$7,548 - $10,240

2012 Ford Escape Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Ford Escape was new.


Interior: 7.3

The 2012 Ford Escape has a spacious rear row and optional high-tech features, but other than that, most reviewers aren’t overly impressed with its interior. Some say the base model feels cheap, and the Escape doesn’t come standard with Bluetooth, a USB port or satellite radio like competitors. On the other hand, one test driver says the interior is high-quality and the controls are easy to use. Cargo space is only average and the driver will have a hard time getting comfortable.

  • "The Ford Escape's interior features quality materials, a clean and easy-to-decipher instrument panel, ‘Ice Blue’ instrument lighting and a ‘top-of-dash’ information center." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Disappointing overall. Escape's interior imparts a low-buck atmosphere with lots of hard-plastic trim and odd panel textures. Several test examples exhibited disappointing panel gaps and generally uneven fit and finish." -- Consumer Guide


Reviewers say the five-seat Escape is spacious, and one even calls it the roomiest in the class. A few, however, complain that it lacks some features that might make it more comfortable. In particular, they want rear seats that slide to increase rear-passenger legroom, which is a feature offered on the pricier Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain. In addition, the base model comes with only a manual two-way driver’s seat and doesn’t have a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, which are two aspects that might make it difficult to find a comfortable driving position.

  • "While the optional sunroof cuts into headroom a bit, most adults should find more than adequate space. Legroom is good for most adults, though taller riders would benefit from longer seat tracks. The seats themselves are comfortably supportive. Visibility is very good in all directions. … Another Escape strong point. Knee and foot space are ample, aided by a flat floor. Three adults will fit for short trips on the nicely shaped rear bench. Entry and exit are hampered a bit by narrow door openings." -- Consumer Guide
  • "A thick headliner and carpeting, as well as laminated side glass, help quiet the interior, and the Escape's rear seat remains one of the roomiest in this class." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In terms of comfort and space, though, the Escape feels its age. Up front, the seating position is too tall, which gives the driver the feeling of hovering above the controls, and there's no telescoping steering wheel." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

The Ford Escape can be equipped with features such as SYNC, a voice-activated infotainment system that operates Bluetooth, the stereo and gives turn-by-turn directions, but reviewers say it can be confusing. But if you don’t want SYNC, the controls should be straightforward because there will be less clutter on the dash.

Although you can add class-competitive technology features, the base XLS doesn’t come with much. It has power windows, cruise control, a basic AM/FM stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary input jack. But unlike the Kia Sportage, the Escape doesn’t come with satellite radio, a USB port or Bluetooth. Not only is it equipped with more standard features, but the Sportage also costs less than the Escape.

  • "The climate controls are simple to use. The navigation system absorbs most audio controls. It complicates some functions by requiring multiple button and/or touch-screen presses for some simple tasks. Redundant steering-wheel buttons and voice programming via Ford's Sync system help." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Impressive as all that might be, potential buyers should know that the 2012 Ford Escape nonetheless lacks a few key items offered by most of its rivals, such as a telescoping steering wheel and a sliding/reclining backseat." -- Edmunds
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book


The Ford Escape provides 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 67.2 cubic feet with those seats folded down. This is good for a compact SUV, though the Escape lacks some of the versatility offered by its rivals. The GMC Terrain, for example, has less overall cargo space, but it comes with a sliding rear seat which allows you to expand the cargo space or increase legroom for rear passengers.

If you want a ton of cargo space, look at the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. They each provide about 73 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

  • "A low, level load deck and opening tailgate glass make for handy cargo loading and hauling.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Folding the second row is a hassle, as the headrests must be removed and the bottom cushions tumbled forward before the seatbacks can be flipped down, a design that ensures a flat load floor." -- Edmunds
  • "Unlike more stylized crossovers, the Escape's squared-off roof line creates a tall hatch opening that permits maximum cargo cramming." -- Kelley Blue Book

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