2020 Ford Escape vs 2020 Subaru Forester

2020 Ford Escape vs 2020 Subaru Forester
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2020 Ford Escape

Escape is all-new for 2020 and the redesign couldn’t come at a more opportune time. Escape plays in the highly competitive Small Utilities class, which has grown into one of the industry's largest and best-selling segments. The all-new Escape debuts in 2020 with dynamic new styling, three engine choices including a hybrid power-train, an infusion of driver-assist technologies, flexibility and more space. A fourth power-train option, the Escape plug-in hybrid, is expected to be available in the spring. These improvements put Escape in a position to take command in this thriving segment.


The Escape has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Forester doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Escape and the Forester have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and front and rear parking sensors.


There are almost 5 times as many Ford dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escape’s warranty.


The Escape has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Forester doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, below the industry average.


The Escape’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (190 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Escape’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 68 more horsepower (250 vs. 182) and 104 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Escape is faster than the Subaru Forester:


      Escape turbo 3-cyl.           

Escape turbo 4-cyl.             


Zero to 60 MPH

      8.4 sec

6.9 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

      16.6 sec

15.3 sec

17.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

      84.5 MPH

89.3 MPH

82.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escape 1.5 Turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Forester doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Escape has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Forester doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Escape’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Forester:



Forester Base/Premium

Forester Sport/Limited/Touring

 Front Rotors

    13 inches

11.6 inches

12.4 inches

 Rear Rotors  

    11.9 inches

11.2 inches

11.2 inches

The Escape stops shorter than the Forester:





70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escape offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Forester’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escape’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Forester (106.7 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

The Escape SE AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Forester Touring pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Escape Titanium AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Forester Touring (27.7 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s).


As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Escape SE AWD is quieter than the Forester Touring:





75 dB

81 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

76 dB

Passenger Space

The Escape has 1.1 inches more front hip room and 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the Forester.

Cargo Capacity

The Escape has a much larger cargo volume than the Forester with its rear seat up (37.5 vs. 35.4 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escape’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Forester doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.


The Escape’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Forester’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Forester is only 1500 pounds. The Escape offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.


The Escape Titanium offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Forester doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Escape and the Forester have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Escape is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Forester prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Escape’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Forester’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Escape Titanium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

The Escape Titanium has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Forester doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Escape Titanium’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Forester doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Escape is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Forester doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escape is less expensive to operate than the Forester because it costs $272 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Escape than the Forester, including $155 less for a water pump, $188 less for a starter, $350 less for fuel injection, $79 less for a fuel pump and $120 less for front struts.


The Ford Escape outsold the Subaru Forester by 34% during 2019.

2020 Ford Escape Brochure

We know that prospective compact SUV customers are extremely well educated when researching their next vehicle. That is why Langdale Ford has made these research pages, so it easy to get all the available vehicle information so you can spend less time researching and more time enjoying your purchase.  

We are your local, South Georgia and North Florida, Ford Dealer, proud of our community service and the hassle free and easy experience we offer our customers. Our honesty and integrity are two of the main reasons our customers have chosen us for all their automotive needs for over 56 years. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and you have our word.

2020 Ford Escape Brochure

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