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2012 Ford Escape

Overview
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2012 Ford Escape Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.1

In the world of compact CUVs (Crossover Utility Vehicle) the 2012 Ford Escape stands out for a number of reasons. Fresh from a complete makeover that spanned the 2010 and 2011 model run, the 2012 Ford Escape may look like an old friend, but it's been pretty much remade from the ground up. Unlike its closest competitor, the 2012 Honda CR-V, the Escape offers the option of a V6 engine, which not only gives it more power when needed, but provides more towing ability. The 2012 Ford Escape trounces its domestic competition by offering such exclusives as the Ford SYNC communications system and Active Park Assist, a system which can help guide the vehicle into a parallel parking space. And, while newer names such as the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson pose a major challenge to the Blue Oval's rugged little off-roader, neither has the longevity or the loyal fan base amassed by the Escape's long production run. Then again, the Escape's boxy yet rugged exterior may not hold as much appeal as the sleek and stylish Korean twins, but it certainly fits into the mold of a tough Ford truck, and for many that is exactly the image a CUV should present.

You'll Like This Car If...

Like the rugged look of the old Ford Explorer and Jeep Cherokee, but don't want to deal with the truck-like ride, poor fuel economy and bulky size? The 2012 Ford Escape offers all the creature comforts of a car with the tall ride height and AWD ability of an SUV.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the 2012 Ford Escape is an attractive package, its design seems a bit dated, especially when placed next to such newcomers as the GMC Terrain, Kia Sportage and Nissan Rogue. Also, the Escape doesn't offer a third-row seat, something you can get on the Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Outlander.

What's New for 2012

There are no major changes for the 2012 model.

Driving the Escape

Driving Impressions If you're not a speed fiend or need to haul heavy loads, we think the 2012 Ford Escape's 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is more than sufficient. With 171 horsepower on tap,...

the 2.5-liter provides good acceleration and passing power and really good fuel economy. Of course, if you need that extra "get up and go," the Escape's 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 can provide it and then some. The available 6-speed automatic operates smoothly and helps the Escape see improvements in both performance and fuel economy. However, although Ford has done a good job with the Escape's suspension setup, the overall feeling behind the Escape's wheel is not as carlike as with the Honda CR-V or Nissan Rogue. Also, while the available all-wheel-drive system works well when required, it is not permanently engaged as with the Subaru Forester.

Navigation System
Easy to use and loaded with helpful features, the Escape's on-board navigation unit can hunt down hotels, coffee kiosks and out-of-the-way gas stations in seconds.

Active Park Assist
A feature usually found only on super-luxury cars, the Escape's Active Park Assist uses sonar and the electric power steering unit to automatically guide the Escape into an open parallel parking spot. Voice prompts tell the driver when to shift gears and apply power.

2012 Ford Escape Details
Interior

The 2012 Ford Escape's interior is a curious mix of the old and new. The upright seating, large side windows and wide center console all look pretty truckish, but the instrument's cool blue lighting and advanced features seem better suited to a new Taurus than the humble Escape. From the available SYNC audio system to the voice-activated navigation, the Escape is full of little and not so little surprises. Ample storage space abounds inside the Escape, with a huge center console storage system, lockable under-floor storage behind the rear seat, and 60/40 folding rear seats that fold to create a level cargo floor. The Escape's rear seat is one of the largest in this class, and Ford's Safety Canopy, which includes side-curtain airbags that deploy in the event of a side impact or impending rollover situation, is standard.

Exterior

It's pretty easy to spot a Ford truck or SUV, regardless of its model year. That's because Ford has done an excellent job keeping its trademark look fresh over the years, and the 2012 Ford Escape is no exception. Despite its modest dimensions, the Escape's boxy shape, big chrome grille and rugged protective body cladding make it look quite formidable. Optical illusions aside, the Escape's ample glass, low beltline and short front and rear overhangs make parking or maneuvering through tight spots a snap. The Escape's boxy roofline works to its advantage by creating a tall rear hatch opening and interior ceiling, as well as a long and level roof perfect for loading bikes, kayaks or skis. Those who like their cars simple and clean can opt for either the XLS or XLT trim, while those who prefer a bit more flash will appreciate the extra chrome and distinctive wheels found on the Limited trim.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The most basic Escape, the XLS, is powered through its front wheels by an efficient 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission. Creature comforts include rear defroster, power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, 60/40 split-folding rear seats and a 4-speaker CD player with auxiliary audio input jack. Standard safety features include traction control, stability control, front-seat side-mounted airbags, side-curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes (ABS).

Optional Equipment

Options vary by trim and include a 3.0-liter V6 engine, 4-wheel drive, a 6-speed automatic transmission, the SYNC in-car communications and entertainment system (optional on XLT, standard on Limited), GPS navigation with 10GB hard-drive music storage and rearview camera, 17-inch chrome wheels, 6-way power driver's seat, leather seats, ambient lighting, MyKey programmable key, Active Park Assist, heated front seats, a power moonroof, fog lights, keyless entry pad and the Reverse Sensing System. Dealer-installed options include remote start and a rear-seat entertainment system.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Ford Escape's 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine employs variable valve timing for improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and maximum horsepower and torque. If you desire a manual transmission, this is your only engine choice. The Escape's 3.0-liter V6 features a high compression ratio that helps maximize horsepower and torque, an important attribute for those who need to tow or haul heavy loads. While the 3.0-liter engine does provide better acceleration and the ability to tow up to 3,500 pounds, its city fuel economy ratings reach only the high teens; on the flip side, the V6 is E85 Flex-Fuel compatible.

2.5-liter in-line 4
171 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
171 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 (manual, FWD), 21/28 (automatic, FWD), 20/27 (automatic, 4WD)

3.0-liter V6, Flex-Fuel
240 horsepower @ 6,550 rpm
223 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 (FWD, gasoline), 14/19 (FWD, E85), 18/23 (4WD, gasoline), 13/17 (4WD, E85)


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2012 Ford Escape Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 524 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Vehicle is wonderful!

By on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive; wonderful gas mileage"

Cons: "need a bigger cargo & separate cooling control"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The only reason I'm considering selling/trading this vehicle in is I want a bigger vehicle for my dogs. I'm looking at a minivan which will accommodate 2 dog crates as well as 4 people (or more dog "stuff"). The gas mileage is awesome (averaging 30.4); it's comfortable; and I adore the back-up camera."

Great truck for Michigan winters! Handles GREAT!

By on Sunday, January 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks, handleing, fuel milage."

Cons: "Gas tank could be larger."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Nice sized for me. We have had three of these vehicles so far, all have been VERY reliable and for the MOST part trouble free. Ford and our dealer have taken care of any troubles at no cost. They put in a new tranny at 18K after they tried to fix it...has been trouble free ever since. Fantastic in the snow. Great handleing on rain slicked expressways, snowy roads in the country, on down the line. I recommend these to anyone and everyone."

Great Vehicle

By on Sunday, January 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great all around vehicle to drive -"

Cons: "None that I am concerned about"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this vehicle at the beginning of 2014 with 18,235 miles on it. Since then have driven it quite a bit. For a new car it is dependable - no issues - use the sync - doesn't have the gps screen nor the backup camera - I know how to turn around to look behind me. However it does have GPS directions using services - which is a subscribed to provider free for a year. The best I have done over the road on the highway was around 24 MPG. However on a trip to upstate NY I did manage to average 28 MPG for awhile. The V-6 is the way to go - plenty of power - automatic lighting system - headlights come on by light sensor. Great Great visibility all around - the side view mirrors have a small magnafied lense for blind spot view. Heated leather seats along with heated side mirrors when you turn on the rear window defroster. The vehicle has been great easy to park - and the price of tires won't kill you - 16" can be bought for under $100 ea. The front bumper is plastic but all new vehicles are doing that so even though it's an issue for some people that's the way it is. Great car and got it for a great price"

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Dependable,drives well,storage capacity is perfect

By on Tuesday, January 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Priced right and dependable"

Cons: "Changed model looks in 2013. Now a hybrid."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Use this vehicle for my business deliveries and pick ups. Cargo space is more than adequate easy to lower seats and return to regular position. Comfortable driving seat, AC/Heat is exceptional. Regular Maintenance will keep this vehicle running a long time. Use it for personal us, recreational use."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Great truck

By on Saturday, January 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handling, comfort, gas mileage"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Traded in my 2013 Outback (crummy A/C and guzzled oil) for a 2012 Escape. Best decision I ever made. Great vehicle!"

6 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Very good vehicle

By on Saturday, January 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price, easy to drive and plenty of power."

Cons: "Rear leg room."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love everything about this vehicle except leg room in the rear seats. Maybe I should have went to a dealer that had some explorers in stock when we purchased this one. Our grandchildren`s feet dug into our backs as they grew taller in their car seats."

1 person out of 6 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?