The RAV4 has Bluetooth connectivity, which allows most of the same functions of the Sync system, but the pairing procedure and the connectivity worked flawlessly every time we entered the vehicle, for both phone and audio functions. It’s simpler, and, frankly, works better than the Ford system.
Features are similar, but the way the vehicles’ are packaged and priced might have you leaning toward the Toyota. The base price of the RAV4 Limited AWD is $29,225, which is also its fully equipped price. The Escape SEL AWD starts at $30,815. But if you add in the sunroof that’s standard in the RAV4, the price climbs to $32,210 in the Ford. It’s a bigger opening, but it comes with a $1,395 price tag.
Clearly, there are a lot of considerations when choosing one of these two competitors. If it’s price alone, the RAV4 wins when you equip it the way most people are going to. Power and towing capacity are going to make the difference for a lot of people, though, and the Escape wins that contest. The Toyota RAV4 isn’t as exciting as the Escape to drive or to look at, yet there’s something to be said for its functionality. It just works, and that’s what a lot of people who buy small crossover SUVs are interested in. Spend some time in both and you can decide which is better for the kind of driving you do every day.
Craig Fitzgerald is a freelance automotive writer in Holliston. You can read his work at his blog, ClunkerNation.com, or follow him on Twitter at @vespafitz.