Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ford Escape Hybrid - What the Auto Press Says

The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid ranks 3 out of 27 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of 12 published reviews and test drives of the Ford Escape Hybrid, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

Though the Escape Hybrid was officially redesigned in 2008, upgrades for this year have changed its performance significantly. Auto reviewers say the 2009 changes are for the better and praise the hybrid SUV for its especially smooth ride and powertrain.

Touted by Ford as the most fuel-efficient SUV on the planet, the Escape Hybrid's claim to fame is its excellent 28 mpg combined fuel economy. Major upgrades for this year, including a bigger engine and updated braking and steering systems, make it even more appealing. "The Escape is a hybrid SUV with solid moves at an affordable price for which no excuses need be made," says Car and Driver. Thanks to the hybrid's high gas mileage, auto reviewers tend to favor it over its gasoline-powered counterpart, the 2009 Ford Escape, which is reviewed separately.

The Escape Hybrid is available in three trims -- the base model and a new top-of-the-line Limited. A four-wheel drive system is optional.

  • "The 2009 Escape's fuel efficiency, attractive price and spacious interior will give buyers who still want the looks and capacity of an SUV an appealing alternative to the flood of curvy little crossovers." -- Detroit Free Press
  • "Ford knows how to dazzle a girl, all right. The all-new 2009 Escapes are faster (get through errands quicker), quieter (easier to chat with the kiddos in back) and more fuel-efficient (easier on the family budget) than last year." -- Mother Proof
  • "The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid raises the bar for all crossover sport utility vehicles (and most passenger cars) in terms of comfort, performance, safety and a lower environmental impact. It may be a compact SUV, but its interior comfort and handling are more car-like than other crossovers in the segment." -- Auto USA
  • "You honestly can't do better than the Escape Hybrid in 2009. With a mileage rating that was already the best in the SUV market, this year's improvements in both performance and efficiency are hard to argue with." -- Car Gurus

Escape-Hybrid Performance - 7.5 (Good)

With an upgraded hybrid system and modified brake sensor, the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid performs better than ever. "Refreshed for 2009, the Escape addresses many of the issues that made it an almost unacceptable compromise, including the anemic performance, punishing ride, and poor brake feel," says Car and Driver. "The stronger four-cylinder now boasts 177 horsepower in addition to its hybrid-electric drive, the revised suspension system includes a rear anti-roll bar, and the brakes feel something like normal." A major plus is the Escape's fuel economy, which bests that of any SUV on the market. Continue with our full Escape Hybrid Performance Review to learn why test drivers say the new hybrid system performs seamlessly. continue

Escape-Hybrid Exterior - NA

Not much has changed since the Escape Hybrid's exterior underwent a redesign last year -- and reviewers don't have many opinions on the subject. "The Escape's upright styling gives it the profile of a traditional SUV and sets it apart from smooth-cornered models like the CR-V, Rogue and RAV4," says the Detroit Free Press. Continue with our full Ford Escape Hybrid Exterior Review to learn how exterior modifications for 2009 have increased the SUV's fuel economy. continue

Escape-Hybrid Interior - NA

With last year's redesign, the Escape Hybrid made significant improvements in its interior comfort and quality. The 2009 model gets a few more modifications, including a much quieter cabin. "The interior of the Escape I tested featured nice check-pattern cloth upholstery and acceptable materials throughout," says the Detroit Free Press. Reviewers especially like the softer materials in the cabin, along with the new optional SYNC multimedia system. Continue with our Ford Escape Hybrid Interior Review to learn why auto reviewers love the Escape Hybrid's optional navigation system. continue

Escape-Hybrid Safety - 9.9 (Excellent)

Like its predecessor, the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid earns excellent crash test ratings from the federal government. The similar gasoline-powered model is even designated as a "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Escape Hybrid comes with plenty of air bags and a stability control system. Continue with our full Ford Escape Hybrid Safety Review. continue

Escape-Hybrid Reliability - 10.0 (Excellent)

The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid reliability score shown is the Predicted Reliability rating provided by J.D. Power and Associates. This score is based on trending the past three years of historical initial quality and dependability data from J.D. Power's automotive studies, specifically the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and the Initial Quality Study (IQS). The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty. Continue with our full Ford Escape Hybrid Reliability Review. continue

MSRP: $29,305 - $33,385
Invoice: $27,112 - $30,826
MPG: 34 City / 31 Hwy

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