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: Leather Seats
Cons: Stereo System / Sound - It Could be Better
Advice: Test Drive both the 4 Cyl and the 6 Cyl. - You'll love the 6I just purchase an Escape XLT with the V6 and Leather Seat Package, It also has the 6 CD Changer. In the beginning I was concerned about outside noises and how comfortable this vehicle could be. It has lots of power, at least compared to the 4 Cyl 4x4 Escape. Fuel Economy is not that bad for a 6 Cyl. I put about 180 miles a day on this baby and it drives fine. It is really confortable and no noises. So Far, I am loving it... I also heard fuel economy should improve after break-in.
Pros: The economy and mpg readouts.
Cons: The lack of storage area for front seat passengers and lack of temperature gauge.
Advice: Read everything you can so you understand how the car works.At first I was a little disappointed in the gas mileage. BUT after reading the owners manual I have realized that there is a break-in period of up to 3000 miles. I now have 1850 miles on my Escape and my mpg is going up. It definitely took some time to get used to how the car operates. I really don't even think about it much now as I have gotten used to it. I tend to watch the gauge showing my economy feature going from low to high. I tried to keep my gauge on the high side of economy, which by the way does not mean driving 25 miles an hour. There is plenty of room for up to 4 adult passengers. It's been a good purchase for me.
Pros: An SUV with great mileage
Cons: Getting used to the 'feel' of the electric motors zero vibration
Advice: Buy one. It is the right vehicle to do the right thing with.WE have about 1400 miles on our hybrid. It does give you a feel good attitude. It is great fun to see how far you can drive on battery power. Our record is 2.2 miles. Was it worth the additional cost? I guess it depends on what value you put on the environment or being dominated by oil producing countries. We average 28.2 miles to the gallo0n versus 11.4 in the Chevy pickup we traded for our Escape. Our driving is 70% city, 30% hwy. The Escape rides great and has plenty of power. It does take alittle getting used to the gas motor kicking out when you coast or stop. Once you figure out you are using zero gas, It becomes a very fun game to see how much better mileage one can achieve. The biggest problem is waiting so long between fillups to check fuel economy.
Cons: Small gas tank
Advice: Go with the V6, 4 is too noisy when passing, not enough towing capacity, but good mpgI have owned my Escape 4x4 XLS w/Blast Package for 4 months. I have the 4 cylinder, automatic version. So far, I am pleased with the ride and the fuel economy (started at ~19 mpg, and after break in, now getting ~22 mpg, mostly highway driving). I chose the 4 cylinder because of good luck with a '95 ranger with 4 cylinder (over 250,000 mi, and still going strong). Plenty of room and the electronic 4 wheel drive is very smooth when automatically shifting into/out of 4 wheel. Worst complaints, small gas tank, cloth fabric seats/dog hair don't mix and vehicle 'coasts too much' when foot off of gas, must use brakes too much instead of engine braking.
Pros: I love the GPS and MPG screen.
Cons: Lack of power on hills.
Advice: If you are a conservative driver you'll love it. If you are a Lead Foot, this isn't your car!As of 4/28/05 I have 2000 miles on my Escape. I am a manufacturers rep in South Eastern Pa. so I get city and highway driving. I am averaging between 31 & 34 MPG. I could not be any happier with the car so far. It handles well and has more leg room (I'm 6'3) than my Minivan and plenty of headroom.
Pros: Easy to park.
Cons: Roof Rack, and Sun Roof
Advice: Their taste may be different, but over all I recomend it as a nice vehicle.I really like the escape, but don't like the luggage rack. I think it will invite rust in the future, and doesn't really seem useful to haul anything on top.
Pros: Nav system and engine feedback info
Cons: The actual mpg
Advice: Wait for the (hydrogen) fuel cellNO WAY! I do not know about the rest of the hybrid pack, but this one is a gimmick to get you to spend more money for less. Based on my research, my (educated) guess is that they are all the same. Please understand that I actually like this vehicle. Performance, comfort, quality, and appearance are all average to above average for a modern mid-size SUV. The problem is the hybrid technology itself. Ford has done a very good job of mating the gas and electric engines. They bought some of Toyota's technology so it has a strong lineage. However, hybrids make their claim to high mpg numbers by using the electric engine only while under minimal load below twenty or so mph. That is why their mpg numbers are the reverse of a gas-only engine = the hybrids (should) get better gas mileage in the city than on the freeway. The important piece of this equation is 'While under minimal load'. In order to get anywhere near Ford's published mpg numbers, this car has to be driven ultra conservatively. Even then, the best you will probably ever see is no more than 30 mpg in the city. And while you might say 'That's pretty darn good, especially for an SUV', the only way to attain it is to ALWAYS drive like that archtypical little old lady from Pasadena on her way home from Sunday services! And I do mean ALWAYS. If you drive like a 'normal' person you may get 20 -25 mpg in the city and about the same on the freeway. If your foot is a little heavy on the pedal, you will be lucky to see 20 mpg. So, you have to ask yourself if the extra cost of the hybrid is worth it. Until we are paying over $5.00 per gallon of gas, my answer is a resounding 'NO'! This is especially true when you factor in that this is a relatively new technology that will most likely continue to evolve along a steep curve. My suggestion is to wait for fuel cell vehicles.