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2022 Ford Escape vs 2022 Honda CR-V: Which Base Trim Gives You More?

You can easily pick and choose which kind of vehicle you want based on what the MSRP and promoted trim features seem to offer. However, the advertisements, posters, and retail prices only tell a partial story of what you really get with a specific vehicle. A perfect example of that is the 2022 Ford Escape vs 2022 Honda CR-V. Both of these compact SUVs are quite popular, and from the outset, it seems like there won’t be too much difference between these two vehicles because their prices are very similar. However, there is more to it than just the price differences when it comes to the entry-level trims for both vehicles, and we’re here to talk about what you get when it comes to the base trims of the Escape and the CR-V.

CR-V LX: What Do You Get?

For the starting MSRP of $26,400, the CR-V’s base trim, the LX, comes with a lot of the basic amenities you would want from a compact SUV. It comes with an inline turbocharged 4-cylinder that outputs 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a continuously variable transmission and is available in two different drivetrain configurations, including front-wheel and all-wheel drive.

On the fuel economy side, you have 28 miles per gallon in the city and up to 34 miles per gallon on the highway with the front-wheel drive version of the LX. For the all-wheel drive version of the SUV, you have 27 miles per gallon in the city and up to 32 miles per gallon on the highway. You can seat up to 5 people in the CR-V LX, and it comes with a 6-way manual driver-side adjustable seat, power windows and tailgate, cruise control, and an automatic climate control system.

Inside, the 2022 Honda CR-V LX features 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and a total cargo volume of 75.8 cubic feet of space with the 60/40 split rear seats folded down. It also comes with remote entry and the Honda Sensing Safety suite. On the safety side, you get a number of patented technologies right out of the gate, including road departure and collision mitigation systems, lane keeping assistance, and collision warning systems.

On the infotainment front, you have access to Bluetooth wireless integration with streaming and connectivity support. There’s also a front USB port and a 5-inch LCD display screen. The LX is also compatible with Pandora and has HandsFreeLink automatically enabled, so you can easily adjust or activate features using voice commands without having to take your eyes off the road. You also get a 160-watt audio system that features four speakers throughout the cabin.

A blue 2022 Honda Crv is shown from the front at an angle while it drives down the road.

Ford Escape S: What Do You Get?

At a starting price of $26,010, the 2022 Ford Escape S comes with plenty of noteworthy features for those looking for a well-rounded and cost-effective compact SUV. At the top-end of its features is a 1.5-liter EcoBoost turbocharged inline 3-cylinder that delivers 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Much like the CR-V, the Escape S is available in front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. It delivers 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway in front-wheel drive, and 26 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway in all-wheel drive.

The Escape S features 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, and when the rear row 60/40 split-sliding seats are folded down, you can make use of a total cargo volume of 65.4 cubic feet of space. Seating arrangements also include 6-way manual driver and 4-way passenger seating. The Escape also features cloth seats, manual climate control, and the Ford Co-Pilot360 technology safety suite.

You have AdvanceTrac with roll stability control, torque vectoring, remote keyless entry, an anti-theft SecuriLock system, auto high-beam headlamps, rearview digital camera, and a Safety Canopy system in place. The Ford Co-Pilot360 also comes with BLIS for blind-spot information, lane-keeping assists, and pre-collision assistance, detection, and alert systems. The Ford safety suite also comes with the SOS Post-Crash Alert System in case there is a collision.

In conjunction with the safety tech, the infotainment suite is powered by the Ford SYNC technology, which includes a 6-speaker audio system as opposed to the CR-V’s 4-speaker setup. The Escape S also comes with a 4.2-inch driver display instrument cluster, dual USB ports, and the FordPass Connect system with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity for smart devices and online-enabled systems.

A blue 2022 Ford Escape is shown from the front at an angle while it drives down the road.

What Key Features Are Unavailable on the Base LX and S Trims?

While both base trims give you a lot of neat features, if you were looking for a specific compact SUV that gave you the most bang for your buck, you may find yourself coming up short more often than not with the Honda CR-V LX compared to the Ford Escape S. Why? Because of a few key missing features. Depending on what you value from an entry-level trim may determine whether you think the price difference is also a dealbreaker due to missing features.

Both the base LX and S trims lack Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. So let’s just get that cleared up right away. However, the Escape S does take advantage over the LX with the integration of 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot support out of the gate. Unfortunately, the CR-V LX does not come with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, nor the Honda HD network support for digital traffic. The Honda CR-V LX also lacks SMS text messaging and does not feature HondaLink integration, which means no Alexa support, no Wi-Fi connectivity, and no vehicle smart device functionality.

As mentioned, you also don’t get the 6-speaker stereo setup in the Honda CR-V LX. There is also a lack of two USB ports in the CR-V LX, which you get with the Ford Escape S. However, the CR-V LX does get Pandora compatibility if that’s what you’re really into. The Escape also features 6-way driver adjustment and 4-way passenger seat adjustment, whereas the CR-V only features 6-way driver seat adjustment. So you are missing quite a few features from the CR-V LX that are available in the Escape S.

The Differences Between the CR-V LX and Escape S

Both the 2022 Honda CR-V LX and 2022 Ford Escape S have a lot of similarities, and you get very similar features in both, but as evidenced above with what’s missing from both, you can see how the price difference doesn’t necessarily mean much when it comes to the base features. If you’re really into some of those features being standard or available on a vehicle, it can make or break your decision of which one to buy.

However, one key difference between the two is the towing capabilities. The 2022 Honda CR-V LX is capable of towing up to 1,500 pounds. The 2022 Ford Escape S, however, is capable of towing up to 2,000 pounds. So if towing was another big thing for you while also trying to keep the budget low, you’re giving up 500 pounds with the CR-V LX compared to the Ford Escape S. That’s definitely something worth considering if towing or trailering is an important feature.

Another thing you might consider is that the base Escape S trim comes with a spare tire and a tire repair kit, which includes a tire inflator and a sealant kit. If you did find yourself stranded on the side of the road, the CR-V LX does come with the spare compact tire, but you don’t get the sealant kit like you do with the Escape S. It’s certainly something to consider.

Should I Buy a 2022 Ford Escape S or a 2022 Honda CR-V LX?

It all comes down to price and preference. Do you think that the several hundred dollar price gap is worth the features you don’t get with the Honda CR-V LX? Do you think that the several hundred dollars more for the Ford Escape S is worth the addition of higher tow ratings, more infotainment options, more comfort features, and an extra tire kit? These are all questions you have to weigh when purchasing a vehicle, but you certainly get a lot more with the Escape S without requiring additional packages or having to scale up the trim line for some basic and very popular amenities.