2017 Ford Escape vs Kia Sportage

If you are looking for sleek style and versatility with more space than a car, the small crossover SUV could be perfect for you. Two popular models in this category, vying for your hard-earned dollars and loyalty, are the 2017 Ford Escape and Kia Sportage. With a just-right size for buyers new to the SUV market or for small families, the Escape and the Sportage offer two great choices. But which is right for you? Before you make your decision, take a look at our comparison guide.

2017 Ford Escape vs Kia Sportage

Exterior Styling

The Ford Escape has a distinctive style that sets it apart, with a balance between a sturdy, squared off design and aerodynamic curves. A distinct grille in the front, low front stance, and unique angles on the rear liftgate create an athletic, almost aggressive, feel to the Escape. The effect is a comforting sense that this is an SUV that, though small, can handle itself while keeping you safe and comfortable.

The Kia Sportage also delivers stylish exterior looks, but its approach embraces a more contemporary, potentially off-putting approach. The body of the Sportage has a more rounded shape, while the tiger-nose grille and double headlights create an effect that is less aggressive and more bug-eyed. It's not necessarily a bad look--in fact, the Sportage's popularity suggests otherwise--but if you're looking for a design that will stand up to the test of time, the Ford Escape is your best buy.

Interior Comfort & Style

The Ford Escape offers a spacious and sleek interior. The Escape seats 5, in comfortable cloth seats or available leather in the Titanium trim. Every Escape comes with options to make your life easier, like four powerpoints to charge devices, and as the trims go up the features do as well. We're impressed with the cargo capacity of the Escape as well, an impressive 34.3 cu.ft, and the option to fold down the back seats offers flexibility as well.

The Kia Sportage also boasts a sleek interior, with similar finishes as the Escape based on the trim. However, the Sportage can't beat the Escape in terms of space. The Sportage's total cargo volume is 30.7 cubic feet and 60.1 with the seats down--a sizable difference.

Fuel Economy

The 2017 Kia Sportage earns 22/29 with an average 25mpg for its 2.4L 4-cylinder engine, with less impressive fuel economy from its AWD options. But, the Kia Sportage does have a fuel capacity of 16.4 gallons, a bit larger than the Escape's 15.6 gallon engine.

The performance of the Escape depends on the engine you choose, but the best fuel economy you can get comes from the 1.5L 4-cylinder engine, which also earns 23/30 for a combined 26mpg. That's enough to call this a win for the Escape, though just barely.


The base model Kia Sportage comes equipped with tech features that will impress you, including a 6-speaker audio system with a 5-inch touchscreen and Sirius XM. You'll also get a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel mounted controls, and two power outlets and a USB jack. Higher trims include voice-command navigation, larger touchscreens, HD radio, and a host of safety features like parking assist, blind spot detection, land departure warning, and emergency braking.

The base model Ford Escape comes with a 6-speaker entertainment system, but no Sirius and no touchscreen. You'll find active safety systems like lane-keeping but they are optional even on the top trims. Higher trims offer better infotainment systems, but the Kia Sportage offers more for the money in this category, even on base trims.

Learn More about the Ford Escape

Overall, the 2017 Ford Escape is our recommendation. We love the redesigned exterior and interior that creates a sleek, athletic look and comes with lots of cargo space, quite a bit more space than the Sportage--which matters to buyers. Though the Sportage competes closely in fuel economy and has a better technology package, we think the Escape is the overall better buy here.