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Ford Escape Hybrid

Research the new hybrid Ford Escape model

The Good

The 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid boasts a roomy interior and the best fuel economy in its class. Many Ford Escape Hybrid reviews also praise its exterior styling, and it has a comfortable interior and comes with loads of safety features.

The Bad

Its relatively heavy weight leads to somewhat sluggish performance and below-average acceleration.

The Bottom Line

Like the standard Ford Escape, the hybrid model is average to above average in many ways, yet excellent in few. It is a sensible, reliable option for drivers looking for boosted fuel economy in an SUV.

Price

There are two trim packages available: a base model, and a Limited trim package. Drivers can also opt for a front-wheel drivetrain, or all-wheel capability. Pricing points vary, depending on which features you select.

MSRP: $28,409 to $32,285

Average paid: $28,200 (base model)

Performance

Acceleration and power

As mentioned, the vehicle’s performance suffers somewhat under the weight of the vehicle’s bulky, heavy body. Ford’s engineers opted to prioritize fuel efficiency ahead of performance, and this shows in road tests. Acceleration and power capabilities are also somewhat beyond the driver’s control, as Ford has made its continually variable transmission (CVT) standard on all models. While the CVT optimizes power generation based on the automatic gear shifting, this feature boots the vehicle’s fuel economy much more than its performance.

Handling and braking

With power-assisted rack and pinion steering, a curb-to-curb turning diameter of 36.7 feet and a turning ratio of 17.5:1, the hybrid Ford Escape offers handling that is best described as average. Its turning is responsive, and its suspension is able to handle most bumps and jumps with relative ease, but this vehicle isn’t ideal for off-roading.

Braking specifications are as follows: power-assisted four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are standard. Reviews of the Ford Escape hybrid model note that its braking abilities are above-average, in keeping with the manufacturer’s focus on enhanced safety given this vehicle’s prevalence in the family class.

Interior

Seating

The Ford Escape 2012 hybrid model offers standard seating for five passengers. The rear seats can be collapsed to maximize cargo space, and the front seats are six-way power-adjustable. Second-row seats are 60/40 split benches, with a tip-fold latch that allows them to lay flat. With a total of 99.5 cubic feet of passenger seating space, the vehicle offers one of the most generous interiors in its class, with generous allowances for head, shoulder and leg room. Premium cloth (sourced from eco-friendly suppliers) is standard.

Features

Interior features include a voice-activated communication and entertainment system, as well as a USB port, audio input jack and information services which include vehicle status reports, GPS-powered turn-by-turn navigation assistance and traffic reporting. A six-month subscription to Sirius satellite radio comes standard with all packages, and the factory stereo includes an AM/FM radio and CD player with MP3 playback and an auto-correct speed-sensitive volume control.

Cargo space

The generous interior dimensions provide a maximum of 66.4 cubic feet of cargo space. With the rear seats intact, the vehicle has a cargo capacity of 30.9 cubic feet, and the height of the cargo box area measures in at 37.2 inches. These values place it in about the middle of its class.

Safety

The hybrid Ford Escape has been praised for its comprehensive safety features, which rank among the best in its class. The vehicle’s long list of standard safety features includes child safety rear door locks, an automatic tire pressure monitoring system, a rear outboard latch with child seat tethers and anchors, a top speed limitation feature and three-point seat belts in all five seating positions.

Additional safety features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, dual-stage front airbags for both the driver and the passenger, and side impact airbags in all seating positions. The Ford Escape also comes standard with Ford’s patented AdvanceTrac vehicle stability system, which provides roll stability control (RSC).

Specifications

The Ford Escape last underwent a major redesign for the 2008 model year, and the 2012 model’s styling displays only minor variations. For the 2012 model year, Ford added an HD radio package and a PullDrift automatic lane correction feature. The vehicle faces slightly less competition from other automakers this year, as the comparable Mazda Tribute was discontinued.

  • Transmission: 2-speed continually variable transmission (CVT) with overdrive
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is optional)
  • Engine Type: Hybrid (electric and gasoline combination) inline-4
  • Engine Size: 2.5 L
  • Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection
  • Horsepower: 155 @ 6000 RPM
  • MPG, City: 34 MPG
  • MPG, Highway: 31 MPG
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