It's common knowledge that Ford sells the best selling pickup truck in the country. Their pickup sensibilities seem to have trickled down into other classes as well. Take the Ford Escape. There's no doubt there's a difference. After all, the Escape was originally built on a crossover-specific frame, not the F-150 frame. And we're not saying it doesn't do what SUVs should. The Escape earned five stars in safety and seats five comfortably. But there's still something trucky about this crossover SUV. To see what we mean, we'll compare the 2018 Ford Explorer to the Honda CR-V.
Acceleration: 2018 Ford Escape
With the 2018 Ford Escape, you have your choice of three different engines. We recommend skipping over the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in favor of one of the turbocharged options. That leaves a 1.5-liter turbo engine that puts out 179 horsepower, and a 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo engine. The 1.5-liter can go zero to 60 in 9.2 seconds, but we get excited about the 2.5-liter which can do the same in 7.1 seconds.
The best engine the 2018 Honda CR-V offers a 190-horsepower 1.5-liter inline-four engine that goes zero to 60 in 7.6 seconds. There's also a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, but it fares worse, making only 184 horsepower. In an all-out race, it's the Ford Escape that wins every lap.
Handling: 2018 Ford Escape
But how do these crossover SUVs hug those turns? Good handling means an athletic feel and good feedback. When you lean into a curve, the 2018 Ford Escape responds. The Escape's steering is tight and suspension makes curves a breeze.
By comparison, the 2018 Honda CR-V is more refined than sporty. The CR-V won't put a smile on your face or leave you looking forward to your next drive. Instead, the CR-V shoots for the middle ground of stability. That's not to say it hasn't improved in this category in recent years, but not enough to catch up to the Ford Escape.
Towing Capacity: 2018 Ford Escape
Nothing is more truck-like than towing. And the 2018 Ford Escape does its pickup siblings proud. The Escape is slated to tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped. That means getting the Titanium trim level and its tow-friendly package. Those are big numbers that no one in the crossover class, save the Jeep Cherokee, can beat or even get close. Even if you don't maximize your towing capacity, the Escape can tow 2,000 pounds.
On the other hand, the Honda CR-V, while able to tow, only does up to 1,500 pounds. That might be okay for utility trailers, but won't do much more. In this competition, the 2018 Ford Escape has more power and sportier sensibilities. If you like the Ford brand because of their trucks, you'll probably enjoy the Ford Escape as well.