2023 RAV4 Prime vs. Ford Escape® PHEV

Comparison

In the 2023 small SUV market, the Toyota RAV4 Prime and the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid emerge as noteworthy competitors. 

 

Toyota continues to impress with the RAV4 Prime's potent all-wheel-drive, a noteworthy EPA-estimated electric range rating, and enhanced infotainment system. It is also one of the fastest models in the Toyota lineup and holds a Top Safety Pick title from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

 

Meanwhile, the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid makes its own statement for 2023 as a stand-alone trim level with refreshed front and rear exterior styling, in-car tech offerings, and expanded feature availability. It has also secured a Vincentric 2023 Best Value in America Award. 

 

Read on to discover how these small Plug-in hybrid SUVs match up in our carefully crafted head-to-head comparison of the Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid.

Highlighted Features

2023 RAV4

2023Escape

Adaptive cruise control

Yes

Yes

Engine

2.5L inline 4-cylinder

2.5L inline 4-cylinder

Horsepower

302

210

Hybrid type

Active Hybrid

Active Hybrid

Speakers

6

6 , Optional 10 Bang & Olufsen

Base MSRP

$43,090

$40,500

Whole vehicle warranty months / (miles)

36 / 36000

36 / 36000

Roadside assistance months / (mi)

24 / Unlimited

60 / 60000

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Copyright © JATO Dynamics Limited, 1990-2023. All Rights Reserved. For comparison purposes only. JATO has been diligent in providing accurate and complete information. However, JATO does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the data, and the information may not be comprehensive or use the same terminology as used elsewhere on this site. For additional details, see vehicle's "Full Specs" on Toyota.com or contact your Toyota dealer.

 

 

Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Ford Escape® PHEV

Performance

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime and the 2023 Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid bring forward a suite of engine and performance features engineered to deliver both power and efficiency on the road. Let's see how these two vehicles compare in terms of their performance capabilities.

  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime has a 2.5L 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Plug-in Hybrid system with 302 net combined horsepower and a combined 165 lb.-ft. of torque. Its electric motor produces 179 horsepower and 199 lb.-ft. of torque at the front, alongside 53 horsepower and 89 lb.-ft. at the rear. In contrast, the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has a Plug-in Hybrid 2.5L iVCT Atkinson-Cycle I-4 engine with 210 total system horsepower and a combined torque of 155 lb.-ft.
  • Both vehicles use an Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). However, the Toyota RAV4 Prime adds a sequential shift mode for more control.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes standard with an Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system for added traction. In comparison, the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes standard with a Front-Wheel Drive setup.
  • When it comes to driving modes, the Toyota RAV4 Prime has a drive mode dial featuring SPORT, Eco, NORMAL, and TRAIL modes. In addition to the drive modes, RAV4 Prime also features four hybrid system operation modes, including EV only, Hybrid only, Auto EV/HV, and Charge modes. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes with selectable drive modes such as Eco, Sport, Slippery, and Normal, as well as four EV modes: Auto EV, EV Now, EV Later, and EV Charge.
  • The RAV4 Prime has a battery voltage of 355.2V (Plug-in Hybrid Li-ion) and an EPA-estimated all-electric driving range rating of 42 miles. The Ford Escape® Plug-In Hybrid has a battery voltage of 240V and an EPA-estimated driving range rating of 37 miles in electric-only mode.
Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Ford Escape® PHEV

Fuel Economy

When considering plug-in hybrid SUVs, fuel efficiency often ranks high on the list of priorities. Let's explore the EPA-estimated ratings for the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime and the 2023 Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid to find the vehicle that helps you achieve your emission reduction goals.

  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime has an EPA-estimated all-electric driving range rating of 42 miles and takes a slight edge over the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid, which has an EPA-estimated driving range rating of 37 miles in electric-only mode.
  • The RAV4 Prime's AWD configuration helps it achieve an EPA-estimated combined 94 MPGe rating. In contrast, the Escape® Plug-in Hybrid’s FWD configuration garners it an EPA-estimated combined 101 MPGe rating, giving it a nominal advantage at the pump.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime has EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings are up to 40 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 38 mpg combined. The FWD Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 42 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 39 mpg combined.
Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Ford Escape® PHEV

Technology

Modern vehicles serve not just as transportation tools but also as hubs of advanced technology. This section outlines the technology specifications of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime and the 2023 Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid.

  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime has a standard 8-inch or an available 10.5-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia color touchscreen. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes standard with SYNC® 4 technology and a 13.2" LCD Capacitive Touchscreen.
  • Both the RAV4 Prime and Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid come standard with wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility. Additionally, a 3-month SiriusXM® Platinum Plan trial is available on all trim packages for the RAV4 Prime, while the Ford has a 3-month SiriusXM® trial to All-Access.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime has an available 11-speaker JBL® Premium Audio System, including a subwoofer and amplifier. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has an available B&O® Sound System by Bang & Olufsen®, with 10 speakers, including a subwoofer.
  • Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging with a charge indicator light is standard on the RAV4 Prime XSE. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes with an optional wireless charging pad.
  • A 12.3-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) with a hybrid system indicator is standard on the RAV4 Prime XSE. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid is available with a 12.3-inch Digital Instrument Cluster.
  • The RAV4 Prime XSE has a 1-year Drive Connect trial that includes Cloud Navigation with Google Points-of-Interest data, Intelligent Assistant with "Hey, Toyota," and Destination Assist and the SE is Drive-Connect capable. Drive Connect is dependent on an active 4G network connection. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes with a 3-year trial of Connected Built-in Navigation with Enhanced Voice Recognition and Alexa Built-In, activated through the FordPass® App.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes with a Wi-Fi Connect trial of up to 30 days or 3GB of data usage, featuring an AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot and Integrated Streaming compatibility with Apple Music® and Amazon Music™ (separate subscriptions required). Wi-Fi Connect is dependent on an active 4G network connection. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid, when equipped with FordPass Connect, has available 4G LTE in-vehicle Wi-Fi Hotspot powered by AT&T, which also includes a wireless data trial for up to 3 months or 3GB of data.
Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Ford Escape® PHEV

Safety & Convenience

A vehicle's safety and convenience features are cornerstones of daily driving comfort and peace of mind. Explore the specifics for the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime and the 2023 Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid below.

  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes with eight airbags, including driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, driver's knee airbag, front passenger seat cushion airbag, and front and rear side curtain airbags. In contrast, the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has seven airbags, including a Personal Safety System™ with dual-stage driver and front-passenger airbags, driver knee airbags, and front seat-mounted side-impact airbags.
  • The RAV4 Prime comes standard with a Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) and an Electronically Controlled Braking system with integrated regenerative braking. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes with BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and regenerative braking.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) suite, including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection(PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Road Sign Assist (RSA), and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes with the Ford Co-Pilot360™ suite that includes Auto high-beam headlamps, Lane-Keeping System, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Lane Centering, and Speed Sign Recognition.
  • Both grades of the Toyota RAV4 Prime come with the Star Safety System™, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop Technology® (SST). The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes with Automatic Emergency Braking, AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™, and an Anti-lock Brake System.
  • A backup camera with dynamic gridlines is standard on both RAV4 Prime SE and XSE trims. The Prime XSE has an optional Panoramic View Monitor with a 360-degree Overhead View in low-speed drive and reverse, as well as a Curb View. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has a standard Rear View camera and an optional 360-degree camera with a Split View.
  • The RAV4 Prime features a Smart Key System on both grades. This system features Push Button Start with Smart Key access on the front doors and rear liftgate and includes a power rear liftgate. The system can be enhanced further on the XSE grade with optional Smart Access at all doors. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start and a Remote Start System, along with an available Power Liftgate and SecuriCode® Keyless-Entry Keypad.
Jumbo Card Image Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Ford Escape® PHEV

Warranty

A comprehensive warranty and assistance plan can be the backbone of a dependable and stress-free driving experience. Discover the coverage options available with the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime and the 2023 Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid.

  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes with a Basic Warranty for three years or 36,000 miles, a Powertrain Warranty for five years or 60,000 miles, and a Restraint Warranty for five years or 60,000 miles. In comparison, the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has a New Vehicle Warranty for three years or 36,000 miles, a Powertrain Warranty for five years or 60,000 miles, and a Safety Restraint System warranty for five years or 60,000 miles.
  • Both the Toyota RAV4 Prime and the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid come with a Corrosion Perforation Warranty for five years and unlimited miles.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime has a Hybrid System Warranty for eight years or 100,000 miles and a Hybrid Battery Warranty for ten years or 150,000 miles. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has a Hybrid Component Warranty for eight years or 100,000 miles.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes with ToyotaCare, a maintenance plan that covers normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid does not have a maintenance plan similar to ToyotaCare but provides maintenance plan options at an additional cost, where price depends on the level of coverage chosen.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime has a Service Connect trial for up to 10 years, offering personalized maintenance updates and vehicle health reports. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid provides vehicle health alerts & reports through FordPass® and SYNC® AppLink®.
  • The RAV4 Prime comes with 24-hour Roadside Assistance for two years with unlimited mileage and an up to 10-year Safety Connect® trial, including an Emergency Assistance Button, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, and Stolen Vehicle Locator. Safety Connect® is dependent on an active 4G network connection. Meanwhile, the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has a Roadside Assistance Program for five years or 60,000 miles.
Jumbo Card Image Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Ford Escape® PHEV

Design

Design elements, both inside and out, contribute to the overall driving experience and aesthetic appeal of a vehicle. Below, we compare the interior and exterior design features of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime and the 2023 Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid.

  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime is available in two sport-focused grades: Prime SE and Prime XSE. In contrast, the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes in just one grade. Both vehicles come with a seating capacity for up to five people.
  • The RAV4 Prime has a Black diamond-patterned bar front grille and a Silver-painted front chin spoiler. In contrast, the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid includes a Piano Black Grille with a chrome-finished strip and a body-color rear spoiler.
  • Both vehicles come with 60/40 split reclining fold-flat rear seats with a center armrest and cup holders.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes standard with LED projector headlights featuring stylish LED daytime running lights, accent lights, and LED taillights. The XSE grade enhances this further with signature vertical LED accent lights in the front bumper. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with LED Reflector Headlamps with LED Signature Lighting and standard LED fog lamps.
  • There are three interior trims available for the Toyota RAV4 Prime, depending on the grade and options. These include fabric-trimmed seats with sporty red stitching and embossed seat inserts, SofTex®-trimmed seats with sporty red stitching and fabric seat inserts, or perforated SofTex®-trimmed seats with sporty red stitching. It also has standard heated front seats and an 8-way power-adjustable front driver's seat with lumbar support and optional front seat ventilation as well as outboard passenger heated seating. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has available leather-trimmed seats with a quilting design and mini-perforation, along with standard heated front-row seats and an 8-way power driver seat.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes standard with a leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic 3-spoke steering wheel featuring controls for the audio system and cruise control with an optional heating function and available paddle shifters. On the other hand, the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has a premium-wrapped heated steering wheel with cruise and audio controls and a manual tilt and telescoping steering column.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime has either color-keyed or black-painted heated power outside mirrors, depending on the grade. These mirrors include turn signals and blind spot warning indicators. RAV4 Prime also has a standard power tilt/slide moonroof on the XSE grade that is available as an option on the SE grade. The XSE grade can be enhanced further with an optional panoramic glass roof. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes standard with body-color sideview mirror caps with heated glass and has a Panoramic Vista Roof® as an option.
Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Ford Escape® PHEV

Features

If you're in the market for a new vehicle, factors like towing capacity, dimensions, and wheel choices are crucial to consider. Here’s a head-to-head comparison of these features between the Toyota RAV4 Prime and the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid.

  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime has a maximum towing capacity of 2500 lbs, while the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has a maximum towing capacity of 1500 lbs.
  • In terms of cargo space, the Toyota RAV4 Prime provides 69.8 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the front seats and 33.5 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has slightly less cargo volume behind the front seats at 60.8 cubic feet but slightly more behind the rear seats at 34.4 cubic feet.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime measures an overall length of 180.9 inches, a width of 73 inches, and an overall height of either 67 or 67.2 inches. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid is nearly similar in size but has an overall length of 180.1 inches, a width of 74.1 inches, and a shorter overall height of 66.1 inches.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes standard with 18-in. (SE) or 19-in. (XSE) 5-spoke black-painted and machined sport alloy wheels. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes with 18-inch. Machined-Faced magnetic aluminum wheels and does not offer an option for larger wheels.
  • The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes standard with All-Season Mud-and-Snow-rated radials and includes a temporary spare tire. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid comes standard with All-Season (A/S) BSW tires, but there is no information about a spare tire on Ford's manufacturer's website.

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Toyota RAV4 Prime vs. Ford Escape® PHEV

Conclusion

In the fiercely competitive world of plug-in hybrid SUVs, both the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime and the 2023 Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid bring a lot to the table. The Toyota RAV4 Prime makes a compelling case with its blend of power, range, towing capacity, and added perks like ToyotaCare. While the 2023 Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid offers strong competition, those in search of a well-rounded and robust plug-in hybrid vehicle may find the RAV4 Prime to be the more favorable choice.

  • When it comes to power, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime leaves little to be desired. It's equipped with a 2.5L 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Plug-in Hybrid system that delivers an impressive 302 net combined horsepower and 165 lb.-ft. of combined torque. Its electric motor produces 179 horsepower and 199 lb.-ft. of torque at the front, alongside 53 horsepower and 89 lb.-ft. at the rear. On the flip side, the 2023 Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid has a Plug-in Hybrid 2.5L iVCT Atkinson-Cycle I-4 engine with a less powerful 210 total system horsepower and 155 lb.-ft. of combined torque.
  • In the realm of electric driving range ratings, every mile counts. The Toyota RAV4 Prime takes the lead with its EPA-estimated 42 miles of electric-only driving range rating. This marginally outperforms the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid, which has an EPA-estimated 37-mile electric-only driving range rating.
  • If you have towing needs, the RAV4 Prime ensures that you're better equipped for the job. With a maximum towing capacity of 2500 lbs, it surpasses the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid, which maxes out at 1500 lbs in towing capabilities.
  • Flexibility in cargo space is crucial for road trips and daily errands alike. The Toyota RAV4 Prime has a generous 69.8 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the front seats and 33.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats. The Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid is not far behind, with 60.8 cubic feet of space behind the front seats and a slightly roomier 34.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats.
  • Ensure your peace of mind with the Toyota RAV4 Prime that comes with ToyotaCare, a maintenance plan covering normal factory-scheduled service for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. In contrast, the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid doesn’t come with a similar plan, but it offers optional maintenance plans at additional costs.
  • Affordability is key, and while both models offer plenty of bang for your buck, the Toyota RAV4 Prime starts at a competitive MSRP of $43,090. This slightly eclipses the Ford Escape® Plug-in Hybrid, which starts at an MSRP of $40,500.
Published on 20 November, 2023