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: 2008 Escape Hybrid Review (www.autosavant.net)



igor
03-18-2008, 07:51 AM
2008 Ford Escape Hybrid Review
By Igor Holas and Melissa J. Sanchez

03.18.2008

After driving the 2008 Taurus X, Ford loaned us their Escape Hybrid for a week. We loved the Taurus X, and anticipated having a similarly positive reaction to the Escape, especially the Hybrid version we were getting. However, after a week of driving the cute-ute, the conclusion was much less positive.

http://bp0.blogger.com/_Mdz8XzVJAFs/R98V0GXrs0I/AAAAAAAAALs/HDCwFcydLUU/s400/Escape%20Review%20IMAGE%201.jpg

The Car

Ford loaned us a fully-loaded front wheel drive Escape Hybrid. The base price of the Hybrid is $25,740 (including destination), but our tester added $5,080 in options for a total price-as-tested of $30,820. Comparing this price to a V6 Escape using TrueDelta.com feature-adjusted price comparison tool, the Escape hybrid is $2,505 more expensive. However, you get $1,500 of that difference back in tax credit, making the real difference a mere $1,000, and that is small price to pay for the advantages of the Hybrid power train. Comparing the Escape Hybrid to the only other small SUV hybrid on the market, the Saturn Vue Greenline, the two are virtually identically priced with only $480 in price difference to the Vue’s advantage. However, the Vue qualifies only for $500 tax credit, which makes the Ford $1,000 cheaper.


The Verdict

The Escape is far from a bad car, it drives well, has a competitive set of features and price, is reliable, and safe. However the otherwise competent car is let down by an interior that seems much less thought out than its competitors’. We are still stunned by Ford’s bad decisions with the Escape and the Escape Hybrid. The lack of attention to detail plagues the interior, and the reasoning behind Ford’s decisions to dress down the interior of the top-priced model simply escapes us. No pun intended, of course.

In the middle of the week with the Escape Hybrid we happened upon a new 2009 Subaru Forrester, and its better interior became immediately apparent. Similarly, the Saturn Vue and Honda CR-V have better and better thought-out interiors. However, there is one thing these other competitors lack – a hybrid version. No matter how mediocre the Escape’s interior might be, only the Vue offers a hybrid competition, and many hybrid shoppers will notice (and mind) that the Vue Greenline is a “mild hybrid” offering significantly lower city mileage (the Vue Greenline is rated at 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway). Despite this lower mileage, and extra $1,000 in price, we feel it is still a better all-around package. The Vue delivers the best-in-class interior, comfortable reclining rear seats, and innovative cargo management system, and despite the lower mileage, we would recommend it over the Escape Hybrid. After all, if one truly wants the best city mileage, buying a hybrid SUV is simply silly – a hybrid car will be a much better fit.

MUCH MORE AT LINK: http://www.autosavant.net/2008/03/2008-for...rid-review.html (http://www.autosavant.net/2008/03/2008-ford-escape-hybrid-review.html)



Igor

wingsnut
03-18-2008, 10:12 AM
"Buying a hybrid SUV is silly"


Boy do I disagree, especiallly as we all get ready to pay $4 per gallon.
Some people simply want the utility, sitting postiion and convenience of a small SUV and if they offer a hybrid model - WHY NOT?

Although the Escape you just tested is about to soon see some nice powertrain improvements in NVH, MPG and performance when the new 2.5L gets fitted with a much improved 6-speed...the whole reason for a hybrid is fuel economy. The interior to me looks really nice, with a great layout, and dash display and lighted colors and even textures molded in and certainly not short sighted. Afterall, it is an entry level SUV and after calculating what Turbotax would returnback to me when I checked the Escape hybrid for a tax credit, it actually added nearly $1700 to my return. That pays for more than half the hybrid cost, and when gas gits $4...it will take you much less than 2 years to recover the rest if you drive about 15k per year.

Anyway, the Escape hybrid I drove impressed me and it is about to get much better, although it still remains having the best mgp of ANY SUV made.

MERCURYSABLE08
03-18-2008, 10:25 AM
"Buying a hybrid SUV is silly"

Boy do I disagree, especiallly as we all get ready to pay $4 per gallon.
Some people simply want the utility, sitting postiion and convenience of a small SUV and if they offer a hybrid model - WHY NOT?


"Buying a hybrid SUV is silly"

I thought saying that was silly. And I agree with what you said 100%.

I don't know how they can say the interior isn't done properly. I think it's just fine I like the layout and design of the dash I think it looks great. I know there is certainly nothing wrong with the interior in my sisters '08 Mercury Mariner. But I guess it's all in what you think and like.

igor
03-18-2008, 11:54 AM
"Buying a hybrid SUV is silly"


Boy do I disagree, especiallly as we all get ready to pay $4 per gallon.
Some people simply want the utility, sitting postiion and convenience of a small SUV and if they offer a hybrid model - WHY NOT?

Although the Escape you just tested is about to soon see some nice powertrain improvements in NVH, MPG and performance when the new 2.5L gets fitted with a much improved 6-speed...the whole reason for a hybrid is fuel economy. The interior to me looks really nice, with a great layout, and dash display and lighted colors and even textures molded in and certainly not short sighted. Afterall, it is an entry level SUV and after calculating what Turbotax would returnback to me when I checked the Escape hybrid for a tax credit, it actually added nearly $1700 to my return. That pays for more than half the hybrid cost, and when gas gits $4...it will take you much less than 2 years to recover the rest if you drive about 15k per year.

Anyway, the Escape hybrid I drove impressed me and it is about to get much better, although it still remains having the best mgp of ANY SUV made.


Wingsnut - read the whole review.

About the Hybrid SUV comment - the whole point is - if you want to maximize your city mileage get a car, better yet a hybrid car - not an SUV (of any kind) - the Escape Hybrid cannot tow, does not seat7, and it does not have some giant cargo space - so what is its advantage over the 48/45mpg Prius? NONE. That is my point.

And to add to it - in a reverse - since even the 25mpg one would get from the Vue Greenline is respectable, and because I believe the Vue is just a better package overall, despite being "entry level" its interior is actually really nice - the Greenline is just a better Hybrid SUV - the Escape interior is weirdly cheap especially the Hybrid.

Read the full review - I do not bash - but I also give criticism where criticism is due - and unfortunately in the test car we had , there was a lot of criticism due.

Igor

igor
03-18-2008, 11:57 AM
"Buying a hybrid SUV is silly"

I thought saying that was silly. And I agree with what you said 100%.

I don't know how they can say the interior isn't done properly. I think it's just fine I like the layout and design of the dash I think it looks great. I know there is certainly nothing wrong with the interior in my sisters '08 Mercury Mariner. But I guess it's all in what you think and like.
They = me

and it is NOT done properly - read the review ... I am specific about my complaints of the interior ... some of ti might be my oreferences, but most of it is objective - old NAVI unit, off-placed power seat controls, bad rear headrests, etc.

Igor

wingsnut
03-18-2008, 12:54 PM
Igor,
read my remarks.
I did not say you bashed, but your subjective opinion on the interior seems to dominate the entire review. That and your opinion that an SUV, however limited it is offroad, is not any more useful than a sedan. You totally missed my point. An SUV that takes up the space of a Focus, yet has far more usable utility space, and high driving position as well as some offroad capability and image, and can get you economy car mpg's -- matters to some people. It is not just about moving 5 or 6 passengers, you of all people should know that.

Now, regarding your review. You did not elaborate nearly enough on the excellent steering feel at at all speeds that Ford's new EPAS system provides. You barely even acknowledged the near seemless integration of hybrid to gas and back again. What exactly did you conclude on the regenerative braking feel, which is about to get a big improvement soon? Did I miss that too?

I will read it again I guess, but I doubt I will conclude anything different.

igor
03-18-2008, 01:25 PM
Igor,
read my remarks.
I did not say you bashed, but your subjective opinion on the interior seems to dominate the entire review. That and your opinion that an SUV, however limited it is offroad, is not any more useful than a sedan. You totally missed my point. An SUV that takes up the space of a Focus, yet has far more usable utility space, and high driving position as well as some offroad capability and image, and can get you economy car mpg's -- matters to some people. It is not just about moving 5 or 6 passengers, you of all people should know that.

Now, regarding your review. You did not elaborate nearly enough on the excellent steering feel at at all speeds that Ford's new EPAS system provides. You barely even acknowledged the near seemless integration of hybrid to gas and back again. What exactly did you conclude on the regenerative braking feel, which is about to get a big improvement soon? Did I miss that too?

I will read it again I guess, but I doubt I will conclude anything different.I short I praised everything but the interior - especially the hybrid drive.

Igor

wingsnut
03-18-2008, 03:35 PM
Igor,
I am not trying to influence your review, but I do completely disagree with it. The reason I do, as I stated, is that you praise the vehicle in many respects, especially those that matter to people most, but you then condemn it with your subjective opinion of the interior style, and even question the purpose of the vehicle which is strange considering the growing popularity of small SUV's..

Otherwise, thanks for the review.

igor
03-18-2008, 04:15 PM
Igor,
I am not trying to influence your review, but I do completely disagree with it. The reason I do, as I stated, is that you praise the vehicle in many respects, especially those that matter to people most, but you then condemn it with your subjective opinion of the interior style, and even question the purpose of the vehicle which is strange considering the growing popularity of small SUV's..

Otherwise, thanks for the review.

I am affraid you are mis-reading the review - the key problem with the interior is not style - it is amenities - like the uncomfortable rear seats, hard to get comfortable in the front seats (no telescoping wheel), old navigation, ill placed power seat controls, no grab handles (I did not even manage to fit that into the review) etc, and then low-budget moves like exposed screws (no grab handles).

I like the interior design - and apologize if that did not come across- but the interior problem is with built-in quality and that is 100% the key element to all my reviews - after all interior is what owners experience for most of their ownership. cars like the Vue, CR-V drive just as well as the Escape, and deliver a better interior.

(as said in the review, except for the Vue, however, they do not offer a hybrid)

Igor

wingsnut
03-19-2008, 06:40 AM
Igor,
just a few more remarks and I will stop picking on your review ;)

Although I have not spent a lot of time in the back seat of this small SUV, I did not think it was uncomfortable. I did spend adequate time in the drivers seat to realize the following: Lack of a grab handle sticking out 8" from my 6' head is not an issue for me, as these vehicles are driven so meagerly and steady in an effort to maximize FE, and getting in and out was very easy for me and the seats in front felt plenty comfortable. Also, if the seat controls are placed several inches from where you expected them to be, is that really an issue for you as most learn that new position in no time? I also like the fact that there is not lots of chrome on the dash. To me lack of a telescoping steering wheel and grab handles is easily offset by the overall driving feel, and the steering feel alone makes up for so much and I love the way it feels bilet-solid and drives so planted with excellent weighting on the steering feedback without being overly boosted. To those who actually own these vehicles, they say you quickly get accustomed to the brake feel, although I did notice how diff they feel to, which is common for most regen systems. I did not really use (nor would I much) the nav screen a lot, but it seemed intuitive and adequate, how exactly is it old? Myself, I would not even want it. In fact, I would not even want leather or power seats, which together shaves thousands off the price. In my mind this is value vehicle, and loading it contradicts that purpose in my mind.

I have not driven the newer Vue, and although it seems fine, to me it is closer to the Edge in price, weight, fuel economy. The Edge easily wins that comparo.

I hope you check it out again in several months when many enhancements really improve this vehicle.

igor
03-19-2008, 08:00 AM
^^I already put in the request for the 2009 Escapes ... so hopefully I will get a chance to drive them.

Igor