The Lord of the Compact Crossovers: The Two Transports

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The silhouettes of the Fellowship of the Ring characters are in front of a Ford dealership.

As a woodland elf, there is only one thing I love in this world. That’s getting the best of dwarves. While my people sought to create a well-rounded compact crossover that can safely transport a Fellowship to the likes of Mordor, the dwarves also set out to create their own version. The results were the 2021 Ford Escape vs 2021 Honda CR-V. As much as I hate to admit it, there are some similarities between the two transports. However, once you venture deep into the specs, you will find that one is clearly superior to the other. If you have been thinking about getting out of the Shire and going on a Middle Earth adventure, then you came to the right place.

Frodo, Sam, and other hobbits are next to a 2021 Ford Escape and 2021 Honda CR-V, both in red.Small Packages

You know that saying, “Big things come in small packages?” Well, hold on to your seat because there’s nothing big about these two vehicles. Sorry to wind you up there, but these petite SUVs are simply small packages with small things inside.

Both have ample seating for Hobbits, which is okay if you’re not planning on leaving your small town any time soon. I suppose a Fellowship of five could pile into either vehicle, but let’s be honest. Squishing the remaining four members into the rear cargo area never goes well. Unless, of course, you enjoy listening to a bickering dwarf all the way to Mordor.

No, the solution for transporting a Fellowship in one of these models will have to come about by another way. For instance, the cabin configurability and the maximum cargo area might just be the thing to look at. The 2021 Ford Escape offers 33.5 cubic feet of room behind the back row, and the 2021 Honda CR-V offers 32.2 cubic feet. Before you let out an “AHA!” just know that this does not mean that the Escape is bigger than the CR-V.

How is that possible? Well, if you fold the back rows of both vehicles down, the maximum cargo area tells a different story. The 2021 Ford Escape offers 65.4 cubic feet of storage space, and the 2021 Honda CR-V offers 68.7 cubic feet. So, in total, the Honda is slightly bigger. However, you can fit most of the Fellowship in the back of either transport if you fold the seats down. Gimli will have to hold on to the roof no matter which one you choose.

A key with an evil eye is in front of a disappointed man from LotR.

A (Somewhat) Powerful Performance

As I mentioned before, these two vehicles are compact, which means that both are small enough to fly under the radar once you draw closer to Mordor. You won’t find any noisy V8 engines growling under the hoods either. However, there are some stark differences between the powertrain offerings. The most major difference is that the 2021 Ford Escape has three to choose from, and the 2021 Honda CR-V only has one. You should also keep in mind that the Ford engine lineup was produced by the Woodland Elves, while the Honda engine was crudely made by the dwarves.

The standard elven engine used by the 2021 Ford Escape is the turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder motor that generates 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a loc of Galadriel’s hair, you can expect to get about 30 MPG combined (27 city/33 highway). However, the Titanium trim gets an upgraded 2.5-liter hybrid 4-cylinder powertrain that produces 200 hp. Using starlight and lembas bread, it gets around 40 MPG combined (44 city/37 highway).

Finally, the available 2.0-liter 4-cylinder motor is offered on the SEL and Titanium trims. Turbocharged with the Light of Elendil, it makes 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, and its average fuel economy is rated at 26 MPG combined (23 city/31 highway). Keep in mind that you have the option of FWD or AWD with the 3-cylinder and hybrid powertrains. However, the 4-cylinder motor is only offered with AWD. This would be the one to get for trekking through the Misty Mountains.

On the other hand, all of the 2021 Honda CR-V models are powered by the same dwarven engine. Popping the hood, you will find a crude 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine underneath. This motor pushes out 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard in FWD, but you can opt for AWD if you want. Don’t expect it to be a smooth ride, though. Running on coal and a stubborn attitude, you can expect to get about 30 MPG combined (28 city/34 highway).

If you think back to the Red Book of Westmarch by Bilbo Baggins, you will recall most of the dwarves died during their quest to reclaim their homeland. However, the elves always survive and thrive. So, which type of engine would you prefer to take you to Mordor?

Going Back to Basics

A dwarf named Gimli is wearing a metal hemet.

Both of these petite transports are available in four unique trims. While there are a few similarities between them, only one has better features. Go ahead and place your bets as to which one you think that is.

The 2021 Ford Escape S is the elven base model. It comes with a height-adjustable driver’s seat to accommodate drivers that are over 4-ft tall. It also includes an on-board Wi-Fi connection so that you can stay in touch with all of the elven realms throughout your travels and a 6-speaker stereo to listen to Elvish tunes.

The infotainment interface is intuitive, and there are several safety features included as well. The orc detector will let you know if a pack of orcs has entered your blind spot. Although these creatures are not very good at sneaking, sometimes arguments between passengers can lead to the orcs slipping up on you without your notice. Giant spider mitigation is also included to detect any giant arachnids that may be running full-force at you from the front. Finally, the course-corrector warning will alert you if you begin to drift, of course, which – let’s be honest – only happens when the dwarf drives.

On the other hand, the 2021 Honda CR-V LX is the entry-level dwarven competitor. While it also has a power-adjustable driver’s seat, it only accommodates folks under 4-ft-5-in. It also comes with the spider detector and the course-corrector, but it is missing the orc detector. The stereo only has four speakers, which is a blessing because the only stations that work with this transport are two dwarvish music channels. It doesn’t have Wi-Fi either, so you can forget about sending out an SOS when you get into trouble.

At this point, it should be very clear which transport is superior. Not only is the elven ride better equipped to deal with orcs, but it is also more affordable. All you have to do is compliment the Lady of the Dealership. Meanwhile, the dwarven ride will cost you all the gold you have on your person plus a huge home-cooked dinner.

Making the Decision

Personally, I think there is a clear winner here. The superior elven technology inside the 2021 Ford Escape will help you get to Mordor safely. Meanwhile, the 2021 Honda CR-V might be okay for cruising through the Mines of Moria, but it will do little to protect you against the dangers of such a perilous journey.

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