Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book
KBB.com 2009 Ford Escape Overview
While the bigger, heavier Escape Hybrid doesn't deliver all the fuel economy of smaller hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, it does offer greater utility and capability, especially when outfitted with four-wheel drive. Choosing the Escape Hybrid over a gas-only model will likely cost you more money up front than you'll end up saving at the pump, but you can still feel good about using less gas and spewing fewer pollutants than otherwise-efficient SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
The Escape Hybrid delivers a unique combination of hybrid fuel efficiency, SUV utility and a sort of rugged and refined style that's appropriate for both downtowns and campgrounds.
Although freshly upgraded in 2008, the 2009 Escape Hybrid still doesn't match the levels of refinement offered by many of its small SUV and hybrid competitors.
The same, all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine found in the 2009 Ford Escape makes it way into the Escape Hybrid model, bumping up horsepower and torque while seeing a one-mile-per-gallon increase in highway fuel economy. Also new are a six-speed automatic transmission and an Escape Limited trim.
The Escape never feels more environmentally friendly than when it's gliding quietly through a parking lot – or during short bouts of stop-and-go traffic – on electricity alone. Fortunately, when the novelty of all-electric operation wears off, Escape Hybrid owners are left with a perfectly pleasant daily driver. In fact, once you get used to the engine turning off at vehicle stops, the automatic engine restarts and the unique sensations of the continuously variable transmission – all typical hybrid characteristics – the Escape transforms into a rather run-of-the-mill SUV, with ride and handling characteristics not significantly different than those of its competitors.
We're always glad for the ability to quickly and easily find the nearest caffeine station.
Big Center Console
The Escape's front center console is big enough to swallow a laptop or a purse.
The Escape's interior also underwent an overhauling last year, adding thicker carpeting and laminated glass to help attain a 12-percent reduction in highway noise, according to Ford. A new dash, new seats and new features like available ambient lighting create a much more contemporary demeanor, but the overall feeling still seems a bit dated when compared with newer compact SUV offerings. Gone is the more traditional green instrument lighting in place of new Ice Blue illumination. Many hybrid buyers will appreciate the fact that the Escape's seat fabric is constructed of 100-percent recycled material.
Fresh from a complete makeover in 2008, the 2009 Escape Hybrid carries over with little change. A bold front end combines with sleeker lines to result in an Escape that's both more rugged and more refined than its predecessor, and mimics the looks of its Explorer and Expedition bigger brothers. If not for the unique 16-inch aluminum wheels and "Hybrid" badges, the Escape Hybrid would be difficult to distinguish from the gas-only Escape XLT. A new Limited trim adds bright machined aluminum wheels, lower chrome grille extension, chrome liftgate trim and chrome roof-rail inserts.
Equipped similarly to the XLT gas-only model, the 2009 Escape Hybrid includes dual-zone climate control, four-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system with auxiliary audio input jack, Ford SYNC communication and entertainment system, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control and 16-inch aluminum wheels. Standard safety equipment includes six airbags and anti-lock brakes (ABS), as well as AdvanceTrac traction control with Roll Stability Control. The Limited trim adds 16-inch bright machined aluminum wheels, chrome exterior and interior accents, a six-disc in-dash CD changer, ambient lighting, leather seating, a power moonroof, the Reverse Sensing System, heated front seats, heated side mirrors and a driver's door keyless entry keypad.
Some of the Escape Hybrid's more desirable options include DVD navigation with 10GB hard drive storage, four-wheel drive, integrated side step bars and roof rack crossbars.
As a so-called "full hybrid" the Ford Escape Hybrid is capable of running on battery power alone, at speeds up to about 25 miles per hour. According to Ford, the system delivers zero-to-60-mph acceleration equivalent to that of a 240-horsepower V6. Power is transmitted to the front- or optional four-wheel-drive system via a "gearless" continuously-variable transmission. A new electric power steering system requires less effort from the driver to keep the vehicle headed straight on slanted roads or in steady side winds.
2.5-liter in-line 4 Gas/Electric Hybrid Propulsion System
153 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
Electric motor: 94 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
136 pound-feet @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 34/31 (FWD), 29/27 (4WD)
The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just over $30,000 and tops out at more than $37,000 when fully equipped with a navigation system and other options. Like other hybrids, our New Car Blue Book Values have reflected real-world selling prices in line with the MSRP. The 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid starts around $29,000, while the larger Toyota Highlander Hybrid starts close to $36,000. We expect the 2009 Escape Hybrid to retain resale value better than its gasoline counterparts but not as well as the Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid or the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.