Edge vs Escape vs Explorer

Edge vs Escape vs Explorer

Edge vs Escape vs Explorer

You've decided on a Ford and on an SUV or crossover, but you don't know which one to go with--and you're not lacking choice in the Ford SUV lineup. Unless you have an irrational fear of names beginning with the letter E, you have three great Ford models to choose from. Let's take a look at how the Escape, Edge and the Explorer compare so you can make a good decision.

Start with the Basics: Price and Size

Some differences between the Escape, the Edge and the Explorer are pretty obvious, but they could still be the deciding factors for many buyers. The first thing that separates these three is their different sizes. Start with the basics, which for any car buyer is the size and the price. The first of the Ford SUVs is the compact crossover, the Escape. The Edge is a midsize crossover, and the Explorer is the largest as it's a full-size offering. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the difference in sizes is also reflected in the different prices for these three models. The compact Escape has a starting MSRP of $23,600, the midsize Ford Edge costs from $28,950, and you will have to cough up at least $31,660 for the least expensive version of the Ford Explorer.

Move to Looks: Sporty Ford Style

By using names all beginning with the same letter, it's almost as if Ford is trying to tell us something about these three. When you look at all three together, you quickly realize they have more in common than names all starting with the letter E. The same styling theme runs through all three crossovers, which stay fairly close to what we expect a crossover to look like while also staying at the sportier end of the styling spectrum.

The Escape is the only one of the three that doesn't have a dedicated Sport trim level, but the recently refreshed compact isn't lacking in sporty styling even if it doesn't have a specific sport-focused trim. The Escape is probably the most European in terms of its styling, which makes sense since its been selling well in Europe for a few years under another name. All three are handsome, stylish, and completely contemporary, but other than size, you'll find little to distinguish each model. The Escape has a slight softer, more anonymous look than the slightly more rugged Edge and Explorer, but all of these scream Ford style.

Under the Hood: Powertrains

You'll find some commonality in the powertrains of the three crossovers, although perhaps not as much as some might imagine. The least powerful engine available is the 168 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder in the Escape, and the most powerful is the 365 horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo in the Explorer. There's a 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V-6 found in both the Edge and the Explorer, although it develops 10 horsepower more in the Explorer. A 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo features in the Escape and the Edge, and it develops the same 245 horsepower in both vehicles.

At the Pump: Fuel Economy

You won't win any prizes for guessing that the smaller models get the better fuel economy, but you might be surprised that the differences between the Escape, Edge, and Explorer are actually not as big as you might think. The Ford Escape is the most frugal, with best figures of 23 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Edge has slightly less impressive numbers but still offers good performance for the midsize segment. You'll get mpgs of 21 city/29 highway/24 combined mpg, which bests most minivans easily. The best you can expect from the full-size Explorer is 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined.

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