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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Chris

22 years of experience
2086 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 L4-2.4L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Irvine, California
Very pleased with the communication. Had a late appt book but Chris called and was able to come much earlier to do a Pre Purchase inspection. He called right after to verbally share the inspection report and it was consistent to what he stated on the online report. Overall great experience. Very professional and satisfied with the service we asked for. Thank you!
Audi RS5 Sportback - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Menifee, California
Good communication before and after appointment. Called shortly after the appt and talked through his review. Much appreciated.

Miguel

21 years of experience
203 reviews
Miguel
21 years of experience
Mini Cooper L4-2.0L Turbo - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Teterboro, New Jersey
I booked a pre-purchase inspection through YourMechanic.com and Miguel Medina did the inspection. Miguel was very thorough and professional and answered all of my specific questions promptly and completely. I am completely satisfied with Miguel's service and advice and with the YourMechanic.com service.
Infiniti G35 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Totowa, New Jersey
Miguel is professional he arrived to the appointment early and did a through inspection of the vehicle we are interested in purchasing.

Victor

35 years of experience
192 reviews
Victor
35 years of experience
Ford Fiesta L4-1.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Victor showed up right on time. He was very polite and very knowledgeable. Excellent first time experience using yourmechanic.com.

Chris

18 years of experience
447 reviews
Chris
18 years of experience
Toyota Camry L4-2.4L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Richardson, Texas
Very, very thorough and reliable! I feel much safer knowing that a true professional with tremendous attention to detail gave my car a pre-purchase inspection that brought to my awareness all sorts of issues I would never have otherwise addressed. You won't believe how many things you'll realize you need to fix! I'll most definitely have Chris have my other cars looked at as well.

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