Small people haulers like the Ford Escape and Nissan Rogue are some of the top-selling vehicles on the market. They offer small footprints, roomy cabins, and good fuel economy all in a small footprint — it’s no wonder they’re so popular.
Which compact crossover is best for you, the Escape or Rogue? Find out below.
The 2019 Nissan Rogue has ample seating space inside with 43 inches of legroom, 41.6 inches of headroom, and 56.6 inches of shoulder room up front. The rear seats are also spacious with 37.9 inches of legroom, 55.9 inches of shoulder room, and 38.5 inches of headroom. Plus, the Rogue doesn’t give up any cargo room to offer this spacious cabin, as it has 39.3 cubic feet of room with the seats up and 70 cubes with them folded.
The Escape beats the Rogue by half an inch in rear headroom and is close to all the Rogue’s other interior measurements. The only significant gap between the Rogue and Escape is in cargo room, as the Ford crossover comes up short with 34 cubic feet with the rear seats upright and 68 cubes with the rear seats folded.
The Nissan Rogue offers just two powertrains. The base unit includes a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine good for 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. This power travels through a continuously variable transmission and out to the front wheels or all four wheels with optional all-wheel drive. There is also the Rogue Hybrid with its 2.0-liter engine and electric motor that combine for 176 horsepower. Regardless of the powertrain, independent tests put the 2019 Rogue’s 0-to-60 time at around nine seconds.
The 2019 Escape has a more robust line of engine options, starting with a 168-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder. In the midrange is a 179-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter engine. Topping the range is a 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo engine. The 2.5-liter engine is only available with all-wheel drive, but the other two engines have optional all-wheel drive. There are no independent acceleration tests on the base engine, but the 1.5-liter engine pulled off the 0-to-60 sprint in 9.6 seconds, and the 2.0-liter did the same in a quick 7.3 seconds.
Neither crossover is particularly talented in towing, but the Escape gets an 898-pound advantage at 2,000 pounds.
The Nissan Rogue is fuel-friendly no matter what trim you get as its gasoline-only model gets up to 26 mpg city, 33 highway, and 29 combined. Moving into the Rogue Hybrid pushes the fuel economy to 33 mpg city, 35 highway, and 34 combined.
The 2019 Ford Escape can’t come close at up to 23 mpg city, 30 highway, and 26 combined.
At $25,020, the base Rogue S is filled with plenty of high-end equipment, including a D-shaped steering wheel, power mirrors, automatic high-beam headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, sliding second-row seat, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, remote keyless entry, power windows, power door locks and much more.
The Ford Escape starts from $24,105, and it is pretty well stripped down next to the Rogue. Its standard features include SYNC, a 4.2-inch infotainment screen, an AM/FM audio system, cruise control, power windows, Ford MyKey, and a smattering of other bits. It’s not until you hit the $26,500 SE trim you see SYNC 3 with an 8-inch touchscreen, in0car Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more.
The 2019 Nissan Rogue not only aces the IIHS crash tests, but it also boasts a “Superior” rating in forward collision avoidance. The only area it suffered is the headlight test, where its best score was “Acceptable” and its worst was a “Poor.” While the headlights prevented it from being a Top Safety Pick, its standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection gets it close.
The Ford Escape flubbed the IIHS tests with a smattering of “Poor” “Marginal,” and ”Acceptable” ratings. Particularly scary is the “Poor” passenger-side small-overlap test. You can get advanced safety features like adaptive cruise, automatic emergency braking, and more as an option on the SE and higher trims.
Which is Best for You?
With its limited features, similar pricing, and poor crash-test results, the only buyers who may find the Ford Escape the better vehicle are those looking for the impressive performance with the 2.0-liter engine.
The Nissan Rogue fits just about every other buyer like a glove with its long list of features, great safety ratings, advanced safety tech, and tons more.