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2012 Ford Escape

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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 580 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

125K miles and still going strong

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

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

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: "Dependability, comfort, durability, weather tight"

Cons: "Wish availability of 5 Speed was better in Escapes"

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

"Have been a very happy Ford owner for many years; the 2008 Ford Escape having been the best one yet. I've had this vehicle since its' infancy and have been loyal to keeping routine maintenance in check with one of our local Ford Dealerships in the area, who has in turn been loyal to me as a customer. I've not had any out of pocket major expense thus far, and other than normal wear and tear, and routine upkeep; expenses have been minimal. I've been without a car payment for more than 3 years and have been loving it. Last night, for the first time, my clutch acted out and I returned home when I realized I would need to get it in for a service repair. I didn't want to risk wrecking or getting stranded in inclimate weather. Where many would be upset and irritated that they were going to have to get their car repaired, I looked online to see what the average cost for repairs would be to find that my clutch had outlasted the "normal expectancy life" of a clutch by 2.5 times the mileage that was suggested. It's nice not having a car payment, but would definitely buy another Ford when the time comes I should need a new vehicle. This one has been very reliable and has great comfort as well."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Best SUV for travel

By on Sunday, December 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,788

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: "Nice room, leg room, head room, and long drives"

Cons: "Navigation System in wrong place."

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

For a hybrid it's got power!!..

"I bought my Escape Hybrid Limited 2010 new after doing research on other SUV's in its class and loved all the addons. My Escape gets 36 miles to the gallon both city and Hyw total.. We have drove it up north a lot and it does well in stop and go traffic always in hybrid mod when stopped and when seeing the screen ( with the Navigation System being in the wrong place on the dash ) you can see how the system works. When others want to drive it and stopped at a light or stop sign they think it's cut off ,but it's in Hybrid mod. It's the box style watch means you can get a lot in the back with seats that fold down. The back glass opens with out opening the back hatch. Over all a fun SUV to have."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

For a hybrid it's got power!!..

Low cost maintenance, fuel efficient, lots of room

By on Saturday, December 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,500

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
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fuel efficiency, low cost maintenance, room"

Cons: "seat fabric gets dirty easily but cleans up"

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

"My 2012 escape hybrid (the last year they were made) is the most efficient and low cost maintenance vehicle I have ever owned. Cargo space is excellent. I think Ford made a mistake when they went to the redesigned Escape. This SUV is a worry-free and easily maintained vehicle. I especially like it's fuel economy. None of the 2015s can deliver the same fuel economy. So, I guess i will keep it!!"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Ford Escape '09 XLT with 4WD in good shape

By on Tuesday, December 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,100

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good price, 4WD helps in snow, big space for trips"

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

"Owner selling Ford Escape '09 with 79,100 miles in good/very good shape. Includes sunroof, roof rack. Very happy with this car: one of three Escapes we own as family (and 5th in series we've owned)."

12 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Ok value

By on Monday, November 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Size , comfort, stylish space"

Cons: "Rust too soon at the rear wheel wells"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Great vehicle design, comfort, smooth ride for an SUV. The only problem I see is the fact that the rear wheel wells tends to rust within the first three years or less. I was told that it was a design flaw unfortunately"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

If you like a vibration this vehicle is for you

By on Thursday, November 05, 2015

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

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Vibration when in gear"

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

"A week after I purchased the escape it started having vibration issues when in gear. First it was the motor mount. After fixing the motor mount the vibration was worse. I was told in writing by the Ford company that some of their escape models have this vibration and their is nothing they can due about it and warned that future work on the vibration might worsen the issue. In order to stop the vibration, I am having to put the vehicle in neutral when I am sitting in traffic or at stop lights. I am very dissatisfied with this escape and the Ford Company for not rectifying the problem."

15 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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