Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ford Escape Hybrid

Ford Escape Hybrid

Consider one simple fact: The Ford Escape Hybrid is the most efficient hybrid SUV on the market. The front-drive Escape Hybrid has government fuel economy ratings of 34 city/30 highway, while the AWD version offers 29 city/27 highway. What else do you need to know, except that the Ford Escape Hybrid offers plenty of space, comfort, and versatility?

Though the Ford Escape Hybrid touts new looks and an updated cabin, it still offers the same mechanics and powertrain as the previous model. Ford did not tinker with a winning formula. Power comes from a 2.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a pair of electric motors, which together output a net 155 horses. Performance-wise, the Escape Hybrid splits the difference between the slower standard four-cylinder Escape, and the more powerful V6 model.

"Highs: Best fuel economy we've measured in a sport-ute, hybrid status hasn't compromised any of the Escape's usefulness. Lows: Not the bargain the Toyota Prius is, lethargic, 10 percent heavier than a V-6 Escape. The Verdict: Proof that hybrid technology works for sport-utility vehicles. Just don't expect 50 mpg."
Car and Driver

"For the record, this leadfoot, who drove as if an egg was beneath the gas pedal, got 35 mpg and was near the top of the list (for the AWD models). Alas, the celebration was short-lived, as my partner got 50 mpg on her go-round! Of course, she had almost all green lights, while my efforts were hindered by a string of reds… But all kidding aside, we were thoroughly impressed by the fact that we both soundly beat Ford's own city estimates for the AWD version. Our only complaint with the powertrain was a minor one — the engine gets a little buzzy while maintaining speeds of 55 mph or above on long uphill stretches."

"The dual power sources work together very well and the SUV goes down the road much like the conventional Escape – but with a lot better gas mileage. What’s the downside? Mostly, it’s a matter of getting used to the gas engine cutting out to save fuel when you sit at a traffic light or intersection. You only need the electric motor to get started, but it takes a while to train your brain to this."

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