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Subaru Outback vs. Ford Escape

This is a gray Ford Escape on display at a car show.

On the market today, there are numerous fantastic crossover SUVs to choose between. In the United States, the Subaru Outback and Ford Escape are two popular cars bought by consumers. However, due to their similarities, many find it difficult to choose between them!

Both Subaru’s Outback and Ford’s Escape are crossover SUVs that start at the same price, seat five people, feature similar engine capabilities, and have identical warranties. However, the Escape has better safety features and offers a hybrid powertrain. The Outback has better connectivity features.

These crossover SUVs will be compared in this article. Our considerations will include trim levels, pricing, engine choices, fuel efficiency, connectivity features, and safety features, among others. By comparing these features, you’ll be able to make the right choice when choosing between the Subaru Outback and Ford Escape.

Comparing Subaru’s Outback with Ford’s Escape    

This is a white Subaru Outback on display at a car show.

We need to give you a brief overview of these different cars before we continue to a more detailed comparison of these vehicles. Let’s briefly review the history of the Subaru Outback and Ford Escape to give you a better understanding of each car before we compare them.

Subaru’s Outback is an SUV crossover that has remained popular for many years. It has actually been in production for more than 25 years. Outback year models have undergone many updates since it was first introduced in 1994. Most Outback models are all-wheel drive. Since 2010, more than 1.5 million Outback models have been sold in the United States.

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Ford’s first Escape model was released in 2000, six years after the Outback was released. This compact crossover SUV from Ford has remained popular over the last two decades. In the US alone, more than 4.5 million Escape models have been sold since its inception. This makes it a formidable competitor for Subaru’s Outback.

Subaru Outback vs. Ford Escape   

Both vehicles will be compared using the latest available year model. With the Subaru Outback, this is the 2022 model. The Ford Escape is also a 2022 model. Let’s see how they compare!

Trim Levels and Pricing

This is a red Ford Escape on display at a car show.

There are eight trims to choose from for the current Subaru Outback 2022. Base and Premium are the most popular trim levels — they are also the lowest levels. The intermediate trim levels are Limited and Wilderness, while the top trim levels include Touring, Touring XT, and Limited XT. The price ranges between $26,000 and $33,000.

For the current Ford Escape, there are a total of nine trim levels offered – even more than the Outback. Base levels include S, SE, SE Hybrid, and SEL. Typically, the SEL is a common choice for buyers, as is the following level, SEL-Hybrid. The highest trim levels include Titanium Hybrid, SE Plug-In Hybrid, Titanium, and Titanium Plug-In Hybrid. Prices for the 2022 model range between $26,000 and $40,000.

While the cars have similar starting prices, the Ford Escape can get more expensive! Of course, the Escape also offers more trim levels and hybrid options. Let’s take a closer look!

Engine and Transmission

This is a close look at the Subaru Outback engine.

2022 Outback models have only two engine choices. 2022 Outback’s come standard with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that delivers up to 182 horsepower. A 2.4L turbo engine that delivers 260 horsepower is also available to buyers. All-wheel drive comes standard.

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There are more powertrain options for the Ford Escape. The base choice is a turbocharged 1.5L that generates 181 hp. With the 2.0L turbocharged engine, drivers will get 250 hp. For hybrid Escape models, a 2.5L engine and two electric motors are used to deliver 221 horsepower. Both front-wheel and all-wheel drive are offered.

While the non-hybrid powertrains for the Subaru Outback and the Ford Escape are highly comparable in terms of capabilities, the Escape truly shines here. That’s ultimately due to the option for drivers to opt for hybrid engines. Of course, this may not be for everyone, making this a close call!

Fuel Efficiency

Based on the Outback’s current model, models with the base, the non-turbo engine has a combined MPG of 29.5. If the engine is turbocharged, the combined city and highway MPG will be 26.5.

For the 2022 front-wheel-drive Escape with a 1.5L turbo, the combined MPG will be 30. For all-wheel drives with the same engine, this combined MPG drops to 28. For the 2.0L turbo engine, the combined MPG will range between 28 and 28, depending on the drive. However, hybrid models have MPG’s as high as 44 – making Escape the clear winner in terms of fuel efficiency.

Seating and Cabin

This is a close look at the interior front seats and dashboard of the Subaru outback.

Its station wagon-inspired exterior design and roomy cabin make the 2022 Outback a highly comfortable vehicle. All trim levels feature standard two-row seating. Five people can sit in the cabin.

With a sleek yet understated design, the 2022 Escape is a good-looking vehicle! However, on lower trim levels, the interior cabin is more basic in design, functionality, and features. Like the Outback, the Escape comes standard with two rows of seating. It is also a five-seater!

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Ultimately, both of these cars are remarkably similar in terms of their seating and cabin.

Safety Features

This is a red Ford Escape parked on the side of the street.

Adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking are standard on all current Outback models. Additionally, Subaru will offer rear-cross traffic alerts, as well as advanced technology to effectively deal with blind spots on the road.

There are many great safety features that are standard across all 2022 Escape models. This includes automated emergency braking, forward-collision warnings, lane-departure warnings, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and also rear-cross traffic alerts.

Ultimately, there are more comprehensive and advanced safety features included with current Escape models. If safety is one of your main priorities, then this is an important aspect to consider when choosing between these vehicles.

Connectivity

This is a close look at the driver's seat and dashboard of the Subaru Outback.

2022 Outback comes with dual 7-inch infotainment systems on the base trim level. Both are horizontally mounted. All other trim levels, however, include a vertical 11.6-inch touchscreen with similar positioning. Those interested in purchasing the Outback will have the option to add more advanced technological features, such as an internet hotspot and wireless charging.

Base ‘S’ trim levels are equipped with 4.2-inch radios on 2022 Escape models. However, all other trim levels are equipped with an 8-inch infotainment system. For the highest trim level, in-dash navigation is included.

Considering the most expensive 2022 Outback model is not much more than mid-end Escape models with a touchscreen, the Outback offers better connectivity features. If you’re looking for more advanced features, Subaru has got you covered!

Warranty

This is a Subaru Outback on a dirt road with mud.

Under the limited warranty, the 2022 Outback will be covered for 36 months (3 years) or 36,000 miles. A five-year or 60,000-mile warranty will apply to the vehicle’s powertrain.

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In terms of the limited warranty, Escape models are also covered for 36 months or 36,000 miles, which is identical to that of the Outback. The powertrain warranties are also the same, providing coverage for five years or 60,000 miles. For hybrid models, the electrical components will be covered for eight years or 100,000 miles.

Apart from the warranty offered for hybrid Ford Escape models, the warranties offered by both manufacturers are virtually the same.

Conclusion

There are several likenesses between the Ford Escape and Subaru’s Outback. Both are crossover SUVs with similar engine and seating capabilities. They also offer remarkably similar warranties! However, the hybrid options for the Escape make it an appealing option.

The hybrid Escape is the most fuel-efficient of these vehicles. For non-hybrid Escape models, the Outback has a slightly better-combined MPG. Ford’s safety features are also more comprehensive than those offered by Subaru for the Outback. The Outback, however, has better connectivity features.

With similar starting prices, both of these vehicles are fantastic cars. Due to their similarities, it can be hard to choose between them. The car you choose depends on your needs!  

Sources:

Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback Features

Stanley Subaru: Subaru Warranties

Ford Escape

GCBC: Subaru Outback Sales Figures