2012 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2012 Ford Escape: Which One Should I Buy?

SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) are a fun class of vehicle to drive – with their generally excellent handling on the road, their quick acceleration, and the ability to move a fair number of people while still looking pretty cool, they represent the best of several different types of vehicles on the road today. The differences between the Ford Escape and the Toyota RAV4 are pretty minimal, especially when it comes to the looks.

The Ford Escape proves that it is a solid and bona fide crossover, but is hampered by sluggish handling and an interior that feels very cheap and plasticky. The RAV4 provides everything you would expect from a Toyota: a strong, refined choice but with a slightly dated-looking interior that you may wish would disappear to days of future past.

ford escape 2012
2012 Ford Escape

Interior Design

The RAV4’s design is reminiscent of one from the mid-1990s and the uncomfortably-designed plastic dash is not something that makes most customers thrilled with the feel. The ride of the RAV4 is comfortable and the interior is spacious, but the third row is definitely lacking in size and the rear-mounted spare is not convenient at all. The Escape has an automatic that drives above-average gas mileage for the four-cylinder engine but the ride and body roll leave very much to be desired.

Fuel Economy

Identical fuel economy for highway, and only slightly different city fuel economy make these both a decent option for commuting, but still far surpassed by the majority of sedans. The larger 16.5 gallon fuel tank on the Ford Escape let you go just a little bit longer between fill-ups; something that is always appreciated when you have small children.

Safety Ratings

Overall NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) doesn’t offer a stellar rating to either of the two offerings, with the rollover rating, front ratings and driver’s side ratings giving four stars for both the Toyota RAV4 and the 2012 Ford Escape. In IIHS crash test ratings, both vehicles rated “Good” for the majority of testing. Other challenges came from the overall rollover rating for the two vehicles. An additional immobilizer is available in the RAV4 that doesn’t exist in the Ford Escape.

Additional Perks

The Ford Escape offers some extras that the RAV4 just doesn’t – things like a higher-tech audio and stereo system as well as additional overhead storage, tilted head restraints and available voice recognition.

Both of these options offer a relatively affordable ride that provides the security of a larger vehicle with the gas mileage of a much smaller and more compact ride.


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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