Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: Atkins drive train - can drive on electric battery only for short distances
Cons: Cheap attachments (foam and plastic) of the carpet in trunk area
Advice: Test drive oneMy wife and I really wanted a hybrid. We test drove several, but unfortunately, I have to do a lot of hauling and the Prius (our favorite vehicle) was just too small for me. The Escape Hybrid was perfect. I drive an SUV and get 33 mpg general and 30-31 mpg highway (28 mpg when driving almost exclusively uphill). I can still move couches and desks and can even fit a love seat with the doors all closed. Sits five more comfortably than the Prius as well. A few detractions. The carpet in the 'trunk' area is attached with plastic screws and styrofoam. That lasted about 3 months and the carpet repeatedly pulls off. The nav screen is small (about 1/3 the size of the Prius) and the map is small and CD-based. It gets confused often and is often a little off on the exits which requires you to be extra careful about where the exits are (sometimes you think there is another one in .1 or .2 miles and miss a turn). But it handles well and works great for me with all the extra loads that I often carry. When we upgrade my wife's car in the next 6-18 months, we'll get her a Prius, but after 2.5 years and 44K miles, this is my favorite car that I've owned in the last 20 years.
Pros: Not sure.
Cons: Poor gas mileage and performance.
Advice: Don't buy an Escape Hybrid - just get a better quality compact SUV.I bought my 2006 Escape Hybrid 4WD in November of 2006 with high expectations, and have been very disappointed. After 5K miles of driving (combination of highway and city) the vehicle has gotten, at best, 26 - 27 MPG. In addition, I have had to install additional soundproofing to the vehicle to reduce the very excessive engine and road noise at higher speeds on the highway. While the general quality of the vehicle is OK, the Escape Hybrid has not performed as advertised. Tim in Colorado.
Pros: Running on the electric motor in stop and go traffic/display in dash of hybrid activity
Cons: no auxiliary input to stereo system
Advice: Just drive oneI bought this 2006 4WD Escape Hybrid in April of 2006 as a business vehicle for myself. I drive a mixture of city and highway miles in the upper Midwest. I am averaging over 31 mpg in total since my purchase and have covered about 8000 miles. Everything is as advertised or better. Acceleration is more than adequate when needed and cruising is just fine on the interstate. The functionality of the SUV arrangement coupled with the economy and low emissions are hard to beat. I like the invovlement with the function of the vehicle that the optional in dash display gives me. I am looking forward to seeing how the performance is this winter in the snow and cold.
Pros: The mileage computer which reminds me to pace my driving.
Cons: The air conditioner doesn't put out as much cooling on battery power.
Advice: Buy while you can get the $2600 tax credit.I love my Escape Hybrid. Over the years I have owned a Ford F-150, Ford Bronco V-8, Ford Bronco II, and a Chevy Tracker. As I moved to smaller vehicles, I got better gas mileage, but even the Tracker only achieved 25-27 mpg over the 5 years and 70,000 miles I put on it. My wife and I just got back to Duarte, CA from a 1000 mile trip to Reno, NV. We averaged 32.7 mpg on the trip north and 34.3 mpg for the overall trip. The driving was mostly on highways and going up and down hills. We even drove up to the East entrance to Mamouth which is over 9800 feet. I did not drive over 65 mph and carefully used my brakes to charge the batteries going down the hills. The Escape Hybrid is a fun vehicle to drive.
Pros: The standard radio - great sound and it plays mp3 CD's
Cons: The optional AC outlet is probably not worth it- it maxes out at 150Watts, so it can't run a lot of things
Advice: Expect mileage of about 25-28 mpg for typical driving. Expect lower mileage in the winter, as the car only runs on battery if the engine is warm enough. In severely cold weather, it stays on engine way longer than I expected-The Hybrid Escape definitely has more 'umph' than you think of a hybrid as having. If needed, it is able to accelerate and marge into fast-moving traffic. -However, living in Colorado, I do find it has difficulty making it up I-70 to the mountains with the rest of the traffic - I usually keep it to about 60mph or the engine revs scarily high. -The gas mileage is much lower than the estimates. I get: 25 mpg solid highway driving and 28 mpg on mixed highway and local, and that's with me accelerating rather gently (as opposed to my husband who jams down the gas and gets more like 24-26mpg) -If you fold the seats down you get lots of room, but there's nowhere to put the headrests, so I shove 2 of them behind the front seat, and have to leave one in the garage.
Pros: Premium leather package and exterior looks
Cons: Inaccurate estimated gas mileage
Advice: Consider the difference from a 4 cyl to a 6 cylI bought the 2006 Escape Hybrid in November of 2005 and so far I am fairly pleased with it's overall looks and performance. However, the estimated MPG, in my experience, is not at all accurate. I am averaging 27.2 MPG and can only recall 1 instance when I reached 29 MPG. This is all highway driving, but I have never averaged more than that whether it's city or highway. I also felt that it didn't hug the road at higher speeds (granted I was descending down the Grapevine in Los Angeles and it is very steep)to the point that I felt a little uneasy. The Winding of the transmission (because it is a 4 cylindar) is a little hard to get used to as well. I did get the premium leather package, Navigation and all of the bells and whistles, and as my first brand new vehicle I am pretty happy.
Pros: The hybrid functionality; gas engine turns off at low speeds.
Cons: The speedometer needle is too wide for the mph increments.
Advice: Consider if the added expense is worth it to you; consider 4WD if expense is no object.I have owned my 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid since June 2005 and am very happy with it. I primarily use it on Rte 9, west of Boston, MA---a busy commuter road, and am averaging about 31mpg. I recently drove it to/from upstate NY, and found it very comfortable during the 700 miles I drove [round-trip]. My previous car was a 2004 Chevrolet Blazer. I did not like it as much as my 1989 Blazer, and my wife did not like it at all; plus it had several annoying mechanical problems. So given rising gas prices, we traded it in for the hybrid. The Escape Hybrid has curb appeal, decent acceleration, excellent braking, and handles well in the rain. The headlights provide excellent night-time lighting, and cargo room is very good. Friends (and wife) say the leg room in front and back is excellent. The driver seat is easily adjustable for a comfortable ride. The computer information center is easy to use and provides accurate information on gas usage and other things. The workmanship is pretty good. Nothings seems cheap or poorly put-together. I miss a few things that my Blazer had, such as a thermometer to tell me the outside temperature, a nice CD storage compartment, and handy coin slots. I also will probably miss the 4wd this winter, but I just couldn't afford the extra money for the Escape-4WD. On the other hand, I get better gas milage with the front-wheel-drive. Only deficiencies I have noted: While acceleration is decent, the 4-cylinder engine does have problems on long hills, and the speedometer needle is as wide as the mph increments. It is hard to tell if you are going 66mph or 69mph. Overall, I am pleased with the car and recommend it to others.