Re: Rollover Rating on '09 Escape
Louis, here goes:
Rollover ratings are irrelevant. If you steer any vehicle at a certain speed hard enough it will roll over. It all comes down to basic physics. Don't get me wrong here, both SUV's you mentioned are nice and well equipped for the price. The Honda won't necessarily fare better in a roll over over the Escape. It depends on the road conditions, status of the driver and most importantly, what else was being carried in the vehicle. Weight has everything to do with handling, braking and overall control.
If you have 5 passengers in either of these vehicles and have to turn suddenly, then hit a patch of ice on the highway you'll be in for one hulluva ride. The additional weight won't help your directional control and that's providing it was even properly distributed in the first place. 80% of all people overload their vehicles when they travel. Even with 5 people aboard neither SUV can carry more than 1000lbs payload, I believe the CRV is lower at around 870lbs.
I always say "save the racing for the track". If you drive to survive, you will, it's as simple as that. I can drive the **** out of my Durango on the track and it's a HEAVY SUV (5000lbs with me in it). I drove it to and from the oval track and skid pad in Marshall, Michigan USA (6hrs away) and it never rolled over on me. I felt the odd tire wanting to get airborne but still, nothing came of it. Vehicles are built to stay on the road, should the inevitable happen and you run off the shoulder of a highway perhaps, the most likely position you'll end up is on the vehicle's side. There's nearly no weight on the top (this is why roof racks can't carry much weight). The structure that prevents occupants from being crushed is built into the A pillar (the one that holds the windshield). If you have four 250lb adults at each corner you'll be at max payload, if not over, and you won't be able to haul any cargo.
US law states that a vehicle's A pillar has to hold 2.5 times the weight of the vehicle itself (empty). You can't get much safer than that. So, with that said, both vehicles are just as safe in the real world.
The start rating system is used to show the possible injury level a person could sustain. There are ratings for both the driver and passenger. The driver is generally in a worse scenario as the steering wheel is considered an obstacle and can cause greater injury depending on the type of accident.
To sum it up, a one star would equal severe head trauma and possible 1-2 broken body parts, and a five star (top of the trade) would mean minimal head and body trauma.
Another thing to consider is that when NHTSA tests vehicles to give them a star rating, they drive them into a concrete block (to resemble another vehicle). In reality, if you were to hit something, that 'something' would be pushed forward, such as another vehicle, and that would lessen the impact for both parties involved. Most of the time, the average driver would freeze up once they saw they were going to run into something and what would they do? Hit the brakes. Putting the pedal to the floor will make the vehicle dive, which can also affect damage and injury. With the front of the vehicle lower to the ground the bumper and crumple zones will better absorb impact. Unless of course, you run into a school bus and you give everyone a free ticket to heaven when you lose the top half of your vehicle.
A vehicle is only as safe as you make it. My Durango has a 3 star driver front crash rating and it doesn't bother me. I bought it for what it could do and what it offers me in return. I have 5.9L of engine in front of me and a trailer hitch behind for those that like to tailgate and not pay attention.
If you plan to drive yourself to and from work, I'd recommend the CRV, as it's a good everyday runabout, is light and gets better fuel economy than a V6 Escape. If you need that extra capability or would just like to have it available and don't mind paying a few hundred more dollars a year for fuel, get the Escape. The Escape is more of a broad vehicle in stance, and as another thought to leave you on, Honda claims fuel economy - and Ford claims safety.
'00 Durango R/T 360ci 290hp (modded); 138,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 44,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 13,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
Amsoil in all vehicles!