Don't get penned in by the Escape's conservative look; it competes head-on with a variety of compact crossovers, some of which are sleek and rakish.
One of those is the Nissan Rogue.
The Rogue doesn't even pretend to be tough or off-road-worthy; it's a tall wagon, with space for five, good ride quality, and a fuel-efficient four-cylinder powertrain.
The Hyundai Tucson looks a little more carlike than the Escape, but it's one of the least refined in the group; it's due for a complete redesign later this year.
The Honda CR-V is one of our all-time favorites, if you only look at the driving experience, but some people have a hard time getting past the SUV's styling and the lack of optional V-6 power.
Subaru's Forester became significantly larger for 2009, and it's now a roomier alternative to the Escape, with a nice, smooth ride and responsive handling.
Finally, the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox has been redesigned and is now a much better vehicle than before, with a vastly improved interior, plus a smooth, economical four-cylinder base engine and six-speed automatic transmission.
|2011 Ford EscapeBrowse Used Listings||2011 Chevrolet EquinoxBrowse Used Listings||2011 Honda CR-VBrowse Used Listings||2011 Hyundai TucsonBrowse Used Listings||2011 Nissan RogueBrowse Used Listings||2011 Subaru ForesterBrowse Used Listings|
|20 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4 ECOTEC||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas Flat 4|
|2WD Sport Utility Vehicles||2WD Sport Utility Vehicle||2WD Sport Utility||2WD Sport Utility||FWD Sport Utility||4WD Sport Utility|
|FWD 4-Door XLS||FWD 4-Door LS||2WD 5-Door LX||FWD 4-Door Manual GL *Ltd Avail*||FWD 4-Door S||4-Door Manual 2.5X|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive|
|4 Door||4 Door||Sport Utility Vehicle||4 Door Sport Utility||Sport Utility||4 Door Sport Utility|
|Manual||Automatic||Automatic||Manual||Continuously variable ratio||Manual w/OD|