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Ford Escape Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers

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  • Hello group,
    My wife and I are considering a new 08 FEH. Wife drives the mileage in the subject line annually. A majority of the mileage is highway. Do any of you good people out there drive a lot of highway miles?? If so, what kind of MPG are you getting??

    I live in CA, the central valley. Hi temps in the 100's, lows in the 30's. The highway mileage is Hwy 99 through I5 into Los Angeles.
  • I drive about 50 miles/day round trip to/from work. It's about half city half highway (highway only about 55MPH though). In the winter I was getting 37MPG, and in summer closer to 33.
    You drive 70-100 miles per day? I'd say you're a good candidate.
    However, to get the most benefit-- you can't be a psycho driver.
    Here is a good article to explain how to get great mileage:

    How to get good mileage
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    "My wife and I are considering a new 08 FEH. Wife drives the mileage in the subject line annually. A majority of the mileage is highway. Do any of you good people out there drive a lot of highway miles?? If so, what kind of MPG are you getting??

    I live in CA, the central valley. Hi temps in the 100's, lows in the 30's. The highway mileage is Hwy 99 through I5 into Los Angeles. "

    Ouch, you are going over the Grapevine!

    If you NEED an SUV, the the FEH will probably get the best mileage, but I'm not sure about those elevation changes. It might be better (for similar MPG) to get a Honda CR-V, which is considerably cheaper. If you can keep the speed down to about 65, the FEH will probably yield 30 MPG, while the CR-V might yield 28 MPH.

    The reason I hesitate is that the FEH cannot do too much to increase MPG on the road, and hills can really hit the MPG unless you are willing to slow on the uphill and go faster on the downhill. If you set the cruise control it will drag down the MPG.

    If you can get by with a smaller car, then a HCH or Prius will yield very good mileage, probably around 42 - 45 MPG at those same speed (maybe more). But you might also consider a small car like the Honda Fit, which will yield 38 MPG or so over that route - at a CONSIDERABLY lower cost (around 10K lower).
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    2008 FEH, AWD. No cross bars on the roof rack, side steps installed.

    LA to Solvang, CA. The trip involved a lot of hills at either end of the journey. On the way up to Solvang I registered 33.3 MPG on the freeway. Then we went uphill in a MAJOR WAY for about 20 miles and I ended up at 31. On the trip back to LA it was at 32 MPG when we hit the big hill at Camarillo CA (about 6% grade for maybe six miles). The FEH went down to 31.2! The engine was wound up to 4K for several minutes.

    By the time I got back to LA, the mileage was back to 32. I have tooled around town for the rest of this tank and am just about ready to fill up, and the mileage meter is back up to 32.4.

    My mileage meter is generally about .5 MPG too high, so subtract that from the above totals.

    I was travelling at 65 MPH on the freeways, about 50 MPH on the secondary roads (but the big uphill going to Solvang was around 40 MPH due to the twisting road and posted limits).
  • Thank goodness others are experiencing the same things. For those of us who aren't in the auto industry and who only came upon the internet about 10 - 15 years ago, we weren't aware about the loss of mileage in the winter. And since none of the documentation that comes with the car mentions it, I thought something had gone wrong with my car.

    2008 FEH front wheel drive. started out at about 30 - 32 and am now at about 25 - 27mpg. I was really bummed out. I worked so hard to drive well and it never got better.

    One thing I notice, however, is that I can't for the life of me get the car to run on electric for more than a few hundred yards. This makes the last mile of driving impossible to stay elec to maintain max performance. It's also hard to keep on battery going faster than 20 MPH or so. I have worked really hard at this and still come up empty. Any thoughts? I do teh tap tap down shift to kick into elec. I do the slow accel and L gear braking. Yet no such luck. Can't seem to beat 32 average, even in best of circumstances. That's with no radio or AC either. And I drive 60 now.
  • It Tucson it doesn't get that cold, but I noticed a drop in mileage as well. During the winter months when the temperatures were in the upper 30s, I was getting about 30-32MPG. The best mileage I get is in the spring and fall-- about 36MPG. In summer it's about 33MPG, with the AC running a lot.
    It REALLY makes a difference how you drive, too. Most people are very very very very bad at math, and insist on flooring it when the light turns green, and accelerating right up to the red light and slam the breaks. It's amazing. If I had to guess, I'd say about 8/10 people drive this way. This is a good article which seems to hold true for me:

    ====> Drive Smart
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    Don't give up on it. Believe me when I say that I could have written word for word what you said about not being able to get the electric to run more than a few hundred yards or to keep the electric running over 20MPH.

    4 years later I don't even think about it and easily run on electric to 30MPH plus, and run on home that last mile on electric. It jst sort of grows on you, one day there is that aha moment and it works.

    Model: 2006 (received delivery April 2005), Millage 69K+, Still Smiling every time I go to the pump.
  • We bought the FEH 4WD as a meter reading vehicle at the electric utility. It now has 10,000 miles in 10 months and has averaged 19.4 m/g. The first 2 fillups hit 28mpg then it dropped to 20mpg over the newt few fillups. It usually gets 19-20 with a few 22s, a lot of 18s. The worst was 11mpg and a few 15s. Yes, this is Alaska and it can occasionally get cold in winter (35F avg). It is stored outside. We have limited roads and usually won't get to 55mph for more than 2-3 miles because of stop lights. As a meter vehicle it sees a lot of starts and stops but usually stays under 30mph when reading. It sees about 50 miles in a day. Is this the best we can hope for? We also have a Merc Mariner V6 and it is getting 19 life average but it is more of a commuter, not a reader. Any insight to the low mpg would be appreciated.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    "Any insight to the low mpg would be appreciated. "

    You are reading meters, which means VERY short trips, continuously through the day? That is the absolute worst scenario for MPG. The FEH gets its higher MPG by various means, but one of the better boosts to the MPG is when the vehicle is either cruising at around 40 - 45 MPG or else decelerating after a decent interval at speed. Both scenarios match traffic patterns on freeways with congestion.

    The only thing I can suggest (and I don't know if it will help) is that, if the meter readings are fairly close together in distance - AND the engine is warmed up (that is, it shuts off when you stop the vehicle), leave the FEH turned on when you check the meters. That way you won't have to restart the engine between readings. Turn off the electronics when you leave the vehicle. If you are worried about security, buy the Ford OEM keypad, which will allow you to manually lock the FEH while you are reading the meter. You then enter the number sequence to unlock the driver's door. I find that starting the engine alone reduces the MPG by about .1 MPG for each and every engine start. There are limits to what you can do in this area, because the FEH requires the water temperature to be above 155 before it will stay off; also, the State of Charge (SOC) has to be above 45 or so. There is also a temperature requirement for the catalytic converter. So if you don't use the engine between stops you may find that the engine will not shut off, for one of these various reasons. But it may help some.

    Also, you should try and be fairly gentle on the acceleration, keeping to about 1800 RPM until you reach speed, at which point you should back off of the accelerator. Time your lights so that you don't accelerate to a stop light - try and decelerate to a red light (the FEH loves slowing down to improve MPG). You might also buy a scan guage II, which will allow you to see some of the internal workings of the FEH, and may help you reduce fuel usage. For example, I keep my SGII monitoring the Throttle Position Sensor, so I know to back off of the throttle when it goes too high.
  • Wow.. that is pretty crappy. As the last poster mentioned, I'd be curious if you're starting starting it, and shutting it off manually frequently-- so frequent that you're never using the electric drive much at all. Compound that with the cold, and I could imagine it might not perform well. You said WE bought it for meter reading. Is there more than 1 person out reading meters? If so, can you leave the vehicle running? I suspect that would help a lot.
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    The previous post had some good advice. On the newer models I believe they have an economode button (mine is putting it in second gear) in either case you are changing the programing, The second gear thing for me means that the deceleration is much more aggressive and pumps more charge to the batteries between start and stop. Cold is an enemy for any vehicle that doesn't get properly warmed up but hybrids will have more of a problem. 10,000 miles is nothing, that's your first oil change, after which I did start getting better milage. Last option, change roles of the 2 vehicles, make the Mariner the meter reader and for the FEH the commuter. Just like you wouldn't have a Mustang pull a boat, a hybrid in cold, start, stop very short drives isn't a good match either. Wish I could offer more encouragement.

    Eric
    2006 FEH Purchased April/May 2005 69.553 Miles Avg MPG 32.4
  • I have an 06 Ford Escape with 4WD. I bought it used with 65,000 a year ago. Now it has about 80,000. I live in Maine. I get an average of about 27-28 in the winter and about 32-33 in the spring/summer/fall. The most interesting thing is that if I TRY very hard to improve the mileage (babying it to stay in electric mode, for instance) I generally get WORSE mileage, than just letting the car's electronics figure it out. That's been a shocker. The best I ever got was 35.3 and the worst about 25. I love the vehicle and would do another in a heartbeat.
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    Great to hear, I love mine as well. To bad this message area seems to be dieing out as it would be great to here more from the Hybrid Escape owners. The new ones are so much nicer than the original ones. I did get to test drive a Fusion Hybrid when they first started shipping them. My salesman watched me walk around the car a dozen time drooling before I got my senses back and said not yet. That is one nice looking and great driving car.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    "Great to hear, I love mine as well. To bad this message area seems to be dieing out as it would be great to here more from the Hybrid Escape owners. The new ones are so much nicer than the original ones."

    I'm still enjoying my 2008. My lifetime MPG is just under 30; for some reason the MPG went down this past spring. But it is now going back up to around 31 per tank (calculated, not the FEH computer reading). If you haven't gotten a scan guage II yet, that would be a good investment. I'm using TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) to get better MPG, as well as monitoring the instant MPG, state of charge (SOC), and the calculated water temperature. The combination of SOC and H2O temp tells me if the vehicle is capable of electric only mode.

    But monitoring the TPS is what has gotten my MPG back up from around 29 to around 31.
  • Hi, All !

    I'm seeking to find a realistic mpg figure on this (I'm looking to buy a 2008) before I spend the money, and I cannot get Ford to help project it. Maybe someone can tell me as accurately as possible!

    I need to make a change from my Explorer E.B., which has everything and I love, but it only gets 17-22 mpg (city / highway). I'll be getting married, and due to economics will need to be living 50 miles from my office (100 per day), about equal city and highway. And, I do need something that size, at the smallest.

    BUT here's the kicker that I need to determine. In addition to myself, I will ALWAYS need to be carrying about 250 pounds of my equipment, and in addition, I live in Texas and will almost always need to run the AC.

    Anyone have lots of "real" experience with a very similar circumstance? With the factory recommendations saying not to use the AC and not carry extra weight (literally, not even a "bike rack"), that sure raises a flag! If my situation is going to knock it down to 25 MPG, it may not be worth spending the money, only to gain 5 MPG.

    Thanks so much!!
  • About 'realistic' MPG for FE Hybrid carrying extra load, maybe this will be helpful.

    Last summer, my wife and I drove our (2006) FEH 4WD cross country from LA to NY, loaded with us and our luggage, and we averaged about 30 MPG overall. We also traversed ALL of Texas from El Paso to Dallas, to Texarkana, summertime July hot hot hot, so our aircon was on most of the way, and our mileage did not suffer much. My experience is that in steady highway driving with aircon, my mpg drops about 2, (worse in city traffic if aircon is on max). But after 8,257 miles across the country and back, we were generally very happy with our fuel bill, which worked out to be a little over $750 total. The car's performance was flawless!

    Hope this helps. Good driving if you get one. :)
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    I have a 2006 FEH, has about 78,000 miles on it live in South Florida and end up driving with Air on almost all the time. Here is my real life experience.

    Fully loaded vehicle with 3 people (2 of which total around 250+lbs) fully packed back end, car topper fully loaded, bike rack on the back, traveling up and down I-95 to Georgia, South Carolina, fairly heavy on the pedal I get around 27MPG.

    Closer to home, much more similar to what you want to drive, typical milage is around 29 to 30MPG.

    Slightly different driving (lacking the extended highway driving) around 32 to 33MPG.

    Note the last two options do not include the Car topper or Bike Rack or people but often the back loaded but probably not 250lbs.

    Overall it's always a balance, if I am conservative on the highway and keep in the 75 to 80 MPH range I can keep it in the 29 to 30MPG range, so if I'm feeling cheap, I drive more conservatively and hence better milage (usually less stress as well).

    Finally, don't forget to factor in the other savings, mainly in service. Per the manual I service the vehicle every 10,000 miles (in spite of what the local dealer would like to do) and so basically I pay for an oil change ($20) and occasionally an oil change and air filter ($60) and so far 2 tires (the other 2 are now due for replacement ($210 or so). So my total maintenance for the vehicle over 4.5 years has been around $390 not counting wiper blades :)

    Also have saved a lot of money at the gas pump over that same time.

    I love the vehicle and will buy another once I wear this one out (if I ever do).
  • A few months ago we drove from Tucson to southern Utah in our 2008 FEH. A lot of this is pretty hilly. My average MPG was 32.5. I drive about 50 miles/day total going to work and back, and my average for that changes with the seasons. In Fall and Spring it's about 36; in Winter and Summer it's about 33.
    It really does matter how you drive, too. If you're a psycho driver who has to floor it when the light turns green and all the way up to the next red light, your mileage will suffer as well.
  • Hey, softpedal, ekiehn, and joseph85750 !!

    YES, all 3 of you did VERY comprehensively address my specific questions, with excellent responses, and yes, it did help! So, thanks!!!

    Based on the EPA numbers and some of the earlier comments made by others in general (about their mpg problems, not getting nearly what they expected), I'm actually a little surprised that you 3 are getting that much with the weight and AC on, but if that's the case, I'm glad to hear it, and it would probably still pay to make the switch! (And, actually, no, I'm not a maniac off the line----those hotrodding aports car years are over at this stage!!!!!) (-:

    Once again, I really appreciate the time you took to write all that out in such a full, descriptive manner!!!! Happy cruisin' to y'all too!!!!

    Enjoy,
    Les
  • Glad to help! Here's another article I forward to people interested in improving their mileage (and driving safer):

    http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/579/
  • I've owned my 2005 FEH 4WD new out of the factory. It now has 45,000 miles. I love it, and my wife has gotten used to taking it for local driving :)

    For the first half of its life, I drove it about 70 miles per day on open highway. Since then, about 30 miles per day on mostly <50mph and local roads.

    From the FEH display, I often see 29MPG average on a 15 mile trip. When trying to hypermile I've gotten it near 40 for a few miles here and there.

    The fuel to tank measure is quite a bit different though. Here are my yearly averages:

    2006 - 25.0 MPG (12 data points)
    2007 - 23.4 MPG (14 data points)
    2008 - 22.5 MPG (20 data points)
    2009 - 22.0 MPG (18 data points)
    2010 - 19.9 MPG (3 data points) All COLD winter here, snow, etc. :(

    Other information: In the summer I use the A/C mostly on norm, not MAX.
    In the winter, lots of high heat.

    I exclusively use full synthetic (Mobil 1) and change it 4x per year.

    Replaced the factory hard/noisy tires with Goodyear TripleTred. Much quiter, much better handling, no noticeable gas mileage change when plotted year on year.

    Has anyone else seen such year on year reduction in fuel economy? I might just be imagining it, but feel the battery doesn't run the car as fast or as long as it did prior.

    Otherwise, we are very satisfied with this first model year.
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    Mines a 2006 (in service April/May 2005). My millage is still up there in the 31 to 32 MPG range, though I have noticed that it sometimes takes a little longer to charge the batteries than before (very subjective on my part).

    I do my oil change and other maintenance strictly per the manual (every 10,000 miles) and so far it has worked well. Tires... those originals were very noisy and I replaced 2 of them with Goodyear, the other 2 now definitely need replacing (doing that this week) but I just couldn't let them go until they got down to the wear indicators (yup I'm cheap) and now that I've hit around 79,000 miles I think I can part with them. I also don't have to deal with snow to often and could get away with it :)

    Love the vehicle, but the new ones make me envious when I see all the niceties that we didn't get with our early run units :D
  • rpmurarpmura Posts: 9
    I bought a new 2010 FWD a couple of months ago. It may be a little premature, but I don't seem to get any better than 24 mpg. This is mostly city driving in Los Angeles. I try to drive conservatively since I know I can be a little heavy on the foot. The motor goes on whenever I accelerate, period. I thought the electric motor would run a little more. In fact it seems to run mostly when I'm just coasting, or in a parking lot. Is this unusual? It will occasionally run while driving if I'm very careful not to accelerate at all. It will briefly run up to about 42 mph on the electric, but then I have to stop at a light or something and then it's back to gas motor.
    I talked to a friend who has one that's maybe 3 years old and she says she gets 30 mpg in town.
    Am I doing something wrong? Could the gas motor be coming on to frequently?
    I have never seen over approx 28 mpg on a long trip. My mileage is worse in city driving.
    Otherwise, I love the car.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    "I bought a new 2010 FWD a couple of months ago. It may be a little premature, but I don't seem to get any better than 24 mpg. This is mostly city driving in Los Angeles. I try to drive conservatively since I know I can be a little heavy on the foot. The motor goes on whenever I accelerate, period. I thought the electric motor would run a little more. In fact it seems to run mostly when I'm just coasting, or in a parking lot. Is this unusual? It will occasionally run while driving if I'm very careful not to accelerate at all. It will briefly run up to about 42 mph on the electric, but then I have to stop at a light or something and then it's back to gas motor.
    I talked to a friend who has one that's maybe 3 years old and she says she gets 30 mpg in town.
    Am I doing something wrong? Could the gas motor be coming on to frequently?
    I have never seen over approx 28 mpg on a long trip. My mileage is worse in city driving.
    Otherwise, I love the car. "

    Once the engine is warmed up, the ICE should cut out at all stops. My 2008 does not have a temperature guage, I use a scanguage 2 to monitor the temps. If engine stop is not occurring, take it back to the Ford dealer. The FEH is sensitive to short trips and needs careful acceleration and braking to achieve decent results. Also, it has been cold in LA lately (I live in the valley), and even my 2008 is sitting at around 29 during these temperatures. But I regularly get over 31 MPG on trips to Anaheim. I have the AWD model.
  • rpmurarpmura Posts: 9
    Thanks for the reply. It does shut down at stops and and usually when I'm coasting below 43 mph as well. It's probably my driving. I'll try to ease up a little more.
    What's a scan guage? Was it easy to install? I don't have a temperature guage either. That's one thing I think the car could use.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    Actually, there is no water temperature guage in the engine. They calculate it from the cylinder head temperature.

    A scanguage is a device that plugs into the OBD port. It is designed to read the engine error codes, but there are several dozen custom codes that you can program to read the instant MPG, state of the battery charge, and (of course) water temperature reading. They cost around $150, but by setting one up and using the information, you can increase the MPG. Of course, it might also come in handy if one of those lights come on indicating a problem with the vehicle.
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    As an old timer FEH 2006, I can tell you I had a very similar experience (and if you go way back in this forum you would probably see my posts saying almost word for word what you said). Don't give up... It takes a little time to adjust how you drive, and yes once you re-learn how to accelerate, brake etc you milage will go up. I typically get around 31 to 32 MPG fairly consistently. I did learn on that for the best most consistent milage gain I needed to drive in Low (2006 model) or probably press the eco button (later models) and just leave it there. You get the max re-generative braking effect which boosts the milage. Side benefit... At around 79,000 miles not even close to needing new brake pads :)

    Once you re-learn the driving thing, I actually find it more relaxing and find it fun to see how I can time the lights, traffic, lane changes etc to get the best out of the vehicle. Once you get in the new habits, I find I apply them to our Explorer as well and while not as dramatic, get better milage on that one to.

    Last thought cold does make a difference, but I'm here is Florida and at this time of year I push the 33MPG mark, but get killed in summer when I it's sometimes hard to get 30...
  • rpmurarpmura Posts: 9
    Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. I ordered a scanguage on Amazon. It sounds like a cool thing to have.
  • rpmurarpmura Posts: 9
    Thank you for the info. I tried some of the low gear driving last night and the average mileage started to climb. I don't have a eco button though. Is that something that some models had?
    Thanks again.
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    Maybe... I never saw one, but some posts after my model year referred to one, maybe they went back to the gear shift method to select the programing (which I think would be smart).

    Back in 2005 when I got my FEH it was so new that most of us didn't realize that Low gear was a way to change the performance programming than to change actual gears. I found over the years that for my driving around town, low does the trick. If I drive extended Highway good old regular Drive is the ticket.
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