Interior / Exterior » 8
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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Exterior changes are subtle
receives a redesigned center stack
Not even a thorough interior and exterior refresh could save the 2008 iteration from a seventh-place finish
Car and Driver
Stylistically, the 2012 Ford Escape looks and feels like one of the last survivors of a dying breed; in shape and even design details, the Escape still looks like a 7/8th-scale, 1990s-era Explorer, and its appearance has been dated for so long that it almost looks fashionable again (too bad, as this body style is to be replaced this year).
The squared-off countenance, tall glass areas, and somewhat rounded details that the Escape has had in different ways for many years have it looking like a utility vehicle, with its blocky looks an appealing counterpoint to all the jellybean-shaped crossovers of recent years.
The truckishness carries over inside, in a less great way: all the shapes read cleanly and simply, but they're clad in plastics that put durability over a quality look and feel. It's downright grainy in there, and looks especially low-rent in lighter colors. The center stack is taller and more upright, a metaphor for the rest of the vehicle, and on vehicles with the navigation system it harbors a big, bright LCD screen that contrasts heavily with the rest of the cockpit, even before you crank up the bright lights on its Settings panel.
The 2012 Ford Escape lives up to its name, offering an old-style SUV silhouette that's a departure from smoother modern designs.