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2012 Ford Escape Comfort & Quality

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While the overall package of the Ford Escape hasn't changed in nearly a dozen years, it saw a near-complete renovation for the 2008 model year--getting all-new materials and trims inside--so its interior stands as competitive. Fit and finish are a step down from the best vehicles in this class, but the boxy body affords a roomier, more versatile interior than you might guess.

Four adults will find plenty of seating room inside the Escape, and the upright configuration grants it decent headroom, even though it has a relatively high floor. Even with an optional sunroof, the head room in the front seat and even in the back bench are at least adequate. Seat comfort is good, too; the perches were reshaped, with firmer cushions, during the last rounds of improvements. Longer seat tracks for the front passenger chairs would be welcome, but that would probably mean a little less leg room for the rear seat--and it's not overwhelming in its space, though it's not bad.

The 2012 Ford Escape has more space inside than most other crossovers its size, but there are plenty of reminders that this is an aging design.

Cargo space is impressive--again mainly due to the boxy shape. At 29 cubic feet of storage space, there's more than some mid-sizers.

The glaring issue inside the Escape's cabin isn't room, it's fit and finish, and even then, more on the finish side. The interior styling itself looks fine: the plastics used almost everywhere that give this ute a slight downmarket feel. It's partly an age factor at work, but given the extreme makeover we've seen inside the Dodge Journey, the Escape's cabin is disappointing.

Ride quality also shows the age of the Ford Escape design; there's a lot more nosedive under hard braking, as well as fore-and-aft motions on bumpy roads, than you'll find elsewhere in crossovers its size.

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