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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 527 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

Traded 07 Rav 4 in for it.Great decision.

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

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: "great price,fun to drive"

Cons: "emergency brake release hard to reach"

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

"This is a great suv. It still rides,looks & handles like it did when I bought it new. There were a couple of recall problems & dealer took care of them. Glad I bought the 6cyl. avg. 22.6 mpg with plenty of power."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love this car. Best car in the snow.

By on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

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: "Great price, very good mileage."

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

"This car is just the right size. Very manueverable, great gas mileage. I love all the features of my Limited edition. It is the best car I have ever driven in the snow. I used to be concerned about the weather and roads, now I don't even check it. Great peace of mind. I have told many people, if I am having trouble, no one should be out on the roads. We should all be home."

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."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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"

8 people out of 14 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."

14 people out of 19 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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