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2021 Subaru Forester vs Ford Escape

2021 Subaru Forester vs Ford Escape

2021 Forester vs Escape - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

Although many large crossovers may look similar, not all have the same personality and purpose. Some were made to navigate easily down highways while maintaining commendable fuel efficiency. Others are designed to travel off-road with ease and tenacity. Still yet, some crossovers are prepared to put forth extra power when it is needed the most. The 2021 Subaru Forester and the 2021 Ford Escape fall into their own distinctive categories that make them attractive to a diverse group of consumers. These crossover models are worth considering as a comparison because both offer durability and utility that buyers can take advantage of daily. Perfect for routine driving, the 2021 Subaru Forester and the 2021 Ford Escape have made themselves well-equipped for the busy nature and wear and tear of regular driving.

Despite their common categorization as perfect blend of crossover and SUV, virtually every aspect of the 2021 Subaru Forester and the 2021 Ford Escape are different. Made for business commuting or family transport, the Ford Escape offers attributes that are detrimental to these types of usage. Yet, the Subaru Forester expands its horizons and sets itself up for easy off-road driving and adventuring. The 2021 Subaru Forester is always enthusiastically waiting to go wherever you call it, while the 2021 Ford Escape is just fine with completely routine tasks. Still yet, some buyers may fall in between these two categories and would prefer to explore the advantages each model has to offer. In the content below, we consider the benefits of each of these models and how they compare to one another.


The Powertrain

We know that the 2021 Subaru Forester and the 2021 Ford Escape have an athletic stance and composure, but what are they like under the hood? Starting off with the 2021 Ford Escape, two turbocharged engine options allow this model's athletic personality to extend into its performance attributes, as well. The base Ford Escape is equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that can produce 181 horsepower and be paired with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. An upgrade to a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that can produce up to 250 horsepower is also an option. Mated to eight-speed automatic transmissions, both engines are spunky and adept at handling quick changes.

The 2021 Ford Escape also diversifies its powertrain options by adding in two hybrid models. Each of these models relies on a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with two electric models to produce 221 horsepower in all. One of these options is also a plug-in hybrid, giving buyers even more choices to consider. Capable and economical, the two Ford Escape hybrid models show off the diversity of this crossover under the hood.

You will not find the same spread of engine options in the 2021 Subaru Forester. In fact, this crossover prides itself on being straightforward and easy-going in its powertrain offerings. Offering a sole engine across all models, the 2021 Subaru Forester relies on a 2.5-liter four-cylinder motor that can produce up to 182 horsepower. In the same layout, it can also tow up to 1,500 pounds. Paired with Subaru's distinctive all-wheel drive system, the Forester powertrain also consists of a contemporary continuously variable transmission, as well.

Since there are so many more engine styles to consider in the 2021 Ford Escape, this model varies more in its fuel efficiency than the 2021 Subaru Forester. The Forester averages 26 city mpg and 32 highway mpg, which is what we would consider average for a vehicle of this size. Comparatively, the smallest engine of the Ford Escape averages 27 city mpg and 33 highway mpg. Adding in all-wheel drive and moving up in engine size only reduces this standard. Still yet, the hybrid version of the 2021 Ford Escape can manage 37 miles of travel on a single charge. Although the 2021 Subaru Forester cannot compete with that, it does excel over a comparable engine in the 2021 Ford Escape.


Differentiating themselves from one another through their driving style, the 2021 Subaru Forester and the 2021 Ford Escape cater to different classes of buyers. The 2021 Subaru Forester is exciting, adventurous, and ready to go. It puts its sensibility and practicality on display and adds a flair of great style to boot. Its stature is like that of an SUV, but its limited blind spots created by larger windows is an upgrade most SUVs will not experience. The Subaru Forester also has a higher ground clearance, which is perfect for sporadic off-road exploration. This model is perfect for buyers who fly by the seat of their pants. It is well-equipped and ready to go on an adventure at any time.

Comparatively, the 2021 Ford Escape puts more of an emphasis on its power, which is evident in its multiple turbocharged engine options. Even the plug-in hybrid packs a punch, which is completely unexpected by buyers. Yet, each of these models differ from one another and one must consider their innate qualities to know what they should expect from each. The entry-level three-cylinder engine is a bit less refined than others, and it can take a little extra motivation to push it through strenuous situations. Yet, it accelerates nicely and functions better when all-wheel drive is added in. The Ford Escape does not place as much clout on its off-road performance, but rather focuses on its amenities for steady city driving with a little bit of power.

One of the main revelations buyers make when peering into the inside of each of these models is just how spacious each one is. Although they are not full-size SUVs, they understand the desire of buyers to gain access to more storage space than would be found in a typical sedan. Behind the back seat, the 2021 Subaru Forester can fit eleven carry-on suitcases. With the back seats folded down, the amount of available storage space can accommodate up to 23 suitcases. The 2021 Ford Escape dials this cargo area down a bit and fits just eight carry-ons behind the rear seat and 21 suitcases with the rear seats folded down. With plenty of room for passengers and their belongings, both models serve busy consumers well.

Buying Tip:

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Safety features and structural integrity are serious considerations buyers must make in evaluating a new vehicle for purchase. Fortunately, consumers do not have to worry about substandard safety elements in the 2021 Subaru Forester and the 2021 Ford Escape. Both small SUVs earned five-star safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Additionally, both the Forester and the Escape were named as Top Safety Pick vehicles by the IIHS. These two models each offer most of their safety amenities as standard, creating an equal playing field for buyer evaluation. Neither one holds integral safety elements as upgrade-only options that are available to only some buyers, which is an important concept to consider.

Driver assistive features are the newest and most trendy features a vehicle can encompass. These are attributes that assist drivers in making the riding experience for passengers safer and more intuitive. Unlike other models that pick and choose which driver assistive safety features to offer in their models, the 2021 Subaru Forester and the 2021 Ford Escape have incorporated signature packages in their models that group safety features together in a cohesive layout. For the 2021 Ford Escape, this package is known as Ford Co-Pilot360. For the 2021 Subaru Forester, this suite is known as the Subaru EyeSight suite of safety features. Safety enhancements like automated emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane-departure warning are incorporated in both options.

Which Has the Best Value?

There are many reasons why a potential buyer may choose one vehicle over another, but much of this has to do with the inherent value of a particular vehicle. Certain information, such as the cost of ownership, initial price difference, and trim level variations, can make a big impact on a buyer's overall decision.

When comparing the 2021 Ford Escape and the 2021 Subaru Forester there is no doubt the Ford Escape has more options under its hood than the Forester has to offer. While the Forester relies on a single engine option, the Escape goes on to build a repertoire of two gasoline engines and two hybrids to choose from. A wide range of horsepower and fueling options completes the powertrain regimen of the 2021 Ford Escape. Although this is enticing, the 2021 Subaru Forester reserves its energy and time for implementations elsewhere.

Each of these models boast similar warranty programs, so what is not covered under these packages will be the responsibility of the buyer. Undoubtedly, the 2021 Ford Escape will have a higher cost of ownership than the 2021 Subaru Forester. Parts for the Forester will be readily available and streamlined thanks to its sole engine option. Yet, buyers may have to pay more out of pocket for repairs to the 2021 Ford Escape's hybrid engine layouts. Not to mention, it may take more time to track down the right component for each powertrain selection in the Escape.

The price difference between the 2021 Subaru Forester and the 2021 Ford Escape likely is not extensive enough to make buyers sway one way or the other. Each one starts out within $1,000 of the other with the 2021 Ford Escape incorporating several more trim options than the 2021 Subaru Forester has to offer. This is partly due to the hybrid models of the Ford Escape and partly due to its ambitious personality. At the top trim, the 2021 Ford Escape costs substantially more than the 2021 Subaru Forester, which should also be taken into consideration.

Which is Better?

The 2021 Subaru Forester and the 2021 Ford Escape are small SUVs that are equally equitable in the amenities they have to offer. Each model boasts nearly identical safety attributes and commendable interior quality that was made for daily use. Where these two models begin to really differ is in their powertrain options and exterior styling.

The 2021 Ford Escape was made for commuting, family use, and regular driving. It offers two hybrid powertrains that stay in line with this concept and provide a more efficient method of travel. For those who want a little more power, two gasoline options are also available. The Escape maintains both powertrain styles with a conventional exterior look. While it is bold and dynamic, the Escape's exterior is standard for a Ford model. It looks like a typical small SUV, even though it is quite different from others under the hood. If you are looking for a small SUV that will contribute to your daily commuting or carpooling, the 2021 Ford Escape is a good option.

In contrast, the 2021 Subaru Forester maintains a simplistic attitude in its powertrain regimen, but it places more attitude on employing exterior features that make off-road travel easier and more comfortable. It incorporates high ground clearance, various driving modes, and better visibility that contributes to serious adventuring. Although it can get quite upscale in its trim levels, the Subaru Forester is reserved in this area, too. However, if you are looking for a vehicle that you can take anywhere with ease, you should consider the 2021 Subaru Forester as a viable option.

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