Overview & Reviews
The Escape Hybrid was not only the first mainstream hybrid SUV to be produced but also the first to come from a domestic automaker. Visually identical to its non-hybrid counterpart, the Escape Hybrid offered acceleration approaching that of the V6 model but with the fuel economy of the four-cylinder Escape.
There were two generations of the Ford Escape Hybrid, with the latter benefitting from a more modern design, easier-to-use controls and the ability to operate its air-conditioner whether the gas engine was running or not, unlike earlier versions. When the Escape was completely redesigned for 2013, a hybrid was not included in the lineup. Those looking for a used compact crossover with a small fuel appetite, however, would be well served by the Ford Escape Hybrid.
Most Recent Ford Escape Hybrid
The second-generation Escape Hybrid was produced from 2008 through 2012. The body adopted Ford's newer styling themes seen in the Edge and Expedition, while the cabin was updated and featured more ergonomic and attractive controls.
Ford's optional Sync voice-controlled interface debuted for 2009, along with standard stability control and a slightly larger (2.5 liter versus 2.3) gasoline engine that boosted combined output to 177 horsepower (up from 155 hp). For 2010 Ford introduced an automated parallel-parking system. That year also saw a new electric compressor for the air-conditioning that allowed A/C use at any time. Previously, the A/C would annoyingly shut off whenever the Escape's gas engine was off (such as when the SUV was stopped at a light or moving at low speeds on just electric power.)
The powertrain consisted of a four-cylinder gasoline engine, a pair of electric motors and an electronically controlled continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Under full acceleration, both power sources work together and make the Escape Hybrid quicker than the regular four-cylinder Escape. But under lighter load conditions, such as during stop-and-go traffic, the Escape Hybrid switched between the two, oftentimes running purely on battery power alone.
Fuel efficiency is impressive for a hybrid SUV of this time period, as a front-wheel-drive Escape Hybrid typically delivers close to 30 mpg in real-world driving. All-wheel-drive models were also offered.
There were two trim levels for the Escape Hybrid: base and Limited. The base version came with 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, a power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, the Sync system, stability control, antilock brakes, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Upgrading to the Limited added a sunroof, rear parking assist, leather upholstery and heated front seats and mirrors. A touchscreen navigation system was optional and came with a premium audio system. The Limited could also be equipped with an automatic parallel-parking system.
The main difference between driving an Escape Hybrid and driving a regular Escape comes down to handling. The Hybrid feels top-heavy around turns due to its extra 300 pounds of curb weight. And like the gasoline-only Escape (and most other compact crossovers, for that matter), this hybrid ute is geared more toward providing sure-footed foul-weather driving than it is to tackling seriously rugged terrain.
Past Ford Escape Hybrid Models
The first-generation Ford Escape Hybrid debuted for 2005 and ran through 2007. The regular Escape dawned four years earlier. The original powertrain featured a 2.3-liter gasoline engine that, together with its electric motor, produced a total of 155 hp.
Although this original iteration is similar in terms of size and driving dynamics to the generation that followed, it had a substandard interior filled with cheap, hard plastic surfaces and outdated controls. Additionally, the Premium package's navigation system was rather primitive and should be avoided. Apart from the availability of a moonroof for 2006, the next couple of years saw no changes.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 334.00
Very Good SUV hybrid - 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid
By vincenc08 - December 19 - 5:50 pm
2008 Kiwi green Escape Hybrid has been a very good SUV. Had is for 3 yrs and 71K mi ...reliability is very good only a few minor build issues. Good interior room and surprising storage with 2 nd row folded down. Gas mileage is over 32 mpg on HIway 33 city. Sotck tire have ltos of road noise after 30K mi. Eco seat material stains easily...hard to keep clean. There is a way to get them replaced but you really have to dig on the internet. Overall a very good SUV if you can live with some minor quirks.
Looks great and drives even better - 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid
By Happy Camper - December 18 - 2:33 am
So far, I love my new hybrid. It drives like a dream and the gas (in town) is about 34 mpg, pretty good for an AWD SUV. No complaints.
Ford Escape Hybrid - 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid
By Steven - December 5 - 1:46 pm
Car is a little less than advertised. Mileage is only in the 29-30 range. Comfort is the same as Mustang in the earliest years; I owned one. Quality is the same. As the car ages in months, the windows sag, the dealer will not return calls for repairs even within the warranty period. Compared to Toyota, U.S. needs help.
Room for all & CARGO! - 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid
By Joel - November 22 - 8:13 pm
Terrific small SUV to drive. I am very surprised of the power (when you need it) with both the batteries and the 4 cylinder gas engine kicking in. It does not take very long at all for the generators to recharge the batteries either. It's not just a small commuter car, there is actually room to take people & luggage to the airport, vacations, etc.
SOME DAY ALL CARS WILL BE HYBRIDS - 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid
By BILL S - November 19 - 2:46 am
Actual mpg is just a little less than EPA estimates,very nice to find a suv with over 30mpg!
Hybrid Synergy - 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid
By Marcus - November 13 - 3:13 am
Besides being cold now and the hybrid getting less than the advertised mileage due to that fact, everything else that was hyped about the hybrid is right on the money. I still think I would have bought one if I had known about cold weather affecting the mileage, but we all like truth in advertising don't we?
Great Little SUV - 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid
By Boris - November 9 - 5:43 pm
Living on a dirt road, I needed an SUV. Living out of town, I needed good mileage. I bought a base-model Escape Hybrid and I got both. This thing is getting a combined city/hwy mileage of over 30mpg. Amazing for an SUV. Even the base model comes with lots of features. 6-disc CD changer (with MP3 capability), electric driver seat, 110V power outlet and all sorts of little bells and whistles. I only got about 26 mpg on a long trip for 800 miles, but the city mileage in the high 30's made up for that very quickly.
Ford Escape Hybrid is a Piece of Junk - 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid
By Escape Hybrid - October 28 - 1:16 am
After all the hype, the 2006 Ford Hybrid is a cheaply built piece of junk. For one, the gas mileage is just not what you'd expect from a hybrid. After only 25MPH the engine kicks in. Think about it...even in city driving (which averages 35MPH), your going to engage the engine a LOT. Secondly, when using the air conditioner, the engine is engaged. So, if you live in the south -- you are really out of luck. Lastly, the darn vehicle is a very noisy. Compared to the Explorer, there is virtually no insulation to outside noise. Lastly, it is a rip off. Those I know who own a Ford Escape (non-hybrid) are getting about the same mileage as I with the hybrid -- 27MPH for about $5K more!
Best of the Best - 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid
By Jim Roberts - October 20 - 2:30 am
I am a true car person. I have owned way to many new cars over the years and this is truly the best. The first thing to do for gas mileage is to change the air filter to the K&N. Use Mobil 1 oil and my mileage has ran as high as 41MPG when trying. I get a constant 30MPG when my wife drives and that is great. She just drives and does not worry about mileage. She has never gotten any better than 17MPG with any other car that she has had both large and small cars of many makes and models. Thank you Ford for taking a large step for fuel. The others have a lot of catching up to do. Ford rules
Never Thought - 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid
By Robert - October 9 - 11:36 pm
Walked into dealer with no thoughts of this kind of vehicle on my mind. Was attracted to body style with the new black paint. Then thought about the price of gas and I was sold! Hybrid engine works great and hardly gives notice that it's anything other than a regular internal combustion engine.