versatile and reliable vehicle worth the hard-earned cash of many drivers. I’m going to go into a bit more detail about what makes the 2023 Escape stand out amongst the world of compact SUVs.

A Value-Friendly Starting Price and More

Its price immediately separates the 2023 Ford Escape from plenty of its competition. However, the price of the 2023 Ford Escape against its competitors brings up another point of contention: price-to-performance. Fortunately, the latest Ford Escape lives up to both in remarkable ways. To set the stage, the 2023 Ford Escape starts at an MSRP of $27,500, which is not only similarly priced to Toyota’s competitor: the RAV4 – it’s also listed at a lower price than some of its immediate competitors like the Honda CR-V and GMC Terrain. The price of the Escape plays a large part in its success, but it would be all for naught if it didn’t stand out from the crowd in other ways, so let’s discuss.

A red 2023 Ford Escape is shown from a top view in a driveway.

May the Strongest Win

The Ford Escape’s pricing lends itself nicely to another facet of the Escape experience that I need to discuss: performance. While the 2023 Ford Escape starts at a lower MSRP than some of its most noteworthy competitors, it also has more horsepower, torque, or both in its base form against models from popular manufacturers like Honda, GMC, Chevy, Kia, and more. And, thanks to an available upgraded engine, the 2023 Ford Escape exceeds the performance of its competitors.

For comparison, the 2023 Ford Escape features two engines (not including the hybrid option): a turbocharged 1.5L I-3 engine or a turbocharged 2.0L I-4 engine, yet vehicles like the GMC Terrain, Chevy Equinox, Kia Sportage, and more only offer one engine. The turbocharged 1.5L I-3 engine inside the base level Escape produces 180 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque, which is more than the 175 hp the GMC Terrain and Chevy Equinox create on their base models – albeit, those two SUVs output a slightly larger 203 lb-ft of torque.

Regardless of the extra torque, the base-level Terrain and Equinox can only tow 1,500 lbs, while the Escape’s base model sports a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 lbs. As you may expect, with the Terrain and Equinox only offering one engine, 1,500 lbs are the maximum towing capacity, yet drivers will still be paying more than they would for the Escape. However, because the Escape offers an additional engine, how does it fare?

The second powertrain available to the 2023 Escape is a turbocharged 2.0L I-4 engine that outputs an ample 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, which puts it leagues above the GMC Terrain, Chevy Equinox, Kia Sportage, Subaru Forester, and the Toyota RAV4. For reference, the 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque the 2023 Ford Escape can output provides nearly 43% more horsepower and 38% more torque than the Terrain and Equinox.

The 2023 RAV4 can only be fitted with a 2.5L I-4 engine that doesn’t live up to the turbocharged 2.0L I-4 in the Escape. The only way to improve the performance of the Honda CR-V is by going with the hybrid model altogether; however, it only outputs 204 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque, so it’s still lower than the Escape’s turbocharged engine. The turbocharged 2.0L I-4 engine also increases the maximum towing capacity of the Escape to 3,500 lbs, putting it at 133% more than the Equinox, Terrain, and CR-V and 40% greater than the Kia Sportage.

A Spacious Interior Is a Versatile One

Against its contemporaries, the 2023 Escape is a spacious vehicle. In the realm of compact SUVs like the Escape, cargo space has always been a point of contention, and in most cases having extra cargo space is never a bad thing – in one of those “it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it,” type of situations. Like other compact SUVs in the market, the Escape doesn’t offer a third row of seating, but that doesn’t mean this SUV isn’t spacious. SUVs like the Escape allow the driver to fold back the rear row of seats to reveal additional cargo space, but this isn’t exclusive to the Escape. What makes the Escape stand out from the crowd is its available cargo space against the likes of Chevy, GMC, and Mazda’s offerings.

Putting the 2023 Escape against the 2023 Chevy Equinox, 2023 GMC Terrain, and a special appearance from the Mazda CX-50 – the Escape is indisputably more spacious – sometimes more subtly, and sometimes in significant ways. For example, the 2023 Escape has a maximum of 65.4 cu.ft. of space when the rear seats are folded down, which is 3% more than the Terrain, 2% more than the Equinox, and an impressive 16% more than the Mazda CX-50. However, when drivers need that back-row of seating kept upright for any reason – likely because they’re traveling with friends or family – the Escape retains a whopping 37.5 cu.ft. of space.

With such a large amount of cargo space at the disposal of the driver and their passengers at all times, the Escape is the perfect vehicle with enough room for family vacations, beach trips, or a simple weekly visit to the grocery store. The 37.5 cu.ft. of space is impressive alone, but when compared to the CX-50 with its 31.4 cu.ft. of space, the Escape offers a 19% increase. More impressively, the Escape’s cargo space greatly exceeds the likes of the Equinox and Terrain, whose 29.9 and 29.6 cu.ft. of cargo space, respectively, are outmatched, with the Escape offering a 25% and 26% increase against those two competing SUVs.

A person is shown walking away from a brown 2023 Ford Escape parked on the side of a city street.

A League of Its Own

Something the 2023 Ford Escape does particularly well against the competing models in its class, like the GMC Terrain and the Honda CR-V, is to make their options look immediately obsolete. When one manufacturer can do things equally or better and has a lower starting price to boot, there’s no reason you shouldn’t go with that vehicle – value-friendly propositions should be welcomed, not disregarded.

The 2023 Ford Escape is one example of how Ford keeps its competing manufacturers on their toes because one wrong move or absurd pricing can cause Ford to run away with the competition – something the manufacturer is well-known for doing. Ford knows how to treat its consumers right, and there’s a reason it’s one of the most beloved manufacturers to exist and sells many of the top-selling vehicles currently on the market – and the Escape is but one of them.