2020 Subaru Forester vs Ford Escape Comparison in Olympia, WA

There's no shortage of small SUVs on the market today. It's easy to see why this segment is so beloved: small SUVs have the space and capability of an SUV, but still manage to be maneuverable for driving on the road. We think that the Subaru Forester is simply the best small SUV you'll find. But we do have to admit that there are some good competitors, like the 2020 Ford Escape. Let's take a look below to see how these two SUVs compare.

Subaru Forester interior with rear seat folded

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Ford Escape: Design & Comfort

Though both the Subaru Forester and the Ford Escape are classified as small SUVs, Ford really takes the "small" part seriously. You'll get 104 cubic feet of passenger volume inside the 2020 Ford Escape. By comparison, the 2020 Subaru Forester has 111.9 cubic feet of passenger space! But it's not just roominess that makes the Subaru Forester exceptional. In many aspects of design, Subaru gives you a little extra. For example, LED headlights are standard on the 2020 Subaru Forester, but not on the Ford Escape. Similarly, automatic climate control is standard in the Subaru Forester, but is an available upgrade only in the Ford Escape.

Touchscreen in a Subaru Forester

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Ford Escape: Infotainment

The 2020 Ford Escape comes standard with a 4.2-inch screen in the center stack. Not a touchscreen, mind: a simple LCD screen. The 2020 Subaru Forester, on the other hand, comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen that's part of the STARLINK® Multimedia Plus system. This system also includes cloud-based applications, which the Ford Escape lacks. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ are also available upgrades only in the Ford Escape, but standard in the Subaru Forester.

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Subaru Forester driving

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Ford Escape: Performance

If you look at the specs for the engines in these SUVs, you may notice that they seem pretty similar. The Subaru Forester gets a couple more horsepower and one fewer pound-foot of torque. But in the real world, they're vastly different. That's because the Forester is powered by a BOXER® engine, while the Ford Escape has an inline engine. The benefits of a BOXER® are many. Because they're horizontally opposed, they can help reduce vibrations and noise. Furthermore, their flat layout means that they can be placed lower in the engine compartment, giving the Forester a lower center of gravity. This translates to better balance and better handling, and the difference is clear when you take a test drive.

Subaru Forester driving down off-road trail

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Ford Escape: Safety

Traction is all-important, whether you're driving on city streets on a rainy day or heading out for some off-road adventure. The 2020 Subaru Forester is known for its traction, thanks to standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. In addition, the Forester allows you to add available features like LED Steering Responsive Headlights, which are not available in the Ford Escape. And while both SUVs have standard features like pre-collision braking and lane keep assist, only the Subaru Forester has standard adaptive cruise control. You'll have to pay more to get this feature in the Ford Escape.

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2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Ford Escape: Value

These two SUVs are almost identical in price, with the Subaru Forester having a slightly lower starting MSRP. It makes sense, then, to go with the one that gives you the most for your money. In this case, that's the 2020 Subaru Forester. Take one for a test drive today!

2020 Subaru Forester2020 Ford Escape
$24,495Starting MSRP*$24,885
176 lb-ftTorque177 lb-ft
StandardAll-Wheel DriveAvailable Upgrade
33 Highway MPG / 26 City MPGGas Mileage (w/ AWD)33 Highway MPG / 27 City MPG
111.9 cu. ft.Passenger Volume104 cu. ft.
76.1 cu. ft.Maximum Cargo Volume65.4 cu. ft.
StandardAutomatic Climate ControlAvailable Upgrade
StandardAdaptive Cruise ControlAvailable
6.5-Inch TouchscreenStandard Center Stack Screen4.2-Inch LCD Screen

*Manufacturer's suggested retail price does not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title and registration fees. Destination and delivery includes handling and inland freight fees and may vary in some states. Prices, specifications, options, features and models subject to change without notice.