Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2017 Ford Escape VS 2017 Mazda CX-3 Near Avondale, AZ

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2017 Ford Escape

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VS

2017 Mazda CX-3

Safety Comparison

The Escape (except S) offers optional parking sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Escape Titanium’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Escape’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-3 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Escape and the CX-3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Ford Escape weighs 538 to 956 pounds more than the Mazda CX-3. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Lighter cars are also affected more by crosswinds.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 6 times as many Ford dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escape’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escape third among compact suvs in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The CX-3 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 26th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Escape’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (168 vs. 146) and 24 lbs.-ft. more torque (170 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Escape’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 33 more horsepower (179 vs. 146) and 31 lbs.-ft. more torque (177 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Escape’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 99 more horsepower (245 vs. 146) and 129 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Escape turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Mazda CX-3:

 

Escape

CX-3

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.8 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Escape EcoBoost’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Escape has 3.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 AWD’s standard fuel tank (15.7 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Escape has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 FWD’s standard fuel tank (15.7 vs. 12.7 gallons).

The Escape has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Escape’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-3:

 

Escape

Escape EcoBoost

CX-3

CX-3 AWD

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11 inches

11.6 inches

The Escape stops shorter than the CX-3:

 

Escape

CX-3

 

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

148 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Escape has larger tires than the CX-3 (235/55R17 vs. 215/60R16).

The Escape’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-3 Sport’s standard 60 series tires. The Escape’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escape has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the CX-3 Sport. The Escape’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Ford Escape has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mazda CX-3 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Escape has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CX-3’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Escape has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Escape flat and controlled during cornering. The CX-3’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Escape’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The CX-3 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escape’s wheelbase is 4.7 inches longer than on the CX-3 (105.9 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escape is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-3.

The Escape Titanium AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the CX-3 Touring AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Escape has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-3 (7.8 vs. 6.1 inches), allowing the Escape to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Escape’s minimum ground clearance is 1.6 inches higher than on the CX-3 Grand Touring (7.8 vs. 6.2 inches).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Escape (except 2.0L ECOBoost) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The CX-3 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Escape Titanium is quieter than the CX-3 Touring AWD:

 

Escape

CX-3

At idle

39 dB

39 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Escape has 11.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-3 (98.7 vs. 87.6).

The Escape has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front hip room, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom, 3.4 inches more rear hip room and 4.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-3.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Escape SE/Titanium’s rear seats recline. The CX-3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Escape has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the CX-3 with its rear seat up (34 vs. 12.4 cubic feet). The Escape has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the CX-3 with its rear seat folded (68 vs. 44.5 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Escape easier. The Escape’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.3 inches, while the CX-3’s liftover is 30.6 inches.

The Escape’s cargo area is larger than the CX-3’s in every dimension:

 

Escape

CX-3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

33.6”/67”

27.8”/58”

Max Width

45.6”

n/a

Min Width

40.4”

39.4”

Height

34.5”

26.6”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escape’s cargo door can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Escape also (except S) offers an optional power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.

Ergonomics Comparison

When three different drivers share the Escape Titanium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Escape Titanium’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The CX-3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Escape and the CX-3 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Escape is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-3 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Escape’s optional front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The CX-3’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Escape SE/Titanium’s exterior keypad. The CX-3 doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Escape’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The CX-3’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Escape has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The CX-3 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Escape Titanium’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Escape SE/Titanium has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Escape SE/Titanium’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The CX-3 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Escape and the CX-3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Escape has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The CX-3 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Escape (except S) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Escape Titanium’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The CX-3 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escape second among compact suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The CX-3 isn’t in the top three.

The Ford Escape outsold the Mazda CX-3 by almost seventeen to one during the 2016 model year.

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