Ford Escape Hybrid
Considered to be the first mainstream hybrid SUV, the Ford Escape Hybrid hit the market in 2005. For those who liked the look of the original Escape, there was nothing to lose by switching to the crossover version, which retained the same look, style and appeal. For many, the main driving force for choosing Ford’s version of a hybrid sports utility vehicle is to save money. While investing in a hybrid saves money on gas, in the long run, the Ford hybrid also comes with one of the lower price points, compared to the rest of the crossover SUV market.
About the Ford Escape Hybrid
The starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is a surprising $21,240. So, it is a good idea to understand what you get with that price tag when you are considering the Escape crossover. The first thing you will want to know about is the miles per gallon, because that is one of the driving forces behind switching to a hybrid vehicle. The standard Ford Escape SUV gets only 23 city mpg and 28 on the highway. Compare that to the hybrid version which gets 31 for highway MPG and 34 miles per gallon while city driving.
So, what do you get with the Escape crossover? Front wheel or 4-wheel drive and torque of 136 at 4,500. The horsepower for the Ford hybrid SUV is 155 at 6,000 while using the gas engine and 94 at 5,000 for the electric motor. This means a net horsepower of 177. The transmission in this vehicle is electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. Finally, the engine type is a 2.5 liter Atkinson-cycle I-4 and permanent-magnet electric motor. Also available is the flex-fuel capable 3.0 liter Duratec V6 engine.
Overall, you aren’t getting the power or towing capabilities you get with a bigger, stronger SUV, and you also are not paying the price for something with all that extra power. If you are looking for a more economic sports utility vehicle to act as a decent family SUV, this could be one to consider.
Some Other Features of the Escape
While in full electric mode, this SUV can obtain and sustain speeds of up to 44 miles per hour. You also do not use any of the fuel reserves while idling. Both of these features are perfect for city driving. The Escape has the seating capacity for five passengers and a versatile cargo area, but that still may not be enough for those who were looking for a full size eight passenger vehicle.
There is also the brilliance of the regenerative braking system. The designing has gone into making brake systems that charge the automobile’s battery pack when you apply the brakes. The SUV comes with the vehicle and the hybrid warranty. The standard warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles. For some of the items that are unique to hybrid, though, it is extended to cover eight years and 100,000 miles.
Who is the Greenest of Them All?
This hybrid may be able to claim that is greener than others in the same division. For instance, this vehicle meets the strict super ultra low emission vehicle (SULEV II) as well as the advanced technology partial zero emissions vehicle (AT-PZEV) standards.
Not only that, but even the seats are green, as in eco-friendly. The Ford Escape Hybrid uses 100 percent post-industrial material for the seat covers. These are polyester fibers that would have otherwise taken up landfill space. The cushions themselves utilize a bio-based poly material created from the oils of various plant seeds, soybeans being one of them. So, you can feel extra good about your hybrid SUV when you go with the Ford.
The Bottom Line
The reviews are somewhat mixed. The Escape crossover was the first vehicle to combine this kind of SUV hybrid system. Many feel the price, though lower than a good bit of the competition, is still steep for what you get. It has received high marks in crash test rankings, though, making it popular with those who want safety above all else.
The Escape does do well with those consumers who want one of the greenest and cleanest when it comes to purchasing an environmentally friendly, hybrid sports utility vehicle. Drivers seem to describe the car as peppy, as opposed to sluggish as at least one of the other major top selling hybrid SUVs was called. If this sounds like what your family may need, stop and take a look at the Ford Escape Hybrid at a dealership in your area.
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