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2012 Ford Escape

Overview
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2012 Ford Escape Review

By

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)


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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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."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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."

4 people out of 7 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."

11 people out of 15 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."

16 people out of 21 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."

10 people out of 18 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?