2012 Ford Escape Review
Test drivers say nearly everything is showing its age in the 2012 Ford Escape except its interior technology.
The Ford Escape was a go-to family vehicle when Ford introduced it in 2001. Eleven years have passed, and reviewers believe that the Escape’s heyday is over. The compact SUV class has grown, and the Escape has been buried alive by all-new and redesigned models that are more powerful, fuel-efficient and utilitarian.
However, the 2012 Ford Escape has two things going for it, reviewers say, and that’s interior technology and a comfortable second row. The Ford Escape has an optional SYNC infotainment system and active park assist, a system that helps the driver parallel park. The second row is comfortable for adults, which is something many compact SUVs can’t boast, but in such a large class, models like the Toyota RAV4 and Chevrolet Equinox are not only more spacious, but have better performance, plenty of cargo space and comparable base prices.
Overall, test drivers think that the 2012 Ford Escape is suffocating in a class it once dominated. However, they willingly accept its faults because the next-generation 2013 Ford Escape should be a huge improvement over the 2012 model.
Other SUVs to Consider
The 2012 Ford Escape has some of the highest fuel economy ratings in the class, but the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is less expensive and more fuel-efficient. The Outlander Sport is also our 2011 Best Compact SUV for the Money because it’s affordable up-front and in the long run.
Reviewers do criticize the Escape because of its poor handling and underpowered base engine. Test the Mazda CX-7 if you want a crossover that’s both powerful and nimble. It doesn’t cost much more than the Escape, and reviewers say the CX-7 is one of the most fun-to-drive crossovers in the class.
Details: Ford Escape
With a redesign slated for the 2013 model year, the 2012 Ford Escape hasn’t received any significant updates.
The Escape is available in three trims: the base XLS, XLT and top-of-the-line Limited. All-wheel drive is optional beginning with the XLT trim. The Ford Escape Hybrid is reviewed separately.
- "Ford's compact crossover has its strengths, including an excellent 6-speed automatic transmission, comfortable passenger accommodations, and the availability of a frugal gas/electric hybrid model. Escape suffers from crude-sounding engines, low-rent cabin appointments, and a basic design that's more than a decade old. Still, Escape's virtues, combined with reasonable pricing, mean this small SUV is worth your consideration." -- Consumer Guide
- "A slew of innovative high-tech features make the 2012 Ford Escape a tempting choice in the compact crossover category. But most competitors are more appealing due to superior refinement and functionality." -- Edmunds