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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

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 544 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
    8.7/10

A great small SUV wth decent cargo space.

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

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
8/10

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

"The box design creates space for people and cargo. Very reliable and has good gas mileage. Very good value"

Love this car!

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Very versatile. Great for hauling stuff."

Cons: "None."

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

"This is one of the few 2WD SUV's you can tow behind an RV. Ford discontinued that the following year. Wish they would bring that ability back."

Best SUV for the money and Best Gas mileage

By on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,750

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great Gas Mileage! Fun SUV to Drive"

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

"Really Really like this Ford Escape. This is our 2nd one.the first was a standard model 2006 and we bought it used with 26,000 miles and paid $14,500 for it. Traded it in 3 years later with over 100,000 miles for the 2011 used. The dealer gave us an extra $1500 as this Ford Escape is in demand! Our 2006 did not have awd but we had aggressive tires on it for snow and it did very well. But the 2011 is awd and we are extremely happy with it! Wow it handles great, snow, rain, sun, and the mileage has been next to spectacular! On a long trip of 300 miles we managed 34mpg! Around town we consistantly get 27-28. This is in summer. in winter the mileage drops about 2-4 mpg depending on how cold it is. Now we have over 50,000 miles on it and the tires are still like new! Everything works like it should! We would like it if there was less road noise and a bit more leg room for driver. Other than that it is a WINNER!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love this car and would buy it all over again.

By on Friday, April 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "A really good value, nice and solid."

Cons: "Back seat has limited leg room, fits 2 ok 3 crowd"

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

"When I was asked what kind of car I wanted, I said something like the Ford Escape or Rav 4. I am so happy we got the escape. It is perfect if you don't like to climb up to get out of a car. Plenty of room in the front and bac storage area. I would have liked a little more leg room in the rear seating area. All the controls are accessible to the driver. Very comfortable to drive both in the suburbs and the highway. I have never had any mechanical or cosmetic deficiencies with the car. Although Mother Nature decided to put a tree on the roof and side. The repairs were painless and you would ever know that it happened."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

GREAT Vehicle!

By on Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "ease of access, performance, reliability, economy"

Cons: "small seat, wind noise above 50 mph"

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

"I have owned my 2010 Ford Escape Limited, V6, for 16 months. Being 64 with some arthritis, I find my Escape very easy to get in and out of(leather seats). The V6 240 hsp engine allows you to get on the expressway at the speed limit - ie, 30 to 60 mph on the ramp NO problem! Passing slow old farts is a breeze too, LOL. I wish the seat was bigger(like a Navigator), and there is some wind noise above 50 mph. Oh, and I get around 21 mpg in city driving(no A/C)!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Love the car!

By on Tuesday, April 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 131,000

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
8/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"All I have done is routine maintenance until 100,000. I then changed out all the fluids and the belts. Not one minutes trouble with this vehicle! Very important for a single woman. The only thing I don't like is the upholstery. Even water stains it and it won't clean up satisfactorily."

6 people out of 9 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

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