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2012 Ford Escape

Overview
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2012 Ford Escape Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.1

Hybrid cars, for the most part, emphasize fuel efficiency over capability. In the real world, however, Americans need their cars to do all manner of chores, which is why so many have switched to some form of CUV or SUV. Believing you shouldn't have to sacrifice one benefit for another, Ford has created the 2012 Escape Hybrid, a rugged, roomy CUV with a hybrid drivetrain that is as easy on the planet as it is on your monthly gasoline budget. Of course, there are other hybrid CUVs out there but almost all are high-priced luxury models, with the closest in price being the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. And, while it is obvious that the Escape Hybrid's highway fuel economy is not all that much better than the gasoline-powered Escape, the hybrid's 34 mpg city rating is nothing to scoff at. Besides, a hybrid isn't just about saving fuel; it's about promoting new technologies and leaving a smaller carbon footprint.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you can't afford to give up versatility or light off-road ability for the sake of going green, you now have a savior. The 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid can do all the things its gasoline-only counterpart can do while achieving the segment's best city fuel economy figures.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If the 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid has one shortcoming, it may be old-fashioned styling, both inside and out. Next to vehicles like the Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan, the Escape Hybrid struggles to stand out.

What's New for 2012

There are no major changes for the 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid.

Driving the Escape

Driving Impressions From the driver's point of view, sitting behind the wheel of a 2012 Escape Hybrid is very much like driving a standard Escape, that is, until you encounter stop-and-go traffic....

In slow-speed situations the Escape Hybrid's electric motor does almost all the work, meaning the vehicle is emitting zero pollutants as well as very little noise. The ghostly manner in which the Escape Hybrid glides about is a bit unnerving at first, giving the feeling the engine has stalled. But, once you adapt to the Escape Hybrid shutting its engine off at stops and then restarting it once underway, the vehicle begins to feel just like any other car. Of course, once the battery pack runs low or you begin to move at speeds above 44 mph, the gasoline engine comes online full time. Amazingly, even with the gasoline engine engaged, the Escape's fuel economy remains above the 30 mpg mark.

Navigation System
We're always glad for the ability to quickly and easily find the nearest caffeine station.

Active Park Assist
A feature usually found only on super-luxury cars, the Escape Hybrid'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

Although the interior of the 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid breaks no new ground stylistically, its overall execution is worth noting. Quality plastics have a nice look and feel, and the instruments are backlit in an easy-to-view Ice Blue illumination. Generous use of insulation throughout the cabin returns a surprisingly quiet ride, and clever features, such as the soy-based foam used to construct the seats, validate the Escape Hybrid's status as a cutting-edge green machine. Ford's clever placement of the battery pack under the floor means the Hybrid gives up nothing in the way of interior space, leaving the Escape's roomy rear seat and large cargo area intact. On models equipped with the available navigation unit, the hybrid drive system can be monitored showing when the vehicle is running on pure electric power as well as when the battery pack is being recharged.

Exterior

The 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid doesn't look like the typical hybrid. There is no video game-style instrumentation or funky exterior shapes, just the same squared-off front end and boxy passenger compartment that define so many of Ford's trucks and SUVs. A bold egg-crate-style chrome grille sets off the front end, while thick black plastic runners protect the Escape Hybrid's sides and lower grille. The Escape Hybrid looks almost identical to the gasoline-powered Escape, with only a few "Hybrid" badges and unique 16-inch aluminum wheels to set it apart. The Limited trim adds bright machined aluminum wheels, lower chrome grille extension, chrome liftgate handle, chrome roof-rail inserts and driver's door keyless entry keypad.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Equipped similarly to the XLT gasoline-only model, the 2012 Escape Hybrid includes dual-zone climate control, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system with auxiliary audio input jack, Ford SYNC communication and entertainment system, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control and 16-inch aluminum wheels. Standard safety equipment includes six airbags and anti-lock brakes (ABS), as well as AdvanceTrac traction control with Roll Stability Control. The Limited trim adds 16-inch bright machined aluminum wheels, chrome exterior and interior accents, a 6-disc in-dash CD changer, ambient lighting, leather seating, a power moonroof, the Reverse Sensing System, heated front seats, heated side mirrors and a driver's door keyless entry keypad.

Optional Equipment

Some of the 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid's more desirable options include DVD navigation with 10GB hard drive music storage, rearview camera, MyKey, Active Park Assist, 4-wheel drive, integrated side step bars, remote start, rear-seat DVD entertainment system and roof-rack crossbars.

Under the Hood

As a so-called "full hybrid" the Ford Escape Hybrid is capable of running on battery power alone, at speeds up to about 25 mph. According to Ford, the system delivers 0-to-60-mph acceleration equivalent to that of a 240-horsepower V6. Power is transmitted to the front- or optional four-wheel-drive (4WD) system via a "gearless" continuously-variable transmission. A new electric power steering system requires less effort from the driver to keep the vehicle headed straight on slanted roads or in steady side winds.

2.5-liter in-line 4 Gas/Electric Hybrid Propulsion System
177 net horsepower
155 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
Electric motor: 94 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
136 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 34/31 (FWD), 30/27 (4WD)

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2012 Ford Escape Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 516 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

Love This Vehicle

By on Friday, December 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good mileage; great room; sits high"

Cons: "None for me."

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

"I purchased this vehicle in February 2011 and have been very happy with it since the first day. I like the way it looks; the boxy look. The interior works well for me. I have a dog so I often put the back seats up and down, and it's a quick and easy task to do. The seats are very comfortable, at least the driver's seat. I've never ridden in any other seat. Overall, it is a more sound vehicle when compared to other SUVs of the same size. The doors are heavier and close with a good sound, including the cargo door. The vehicle is a 4 cylinder and it has a lot of power. There is no problem accelerating when passing as long as one isn't afraid to give it gas. I get 28+ MPG on the open highway and 25+ in the city/suburb. It is almost 4 years old and has 48,000 miles on it. I intend to keep it at least another 4 years and another 48,000 miles."

Nice 4WD

By on Sunday, December 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good room inside for car seats, drives nice"

Cons: "rides a little stiff."

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

"we bought this car used, for the 4WD ,as my other 2 are very low slung and deep snow would tear off some of the air deflectors, and more room for two car seats for my grand kids. It is a very good car, but the mileage isn't as good as the two PHEVs that I have. it does get around 18-22 MPG, but that is far away from the others. 48,000 miles and no problems. good car. I have owned 4 other Escapes."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Outstanding Buy

By on Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price"

Cons: "Cloth interior vs leather"

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

"This automobile comes with four snow tires. It has just had a brand new transmission installed with warranty. Most of the miles are highway miles. It has been maintained on a "map" every 5,ooo miles. No children, strictly a company car until I purchased for myself. Never been involved in an accident. In very good shape."

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Basic Comforts

By on Friday, November 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Great car for driving local or long distance!!"

Cons: "Interior is not comfy & it's noisy!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"My 2002 Escape was totaled in an accident. I considered other vehicles, but figured I really loved my "Old-scape". My 2009 "New-scape" is NOT nearly as much fun or have as much character. Much of the "updated" interior design features were far less satisfactory, leaving me longing for the "Old-scape". First of all, I prefer a manual transmissions, which meant a more basic car and upgrades were not an option due to this preference. 1) Emergency Brake Location (Thumbs Down) -I didn't like that the E-Brake is a "step on" rather than center pull, where you can control the "uphill" driving. 2) Handles (Thumbs Down) - They removed all but ONE "hang on" handle. 3) Nooks & Tucks. Not a lot of "storage" space for all the little things that I liked to tuck away, like my phone, chargers, note pads, glasses, etc.. 4) The vinyl covering of the center box (Thumbs Down!!!) There is nothing so uncomfortable and "wears you out" as quickly as the 'grip' covering they have on the handles and center seat/box. Just "NO"! Good Stuff: It's been a good little car overall. It has hauled a 10x20 trailer up outta the LA region's I5 Grapevine without issues. We've put over 8K miles on it in one trip across country! It's an energizer... just keeps going, and going, and going. Easy to drive, turns and parking are just like driving a car."

15 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Very Versatile

By on Thursday, November 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,500

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: "cavernous! reliable surefooted"

Cons: "wish it had power recline and power passenger seat"

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

"AWD, 4 cylinder, Limited with every option except NAV. I can squeeze 28 mpg on a road trip, load it up and go! Great little SUV the 4 banger is a little noisy but not bad, The SYNC has some quirks but you just have to reprogram every six months or so."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Nice, simple vehicle

By on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Space, efficiency, looks, very economical."

Cons: "Weak engine."

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

"I love my Escape. It sits up a little higher than cars, there's plenty of room. Very flexible seating for fitting in large or oddly shaped items. Some complain about the cheap plastic materials on the doors and dash, but I like it. It's durable and cleans easily, something you want in a vehicle like this, especially if you carry dogs with you. The 4 cylinder engine works pretty hard, the 6 is the clear winner for performance, without much reduction in gas mileage. But my unit works just fine for me. It looks great, doesn't cost a lot of money to fill. Reliable and not pretentious."

8 people out of 14 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?