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The 2016 Ford Escape vs. the 2016 Jeep Wrangler

2016 white ford escape parked out front of Rusty Eck Ford with a red Jeep Wrangler

The sporty 2016 Ford Escape has been called the "most exciting crossover SUV to drive." Meanwhile "sporty" is not exactly a term you're likely to see used to describe the bulky 2016 Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler may be the champ when it comes to going off-road, but for cargo space, fuel economy, and a smooth ride and solid handling around town or on the highway, it just can't compete with the Ford Escape.

Ultimately, comparing the 2016 Jeep Wrangler and the 2016 Ford Escape is something of a comparison of apples and oranges. The Wrangler has clearly been designed as an off-road vehicle first and foremost, while the Ford Escape is a sporty crossover that's equally at home picking up groceries or running the kids to school as it is going on an adventure in the mountains or pulling a trailer to the lake. On top of that, the 2016 Ford Escape holds up surprisingly well in some categories where you might think that the Wrangler would have the edge, including boasting almost 20% more cargo space, and being able to tow up to 3,500 lbs. when properly equipped. Advantage: Ford Escape.

Vehicle Power and Handling

The 2016 Ford Escape may lag behind the 2016 Jeep Wrangler when it comes to off-road performance, but when it comes to handling on the highway or in town, the Wrangler can't even come close. Plus, the 2016 Ford Escape helps to close the gap with available Intelligent 4WD, which monitors traction and road conditions every 16 milliseconds and adjusts torque distribution to compensate for changes, giving you more control off the road or in bad weather.

Then of course there's fuel economy. With its most efficient engine, the 2016 Ford Escape can get an EPA-estimated 23 miles-per-gallon in town, 32 on the highway. By comparison, the Jeep Wrangler guzzles gas, with an estimated 16 miles-per-gallon in town that's going to take a big bite out of your pocketbook, especially when you also factor in the Wrangler's higher sticker price. Advantage: Ford Escape.

Vehicle Design and Features

Once again, when it comes to design and features, the 2016 Ford Escape and the 2016 Jeep Wrangler just aren't playing on the same field. The Wrangler is a heavy-duty off-road machine, designed to be rugged and tough, but not built for comfort or amenities. The 2016 Ford Escape, on the other hand, is just as comfortable off the road as it is in town, and it boasts a sporty look, comfortable ride, and a classy selection of luxury amenities and driver assist features to make driving safe and fun.

The available Panoramic Vista Roof opens with the touch of a button, versus trying to take down the top of the 2016 Jeep Wrangler by hand. And given how much bulkier the Jeep Wrangler is, the 2016 Ford Escape actually has a lot more cargo space—almost 20% more, at 67.8 cubic feet! Then there's the truly hands-free liftgate that's available on the 2016 Ford Escape...

But those are all utility features; what about the fun? Don't worry, the 2016 Ford Escape has plenty of that, too, with available SYNC 3 technology that provides hands-free calling, music, and control, as well as driver assist technologies like active park assist and Blind Spot Information System. Advantage: Ford Escape.

Our Conclusions: The Ford Escape is the Better SUV

If all you want from your next vehicle is a rugged off-road beast, then the 2016 Jeep Wrangler may just be the vehicle for you. But if you want a sporty, high-performance crossover that's equally at home on an adventure as it is on a trip to the store, then you want the 2016 Ford Escape!

With three engine options—including two EcoBoost options—the Ford Escape can even give the Wrangler a surprising run for its money when it comes to power and off-road performance, and it leaves its competitor in the dust when it comes to fuel economy. Fully equipped, the 2016 Ford Escape can tow up to 3,500 lbs. while its 1.6 liter EcoBoost I-4 engine gets an EPA-estimated 32 highway miles-per-gallon, 23 in town. Put that next to the Wrangler's 16 miles-per-gallon in town, and you can see that there's no comparison. Even the Ford Escape's most powerful engine—the 2.0 liter EcoBoost, which can crank out 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque—still gets an estimated 22 miles-per-gallon in the city, 30 on the highway.

The 2016 Ford Escape also beats the 2016 Jeep Wrangler by almost 20% when it comes to cargo capacity—67.8 cubic feet from the Ford Escape, versus 56.5 from the Wrangler—and boasts a truly hands-free liftgate that you can open with a kick of your foot near the rear bumper when the keys are in your pocket. And of course, the 2016 Ford Escape handles better in town than the bulky Wrangler, and boasts available features and amenities that the competition can't match, including SYNC 3 technology, Panoramic Vista Roof, Intelligent 4WD, active park assist, Blind Spot Information System, and more!

Ready to drive home in a new Ford Escape today? We can hook you up at Rusty Eck Ford in Wichita. Or just stop by our lot to browse our huge selection of new Ford cars and trucks, and see what's new at your Kansas Ford dealerships.