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saw they quit making these, as turbo model in '13 gets as good a mpg. wanted one of these, since knew they'd disappear soon as available. carmax shipped one of a high end style with the sunroof and navigation systems. have enjoyed going up to 30 miles per hour on battery power in such a well built , rugged ford made product. keep it up America !
With gas prices shooting up again and our 2001 Explorer slowly dieing, we were once again in the market for a vehicle for our family of 4 and 2 dogs (Australian Cattle Dogs). Fuel efficiency was a plus, and we had always been interested in the Escape Hybrid. It's a bit smaller for camping trips with 2 dogs in the back and 2 car seats in the back seat, but with a trailer hitch for a cargo box and the roof rack on top, it works well for us. Was concerned the vehicle would be a gutless wonder based on it being a hybrid and the CVT transmission, but was very surprised by how well this vehicle does. We drove it to Boreal Ski Resort on Hwy 80 from Sacramento, and although it wasn't as exciting as the Explorer, it climbed the hill well, accelerating from 65 to 75 easily on some of the steeper hills. The fuel efficiency is great so far. The inside dash has a running average fuel indicator that is sometimes off. We've found that it's somewhere between spot on and 2 mpg off when we calculate it ourselves. We're currently averaging 29 mpg, with lows around 25 mpg (were driving it hard on hills, one time) and 32 mpg (one time around town). The worst was 20 mpg climbing the hills to Tahoe, and 40 mpg coming down the hills from Tahoe. This is exactly what we were looking for, as the Explorer was getting 11 to 15 mpg on average. Overall it's been the perfect vehicle for our family. It's fun to drive, keeps costs down, and we're back to being able to afford weekend trips (even with a car payment).
Overall....good. I wanted an SUV-type vehicle but wanted to avoid low mileage. The new Escapes don't have the cargo space or look that I prefer. The older version(s) are a bit more truck-like and more to my liking. The MPG is lower overall than "stickered" as I average about 28 to 30 MPG in a combination of city/highway driving. The ride is smooth and being higher/above in the seats is a huge plus. It takes a little time to figure out how to use the AC properly because it "cuts out" when standing still. Now, as for speed/pickup, unfortunately this is a big weakness for me. The 4-cylinder is kind of whimpy, especially since I haven't driven a 4-cyl in years. Especially with an SUV....but that is the sacrifice for mileage. We did experience a problem with the vehicle turning itself offat random (and completely inappropriate times) which meant a sudden and complete loss of power. It took a couple visits to the Carmax Repair office and hopefully the part they replaced has solved (long-term) the problem.