The Ford Escape may be aging, but its competition still hasn't caught up to it in sales.
Honda's CR-V comes close: it's new this year, and we'll hold judgement until we drive it.
The Nissan Rogue is smaller than the Escape, but has a good ride and good gas mileage to balance out its lackluster transmission (it's CVT-only). Hyundai's Tucson gained a swoopy new look in 2010 and better performance, but it's also small, and its steering needs a rethink.
The Tucson's cousin, the Kia Sportage, comes off as the more refined of the duo, and a new turbo SX version is truly quick and, at more than $30,000, expensive.
The Chevrolet Equinox is larger than the Escape, but offers 32-mpg EPA ratings in four-cylinder trim, and a really well-executed cabin with fine fit and finish, and a sliding second-row bench seat.
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|2012 Ford EscapeBrowse Used Listings||2012 Chevrolet EquinoxBrowse Used Listings||2012 Honda CR-VBrowse Used Listings||2012 Hyundai TucsonBrowse Used Listings||2012 Kia SportageBrowse Used Listings||2012 Nissan RogueBrowse Used Listings|
|20 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas/Ethanol I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|2WD Sport Utility Vehicles||2WD Sport Utility Vehicle||2WD Sport Utility||2WD Sport Utility||2WD Sport Utility Vehicle||FWD Sport Utility|
|FWD 4-Door XLS||FWD 4-Door LS||2WD 5-Door LX||FWD 4-Door Manual GL||2WD 4-Door Base||FWD 4-Door S|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door||4 Door||Sport Utility Vehicle||4 Door Sport Utility||4 Door||Sport Utility|
|Manual||Automatic||Automatic||Manual||Manual||Continuously variable ratio|