2012 Ford Escape Towing Capacity (With Chart)

The 2012 Ford Escape was pretty impressive, like a lot of the other model years when it came to it's towing capacity, having a maximum rating of 3,500 pounds if you had the proper engine equipped in your vehicle, and the optional trailer package that was available for that specific engine.

You will need to look at the data for these vehicles because there were different engine options and models available and some models only had the ability to tow 1,000 pounds, which is a far cry from that 3,500 pound rating.

Remember to read through your owner's manual, as it is the most valuable asset that you have for your vehicle and that you adhere to all of Ford's recommendations and requirements.

2012 Escape Overview

Overall Capacity: the overall towing capacity for the 2012 Ford Escape ranged from 1,000-3,500 pounds and really was only dependent upon the engine that you had equipped, for the most part. This is what impacted the numbers the most, although one other element did affect these capacity ratings as well, but that was only for specific models and that "other element" was the optional trailer package that was available.

Capacity By Trim Levels: If we look at the different trim levels that were available for the 2012 escape, we can see that there were five different trim levels associated with these vehicles and two of those trim levels were dedicated to the hybrid models. I decided to go ahead and look up what engine options were available for what trim levels and then got the data using that method.

If we look down at the data I have posted below, we can see that the XLS trim levels only had the 2.5 liter engine option, so they had a 1,500 pound maximum trailer weight rating. The XLT and limited trim levels both had similar engine options available to them, so they shared the same overall capacity range of between 1,500-3,500 pounds.

Both of the hybrid trim levels which were the hybrid standard model and then the hybrid Limited model had a capacity of up to 1,000 pounds due to the 2.5 liter hybrid engine that was available for those vehicles.

  • XLS:1,500 lbs.
  • XLT: 1,500-3,500 lbs.
  • Limited: 1,500-3,500 lbs.
  • Hybrid: 1,000 lbs.
  • Hybrid Limited: 1,000 lbs.
2012 Escape Engine Options and Trim Levels

By Engine Options: The final comparison I wanted to make was breaking down the engine options and then looking at the maximum trailer weight ratings that were associated with those engine options. After looking at the data, we can see that both of the 2.5 liter engines definitely were the least powerful options, having a capacity range of between 1,000-1,500 pounds which depended on whether you had the hybrid model or a standard model.

The 3.0 liter 6-cylinder engine provided the highest capacity ratings that we saw in the chart and that's how we got that 3,500 pound rating, which was achievable with the optional trailer package.

  • 2.5L (Hybrid) (4 cylinder): 1,000 lbs.
  • 2.5L (4 cylinder): 1,500 lbs.
  • 3.0L (V6): 3,500 lbs.

The Tow Chart:

If we look at the tow chart for the 2012 models, it looks very similar to the earlier model years and in fact, it is. Looking at the chart below, we can see the engine options listed on the left side and the maximum trailer weight ratings were listed on the right.

The chart is divided up into automatic transmission and manual transmission models, which you can see split up with the automatic transmission models listed on the top and then a single manual transmission model listed at the bottom portion of the table. The axle ratios and gross combined weight ratings were provided in between the engine options and the maximum trailer weight ratings.

2012 Ford Escape Towing Chart
2011 Escape Trailer Package Details
Ford MTW Definition

What You Need To Know About Your SUV To Get Your Maximum Trailer Rating:

To be quite honest, the only thing you need to know about your vehicle in order to obtain the maximum trailer weight rating is the engine that was equipped in your vehicle from the factory, although there are other elements listed in the chart that may be applicable to some models this still does not change the overall rating of the engine option, as far as the maximum trailer weight ratings go.

For example, the 2.5 liter engine had the same capacity rating for automatic transmission models that it did for manual transmission models and the hybrid model was different than the standard models which only used a gasoline powered engine and those specifications were different as well, even though they shared that same 2.5 liter engine.

Escape Chart Explained
  • The engine you had equipped - You need to figure out whether you had a 2.5 liter engine equipped in your vehicle or a 3.0 liter engine equipped.
  • Hybrid or standard model - The other factor you might want to consider is whether you have a hybrid model or a standard model and this only applies because the 2.5 liter engine was available for both models, but we had different maximum trailer weight ratings for these models, even though they shared the same engine.

Identifying your engine in your vehicle can be a little tougher than just looking at it and being able to acknowledge that it is this engine or that engine. Some people might find it difficult to actually identify the engine that they have in their engine bay of their vehicle and if this is the case, I would recommend that you grab the VIN of your vehicle and plug it into an online VIN decoder, like the one found on this website, in order to get that information a lot easier. 

A VIN decoder will not only tell you what engine you have equipped in your vehicle, but will give you a lot of other useful information that you can use at a later time, if you happen to need it.

2012 Escape Trailer Tow Packages...

Like I mentioned earlier, these vehicles did have an optional trailer tow package that was available and even though there wasn't much included with this package, we can see from the table below that it did have four items included.

These items were: a 4 pin wiring harness for hooking up your trailer lights, a hitch receiver, an automatic transmission cooler for models that have an automatic transmission and trailer sway control. The trailer sway control did not give any other details other than those three words, so I'm not sure if it was a feature on the vehicle itself or a hitch of some sort.

2012 Escape Trailer Tow Package Options

Hitch Receiver Weight Limits: I also included a hitch receiver weight limit table that I found that doesn't really apply to these vehicles because their maximum trailer weight rating was pretty low and they did not need to use a weight distributing hitch in order to achieve some of the higher ratings that were listed in their chart. This was just a supplemental image I used, as I wanted the article to be complete as possible and not leave anything out.

Ford Escape Receiver Hitch Capacity

Trailer Brakes: Trailer brakes are required By Ford but they did not specify what specific weight would require you to have trailer brakes equipped on your trailer. Later model years do have a specification for this but for the 2012 models, I was only able to find the little note that you see listed below that talks about how trailer brakes will need to comply with state and federal regulations, or whatever they require as far as trailer weight and trailer brakes go.

On another note, these vehicles like all Ford escapes were not equipped when it comes to the electrical system to handle additional accessories when using electric trailer brakes which would be a brake controller and a 7 pin wiring harness, both of which are needed. You will either have to hook these up yourself or have a competent shop do it for you.

2011 Escape Trailer Brake Notes

Now The Certification Label...

Ford Certification Label

GCWR, GVWR & GAWRs: The gross combined weight ratings were provided by Ford in the towing chart that I have listed at the top of this article and it makes finding these specifications very easy. If you're looking for other weight specifications for these vehicles like the gross vehicle weight rating or the gross axle weight ratings, then you will have to look on the vehicle itself because this information was not posted anywhere in any of their resources.

These two metrics will be found on the safety certification label, which is located on the driver side door pillar of your vehicle and can be easily found when the driver side doors open. I have an image posted above of what an example label will look like and at the top of the label you can see the two specifications listed in both pounds and kilograms. This is just an example label though and you will need to look on your vehicle to see what it specifies.

Axle Code: Even though we did not need to know the axle ratio of these vehicles in order to get our maximum trailer weight ratings, I did want to point out that you can find the axle code for your vehicle at the bottom of the certification label and this two-digit code will tell you the axle ratio of your rear axle. The code itself will actually have to be deciphered in order to get the axle ratio, but like I said, we didn't need that in order to figure out the maximum trailer weight rating.

Helpful Resources I Used For My Research:

I didn't have to use a whole lot of resources in order to conduct my research for the 2012 Escapes, and in fact, I only used four different resources to gather all of the information I have in this article. I went ahead and listed these four resources below for those of you out there that want to dive a little bit deeper into the research.

Last updated on May 11th, 2022 at 08:35 pm

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