The Toyota Highlander and the Ford Escape have something rare and interesting in common for the 2020 model year. It doesn’t happen often, but two SUVs of similar size got redesigns in the same model year. The Toyota Highlander is kicking off its fourth generation and the Ford Escape is launching its fourth generation too. But exterior redesigns matter for very little besides curb appeal. Let’s compare them to see which came up with the better 2020 SUV.
The highlights covered here are hardly comprehensive but do go into some of the most vital parts of what makes an SUV an SUV. The chart that follows refers to available features and specifications for the 2020 model years only.
2020 Toyota Highlander
2020 Ford Escape
|3.5L V6 Engine||Engine||1.5L Inline 4-Cylinder Turbo|
|11-Speaker, 1200 Watt JBL® Premium Brand Sound System with Subwoofer||Entertainment/Sound System||10-Speaker, Bang & Olufsen Premium Brand Speakers with Subwoofer|
|Midsize SUV||Vehicle Class||Compact Crossover SUV|
|Available||Center Limited Slip Differential||Not Available|
These two SUVs are not in the same vehicle class. The Highlander is a larger vehicle by nature, but ignoring that, the Highlander puts its interior space to better use than the Escape. The Ford Escape does have an attractive turbocharged engine, but it can’t compare with the performance of the V6 in the Highlander. Not only that, but the addition of the center limited-slip differential makes a world of difference when it comes to slippery conditions and uneven roads.
The difference in sound system may not mean a lot to some, but the difference is clear. Drivers who want a premium experience are sure to be wowed by the powerful, enveloping JBL® sound system. In almost every way, the 2020 Toyota Highlander comes out on top.