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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
8.3
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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