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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.


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-ford-escape-hybrid-review.html



Igor
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wonder what they'll think when the two-mode Vue is out?
I think the 2mode will be a different kind of animal - competing with the Highlander - V6 and a Hybrid is DUMB IMO - GM should have put the 2 mode into the 4cylinder Vue and we would have had a winner.

Igor
 

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I think the 2mode will be a different kind of animal - competing with the Highlander - V6 and a Hybrid is DUMB IMO - GM should have put the 2 mode into the 4cylinder Vue and we would have had a winner.

Igor
Although, I like the idea of a AFM V6 that stays in 3 cylinder mode most of the time and goes to 6 cylinder mode when the power is needed. I think it is the other way around at this point and there might be technical reasons why they can't.
 

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Wow. I was looking at this because the Escape, Hybrid, FWD is towable. No restrictions. My wife would love the improved mileage and we could pull it.
Oh, boy!
 

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Although, I like the idea of a AFM V6 that stays in 3 cylinder mode most of the time and goes to 6 cylinder mode when the power is needed. I think it is the other way around at this point and there might be technical reasons why they can't.
They can always get advice from Chrysler, because the Phoenix V6 for their future vehicles is supposed to get cylinder deactivation, and be capable of forced induction and direct injection

Chrysler wrote that: “The new Phoenix of V-6 engines will feature cylinder deactivation (MDS)...the engine will operate efficiently on three cylinders when less power is needed, and in V-6 mode when more power is needed. This optimizes fuel economy when V-6 power is not required – without sacrificing vehicle performance or capability.

http://www.allpar.com/mopar/phoenix-engines.html
 

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See the upcoming 2-mode Vue uses a V6 so therefore worse fuel economy, these dont even compare, GM does need the two mode on a 4 cylinder like Ford is doing with Full Hybrids on the I-4 Escape and upcoming Fusion/ Milan. 4 Cylinders are the way to go with a full hybrid

Igor, you need to wait and test that '09 Escape Hybrid with the 2.5L 4 and even the regular Escape with the 6 speed auto, sure to both be a lot better
 

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See the upcoming 2-mode Vue uses a V6 so therefore worse fuel economy, these dont even compare, GM does need the two mode on a 4 cylinder like Ford is doing with Full Hybrids on the I-4 Escape and upcoming Fusion/ Milan. 4 Cylinders are the way to go with a full hybrid

Igor, you need to wait and test that '09 Escape Hybrid with the 2.5L 4 and even the regular Escape with the 6 speed auto, sure to both be a lot better
Noooo, the Series Hybrid is the way to go......If GM can get that going and manufacture enough numbers, they could put that drivetrain in almost anything. Then once Super Capacitors or other great storage media is created, then you can chuck the gas/diesel engine all together....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Noooo, the Series Hybrid is the way to go......If GM can get that going and manufacture enough numbers, they could put that drivetrain in almost anything. Then once Super Capacitors or other great storage media is created, then you can chuck the gas/diesel engine all together....
A series hybrid is EXPENSIVE - see the compact Volt at $40k+ that is RIDICULOUS - it is the way to go in the long term, but the price is prohibitive at this point.

Igor
 

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A series hybrid is EXPENSIVE - see the compact Volt at $40k+ that is RIDICULOUS - it is the way to go in the long term, but the price is prohibitive at this point.

Igor
It is expensive for the first one. But economies of scale will change that quickly. Everyone, and I mean everyone is looking at lithium ion batteries. You don't think that companies aren't going to get on that gravy train? I give it 5 to 10 years at the most and electric cars will be the new cars to get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It is expensive for the first one. But economies of scale will change that quickly. Everyone, and I mean everyone is looking at lithium ion batteries. You don't think that companies aren't going to get on that gravy train? I give it 5 to 10 years at the most and electric cars will be the new cars to get.
I would not count on it to be so cheap "quickly" - it will go down on price - but I am not counting on anything faster than 5 years - I am following this closely - once i can afford it, there will be a series hybrid in my driveway - but I will not pay $40k+ for a compact.

Igor
 

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They can always get advice from Chrysler, because the Phoenix V6 for their future vehicles is supposed to get cylinder deactivation, and be capable of forced induction and direct injection

Chrysler wrote that: “The new Phoenix of V-6 engines will feature cylinder deactivation (MDS)...the engine will operate efficiently on three cylinders when less power is needed, and in V-6 mode when more power is needed. This optimizes fuel economy when V-6 power is not required – without sacrificing vehicle performance or capability.

http://www.allpar.com/mopar/phoenix-engines.html
So, this V design 6 runs like an inline 3?
 

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Has cylinder deactivation like larger V8s, so I would say it runs and consumes fuel like an inline 3 when required
What I want is the engine to run in 3 cylinder mode to begin with, letting the hybrid system do the rest. Running in 6 cylinder mode would be like the secondaries opening up on a double pumper.
 

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What I want is the engine to run in 3 cylinder mode to begin with, letting the hybrid system do the rest. Running in 6 cylinder mode would be like the secondaries opening up on a double pumper.
Well, I like the Phoenix engine the way it is, runs on 3 cylinders when not on full power, all 6 when it needs full power, not to mention it can get direct injection and forced induction, and will be much smoother and better then the current generation of Chrysler V6s. I wish the Ford Escape has ditched the 3 liter V6, even if the new one got more power and such, it needed the 3.5 liter V6.
 

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Well, I like the Phoenix engine the way it is, runs on 3 cylinders when not on full power, all 6 when it needs full power, not to mention it can get direct injection and forced induction, and will be much smoother and better then the current generation of Chrysler V6s. I wish the Ford Escape has ditched the 3 liter V6, even if the new one got more power and such, it needed the 3.5 liter V6.
Everything that I read says that MDS works similar to DOD. Both of the designs only deactivate Cylinders in cruise mode. It means that the engine uses all cylinders a majority of time.

What I want is a engine that stays in cylinder deactivation mode almost all the time and only activates all cylinders when the power is needed. While I know there are NVH issues, I would think that a mild Hybrid drivetrain could soften it.
 
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