Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) use the chassis of a truck to provide superior structure, with a larger size and often poor gas mileage. While that isn’t always true, SUVs have a raised ground clearance and are generally meant to haul a number of people around and may have three rows of seats as well.
The 2012 Nissan Rogue and the 2012 Ford Escape are remarkably similar options, even to the base price of the two offerings. The Escape provides stylish looks and an athletic performance with tight, new styling that makes it truly fun to drive while pulling a decent gas mileage at 31 mpg. The Nissan Rogue is great for small families, but offers an unexciting drive.
The flat, uncomfortable seats of the Nissan Rogue are made up for with a spacious and flexible interior and the useful cargo area organizer. It’s great for value-conscious families but is merely functional, not exceptional. The Ford Escape’s interior flaws include an awkward looking front end, seats that are just a touch too firm and limited front-seat knee room due to an oddly-shaped dash. The dash and cabin feel pretty plasticky on the Escape, but that isn’t unexpected from this class and price-point.
Both vehicles deliver top-notch fuel efficiency for their class, with comparable city mileage – while the Escape pulls out a few extra miles per gallon with 31 mpg versus the Rogue’s more limited 28 mpg. A larger fuel tank on the Rogue may eke out a few more miles between fill ups, but the vehicles are quite comparable in this area as well.
The main difference is in the crash test ratings, where the Nissan Rogue far outclasses the Ford Escape. The Rogue has a far lower chance of rolling over, and less risk of serious injury for occupants in the case of a wreck. Front driver crash test ratings are much higher for the Nissan than for the Ford, 4 stars versus a paltry 2 stars. Overall the Rogue is around 1.5 – 1.7 times safer than the Ford Escape; which can be pretty significant when you consider that you are using this vehicle to drive around your precious family.
While there are plenty of reasons to purchase an SUV, one of the largest tends to be safety ratings. Keep ride and handling in mind as well when comparing these two vehicles.