The 2012 Ford Escape is a unique midsize crossover and Sports Utility Vehicle. The vehicle is supplied with fewer features and luxuries found in other more expensive Ford models and similar models from other manufacturers.
As a result, the car's popularity as an ideal family SUV is slipping. Comparable vehicles like the Mitsubishi Outlander (MSRP $22,345; 23 city / 28 hwy) or the Mazda CX-7 (MSRP $22,190; 20 city / 27 hwy) deliver better performance. In the past, the Escape was noted for its roomy interior, but now cars like the Toyota Rav4 are more spacious.
|Vehicle Type: Crossover||Base Price: $21,440.00|
|Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.5 gallons (66.2 liters)||MPG: 23 city / 28 hwy|
|Length: 174.7 in. (443.7 cm)||Wheel Base: 103.1 in. (261.8 cm)|
|Height: 67.9 in. (172.4 cm)||Width: 71.1 in. (180.5 cm)|
|Curb Weight: 3229 lbs (1465 kg)||Ground Clearance: 8.4 in. (21.3 cm)|
|Luggage Capacity: 31.4 cu ft||Maximum Seating: 5 people|
|Engine: 2.5L Duratec I-4 DOHC||Compression Ratio: 9.7: 1|
|Horsepower: 171 HP||Max RPM: 6000 RPM|
|Torque: 171 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm||Transmission: 5-Speed Manual|
|Max Towing Capacity: 1500 lbs (680 kgs)*||Maximum Speed: NA|
|Option:XLT||MSRP: $24,870; MPG: 21 city / 28 hwy|
|Option:Limited||MSRP: $26,370; MPG: 21 city / 28 hwy|
|Option:Hybrid||MSRP: $30,570; MPG: 34 city / 31 hwy|
* With towing package
Engine & Performance
The non-hybrid version of the Ford Escape is available in three trims. The entry-level model is the XLS. This is followed by the XLT and then comes the top of the range model, the Limited. A 2.5-liter, Duratec I4 engine powers each trim. For those who want a sharper performance, there is an option to purchase a 3.0-liter Duratec V6 engine.
The 2.5-liter engine can do 21 mpg in city conditions and 27 mpg on the open road. The higher performance and capacity of the 3.0-liter engine increases fuel consumption slightly, getting 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
The 2.5-liter engine can generate up to 171 horsepower, which is adequate for the size of the vehicle for standard use but limits the capability in terms of pulling heavy loads. The 3.0-liter, V6 engine, which generates up to 240 horsepower, is the best option if the car is going to be used for towing.
The bigger engine is also a flexible fuel engine that can be powered by pure gas or a mixture of gas and ethanol. Since ethanol is cheaper and cleaner than gas, this gives the potential to reduce spending on fuel and at the same time have lower carbon emissions.
The XLT and Limited trims are built with a fully automatic, 6-speed transmission, while the XLS has a 5-speed manual transmission as standard. The automatic transmission is optional on the XLS, but can result in a slightly higher fuel burn.
The Escape looks attractive, with a sleek and smart visual impact. Ford designers have used the latest technology in metal stamping to design a car that gives a very dynamic impression.
As mentioned at the outset, the 2012 Escape is not going to be a serious competitor in the luxury stakes. It does have the nice features, such as seats with leather trimming. There is little else in the interior design that stands out. The car is equipped with a combined MP3/CD player and AM/FM radio as standard features.
The 2012 Escape is equipped with Ford's AdvanceTrac Roll Stability Control. This is a safety system that continually monitors the car's performance, tilt, road-holding, and driver input. The system will automatically intervene to adjust power and braking when it detects the onset of a horizontal roll.
Modern methods of car production and component testing means that dependability is pretty much a given from all established manufacturers. However, just in case something does go wrong, the new Ford Escape comes with an unlimited mileage, 5-year warranty against corrosion.
The Escape is also protected by a 5-year, 60,000 miles Roadside Assist package. The powertrain is also covered by a 5-year or 60,000 mile warranty. All other parts, except consumables like oil filters, are covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles.
There are 3 other manufacturers that can stand toe to toe with the Escape, these are the higher priced Honda CRV (MSRP $24,595; 23 city / 31 hwy), the Jeep Liberty (MSRP $23,395; 16 city / 22 hwy), and the Toyota RAV4 (MSRP $24,350; 22 city / 28 hwy).
68 out of 100
What others say:
“The 2012 Ford Escape doesn't handle as well as more modern crossover models, but its powertrains are respectable and the Hybrid remains a tech leader.”Car Connection
“Body lean in turns is well controlled. The steering feels overboosted and numb, especially at low speeds. A tidy turning radius helps in low-speed maneuvering. The Hybrid's braking is intermittently touchy at low speeds.”Consumer Guide
“The outgoing Escape has a roomy interior, a spacious rear seat, and good cargo space. Fit and finish is unimpressive, and the car is noisy.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports
“In the world of compact CUVs (Crossover Utility Vehicle) the 2012 Ford Escape stands out for a number of reasons…the 2012 Ford Escape may look like an old friend, but it's been pretty much remade from the ground up.”KBB
“High-tech entertainment features; nifty automated parking option; hybrid model's impressive fuel economy…Feels old compared to rivals; poor performance from rear drum brakes; non-reclining and non-sliding rear seat is difficult to fold.”Edmunds