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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

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 556 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

Nice, comfortable, reliable vehicle.

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

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: "Comfortable for a bigger person. Good MPG for its"

Cons: "None"

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

"I bought this Escape four years ago with 72000 miles on it, I know have 108000 miles on it and have enjoyed it every mile. I've bought one set of tires and did regular oil changes, no other problems. I wish they still made this style of Escape because it's more like a truck for pulling my boat or trailer. I know it was built on a Ranger frame. The new ones are just another cookie cutter SUV that is mostly car."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

very reliable

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,500

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "I got a great deal."

Cons: "None"

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

"It is a very reliable car. I maintain the vehicle as required by manufacturer recommendations. It cleans up very well because black cars are beautiful when they are clean. It is the best care I have ever had."

We love the Escape, great overall SUV.

By on Monday, June 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great gas mileage and 4wd."

Cons: "Plastic fantastic and basic interior."

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

A day of rest from the sun!!

"This vehicle has great gas mileage and the security of 4wd. We truly recommend it for a family of 4 with a busy lifestyle. Very low cost of operation makes it a winner in this family."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

A day of rest from the sun!!

So comfortable and easy to drive.

By on Monday, June 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable, sturdy, outdoorsy yet luxurious."

Cons: "low gas mileage and noisy. Limited cargo space."

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

"My XLT Escape makes those long drives feel much shorter. there is plenty of room for 4 to 5 adults. The sound system is amazing. I love the ability to sync with my bluetooth phones and talk hands free while driving. The anti skid keeps me out of trouble during ice storms. The roof rack is sturdy enough for a couple of light weight kayaks. It tows my T@b trailer with ease. I also love the auto dim on rear view mirror and the hands free audio control. There is a lot of plastic squeaking from the inside panels. The cargo area behind the back seat is tight. The gas mileage is not great, thanks to that big V6, but if you want to pull a trailer you need a big engine. Not a lot of room for mounting a break controller. I'm disappointed the paint is starting to chip with gravel impacts and on the top edge of the rear hatch, but the clear coat has lasted 5 years. The running boards started fading this year, but the headlights have no haze at all. It's been in the shop 3 times in 3 years. All repairs have been under warranty or recall. I don't think that is a great track record, but glad that Ford is making it good."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

GREAT car!

By on Thursday, June 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Fuel milages 29+, SUV"

Cons: "Heated Leather Seats, DVD players for the kids"

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

"All miles are freeway. OUTSTANDING fuel mileage, Nothing less than 29 MPG and depending on how you drive, it could be as high as 32 mpg. BTW... this is a SUV! Great power, great vehicle. Leather heated seats, state-of-the-art dual headrest DVD players for the kids. Only a few very minor little scratches here and there."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Spacious and comfortable driving!!!!!!

By on Sunday, June 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "COMPARTMENTS GALORE!"

Cons: "no top door bars for climbing in. (elderly con)"

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

"wonderful car very kid friendly and pet friendly! I make long drives to see family and friends, so its important that everyone is comfy and secure and hats what this car provides!"

2 people out of 4 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?