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2012 Ford Escape

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2012 Ford Escape Review

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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)


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2012 Ford Escape Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 585 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

2009 Escape

By on Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Practical and affordable"

Cons: "Cheap parts and plastic"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Very practical vehicle. The 6 cylinder engine has plenty of power. Handles well in the snow even for being FWD. Not as reliable as other cars I've owned but the price is very good. Center counsel is not very visually pleasing."

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

great vehicle, but uncomfortable seats

By on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 102,000

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
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "great value, dependable vehicle"

Cons: "don't get the seats made with recycled material."

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

"I loved the way my Ford Escape handled. It was easy to drive, easy to park. No mechanical problems at all. Very few minor recalls. I never really liked the color that Ford calls "sage". The seats were impossible to clean. Even water left spots that could not be removed. The seats were also hard and uncomfortable and I had to buy cushions. I plan to buy another Ford Escape, but in a different color with leather seats."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Alaska Tough

By on Monday, March 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Easy to drive in even the worst conditions."

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

"My Escape is the best midsized SUV I have owned hands down. In Alaska the winter roads can be very difficult to navigate and our Escape doesn't miss a beat. The automatic 4-wheel drive is amazing and has never let us down. We have taken our fair share of road trips through blizzard and ice conditions and felt safe each and every time."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Love my vehicle

By on Thursday, February 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "very economical"

Cons: "I wish they had a/c controls for the back seat"

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

"I have had this vehicle for almost 5 years and still love it. Never have any trouble. When it comes time to get a new one, I do not know what to do as I don't like the new body style and love the style I have and the older ones as well."

15 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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."

8 people out of 20 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."

12 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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

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