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New Ford Escape Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report

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  • Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,024
    A reporter from a large local newspaper is looking to speak to owners of the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid. Please provide your daytime contact info to ctalati@edmunds.com no later than Monday, May 14, 2007.

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

  • alloysteelalloysteel Posts: 1
    I didn't even know these cars existed, my wife took our 1999 Buick LeSabre to get milk, and she stopped in at the Ford dealer on the way. She is subject to sudden enthusiasms, and by 8:00 that evening we had traded off the Buck, a 1998 Chevy Silverado and a lien on about 7 years' future income, for a new vehicle that is about as ticklish as a VCR to program, but what the heck, she likes the driving position.

    A couple of small glitches, having nothing to do with the vehicle or its performance. There is no hitch receiver yet available for the mounting of a cargo carrier, which we need for carrying along a power scooter (my wife is disabled, and has need on occasion of additional mobility).

    I understand such a hitch is soon to be available (through U-Haul, of all people), but Ford discourages the mounting of ANY hitch receiver on their hybrid models. We are talking about a load bearing not to exceed about 350 pounds, suitable to a Class II hitch, with a square receiver tube of 1 1/4", rather than the standard 2" tube.

    Also I have a question - is the engineering on the Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner based on the same platform as the Volvo XC90? Shorter wheelbase, and less overall length, but there is an uncanny resemblance when the vehicles are side-by-side. Ford is great for sharing platforms, and I know that some of the midsized sedans are essentially Volvo or Mazda platforms.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    NOT VOLVO.

    The Escape goes back to the Mazda 626. The next Escape will be on a platform shared by Mazda, Ford, and Volvo.

    Mark
  • tomgentomgen Posts: 6
    Hi,

    I just purchased a FEH last week. I know it's too soon to make many real determinations about it, but I believe you have to "Love" the whole hybrid experience, or you may end up being disappointed. Diesel auto drivers really really love those smokers. They don't mind putting up with the BS associated with owning a diesel.

    I traded in a Lexus RX300. The FEH is no Lexus, but I knew that going in. There is no comparison between the two. I guess if had an extra $20K laying around I would have gone for the Lex hybrid. That said, I like the FEH. I love getting 50%+ better mileage than the Lex. I love not having to buy premium gas. I love it when it can run on battery when I'm stuck in a big traffic back up. I'm glad it doesn't have an annoying and distracting Prius-like Synergy Drive display. If I don't run into some of the issues other owners have mentioned, I will grow to really really love it.

    Regards,

    Tom
  • dean58dean58 Posts: 14
    I just returned from a 2500 mile trip thru mountains and flatlands. I drove between 65 and 70 mph most of the time on the Interstates and didn't do a lot of city driving. My actual average was 30.1 mpg which was very close to the computer readout. I did drive between 60 and 65 for about 200 miles on two lane highway and the computer showed 32-33 mpg and when I drove 75 for some of the trip, the computer showed 28-29. There is quite a difference in mileage between driving in the low 60's compared to the mid 70's. I now have 4800 miles on the vehicle.

    At about $3.25 per gallon average I figure that I saved about $75.00 on this trip compared to my '05 V-6 Escape! I used to get about 23 mpg with that on a similar trip.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "I just returned from a 2500 mile trip thru mountains and flatlands. I drove between 65 and 70 mph most of the time on the Interstates and didn't do a lot of city driving. My actual average was 30.1 mpg which was very close to the computer readout. I did drive between 60 and 65 for about 200 miles on two lane highway and the computer showed 32-33 mpg and when I drove 75 for some of the trip, the computer showed 28-29."

    I've noticed before how little difference there is between my 2003 Honda CR-V and the FEH in highway driving. I have since sold the vehicle, but it got 27 MPG at 80 MPH, and about 30 if one kept between 60 and 65 MPH. It was an AWD version as well; the FWD got slightly better MPG. Also, the CR-V went to 5 speed transmissions in 2005 (mine was a four speed).

    Of course, there is no comparison in the city; I got 22 at best in pure city driving, and more usually around 20-21.

    I almost bought a 2006 FEH, but I found it "tippy" (in my opinion) the moment I left the lot for a test drive. The lack of stability control (still not available on the FEH, although it is STANDARD on the 2008 ICE Escape) made me pass on the FEH in favor of a Freestyle.

    BTW, the 2006 Freestyle (for comparison) gets about 26.5 MPG at 80 MPH, and about 19 MPG in pure city driving. My usual tank is about 50 / 50 highway, which yields around 22.5. I have received over 30 MPG on the FS as well, at 55 - 70 MPH on pure Los Angeles all-freeway driving. But then the FS is about 600 lbs heavier than the FEH or CR-V, so this is actually pretty good for the size.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    The Hybrid uses an internal combustion engine also.

    How about calling it the V6?

    Mark.
  • So far it is a good vehicle, I am at about 500+ miles and my mileage is still working up through the break-in period. I do a lot of city driving and enjoy the electric drive at low speed. My only concern is that yesterday on the way home doing around 45mph the A/C just stopped working. I fiddled with the controls, temp, fan, on/off and got nothing. At the next light I shut off the engine, restarted and the A/C came up. Any ideas? Anyone else seen this?

    Brad
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Unless the "Econ" button is pushed and its light is on, the AC should not cut out and the gas motor will stay on at all times.

    If the Econ button is lit, the AC will then cut out whenever the gas motor shuts down.

    If your Escape does not work like this, take it back to the dealer and let them know what is going on.

    You have a brand new vehicle with warranty and should not have to experience anything working less than 100% correct.

    Mark.
  • mingo1mingo1 Posts: 5
    Hi,

    I've been driving a FEH for about 3 weeks on mostly flat terrain and the performance has been pretty good. Well, yesterday I was carrying 3 adult passengers and 3 pieces of luggage in the boot (about 750 lbs total including me). I turned on a street that immediately went up a steep hill for about 150 yards. The engine started screaming and the RPMs went up to about 5K and my Escape crawled up the hill. I thought someone was going to get out and push. It started to get embarrassing. Fortunately, the road leveled out at the top of the hill and performance returned to normal. Has anyone else had an experience like this?
  • malibuskymalibusky Posts: 15
    FEH, weight and uphill and not a good combination!! I have had the same experience, you really need to hit the floor boards with the gas pedal ....and watch your mileage drop also.
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    If you were at a dead stop that turned onto a steep hill I guess I could see this happening. My experience has been pretty good, topper fully loaded, back cargo area fully loaded and 2 adults and 2 teenagers in the back going up and down steeply inclined mountains and I think I may have momentarily hit 4K RPM.

    One thing I have noticed,if I want to move a lot of weight I don't peg the pedal. I let momentum get help me out, so I start slower let the gas and electric motors work together to move me forward. Then as the mountain gets steeper I apply more gas. This seems to move me right along without straining the gas engine.

    It may be the way things are programmed, if you press down all the way on the pedal then prority may go to the gas engine over the electric thereby bypassing the most effective part of the electric motor, low end torq for high end speed.

    Eric
  • I NOW HAVE 4046 MILES ON THE VEHICLE AND HAVE USED 124 GAL OF GAS. I AM VERY PLEASED WITH THE VEHICLE AND HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS.
  • Hybrids diminish road rage!

    I used to get aggravated with poor drivers forcing me to brake-hard and waste fuel. I have no problem with it now. The charge meter goes up and so does my gratification. I'll brake for anything now. I still get giddy when the engine goes off at a stop-light.

    The Escape Hybrid is cool technology. And it's about time. I was reluctant of it being under-powered, but that's not the case. The car hops from a stop just like a golf cart.

    There aren't many things I've purchased that exceed my expectations and this car is one of them. The car comes with months of free satellite radio. I'm enjoying commercial free music and just might continue subscribing. The CD player does play my home-made MP3/WAV CDs.

    Here is the gas mileage so far:
    miles gallons mpg
    1201.2 9.43
    1465.0 9.27 28.5
    1870.9 13.30 30.5
    2267.2 12.78 31.0
    2646.4 12.12 31.3
    ave mpg 30.3

    Be careful with pedestrians, when the engine is off its utterly silent.

    David
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    I've noticed the same thing. I used to be one of those need to make the next light type of guys. No more, if I make the light I make the light, if I don't I watch my mileage go up.

    I have a 2006 Hybrid purchased in may of 2005 with over 40,000 miles on it. So far it's been $29 oil changes every 10000 miles and that's it. While the '08 seems to be nicer than '06, I'm in your camp... There aren't many things you purchase these days that exceed your expectations. The Escape Hybrid is one of those.

    Only problem, My wife is going to need a new car, she wants a hybrid but wants something different. Hope Ford expands the hybrid product line soon. ;)
  • When ever I "allow" my husband to drive my FEH, I yell at him to slow down...he is messing with my gas mileage...LOL

    When I get into my Volvo Convertible, I have to mentally adjust and remember to keep my foot on the gas...otherwise the car doesn't move!!--then I hit the gas and remember how much fun it can be to drive fast, make my blood pressure rise anf get a little road roage.

    And yes....kids cannot hear this car and you need to be very careful driving down a street with kids...they dont "sensse" cars but only hear them and when the engine is idle..it is a dangerous situation. A kid on our street literally turned while I was driving by, turned around not realizing I was there and almost ran into my car.

    I love my FEH.
  • I am a proud owner of a 08 FEH 4WD. I have been watching the FEH since the 06 model. I have drooled, watched for feedback, problems and real life MPG. I patiently waited, hoping others would help work out any "bugs". I finally purchased it and hope it will be all I expected. I love it so far. My sons call the electric motor super stealth ninja driving. I have fun trying to keep it in electric mode for as long as possible. I have had it up to 32 mph without the gas motor kicking in. I am anxiously waiting for the break in period to be done, so I can see my real MPG. Right now the display reads 23.3.

    One question, does anyone know if you can use E85 in this vehicle? I know it lowers fuel economy. The owners manual says it is not recommended but does not give a reason why. Is it not recommended because of the lower MPG or is it not recommended because it burns too hot for the motor?

    Help!

    Either way, so far I LOVE this vehicle!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    Welcome to the club. I've had my '06 model since May of '05 and still love it (though I drool at the thought of the typically better millage and the softer/quieter ride the '08's offer).

    It is fun trying to keep the car in electric only mode, my personal best record on this was 43 mph which I was able to sustain until I came to a traffic light :(

    It's also fun to silently (but slowly) move through a parking lot and see people walking down the middle of the drive and suddenly realize there is an SUV right behind them (I'm always smiling when I see their startled look).

    Now that It has cooled off ever so slightly in SO FLA I'm back up to my 33+ MPG (summers kill MPG because I have to run the AC all the time, just like Winters kill those up in north in Snow country).

    I currently have 47000+ miles on the car and it's doing great. Hope you have as much happiness with yours as I've had with mine.

    Sorry no idea on the E85 issue, but if the manual says don't do it I wouldn't. Maybe Ford will add a clean diesel in a future model and increase millage a further 30% but until then I'm just happy every time I fill up and can keep it under $50.

    Eric
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 549
    It is not recommended due to the fact the various fuel lines and distribution points are not E85 compatible. The owner's manual should have been more specific.. ie Do Not Use E85.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    E85 is very corrosive compared to reg gas and you can not use it in a vehicle not equipped to run on it. The Escape Hybrid is not equipped for E85 at this time.

    Mark.
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