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Ford Escape Hybrid

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Comments

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    It won't be long after the escape, that is.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I've never driven a quirkier car than the Vue.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    the perfect candidate for a Hybrid.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I had a friend who almost bought a VUE. Because of her major issue with leasing a previous Saturn, and having them absorb the extra milage, she HAD to get another Saturn model. She was wanting an Escape so they lent her the VUE overnight.

    One drive in the highway at 60MPH with that artificially fake electric steering killed the deal. It felt as if the vehicle was in every which lane, without any control or feedback. Rear glasslight didn't open seperatly (takes away from utility and versatility), interior plastics were typical GM tupperware, and lacked toys for the price they were asking.

    Instead she got an L300 which she's very satisfied with. NOT exactly what she wanted overall, and thinks for the money it lacks features and quality, but considering the issue she was in she HAD to get another Saturn.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    is that most of their cars are not very well, up to Honda and Toyota levels. The L300 is getting the Epsilon platform, while the VUE, who knows. the ION will need to wait.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Vue I believe is on the Theta platform, I believe that's what it's called. It's not a bad vehicle overall compared to most (V6 a plus), and I would take it over a CRV or Rav4 JUST because it has a V6 option. YET it drove horribly bad because of the electric steering, something I found equally dissatisfying in the new ION.

    I drive my friends L300 quite a bit when she feels too tired to drive, and "for a Saturn" I'm mildly impressed by it. The V6 engine is a powerful little jewel, the transmission shifts effortly, and with this years performance upgrades, it handles very well for a FWD vehicle. My only beef's have been the power window switches are NOT on the door panel as they should be, some hard plastic interior pieces (typical), and the doors (because they are polymer plastic) have huge gap/seams between body panels, and they rattle quite a bit when you close them (like Passats which I dislike).

    Naturally there's other vehicles in it's class I would pick over this, but overall it's not as bad as some people make it out to be.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    It isn't a bad car. Some cars are worse out there. Consumer Reports makes it out for us to think that the Saturn L300 is the worst car in the world. Even though I would buy a L300 over a Taurus just because you don't see an L300 at every stoplight whereas the Tauruses, Camrys, and Accords literally invade the stoplight.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I don't bother with Consumer Reports, I'm well aware how they gather their information, and they are extremly biased.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I bought a subscription for all the other ratings. Fridges, Dishwashers, TVs, etc......
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You don't think they have a bias there too?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    No. One year GE dishwashers were CR Best Buys and the next year it was Whirlpools that were the best buys.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    paint. year after year, Behr paint or Valspar American Tradition ranks top.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well that right there invalidates their data for me, because I have some significant dishwasher experience, and GE is consistently the worst of them all for cleaning dishes, which I think is important.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    Let's re-focus on the Escape hybrid instead of household appliances. Thanks.

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  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    The Escape certainly should void that $2000 tax credit. It'll be soo liveable, that a lot of people will buy them.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I still think the hybrid is a wasted effort, and will die of its own volition soon. Just not enough efficiency for the cost.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I think hybrids are here to stay. Hydrogen is on its way out, I'll tell you that, whatever GM may try to tell us.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    the bigger the car, the less efficiency the Hybrid gets you. Therefore, the cars that need the mileage boost the most, can't get it from the Hybrid. That's why I think it will ultimately fade away.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > that $2000 tax credit

    They is no credit. It has always been a DEDUCTIBLE. There's a huge difference. You get quite a bit less than with a credit.

    JOHN
  • In my opinion GM's sudden embrace of the fuel cell is just another excuse for not making improvements NOW. Just look at what happened in 1975 -- they threw an electric motor in a Chevette, carted it around to some auto shows and said that electric cars would be the wave of the future. Meanwhile, they were still cranking out full-size sedans whose gas-guzzling V8s were constrained to 110 horsepower because of all the half-cocked pollution devices that had been hastily slapped on. We are seeing another iteration of this stalling tactic right now.

    If GM has a fuel cell vehicle for retail sale in 10 years, I will eat this post on a printed page.

    -Andrew L
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > the bigger the car, the less efficiency the Hybrid gets you

    Where is your data to support that claim?

    The 2004 Prius is a midsize car. It will deliver around 55 MPG (based on EPA ratings). That's nearly double what the other midsize cars offer. So even if the efficiency was "less", that really wouldn't mean much. A 90% improvement would still be very impressive.

    JOHN
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Meaning, as the weight of the vehicle increases, the benefits of Hybrid is lost. A year or 2 ago Ford abandoned en Explorer Hybrid, mainly because the fuel savings was so minimal, that it was NOT worth the initial investment. Plus, if you lose the practically of a truck/suv (versatility and toqing) then there's really no purpose to continue the senario.

       Regarding Ford, the next hybrid will be the Futura Hybrid sedan, but never expect it to be placed upon a vehicle larger in weight, then the Escape/Futura. Hybrid systems lose their efficiency as the weight of the vehicle is increased.

       That leaves us with another alternative, Diesel... which you have the 5.0L Powerestroke Diesel available on certain F-series trucks, and Econoline van. Diesel's benefit them with massive low RPM torque, that's workable for their needs and applications.

        Personally, and this is just from what I see myself. These vehicles that are hybrid such as the Prius and Civic HEV come out costing more in the long term. As in, you need to keep the vehicle for about 10 years, to receive the initial return in investment gained by the fuel saved. In fact, take the $3-5K extra that these system command over their base offering, place them in a 10 year moneymarket account, or CD, and you'll do better off in the long term than to spend it initially. But that's just my experience and from what I've read and witnessed.

         The next wave/component, of efficiency will be transmissions, and Ford is working with ToroTrak. Torotrak is an Indefintly Variable Tranmission (sort of like CVT), the benefit with Torotrak is it's able to be fitted in high torque vehicles(such as trucks and SUV's). You can try a search online for the site of Torotrak, and they have one Expedition being tested with it, engine loafs at 1000 RPM cruising at 60MPH. While improving it's acceleration times as well. Imagine the gas savings there...
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > A year or 2 ago Ford abandoned en Explorer Hybrid,
    > mainly because the fuel savings was so minimal

    Apparently, you aren't aware that they are several different types of hybrids...

    "ASSIST" hybrids have that limitation.

    "FULL" hybrids offer a much greater return.

    ...and there are even more configurations available within the "FULL" type.

    Size wasn't the issue. It was the ability to tow an obsence amount of weight, which is something the smaller vehicles don't support. Towing a more normal amount is possible though. Both the Escape-Hybrid and RX400-Hybrid will have the ability to tow a 1,000 pound trailer.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > The next wave/component, of efficiency will be transmissions,
    > and Ford is working with ToroTrak... Imagine the gas
    > savings there...

    Inventions like that commonly have a fundamental problem. It's usually high cost, low reliability, or the exhaust is horribly dirty (NOx & HC).

    And of course, there isn't much of a benefit in heavy commute traffic or city driving. That's where you need HSD (Hybrid Synergy Drive, the first vehicle to use it is the 2004 Prius), since it allows you to drive using just electricity. The engine shuts off completely. And on the highway at fast speeds, fuel is cut whenever even just the slightest road decline is encountered.

    JOHN
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    What good would an Explorer with 1000lbs. towing capacity be, When in regular form it can haul 7 times that? It was an Hybrid and was only able to gain 1-2MPG over it's regular stablemate. Amd I know this as a fact that they abandoned that project because of this issue.

    So why would the Escape be able to attain 40MPG, and not this Explorer with the same system?.... weight.... The Escape weighs 3100-3400lbs, compared to Explorer's 4400-4800lbs, the usefulness of the hybrid system was not effective considering the Explorer's major weight difference.

    Not saying in the future they wouldn't revisit the idea, but from internal documents, they are NOT placing a hybrid system in the Explorer ever, and will be left for lighter vehicles. They believe that if someone buys an SUV, then fuel savings isn't much of a conern.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > What good would an Explorer with 1000lbs. towing capacity be

    Well, since most people claim they bought the Explorer for the "safety" benefit and the 4WD, there won't be any loss.

    And obviously, they would put a propotionally larger motor in the larger vehicle, so it would be able to tow more.

    > a hybrid system

    Do you even know what TYPE of hybrid system?

    The 2004 Prius (a "FULL" hybrid) delivers 295 ft-lbs of torque. That's actually more than some small trucks offer. A large motor like that is quite capable.

    An "ASSIST" hybrid has a significantly smaller motor providing much less power.

    JOHN
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    It was an assist hybrid, what made the program/development even more expensive was having to change too many components within the structure(including engine mounts) to fit the engine. Whereas, the Escape and Futura feature almost similar engine bays, therefore engine mounts and assembly would be easy since they just need to drop in the 2.3L already a base engine for the future Futura (and next Escape).

    Aside from that, the engine they had chosen would not be workable in other vehicles across the line up (let alone sedans) so in total, their only application might have been Ranger and Explorer. Nor did they see the validity of people spending $4-5K more for such a system in their Explorer. At least with the Escape Hybrid, the price of the option will be a bit more realistic, and as the techonology is mass produced, and placed in the future Futura, then the price should come down a bit.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    ASSIST is not in the Escape Hybrid. According to Ford, the Hybrid uses a FULL hybrid system. Have you seen any Explorers towing boats? That is what the Expedition/Excursion are for!!!!! Toyota plans a Hybrid Sienna, Honda a hybrid Odyssey. See the trend towards larger Hybrids? GM's reason for fuel cells is because they don't want to put Hybrids on the road now. unlike the Japanese. Witness Toyota. Gen 2 Prius is comin out while Gen 1 from GM is still to be seen.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    John, I love your website! It's like an homage au Prius.

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  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Actually I see more Explorer's towing boats, than I see Expy/Tahoe's. Price wise, the Explorer is a bit more reachable to some, over the Expy, and considering the Explorer has the highest towing capacity in it's segment, then many do not need to ante up for the Expy.

    I just noticed that error, I didn't mean to state Assist, Opps. But as I stated, the engine they were choosing for their hybrid, couldn't be use in other Ford applications, whereas the Hybrid Escape's system, can be implemented into the Futura, and numerous other FWD/AWD vehicles that will share the JV Platform.

    The Explorer would have requires applications where RWD/4x4 configuration be allowed (meaning mostly trucks and SUV's in their line), but after their research and study, they found other methods might be more effective.

    On a side note, they even canceled a light truck diesel 4.5L V6 engine engine, cousin of the 6.0L Powerstroke (nicknamed BabyStroke). That had to do with emmissions regulations that were to be phased in 2006.
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