2018 Escape vs 2018 Equinox

Which American Compact SUV Is Right for You?

Ford versus Chevy. The oldest rivalry in the automotive world is still alive and as relevant today as ever. Today though, the competition is less about muscle cars or even midsize sedans, and more about compact SUVs.

Compact SUVs are the family haulers of today, every bit as much as the Galaxies and Impalas were in their heyday.

Ford Escape

Chevrolet Equinox



Seating Capacity


Maximum Cargo Volume

67.8 Cu. Ft.63.5 Cu. Ft.

Fuel Tank

15.7 Gal.14.9 Gal.

Interior Comfort

Winner: 2018 Ford Escape

Both the Equinox and the Escape have comfortable, well-finished interiors. The Equinox has a little more legroom in the back seat than the Escape, but reviewers found the Escape's front seats more comfortable. There were several complaints that the seats in the new Equinox were not as comfortable as those in the old model. Both come standard with cloth seats and offer leather on higher trim levels. Both have two full sets of LATCH anchors, though the top tethers can be easy to miss on the Escape. It was a close call, but the Escape provides better passenger comfort than the Equinox.  

Interior Technology

Winner: 2018 Ford Escape

Both the Escape and the Equinox have modern, up-to-date infotainment systems that can easily interface with your cellphone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard in the Equinox. Ford's SYNC 3 system is snappy, responsive, and super easy to use. The MyLink System in the Equinox has physical buttons to control volume and climate controls. One big advantage of the SYNC 3 package is the ability to show multiple functions on the screen simultaneously.Both infotainment systems are easy-to-use, but Ford's is slightly more intuitive. For that reason, the Equinox gets beat out by the Escape in this category.

Cargo Space

Winner: 2018 Ford Escape

When comparing the cargo space, the Escape comes out ahead, both for the 34.3 cubic feet of space it has behind the rear seats and the 67.8 cubic feet it offers when you fold the rear seats down. The cargo space inside the Equinox isn't as tall, so its total cargo volume is smaller too: 29.9 cubic feet behind the back seat, and only 63.5 when you fold it down.

Power and Acceleration

Winner: 2018 Ford Escape

Measuring again with the 1.5-liter turbocharged engines that most buyers will get with both cars, the Ford Escape has slightly more horsepower than the Chevrolet Equinox: 179 to 170, though most reviews show the Equinox is fractionally quicker in accelerating from zero to 60 mph.
The Equinox's top engine delivers 252 horsepower, versus 245 for the Escape. Acceleration tests comparing models with equivalent engines were a mixed bag, but were generally close.
The real difference comes down to the transmission. Almost every reviewer complained that the Equinox's transmission blunted its engine's power, no matter which engine they tested. Reviewers tended to praise the Escape's shifting and power delivery, so we'll give the nod here to the Ford.

Ride and Handling

Winner: 2018 Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is one of the most athletic compact SUVs you can buy, yet it's wafts over bumps like a European luxury car. The Chevrolet Equinox rides equally comfortably and responds quickly to steering inputs, although it doesn't egg you on to nip corners just a little tighter as the Escape can.

The Winner Is ...

Winner: 2018 Ford Escape

If you're in the market for a small SUV, the Ford Escape is an excellent choice. It's powerful, has plenty of room inside, and has the polished ride and handling of much more expensive and luxurious cars.Although its sticker price is a few hundred dollars more than that of the Chevrolet Equinox, the Escape has been out for a number of years and it's easy to find much greater discounts. If you need a little more room but still want a small SUV, the Chevrolet Equinox also isn't a bad choice. It gets better fuel economy and has a more spacious back seat. In every other way, it falls just a little short of Ford's excellent Escape.

  1. Don Tester Ford-Lincoln Inc

    2800 US Hwy 250 South
    Norwalk, OH 44857

    • Sales: (419) 750-5024
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Don Tester Ford-Lincoln Inc

2800 US Hwy 250 South
Directions Norwalk, OH 44857

  • Sales: (419) 750-5024
  • Service: (419) 750-5026
  • Parts: (419) 750-5028


  • Monday 8:30am-7pm
  • Tuesday 8:30am-6pm
  • Wednesday 8:30am-6pm
  • Thursday 8:30am-7pm
  • Friday 8:30am-6pm
  • Saturday 8:30am-2pm
  • Sunday Closed

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