The 2019 Ford Escape and Subaru Forester are two street-smart crossovers with comfort, technology, and sportiness to spare. So which is more your speed? Our comparison guide has the answers you crave.
Premium People Hauling
Premium People Hauling: 2019 Ford Escape
For kick-back-style legroom and hours of seating support, we’d choose the Ford Escape every time. The cabin also does an excellent job of muffling wind and road noise, creating the perfect setting for your next road trip. And, of course, upscale luxuries are always on offer, from cozy seat heaters to chic leather upholstery.
The Subaru Forester puts a similar array of upscale features on offer, so you can ride around town in as much luxury as you care to buy. The Forester also scores high marks for space. The whole family should have no problem piling into the cabin. The rear seat cushions, however, can feel a little stiff, especially after hours on the highway.
Savviest Infotainment Gear
Savviest Infotainment Gear: 2019 Ford Escape
If you’re the kind of driver who puts a big emphasis on the old smartphone, say hello to the Ford Escape. The SYNC 3 infotainment interface includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, smartphone technology that lets you talk to your phone with both hands on the wheel and even displays your phone’s map app on the 8-inch central touchscreen. So you can skip the navigation upgrade altogether.
The Subaru Forester didn’t get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities until this year, but they’re here now and they’re standard on all trim models. That’s good news, of course. But the Forester’s native infotainment system isn’t quite as quick on the draw as Ford’s SYNC 3. We give the system points for looks, however. The graphics are crisp and easy to decipher with a glance.
Best Fuel Economy
Best Fuel Economy: 2019 Subaru Forester
The Forester actually saves you a little bit of money at the pump, which is something to consider if you’ve got a limited fuel budget. With only one powertrain on offer, every single Forester is EPA-rated to deliver 26 city and 33 highway miles per gallon.
Escape EPA ratings are a little more complicated, since you can choose between front- and all-wheel drive as well as three different engines. In its thriftiest configuration, however, the Escape is pretty impressive, earning 23 city and 30 highway mpg.
Most in Athleticism
Most in Athleticism: 2019 Ford Escape
The 2019 Ford Escape is our pick for a sporty ride. You’ll love how the powertrain snaps to attention whenever you hit the throttle. And the sharp steering and capable handling don’t hurt, either. But the Escape also gives you more options than the Forester, with three engines available to do your bidding. The fastest is a 245-horsepower turbo four-cylinder, and we have to report that it does not disappoint.
The Forester does have its high points—namely, impressive steering, handling, and braking. However, you’ll find the same engine in every Forester, which limits you to 182 horsepower max. This lack of muscle definitely puts a damper on performance.
The Subaru Forester might have the edge for fuel economy, but the 2019 Ford Escape is definitely the best-in-show compact crossover. If you’re shopping for a sporty ride, savvy smartphone integration, and cushy seating, the Escape is your perfect match.