2017 Ford Escape vs. 2017 Toyota RAV4

Posted Friday, Feb 17, 2017 by North Hollywood Toyota

In the SUV market, the Ford Escape and the Toyota RAV4 have long been two of the most popular and best-regarded vehicles available. These two SUVs have long, complementary histories that have seen them grow and develop in response to changing trends and developing tastes.

For example, both the Escape and the RAV4 were redesigned in 2014, and then again for 2017. With two new, refreshed versions of these classic SUVs coming out this year, we thought we’d take a look at what makes the two of them similar and what ultimately sets them apart and makes the RAV4 a better pick.

No, it’s not just because our Los Angeles Toyota dealership loves everything Toyota does. So, what’s the real reason the RAV4 comes out on top? Read on to find out.


Safety First

SUVs have a complicated history when it comes to safety ratings. While many drivers consider them to be safer simply because of their size, ratings agencies and safety experts sometimes tell a different story.

While automakers have been working very hard to make SUVs safer since the first stories of rollovers and other issues started to reach the public in the 1990s, the results have been sporadic, at best, with some SUVs getting maximum safety scores while others still struggle to get acceptable grades.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the RAV4 and the Escape is the gap between their respective safety ratings. While the 2017 Escape did get better safety scores than previous versions, it still only managed to earn an “Acceptable” grade from the IIHS.

The RAV4, on the other hand, earned a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS and was given a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.[i] Given the importance of vehicle safety, the difference between the RAV4’s top grades and the Escape’s middling performance speaks volumes.

Eco-Friendly Options

Another edge the RAV4 has over the Escape is that, starting with the 2017 version, the RAV4 is available in two different versions: standard and hybrid. Toyota has long been a trendsetter in the hybrid market, and the addition of a more eco-friendly SUV is a welcome development in the company’s hybrid portfolio.

Despite the growing acceptance of hybrid vehicles in the American market, Ford has yet to offer a hybrid version of the Escape. Despite the many similarities these vehicles share, the lack of a hybrid engine option from Ford says a lot about which one of these companies is more interested in pushing into the future, and which one is coasting on past successes.


The RAV4 and the Escape have both been around for more than fifteen years, and both deserve their popularity and their reputation for quality. What it really comes down to, though, is that the 2017 updates of the two vehicles show the real differences between the two and demonstrate why the 2017 RAV4 is the better pick between the two.

Want to test-drive a 2017 Toyota RAV4? Contact North Hollywood Toyota today at 800-800-6730.