The 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid and the 2021 Escape Hybrid are two compact SUVs with exceptional fuel economy. Here’s how they compare.
2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid
Above Average: Roomy, comfortable cabin; smooth ride; standard AWD; standard active-safety features.
Below Average: Dated infotainment system; modest towing capacity; hybrid battery diminishes cargo space.
Consensus: The CR-V Hybrid builds on the CR-V’s strengths of a roomy interior and responsive handling. It offers more horsepower than the regular CR-V for improved acceleration to complement its superior fuel economy.
2021 Ford Escape Hybrid
Above Average: Fuel economy; low starting price; roomy second-row seat; standard active-safety features; available plug-in version.
Below Average: Soft, rounded look isn’t for everyone; some cheap interior materials.
Consensus: Redesigned last year, the Ford Escape has more carlike styling and a comfortable interior. The Hybrid boasts exceptional fuel economy and is available with front- or all-wheel drive.
CR-V Hybrid vs. Escape Hybrid: Mileage Mavens
Honda CR-V Hybrid
The CR-V Hybrid combines a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors for a total of 212 horsepower (versus 190 in the regular CR-V) and 232 lb-ft of torque. EPA estimates are 40 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. All-wheel drive is standard. Acceleration is a little quicker than in the non-hybrid model, but the engine can sound labored. In less demanding driving, transitions between gas and electric propulsion are smooth. The regenerative brakes have a natural pedal feel.
The CR-V Hybrid has loads of passenger space. Cargo space is diminished by 6 cubic feet from the standard model but is still substantial at 33.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 68.7 with the rear seatbacks folded.
The CR-V Hybrid is offered in EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels. Standard equipment includes forward-collision warning with automatic braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The 7-inch touchscreen is dated and somewhat awkward to use.
The EX includes a power moonroof, a power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, and 18-inch wheels. The EX-L adds leather, a heated steering wheel, a power liftgate, and a power passenger seat. The Touring comes with wireless charging, rain-sensing wipers, a hands-free power liftgate, premium audio, and 19-inch wheels.
Ford Escape Hybrid
The 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid features a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that works in tandem with one or two electric motors. The combined output is 200 horsepower, and acceleration is not as quick as the gas-only Escape. Front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive are available. EPA estimates for the front-wheel-drive Escape Hybrid are 44 mpg city and 37 mpg highway, with the AWD version rated at 43 mpg city.
The plug-in variant comes in front-wheel drive only. It boasts an all-electric range of 37 miles and is rated at 100 MPGe and 41 mpg in hybrid mode.
The Escape Hybrid’s interior is roomy but some materials are cheap. Cargo volume is slightly less than in the standard Escape, with 34.4 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 60.8 with the rear seatbacks folded.
Trim levels are SE Hybrid, SEL Hybrid, and Titanium. Ford’s Co-Pilot360 bundle of driver assists is standard and includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keep assist. Adaptive cruise control is optional and includes road sign recognition.
All Hybrids also get a digital instrument cluster and an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Passenger space, NHTSA 5-star safety rating.
2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid Advantages
Standard all-wheel drive; quicker acceleration; reputation for reliability.
2021 Ford Escape Hybrid Advantages
Lower starting price; available PHEV version; superior infotainment.
Which One is Right for Me?
The 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid is enjoyable to drive and has the advantage of Honda reliability. It also boasts standard AWD and plenty of standard drive and safety assists.
The 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid sports fresh styling with superior infotainment, and it also squeezes even more miles out of a gallon of fuel. There’s also a plug-in hybrid variant.
Ready to buy a Honda CR-V Hybrid or a Ford Escape Hybrid? Shop for one on sale now near you
|2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid||2021 Ford Escape Hybrid|
|Engine||2.0-liter hybrid||2.5-liter hybrid|
|Horsepower||212 hp @ 6,200 rpm||200 hp @ 6,250 rpm|
|Torque||129 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm||155 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||38 mpg (40 city/35 hwy)||41 mpg (44 city/37 hwy)|
|Also Available||PHEV; AWD|
|Basic Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety||5 stars||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||104.7 inches||104.8 inches|
|Overall Length||182.1 inches||182.1 inches|
|Width||73.0 inches||73.0 inches|
|Height||66.5 inches||66.1 inches|
|Turning Diameter||37.4 feet||37.4 feet|
|Headroom, Front||38.0 inches||40.0 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.1 inches||39.3 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.3 inches||42.4 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||40.4 inches||38.9 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||57.9 inches||57.6 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||55.6 inches||56.0 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||105.9 cubic feet||102.2 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||33.2/68.7 cubic feet||34.4/60.8 cubic feet|
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