Ford Escape Hybrid
Fuel Economy: 34 / 32 mpg
Base Price (MSRP):$ 29,785
Body Style: SUV
Ford Escape Hybrid Review
The sport utility vehicle (suv) has long been a staple of the car industry, beloved and reviled by turns depending on the the political views of the beholder. People either love the size, space and capabilities they possess or hate them for exactly the same reasons.
The Ford Escape Hybrid, first released in the Model Year 2005, is an attempt to bridge the gap between these people by adding modern efficiency technology to the equation.
The Escape Hybrid is based on the Ford Escape, a sport utility 4d. It's one of the first examples of the SUV sub-market known as the crossover, and the first hybrid SUV ever made. Early SUVs were built on light truck chassis with modified bodies and interiors. This made them heavier and larger than most non-commercial vehicles. The crossover, has a lighter car-type chassis to save weight and improve handling, stability and fuel efficiency. These crossovers lent themselves to conversion into hybrids thanks to their lighter weight.
Pros and Cons
- The most fuel-efficient suv available today.
- Smooth transition between gasoline and electric power.
- Good list of safety features.
- Good peformance.
- Eco-friendly interior.
- Great build quality.
- Expensive compared to the normal Ford Escape.
- Long braking distance.
- Not so comfortable backseats.
The 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid is a 5-seat SUV with two-wheel drive (2WD) and four wheel drive (4WD) options. The Ford Escape 2WD offers an EPA fuel economy rating of 34 in the city, 32 on the highway and a combined average fuel economy of 31. The Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD option offers an EPA fuel economy rating of 29 in the city, 27 on the highway and a combined average fuel economy of 28.
According to EPA testing, the Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD emits 5.7 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually and has been given an EPA air pollution score of 8, on a scale of 1 to 10. The Escape 4WD emits6.6 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually and has been given an EPA air pollution score of 8, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Ford Escape Hybrids For Sale
Ford Escape 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid
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A short explanation in case you don't know how hybrid cars work: a hybrid design splits the car's engine in two, with a single gas power plant replaced by a smaller gasoline engine and an electric engine. Gas engines are great at generating power and speed when necessary, while the electric engine handles most of the basic, low speed requirements of the car. Electric engines are more efficient than gasoline engines, and have the added bonus of being emissions free. When necessary, the car's transmission switches from gas to electric.
Introducing The Ford Escape Hybrid
Now, the Ford Escape Hybrid (just as its cousin, the Ford Fusion Hybrid) was designed to combine a popular car model with new technology to improve the fuel efficiency of SUVs. They were the first hybrid sport utility vehicle in the world, and included several advantages over earlier hybrids. They use 'regenerative breaking' which is a fancy way of saying that slowing down actually charges the car and extends its battery life. Additionally, the Escape Hybrid uses advanced computer controls to monitor the car's performance, shifting between gas, electric and combination power automatically.
The first generation of Ford Escape Hybrids were produced from 2005, through 2006 and into the 2007 Model Year. There were several transmission problems in the first generation models, which were addressed by a series of refits improving the transmission. Drivers also complained of poor performance from the car's battery, which lead to Ford releasing larger, more efficient battery packs on subsequent models.
Escape Hybrids come with an array of standard features like:
- Powered by a 2.5L, 4-cylinder gasoline engine combined with a 153-hp electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission.
- Four-wheel antilock brakes
- Front and rear crumple zones
- Side-door reinforcement beams
- Dual stage front airbags, front-seat mounted air bags and side curtain airbags
- 60/40 split fold-down rear seats
- 27.8 cubic feet of cargo space expandable to 66.1 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seats are folded down
- The Ford SYNC technology integration system
- SIRIUS satellite radio
- Capless fuel tank
- 100-lb roof rack
- Seats made from recycled surface fabrics and fillers
- Regenerative braking system to charge the battery
- 3-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
- 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty on hybrid components
- The 330V Ni-MH battery system comes with a 10-year, 150,000-mile extended warranty.
The Ford Escape Hybrid matches up nicely with foreign competitors in most comparisons. Its a bit more expensive than other hybrids, though most of these are smaller, sedan style cars rather than SUVs or crossovers. It also compares favorably to its non-hybrid brothers: the Escape Hybrid is around 70% more efficient than the regular Escape.
The Second Generation
The Ford Escape Hybrid is currently on its second generation, which started with the 2008 Model Year and continues today. The differences between the two generations are both cosmetic and structural, with modernized exteriors and a whole array of new electronics. The second gen Escape Hybrid also comes with the Ford Sync, a voice control system that interfaces with the car's stereo or cell phone for hands free music and phone use.
Each of the subsequent model years between 2008 and the current 2010 model tweaked the exterior a bit to improve aerodynamics or reduce wind noise. Most of the innards of the Ford Escape Hybrid's second generation are the same as its ancestor's, with the transmission and engine receiving only minor tweaks and the battery being modified to adjust battery cost. However, Ford completely changed the software that controls the car, integrating the Sync system with all the car's functions and improving car's efficiency.
The Second generation cars have also been tested with Flex Fuel, Ford's name for a biofuel engine that uses a mixture of gasoline and alcohol to drive the Hybrid's engine. Biofuels like Flex fuel are capable of reducing the amount of gasoline required to drive the car, further improving fuel costs.
So what's it like to drive a Ford Escape Hybrid? When you start the car you don't actually start the gas engine that's the car's heart. You instead activate an electric engine that draws from the battery. If your battery is low then the gas engine will start up and give you a charge. At low speeds, like city conditions, most of your power is coming from the silent electric motor. Ford included a special 'CVT' which is engineer speak for a single gear transmission that constantly changes to give the best performance. The car will shift from electric to gas at around ten to fifteen mph when you accelerate, and shift back down to the electric only mode at around 30 mph when you slow down.
Hybrid cars save you money. They burn less gas and produce less pollution than gas-only cars, and have far fewer problems than electric only ones while still maintaining their high MPG. You don't need to plug your car in to a wall socket at night to charge the batteries and you get a much improved range over battery-only cars as well.
The advantage of buying a Ford Escape Hybrid is the proven chassis and engineering developed by the pioneer SUV maker coupled with the efficiency of modern engine technology. Ford offers extensive financing options, extended service plans, and a number of owner forums for reviews and discussions with past and current drivers. Used Ford Escape Hybrids are also a great choice. Check your local new and used car dealerships for pricing, and see for yourself the advantages of buying a Ford hybrid!
The 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD has an MSRP sticker price starting at $29,785. The 4WD 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD has an MSRP of $31,535.
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