2020 Ford Escape Vs. 2020 Mazda CX-5

By Justin Cupler | July 15th, 2020

Compact crossovers have the difficult task of offering the roominess to haul the whole crew, delivering excellent fuel economy, and serving up satisfying performance. The 2020 Ford Escape and 2020 Mazda CX-5 offer all that and more for our Jacksonville area shoppers. Which is the best option for you? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

The Mazda CX-5 has long been one of the few compact crossovers that does a great job combining elegance and sportiness into one slick package. Following its 2017 redesign that ushered in an even more upscale look, the scales tilted in favor of elegance, but the CX-5 still maintained some of its sporty demeanor with its cab-rearward design, long nose, short overhangs, and sharp body lines.


 

As you move up the trim levels, the elegance takes over with its large wheels and other premium look-sharp features.

 

The 2020 Ford Escape is all-new and brings in a fresh take for this compact crossover. Instead of looking like a traditional crossover, as it did in the previous model year, the 2020 Escape brings in a sporty look with cues taken from the now-discontinued Focus hatchback. These borrowed looks include sweptback headlights and ridges on the hood. Sure, they are not direct carryovers from the Focus, but they are a nice tribute to its once-popular hatchback.

 

 

Want even more sportiness? Opt for the SE Sport Hybrid trim, and the Escape delivers a sinister and sporty look with loads of black accents and large black wheels.

 

When looking at standard exterior features, the 2020 Ford Escape starts with relative simplicity. Its standard exterior features include 17-inch steel wheels with Sparkle Silver hubcaps, active grille shutters, molded-in-black door handles, bodyside cladding and rocker panels, black upper window trim, black beltline molding, body-color upper bumpers and molded-in-color lower bumpers, daytime running lights, dual chrome exhaust tips, a black grille, LED taillights, halogen headlights with auto on/off, power mirrors with molded-in-black caps, a body-color rear spoiler, a roof-mounted antenna, molded-in-silver front and rear skid plates, variable-intermittent windshield wipers, and fixed-intermittent rear window wiper.

 

The 2020 Mazda CX-5 matches the Escape’s standard features and adds 17-inch Gray Metallic aluminum-alloy wheels. LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, body-color power mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, and dual exhaust outlets with a bright finish.

 

The Escape and CX-5 are similar in size, so there will be an unnoticeable difference in drivability between the two.

 

Measurement 2020 Ford Escape 2020 Mazda CX-5
Length (in.) 180.5 179.1
Width (in.) 74.1 72.5
Height (in.) 66.1 66.2 (FWD)/66.1 (AWD)
Wheelbase (in.) 106.7 106.2
Ground Clearance (in.) N/A 7.5
Curb weight (lbs.) 3,298 to 3,884 3,541 to 3,825

 

Advantage: 2020 Ford Escape

  •       Sporty, new look
  •       Even sportier SE Sport Hybrid model

Advantage: 2020 Mazda CX-5

  •       Delicate balance of sport and elegance
  •       Standard aluminum-alloy wheels

Interior

Mazda has worked hard recently to enhance its interior designs and hit a smooth stride with the CX-5’s clean dashboard design, dash-top touchscreen infotainment systems, bright trimming, standard leather-wrapped steering wheel, contrasting colors, available real wood trim, upscale audio systems, and more. There are few interiors in this class that can match it without a luxury badge attached to it.

 

 

While we said few could match the CX-5’s clean and luxurious interior design, the Escape is one of those few. Yes, the base S trim is relatively simple, but its higher trims do a great job of going step-for-step with the CX-5 thanks to their premium materials, dash-top touchscreens, wood trim, digital gauge clusters, and more. The Escape adds to its upscale feel with a rotary shifter that opens up the center console.

 

In terms of in-cabin room, the Escape has a little more room in its front seats, and the CX-5 has a little more space in its rear. Where the big difference comes in is cargo room, as the Escape beats the CX-5 by 2.6 cubes with its rear seats upright and 5.8 cubes with the rear seats folded.

 

 

Buyers seeking the most bang for their buck in features will get nice array of standard equipment in the Escape. This list of features includes steering-wheel-mounted controls, front and rear floor mats, 4.2-inch instrument panel screen, Ice Blue® instrument panel lighting, outside temperature display, rotary gear shifter, cloth seating, manual front seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, urethane steering wheel, power windows with driver-side one-touch-down operation, 4G LTE Wi-Fi® hotspot (data plan required), remote start and vehicle unlock, parked-vehicle locator, SYNC® infotainment system with a 4.2-inch screen, two smart-charging USB ports, six-speaker AM/FM audio system, compass, remote keyless entry, Ford MyKey®, and more.

 

The 2020 Mazda CX-5 matches most of these features but adds a standard 7-inch touchscreen, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, electric parking brake, and HD Radio. Though it has a few extra features, it lacks the Escape’s standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi® hotspot, MyKey functions, and six-speaker audio system.

 

Measurement 2020 Ford Escape 2020 Mazda CX-5
Front headroom (in.) 40 39.7
Front legroom (in.) 42.4 41
Front shoulder room (in.) 57.6 57.1
Front hip room (in.) 55.2 55.2
Rear headroom (in.) 39.3 39
Rear legroom (in.) 38.8 39.6
Rear shoulder room (in.) 56 54.8
Rear hip room (in.) 53.3 55.3
Cargo room (cu. ft.) (all seats upright) 33.5 30.9
Cargo room (cu. ft.) (rear seats folded) 65.4 59.6

 

Advantage: 2020 Ford Escape

  •       More robust standard audio system
  •       Roomier front seats
  •       Tons more cargo room

Advantage: 2020 Mazda CX-5

  •       Premium-looking cabin
  •       Larger standard touchscreen
  •       Roomier  back seat

Performance

A balance of performance and efficiency is the goal of every compact crossover, and the Escape and CX-5 are no exceptions. The 2020 Mazda CX-5 has two 2.5-liter engine options. The standard four-cylinder engine delivers 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission and out to the front or all four wheels. There are no recorded acceleration tests with this engine, but we do know it’s thrifty at up to 28 mpg combined.

 

The optional 2.5-liter engine boasts a turbocharger to push its output to 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet with 87-octane fuel or 250 horses and 320 pound-feet with 93-octane. This power heads through a six-speed automatic transmission and out to all four wheels for a 6.4-second 0-to-60 sprint and up to 24 mpg combined.

 

 

In 2019, the CX-5 gained a new 2.2-liter turbo-diesel engine that delivered 168 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels. This unit allowed the 2019 CX-5 to hit 30 mpg on the highway, but there is no mention of its availability for the 2020 model year yet.

 

The 2020 Ford Escape has a powertrain option for just about everybody, starting with a standard 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder that throws 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission and out to the front or all four wheels. This adds up to a 7.7-second 0-to-60 time and up to 30 mpg combined.

 

 

The SE Sport Hybrid and Titanium trims come standard with a 2.5-liter hybrid four-cylinder powertrain that cranks out 198 horsepower. This power flows through an electronic continuously variable transmission and out to the front or all four wheels for an 8.7-second 0-to-60 sprint and up to 41 mpg combined.

 

Optional on the Titanium and SEL models is a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive for a 5.7-second 0-to-60 time. With this engine, the Escape can tow up to 3,500 pounds, beating the CX-5 by 1,500 pounds.

 

While the Escape may have the CX-5’s number in straight-line quickness, the CX-5 still boasts the tight chassis that comes standard with every Mazda, making it a better handler in the corners.

 

2020 Ford Escape 2020 Mazda CX-5
Standard engine 1.5-liter turbo 3-cyl (Standard: S, SE, SEL) 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (Standard: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring)
Horsepower 180 hp 187 hp at 6,000 rpm
Torque 177 lb-ft 186 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm
Transmission 8-spd auto 6-spd automatic
Driveline FWD (std)/AWD (opt) FWD (std)/ AWD (opt)
0-60 time 7.7 seconds N/A
Towing Capacity 2,000 lbs 2,000 lbs
MPG City 27 mpg (FWD)/26 mpg (AWD) 25 mpg (FWD)/24 mpg (AWD)
MPG Highway 33 mpg (FWD)/31 mpg (AWD) 31 mpg (FWD)/30 mpg (AWD)
MPG Combined 30 mpg (FWD)/28 mpg (AWD) 28 mpg (FWD)/26 mpg (AWD)
Optional engine 2.5-liter hybrid 4-cyl (Standard: SE Sport Hybrid, Titanium) N/A
Horsepower 198 hp N/A
Torque N/A N/A
Transmission e-CVT N/A
Driveline FWD (std)/AWD (opt) N/A
0-60 time 8.7 seconds N/A
Towing Capacity 1,500 lbs N/A
MPG City 44 mpg (FWD)/43 mpg (AWD) N/A
MPG Highway 37 mpg N/A
MPG Combined 41 mpg (FWD)/40 mpg (AWD) N/A
Optional engine 2.0-liter turbo 4-cyl (Optional: SEL, Titanium) 2.5-liter turbo 4-cyl (Standard Grand Touring Reserve, Signature)
Horsepower 250 hp 227 hp at 5,000 rpm (87 octane)/250 hp at 5,000 rpm (93 octane)
Torque 275 lb-ft 310 lb-ft (87 octane)/320 lb-ft (93 octane)
Transmission 8-spd automatic 6-spd automatic
Driveline AWD AWD
0-60 time 5.7 seconds 6.4 seconds
Towing Capacity 3,500 lbs 2,000 lbs
MPG City 23 mpg 22 mpg
MPG Highway 31 mpg 27 mpg
MPG Combined 26 mpg 24 mpg
Optional engine 2.5-liter plug-in hybrid 4-cyl N/A
Horsepower 209 hp N/A
Torque N/A N/A
Transmission e-CVT N/A
Driveline FWD N/A
0-60 time TBD N/A
Towing Capacity N/A N/A
MPG City TBD N/A
MPG Highway TBD N/A
MPG Combined TBD N/A

 

Advantage: 2020 Ford Escape

  •       Super-quick to 60 mph with 2.0-liter engine
  •       More fuel efficient across the board
  •       Future plug-in options
  •       Superior towing

Advantage: 2020 Mazda CX-5

  •       Tight handling

Pricing and Features

The 2020 Ford Escape lineup has five trim levels – S, SE, SE Sport Hybrid, SEL, and Titanium – and their starting prices range from $24,885 to $33,400.

There are five trim levels in the 2020 CX-5 lineup: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature. Their starting prices range from $25,090 to $37,055.

2020 Ford Escape Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $24,885

  •       1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine
  •       Eight-speed automatic transmission
  •       Front-wheel drive with auto brake hold
  •       Electric power steering
  •       Electric parking brake
  •       17-inch steel wheels with Sparkle Silver hubcaps
  •       Active grille shutters
  •       Molded-in-black door handles, bodyside cladding, and rocker panels
  •       Black upper window trim
  •       Black beltline molding
  •       Body-color upper bumpers and molded-in-color lower bumpers
  •       Daytime running lights
  •       Dual chrome exhaust tips
  •       Black grille
  •       LED taillights
  •       Halogen headlights with auto on/off
  •       Power mirrors with molded-in-black caps
  •       Body-color rear spoiler
  •       Roof-mounted antenna
  •       Molded-in-silver front and rear skid plates
  •       Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Fixed-intermittent rear window wiper
  •       Center floor console with armrest
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       Front and rear floor mats
  •       4.2-inch instrument panel screen
  •       Ice Blue® instrument panel lighting
  •       Outside temperature display
  •       Rotary gear shifter
  •       Cloth seating
  •       Six-way manual driver’s seat
  •       Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seat
  •       Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  •       Urethane steering wheel
  •       Power windows with driver-side one-touch-down operation
  •       Power door locks
  •       4G LTE Wi-Fi® hotspot (data plan required)
  •       Remotely start and unlock vehicle
  •       Parked-vehicle locator
  •       SYNC® infotainment system
  •       Enhanced voice recognition
  •       911 Assist®
  •       4.2-inch infotainment screen
  •       AppLink®
  •       Two smart-charging USB ports
  •       Six-speaker AM/FM audio system
  •       Compass
  •       Remote keyless entry
  •       Ford MyKey®
  •       SOS Post-Crash Alert System™
  •       Automatic high-beam headlights
  •       Blind-spot monitoring
  •       Lane-keep assist
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  •       Forward collision alert
  •       Rearview camera
  •       Post-collision braking

SE: $27,095

  •       All S features, plus
  •       Chrome upper window moldings
  •       Body-color door handles
  •       Chrome grille surround
  •       Tinted rear glass
  •       17-inch Shadow Silver aluminum wheels
  •       Automatic climate control with rear air ducts
  •       Unique cloth upholstery
  •       Heated front-row seats
  •       10-way power driver’s seat
  •       Rear center armrest
  •       Illuminated vanity mirrors
  •       Halogen projector headlights
  •       LED signature lighting
  •       Heated mirrors with body-color caps
  •       SYNC® 3 infotainment system
  •       8-inch touchscreen
  •       Apple CarPlay®
  •       Android Auto™
  •       SiriusXM® satellite radio
  •       Keyless ignition
  •       SecuriCode keyless entry keypad

SE Sport Hybrid: $28,255

  •       All SE features, plus
  •       2.5-liter hybrid four-cylinder engine
  •       eCVT
  •       Black upper window moldings
  •       Black mirror caps
  •       Black grille surround
  •       17-inch Ebony Black aluminum wheels
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       12.3-inch full-digital gauge cluster
  •       Spare tire delete
  •       Tire inflator kit and sealant
  •       Pedestrian alert sounds

SEL: $29,255

  •       All SE features, plus
  •       Fog lights
  •       Hands-free gesture power liftgate
  •       Black roof-rack rails
  •       18-inch machined-face aluminum wheels
  •       Two-position memory for the power driver’s seat and mirrors
  •       Sport Contour seats
  •       ActiveX seating material
  •       Leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel
  •       One-touch-up/down front and rear power windows
  •       Remote ignition
  •       Rear parking sensors

Titanium: $33,400

  •       All SEL equipment, plus
  •       2.5-liter hybrid four-cylinder engine
  •       eCVT
  •       Acoustic-laminated glass
  •       Bright upper window molding
  •       Bright beltline molding
  •       LED fog lights
  •       19-inch machined-face aluminum wheels with Dark Tarnish-painted pockets
  •       110-volt power outlet
  •       Ambient lighting with floor lights
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •       12.3-inch digital gauges
  •       Sport Contour seats
  •       Leather seating
  •       Six-way power passenger’s seat
  •       Navigation
  •       SiriusXM® Traffic and Travel Link
  •       10-speaker B&O sound system with a subwoofer
  •       HD Radio™
  •       Universal garage door opener
  •       Active Park Assist 2.0 with reverse and front parking aids
  •       Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and lane centering
  •       Evasive steering assist

2020 Mazda CX-5 Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Sport: $25,090

  •       2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  •       Six-speed automatic transmission
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       17-inch Gray Metallic aluminum-alloy wheels
  •       LED headlights
  •       Daytime running lights
  •       Automatic on/off headlights
  •       Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  •       Intermittent rear wiper
  •       Body-color power mirrors with integrated LED turn signals
  •       Body-color rear roof spoiler
  •       Dual exhaust outlets with a bright finish
  •       Air conditioning
  •       Power windows with one-touch up/down feature
  •       Cruise control
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       Remote keyless entry
  •       Push-button start
  •       Electronic parking brake
  •       Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  •       Overhead console with sunglasses storage
  •       Center console armrest
  •       Six-way manual driver’s seat
  •       Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  •       40/20/40 split-folding rear seat
  •       Cloth upholstery
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped shift knob
  •       Carpeted floor mats
  •       7-inch touchscreen
  •       Four-speaker AM/FM audio system
  •       Bluetooth® connectivity with audio streaming
  •       HD Radio™
  •       MazdaConnect infotainment system
  •       Aha, Pandora, and Stitcher internet radio capable
  •       SMS text messaging
  •       Two front USB ports
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       Multi-information display
  •       Rearview camera
  •       Automatic high-beam headlights
  •       Brake Assist
  •       Hill-launch assist
  •       Blind-spot monitoring
  •       Low-speed automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  •       Mid- to high-speed automatic emergency braking
  •       Forward-collision alert
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Lane-keep assist
  •       Adaptive cruise control with stop and go

Touring: $26,730

  •       All Sport features, plus 
  •       Auto-leveling headlights
  •       Roof-mounted shark-fin antenna
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •       Keyless entry and ignition
  •       Push-button start
  •       Electronic parking brake
  •       Illuminated vanity mirrors
  •       Rear-seat center armrest
  •       Six-way power driver’s seat
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Leatherette seats with Lux Suede® inserts
  •       AM/FM six-speaker audio system with automatic level control
  •       Apple CarPlay®
  •       Android Auto™
  •       Two front and two rear USB ports

Grand Touring: $30,210

  •       All Touring features, plus 
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       LED fog lights
  •       LED taillights
  •       Adaptive front lighting
  •       Power liftgate
  •       19-inch Brilliant Silver-finish aluminum wheels
  •       Rear heater vents
  •       Moonroof
  •       Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  •       Eight-way power driver’s seat with two-position memory
  •       Leather seating
  •       Bose® 10-spaeker audio system with Centerpoint® and AudioPilot®
  •       SiriusXM® satellite radio

Grand Touring Reserve: $35,035

  •       All Grand Touring features, plus 
  •       2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  •       All-wheel drive
  •       Windshield wiper de-icer
  •       Automatic power-folding mirrors
  •       Paddle shifters
  •       Six-way power passenger’s seat
  •       Ventilated front seats
  •       Heated rear seats
  •       Heated steering wheel
  •       8-inch touchscreen
  •       7-inch digital instrument cluster

Signature: $37,055

  •       All Grand Touring Reserve features, plus
  •       19-inch Dark Silver-painted alloy wheels
  •       Caturra Brown Nappa leather-trimmed seats
  •       Unique steering wheel stitching
  •       Genuine layered wood trim
  •       Black cloth headliner
  •       Navigation
  •       SiriusXM® Traffic and Travel Link
  •       Traffic-sign recognition
  •       360-degree camera

Who Should Buy the 2020 Ford Escape

Younger families looking for a vehicle that matches their youthful lives will find this in the sporty and great-performing 2020 Escape. Also, buyers who have a longer commute in the Jacksonville area will appreciate the Escape’s superior fuel economy across the board.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 boasts a premium look that is virtually unmatched in this class, especially in its highest trims. This makes it an excellent option for Jacksonville area shoppers who want that luxury feel but cannot pull off a luxury-car payment.

 

Is the 2020 Ford Escape the right compact crossover for you and your family? Stop by Garber Automall, serving Orange Park, Jacksonville, Fleming Island, and the surrounding area, to see what it can offer you. Whether you need a thrifty rig for your daily commute to Jacksonville, a roomy crossover to take the kids to grandma’s house in Orange Park, or a lightning-fast crossover to tackle the back roads of Fleming Island, the 2020 Escape has you covered. See all our in-stock 2020 Escape models through our online inventory page, choose a few you like, and schedule a test drive.