2021 Ford Escape vs. 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid: Comparison

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 07/02/21 •  7 min read

In many aspects, the 2021 Ford Escape vs. 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid is similar. Because they’re essentially the same crossover with a different powerplant, this makes sense. However, there are a few key differences between these SUVs. 

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Because the Escape Hybrid is more expensive, you must decide whether the extra money is worth spending. For the 2020 model year, Ford revamped the Escape. After an eight-year break, the Escape Hybrid was reintroduced with the redesign.

 More typical advanced driver aid systems were also included in the makeover. The Escape and Escape Hybrid are virtually unaltered for the 2021 model year.

2021 Ford Escape vs. 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid: comparison 

2021 Ford Escape vs. 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid
2021 Ford Escape © carbuzz

In our comparison between the 2021 Ford Escape vs. Escape Hybrid, our main focus is based on pricing, reliability, cargo space, passenger seats, interior quality, design, powertrain, fuel economy, and safety ratings.

Pricing

The starting MSRP for the 2021 Ford Escape is $24,885. 

The SE and SEL trim levels start at $26,610 and $29,205, respectively, SE and SEL trim levels. The top-of-the-line Escape Titanium costs at least $35,755.

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The 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid comes in three trim levels, with the SE starting at $27,605. The SEL Hybrid is priced at $30,200, while the Titanium Hybrid is priced at $33,300.

While the Escape Hybrid is more expensive than the standard Escape, the Titanium Hybrid is less expensive than the top-of-the-line non-hybrid Escape.

Reliability

The 2021 Escape and Escape Hybrid both receive average predicted reliability ratings from J.D. Power. The basic warranty for these SUVs is three years/36,000 miles, while the powertrain warranty is five years/60,000 miles. Hybrid-related components, on the other hand, are covered for eight years and 100,000 miles.

Cargo Space

Due to the clever location of their battery pack, some hybrids have the same cargo capacity as their non-hybrid counterparts. With the back seats folded down, the standard Escape offers 65.4 cubic feet of total cargo space. Only 60.8 cubic feet of maximum capacity is available in the Escape Hybrid. 

2021 Ford Escape Hybrid © carbuzz

Second-row sliding seats are available on the Escape and Escape Hybrid. They may be moved back to increase legroom, but this reduces luggage space. Depending on which position the sliding seats are in, the Escape has between 33.5 and 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row. With the seats pushed all the way forward in the Escape Hybrid, you’ll only get 34.4 cubic feet behind the second row.

Passenger Seats 

Five people can sit in two rows in the Escape and Escape Hybrid. These SUVs aren’t the roomiest in the class, but they provide enough room for adults in both rows. 

2021 Ford Escape vs. 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid
2021 Ford Escape Hybrid © carbuzz

These Escape crossovers, like other SUVs, offer plenty of front-seat space and comfort, as well as plenty of room in the back. The Escape Hybrid, however, offers less rear-seat legroom due to the battery pack’s location. 

As a result, this category’s winner is the non-hybrid Escape. Cloth upholstery is standard on the Escape and Escape Hybrid, while synthetic and genuine leather options are available. The Escape Hybrid comes standard with heated and power-adjustable front seats, but you’ll have to upgrade.

Interior Quality

2021 Ford Escape vs. 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid
2021 Ford Escape © carbuzz

The cabins of both the Escape and the Escape Hybrid include some high-quality materials, but there are also some low-rent materials and harsh plastic surfaces. The interiors of these Ford crossovers simply aren’t as attractive as those of many competitors. 

Having said that, either Escape is a wonderful choice for families. While you won’t feel like you’re in a luxury vehicle, you will appreciate the well-built, long-lasting, and highly practical cabin.

Interior Design 

Standard tech features are lacking in the Escape. It has a 4.2-inch LCD, Bluetooth, and a USB connector in its most basic configuration. The SE model adds an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio to the lineup. Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system is simple to use and responds quickly, with physical controls for climate and radio. 

Navigation and a Wi-Fi hotspot are two more possible tech options in Escape. A panoramic moonroof is also available, as are remote start, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, and a panoramic sunroof.

2021 Ford Escape vs. 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid
2021 Ford Escape © carbuzz

The SE trim level of the Escape Hybrid comes standard with amenities that would require an upgrade in the non-hybrid Escape. Standard features include an 8-inch touch screen, smartphone compatibility, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. 

The Escape Hybrid also has a push-button start and proximity keyless entry. There is HD Radio available. Dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, and a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system are available on any Escape model.

Powertrain

A 181-horsepower 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine are available in the Escape. 

Both engines are linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission, which some critics say struggles to find the proper gear at times. 

For most daily driving, the standard engine in the Escape should be enough. The turbo-four, on the other hand, is the way to go if you want quick acceleration, but you’ll have to choose from the pricier Titanium variant with all-wheel drive.

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An electric motor and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine combine to produce 200 horsepower in the Escape Hybrid. For city and interstate driving, this combination produces lots of rapid torque and accelerates quickly. 

Standard equipment includes a smooth and capable continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The Escape Hybrid takes the lead in this category since it has more horsepower in its base configuration.

Fuel Economy

The standard 2021 Escape gets 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway according to the EPA, which are good numbers for a compact SUV.

These figures drop to 26 and 31, respectively, when all-wheel drive is added. The turbo-four engine gets 23 mpg in the city and 31 on the interstate, but it’s only available with all-wheel drive. 

2021 Ford Escape vs. 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid
2021 Ford Escape hybrid © carbuzz

The EPA estimates 44 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway for the Escape Hybrid. In the city, models with all-wheel drive lose only 1 mpg. 

According to the EPA, purchasing the Escape Hybrid over the non-hybrid Escape will save you $450 in gasoline costs each year. 

When comparing the non-hybrid base Escape with all-wheel drive to the Escape Hybrid with all-wheel drive, the savings increase to $500.

Ride and Handling

The Escape and Escape Hybrid aren’t the top in their class, but they offer far superior driving dynamics than some of their competitors. 

Both crossovers provide a comfortable ride, dynamic handling, powerful braking, and light, responsive steering. Furthermore, these SUVs both corner nicely and have minimal body roll. 

The regenerative braking systems in certain hybrids can be finicky and difficult to adjust to. The Escape Hybrid’s technology, on the other hand, works similarly to standard friction brakes, putting it on par with the non-hybrid Escape.

Safety Ratings 

The 2021 Escape and 2021 Escape Hybrid received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with five stars in the frontal and side-impact tests and four stars in the rollover test. 

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Regardless of the powertrain, the Escape is a Top Safety Pick winner for 2021, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 

Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of driver aid technology is standard equipment on all Escapes. The Escape Hybrid, on the other hand, comes with a more comprehensive package of safety measures, earning it the win in this area.

2021 Ford Escape vs. 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid: The Best Choice

Both the 2021 Escape and the Escape Hybrid are dependable, entertaining to drive, and safe, while the hybrid comes with additional active driver-assistance systems as standard. 

The hybrid will cost more upfront, but it will save you money on gas in the long run, especially if you choose an all-wheel-drive Escape. 

If you require additional cargo volume and rear-seat space, the non-hybrid Escape is the superior choice. However, it isn’t much bigger than the Escape Hybrid in terms of interior space. When it comes to basic features, acceleration, and overall performance, though, the hybrid is the better option. 

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.