In 2002, Ford's resident compact SUV, the Escape, came in two trims: XLS and XLT. Both trims had folding rear seats to help increase the SUV's total cargo capacity from 33.1 cubic feet to 69.2 cubic feet. The only difference between the folding seats in the two trim levels is that the XLS had a single bench seat that folded as one piece, whereas the XLT had a split bench that allowed the owner to fold the seat in two sections for maximum seating and cargo options.
Folding the Rear Seat
On split-folding seats, remove the headrest from the seat you are folding by pulling it straight up, and slide it underneath the front seat. On the bench seat, remove both headrests by pulling them upward, then slide them under their respective front seats. Pull the seat cushion release loop -- the nylon loop under the rear seat cushion you wish to flip forward on a split-folding seat, or under the driver side of the rear bench seat -- and pull the rear of the cushion up and forward to tumble it toward the front seat. Pull the seat-back release strap -- the nylon loop on the outer edge of the seat back that you wish to fold forward on split-folding seats, or on the driver side of the bench seat-- and guide the seat back toward the floor of the SUV until it is flat.