Hauler report: Ford Escape Hybrid SUV- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Hauler report: Ford Escape Hybrid SUV

    Last Sat. I went out to a Ford sponsored event to promote the new Escape Hybrid. We got to take it for a test drive through the hills and it performed pretty well, better than I anticipated I guess.

    I've driven the Prius, and similarly it runs off gas and/or electric motors, uses the brakes to generate electricity to recharge the batteries, and gives you status displayed on the dashboard of what exactly is happening under the hood. The Escape isn't as high-tech as a Prius, but then again it's a truck. Seems to be a nice mix of fuel efficiency and hauler capacity.

    The electric engine is pretty powerful, I was able to drive up a gradual hill without the gas motor kicking in for assistance. It's weird driving around and not hearing any engine noise, so no more burning fuel stopped in traffic, in the drive-thru or waiting for your S.O. to come out of Blockbuster. What's taking them so long??? It's also especially stealthy when you're just pulling out of a driveway or pulling up to a stop, as there's no noise or indication that a car is around. Perfect for those restraining orders

    Of course I had to ask if I could throw a bike in to check for room, and the nice Ford people helped me load a bike inside. Fits!

    Some factoids:
    Holds bikes!
    Big waiting list, but some are already on the road
    Approx. MSRP $27k for 2WD model, $28k for 4WD
    Auto tranny only (CVT)
    Gray int. color only
    36 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy. 4WD slightly less
    Oil change every 10k miles
    Neat status display/Nav screen in dash is an option. Boo.
    In-dash single CD player also holds the Nav DVD. Thats kind of a pain to keep swapping. But there's a 6 disc changer, so...
    SULEV and PZEV rated emissions. i.e. burns very, very clean. Nice.
    10 yr. / 100k mi. warranty on batteries
    65.5 cu. ft. cargo area
    more here: https://www.fordvehicles.com/escapehybrid

    Ready to roll
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/515/234043escape_1.jpg">

    Blue!
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/515/234043escape_2.jpg">

    Bikes!
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/515/234043escape_3.jpg">

  2. #2
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    Hybrids are getting better and better. Honda or Toyota has either the Accord or Camry where the Hybrid is acually faster than the regular gas version.

  3. #3
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    Technology bought from Toyota. So in essence it does have the same technology as the Prius, but it's built by Ford. Given my experience with the two companies I would wait until the Toyota Hybrid Highlander comes out. May cost more, but will probably last longer and hold its value.

    Perfect for those restraining orders
    Note to self...

  4. #4
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood
    We got to take it for a test drive through the hills and it performed pretty well, better than I anticipated I guess.



    Of course I had to ask if I could throw a bike in to check for room, and the nice Ford people helped me load a bike inside. Fits!

    Big waiting list, but some are already on the road

    36 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy. 4WD slightly less
    Thanks for te report. Hopefully with demand, more manufactorer will catch on, producing more models.
    ? - what is the MPG of a standard Escape? Is the 36/31 that much better?
    People don't think it be like it is, but it do - Oscar Gamble

  5. #5
    34N 118W
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    vs.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Weasel
    ? - what is the MPG of a standard Escape? Is the 36/31 that much better?
    they had a std. Escape there and the window sticker was 24city / 29 hwy I believe (4 cyl.). To compare, the Scion Xb gets similar mileage to the Escape hybrid. The advantage is that a) the Escape is a cleaner vehicle, emissions wise and b) the gas engine shuts off when you're idling.

  6. #6
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    I have 3 haulers that use alternative fuels -

    '01 Kona Stinky
    '01 Cove Stiffee
    '03 Kona Jake the Snake

    All 3 haul ass.

    Maybe I'll write a review sometime. D.
    You be you. I'll be riding.

  7. #7
    shins meet handlebar.
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    I'm pretty sure my next car will be hybrid. I really like the upcoming Accord hybrid. 255 h.p.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weasel
    ? - what is the MPG of a standard Escape? Is the 36/31 that much better?
    I own a '03 Escape with the V6 and auto tranny and put about 80 miles on her each day with a good mix of city, highway, and interstate driving and I'm getting about 20-22 MPG.

    I belong to a Ford Escape message board and some of the members have bought the new hybrid and they like it alot.

  9. #9
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    I like the Highlander too, but

    Quote Originally Posted by screampint
    May cost more, but will probably last longer and hold its value.
    Unfortunately, the highlander isn't nearly as efficient. It tops out at 26mpg. If you're getting one for fuel economy, the Ford is a better deal.

    Actually that's the same deal as with the Honda Accord. It's more of a high-performer than a gas sipper. Though it does have some cool cylinder shut-down technology built in too, so on the freeway when you don't need a 6 cyl, it shuts down 3 and runs as a 3 cyl. Cool.

    The Highlander looks better when compared to something like another Toy. SUV, or a Suburban, or a Humvee. Then that 26mpg with 7 passenger cap. starts to look pretty good.

  10. #10
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    Wait until the bugs are worked out.

    Quote Originally Posted by screampint
    Technology bought from Toyota. So in essence it does have the same technology as the Prius, but it's built by Ford. Given my experience with the two companies I would wait until the Toyota Hybrid Highlander comes out. May cost more, but will probably last longer and hold its value.


    Note to self...
    Ford had many delays with the release date of the Escape hybrid, over a year I believe. So obviously there was problems. It is always better to wait until at least the second year of a production run because more of the bugs of the design will be worked out. The first year of production for a new vehicle is always the worst as far as problems with the design are concerned. In this case it is a hybrid so I would anticipate some problems. Maybe not, but I err on the side of caution.

    I am not bashing Ford either. I have owned a Ford Bronco 2 for almost 7yrs and it has 340,000kms on it. Not bad for a vehicle that is widely regarded as a lemon. It is not bad on gas either.

    I look forward to the other suv hybrids that are going to be released soon. It is about time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    I own a '03 Escape with the V6 and auto tranny and put about 80 miles on her each day with a good mix of city, highway, and interstate driving and I'm getting about 20-22 MPG.

    I belong to a Ford Escape message board and some of the members have bought the new hybrid and they like it alot.
    Sounds good Hollywood and BelaySlave, thanks for the info. It does seem significant now.
    People don't think it be like it is, but it do - Oscar Gamble

  12. #12
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    FWIW: Towing capacity on the Escape Hybrids is 1000lbs, convention Escape v6 is upto 3,500lbs.

  13. #13
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    I applaud people for buying hybrids- it really helps to prove the technology out, and this technology is going places. That said, at this point, a hybrid really only makes economic sense if you drive a LOT, and most of that driving is stop and go.

    Also, keep in mind that hybird's don't tend to get as good of mileage real-world as they do in the EPA tests. So, on the highway, you're looking at a 2mpg bump if you're lucky.

  14. #14
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    I was talking about the Highlander Hybrid that they are planning (not out yet).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    I applaud people for buying hybrids- it really helps to prove the technology out, and this technology is going places. That said, at this point, a hybrid really only makes economic sense if you drive a LOT, and most of that driving is stop and go.

    Also, keep in mind that hybird's don't tend to get as good of mileage real-world as they do in the EPA tests. So, on the highway, you're looking at a 2mpg bump if you're lucky.
    Most people that drive hybrids live in the city, which is a whole lotta stop and go. The combination of a highway vs city driving will easily beat out a non hybrid for mpg.

    Ford estimates that the Escape Hybrid will get about 33 miles to the gallon. A non-hybrid 2-wheel drive Ford Escape has a fuel economy rating, as calculated by the Environmental Protection Agency, of 25 miles to the gallon.

    http://money.cnn.com/2004/08/04/pf/autos/ran_vs_ford/

  16. #16
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    If I pay $2.20 per gallon, and drive 15,000 miles per year, and get 33 mpg instead of 25, I save $319 per year- about like getting one payment free.

    The cheapest Escape Hybrid is 26,970. The cheapest regular Escape is 19,995. Not including the time value of money and possible increased maintaince cost for the hybrid (like battery replacement) and assuming gas stays the same price (yeah, right) it'll take 22 years to break even.

    The 4x4 Escape Hybrid STARTS at $28,595. I'm not sure how much a loaded hybrid is, but a loaded non-hybrid escape is $27,145. It'll still take 4.5 years to break even between a loaded standard Escape and a stripped 4x4 Hybrid.

    Of course, if you drive a lot more than 15k per year and spend most of your time in the city, you'll break even much faster. This'll also be the case even more so as gas prices continue to rise.

    My only point was if you mostly drive on the highway, and do very little stop & go driving, Hybrids don't make very good economic sense yet. They're improving fast though and do make sense for some people even today.

  17. #17
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    What are you doing with a geared bike? Coming back from the dark side are we?

  18. #18
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    So was I

    Quote Originally Posted by screampint
    I was talking about the Highlander Hybrid that they are planning (not out yet).
    28 mpg best case. Good but not great. Did I say 26mpg above? Whoops.

    http://www.edmunds.com/future/2005/t...num8.2.toyota*

    http://www.toyota.com/highlander/minisite/

  19. #19
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    Tax deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    If I pay $2.20 per gallon, and drive 15,000 miles per year, and get 33 mpg instead of 25, I save $319 per year- about like getting one payment free.

    My only point was if you mostly drive on the highway, and do very little stop & go driving, Hybrids don't make very good economic sense yet. They're improving fast though and do make sense for some people even today.
    Don't forget that there is a federal tax credit on these. I think it's $1500 this year, might even be $2000. More in some states.
    Romani ite domum

  20. #20
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    Yup, $2000!

    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm
    Don't forget that there is a federal tax credit on these. I think it's $1500 this year, might even be $2000. More in some states.
    $2000 for '05 dropping to $500 for 2006, and $0 thereafter.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/tax_hybrid.shtml

  21. #21
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    Really? I thought it would be better than that. Oh well. I'm not in the market for something new at the moment anyway. Maybe I'll be ready when the hydrogen fuels cells are ready...

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