Small SUVs and crossovers are some of the most popular vehicles on the market. So far in 2014, Americans have bought 386,627 crossovers and small SUVs. A full 66 percent of those sales have come from just two models: the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape. It’s clear that small SUV buyers have found a lot to like in the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, but which one is right for you? Let’s find out.

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2014 Honda CR-V LX


2014 Ford Escape S



168 (with premium gas)


EPA-estimated annual fuel cost

$2,200 (regular gas)

104.1 cubic feet

Passenger volume

98.1 cubic feet


Cargo volume with all seats in use


3-Year/36,000-Mile New-Vehicle Limited Warranty and 5-Year/60,000-Mile Limited Powertrain Warranty


3-Year/36,000-Mile New-Vehicle Limited Warranty and 5-Year/60,000-Mile Limited Powertrain Warranty

Rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary input ports, conversation mirror

Standard features

Rearview camera, Sync infotainment with phone and voice control, USB and auxiliary input port, MyKey


Base price


[See pictures of the 2014 Honda CR-V and pictures of the 2014 Ford Escape]

When you compare base models, it's not tough to see why the CR-V outranks the Escape. The 2014 CR-V and Escape have identical warranties, but the CR-V has a much higher reliability rating. Features like the CR-V’s standard conversation mirror are also helpful for families, who tend to be key shoppers in the small SUV segment. The CR-V’s extra cargo and passenger space are also tough to argue with.

[See our 2014 Best Cars for Families Award Winners]

The Escape has a few things going for it, however. Its starting price is lower than the CR-V’s.. While the CR-V’s conversation mirror is useful for families with small kids, the Escape has Ford’s MyKey standard. MyKey allows parents to use the Escape’s key to set some limits on teen drivers like the vehicle’s speed. Also, if you’re willing to spring for one of the Escape’s optional engines, reviews of the Escape’s performance tend to be better than reviews of the CR-V’s.

[Compare the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape for yourself]

Something else the Escape has going for it is that it tends to have better incentives than the CR-V. For example, this month, you can get an Escape with zero percent financing for up to 60 months and cash back. You can also lease the Escape with payments ranging from $149 to $209 per month, depending on what region you live in. The CR-V doesn’t have any financing offers this month, and its lease deals all have payments of $209 per month.

[See all Honda Deals and all Ford Deals]

When it comes down to space and reliability, the Honda CR-V beats the Ford Escape handily. However, when you factor in performance from its optional engines and available deals, the Ford Escape still manages to make a strong case for itself.

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