The Ford Escape Hybrid, launched in 2004, is a gas-electric hybrid powered version of the Ford Escape sport utility vehicle developed by the Ford Motor Company. Built in Kansas City, Missouri, it is the first hybrid SUV to hit the market. A similar vehicle, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid is sold by Ford's Mercury marque, and a third variation, the Mazda Tribute Hybrid, is expected to be available for the 2008 model year.
As of 2006, the Escape hybrid system is among the most advanced available on the market. It is a "full" hybrid electric system — meaning the system can switch automatically between pure electric power, pure gasoline engine power, or a combination of electric battery and gasoline engine operating together, for maximum performance and efficiency at all speeds and loads. When braking or decelerating, the Escape's hybrid system uses regenerative braking — where the electric drive motor becomes a generator, converting the vehicle's momentum back to electricity for storage in the batteries.
See WikiCars' comprehensive Ford Escape Hybrid Review
- 1 Recent Changes
- 2 Styles and Major Options
- 3 Pricing
- 4 Gas Mileage
- 5 Reliability
- 6 Safety
- 7 Photos
- 8 Main Competitors
- 9 Unique Attributes
- 10 Resale Values
- 11 Criticisms
- 12 Current Generation: (2001–present)
- 13 2005
- 14 2008
- 15 2009
- 16 Worldwide
- 17 Design quirks and oddities
- 18 Awards
- 19 Specifications
- 20 References
- 21 See Also
- 22 External Links
For 2008, the Ford Escape Hybrid received an updated exterior and upgraded interior. For 2009, the 2.3L engine was replaced by a 2.5L producing 153 hp.<ref>2009 Ford Escape & Hybrid Review</ref>
Styles and Major Options
For 2009, the Ford Escape is available in two trim levels: Base and Limited. Both offer optional all-wheel-drive.
- 8-way power adjustable driver's seat
- Dual-zone automatic air conditioning
- Cruise control
- AM/FM stereo with in-dash 6-CD changer
- 16" aluminum wheels
- Power door locks with remote keyless entry
- Power windows with driver one-touch down
- Variable intermittent windshield wipers
2009 Base MSRP Pricing (excludes delivery charge of $725).
Ford Motor Company set durability and reliability objectives for the Escape Hybrid. Field tests continued until the objectives were acheived. The Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrid's power system is the product of 170 prototype test mule vehicles, tested in five climate extremes on three continents.<ref>How the Mariner works</ref>
- Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)
- Dual front airbags (SRS) (Dual-stage driver and single-stage front passenger)
- Front and rear crumple zones
- Front passenger occupancy sensor
- Front 3-Point safety belts with automatic tensioning system
- SecuriLock® passive anti-theft system with ignition immobilizer
- Remote keyless-entry system with illuminating feature
- Optional side-impact airbags (Premium Package)
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- 3-point safety belts for all seat positions
- Lower Anchors, tether anchors for children (LATCH) on rear outboard seat
- Optional overhead side-curtain airbags (Ford's Safety Canopy™ System)
- 5 Star front/5 Star side National Highway Traffic Safety Agency NHTSA crash test rating<ref>Ford Escape Hybrid Crash Test Ratings</ref>
The Ford Escape Hybrid, along with its sister model Mercury Mariner Hybrid and cousin Mazda Tribute Hybrid, are known as full hybrids. They can run purely on electric power in many urban driving conditions. This is reflected in their higher city MPG rating (compared to highway). The Ford Escape Hybrid version of this trio debuted in 2004 (as a 2005 model), the first Hybrid crossover SUV available for sale in North America.
Kelley Blue Book offers a range of resale value information, with mileage and equipment levels factored in.
Buyers who purchase the Hybrid Energy Audio & Navigation System, either by selecting the Premium Package or ordering it as a stand alone option, will likely find the navigation screen a little too small to use easily.
Current Generation: (2001–present)
The Ford Escape (Code U204) debuted in 2001 as a crossover SUV, priced below the Ford Explorer. It was jointly developed with Mazda, in which Ford owns a controlling interest, and was released a few months after the nearly-identical Mazda Tribute. A more upscale version, the Mercury Mariner, was introduced for Ford's Mercury marque in the 2005 model year.
The Escape and Tribute were updated for 2005 with a new base engine (the 2.3 L Duratec), added airbag and seatbelt safety systems, an intelligent all wheel drive system, and exterior changes. 2005 was the first model year an automatic transmission was available on the base four-cylinder models. Ford also deleted the recline feature on the rear seats.
North American Escape and its corporate siblings Mazda Tribute and Mercury Mariner were updated for 2008 in order to stay competitive against Toyota RAV4, Honda Element, and Jeep Liberty among others.
The Escape received some of the styling cues from Explorer, Edge, and Expedition. The changes include a new grille with larger headlamps, while the sides had been revised with cleaner lines and rounder wheel arches.<ref>2008 Ford Escape & Hybrid Review</ref> The interior was also upgraded with higher quality materials, because it had been criticised for having dull and cheap interior.
For 2009, the Ford Escape Hybrid received a new engine. The previous 2.3L 4-cylinder is replaced by a 2.5L 4-cylinder producing 153 hp @ 6,000 rpm, plus 94hp from its electric motor, and 136 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm.<ref>2009 Ford Escape Hybrid Info & Specs</ref>
Also new for 2009 is a better-equipped Limited trim, featuring a six-disc changer, heated front seats, and a power sunroof.
The Escape is also offered in some Asia Pacific markets and is sold in Europe as the Ford Maverick. The Asia Pacific Escape is now built in Taiwan, instead of Japan. A significantly updated Escape went on sale in Australia on July 1st, 2006, and is expected in other markets in the following months. Major external changes include a redesigned front bumper, grille, headlights and bonnet, as well as new LED tail-lights and rear bumper.
Interior changes include a new floor mounted automatic transmission shifter, in place of the old column shifter, as well as a redesigned centre stack comprising of audio and climate controls. The latter is automatic on all models except the XLS. The Limited model also features full colour-coded bumpers, wheel arch and side moldings, as well as side mirrors with integrated LED indicators.
Rear drum brakes have been replaced by disc brakes all round. The 3.0L V6 has been modified to reduce fuel consumption by over 10%, while the 4-cylinder has improved mid-range torque and an electronic throttle, as well as a slight increase in power to 109 kW (146hp). Both engines had been certified to meet Euro III emission regulations.
Design quirks and oddities
Visually, the Escape Hybrid is barely different from the standard Escape. Exterior cues are limited to some Hybrid badges flanking the front doors and rear hatch and a vent built into the left rear quarter-panel glass (which helps to cool the battery pack). On the inside, the tachometer in the Escape Hybrid has a sub-zero setting that it uses to indicate that the car is running only on electric power, such as while sitting at a stop or even while traveling down the road in certain urban driving conditions.
An optional Hybrid Energy Audio & Navigation system provides instant fuel economy on a display screen that resembles a thermometer. Average economy is indicated by a stock market-style chart of fuel use for the past 15 minutes, which happens to fill most of the screen.
The Escape Hybrid's gasoline engine is a 2.3-liter, inline four-cylinder that operates under what is known as the Atkinson cycle, a technology designed to enhance the quality of fuel combustion. The Atkinson cycle sacrifices low end torque for higher fuel efficiency through a system of levers between the connecting rods and the crankshaft. This gives a longer power/exhaust stroke and shorter intake/compression stroke. The lack of low end torque in the gas engine is compensated by the flat torque curve of the electric motor.
- 2005 North American Truck of the Year<ref>North American Truck of the Year 2005</ref>
- 2.5L four-cylinder atkinson-cycle gasoline engine with 153 HP and 133 lb-ft of torque
- 94 HP electric traction motor
- Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
- Nickel-metal hydride battery pack with DC converter
- Digital fuel mileage indicator
- Remote entry system
- Immobilizer theft-deterrent system
- Electrically assisted rack-and-pinion steering
- 16" aluminum wheels
- 1000 lbs. towing capacity
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- Ford Escape - Official Site
- Ford Escape Hybrid - Official Site
- JB car pages: Ford Escape & Hybrid
- Hybrid Cars and Vehicles - MixedPower.com
- Escape Central: Escape/Mariner/Tribute Enthusiast Site Not updated since 2005 MY
- Ford Escape @ Auto Isle
- UK Based independent importer of the Ford Escape Hybrid