But I encountered a problem: Many times when I at first thought I was looking at a 2013 RAV4, I was actually seeing a 2013 Ford Escape, a rival compact SUV. Hence the subject of this post.
Because both cars were restyled for the 2013 model year, it is unlikely that Toyota stole Ford's theme or vice-versa, because the cars were probably under development around the same time. What Toyota was doing was taking the theme of the 2008-2012 RAV4 design and making it more in line with the current fashion for sharp-edged, somewhat baroque shapes. Ford, on the other hand, had a rather plain, boxy-looking Escape line for 2008-2012 and wanted to make it more in line with the current fashion for sharp-edged, somewhat baroque shapes. But Ford seems to have borrowed a number of styling cues from the popular 2008-2012 RAV4 as the basis for its restyling. In short, both firms were independently trying to do essentially the same thing (update the RAV4 design), so there's little wonder that the resulting designs seem so similar.
Let's take a look.