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Ford Escape Hybrid

jefyoujefyou Posts: 6
I am interested in the 2003/2004 Ford Escape Hybrid. I need an small SUV or wagon with room for 2 big dogs or cargo, room for a roof rack, and capable of towing 1,000 - 2,000 lbs.

I want a vehicle with very good gas mileage (drive about 50k/year) and current SUVs and wagons aren't too good.

I have read that Ford plans on introducing it in 2003 but I don't know if it is early or late year. I also have not heard what the MSRP will be but expect it to be a few thousand more than current Escapes.

I have read that there are tax incentives for hybrids which makes it attractive.

I am a bit worried about buying such a new technology.

Anyone have any other info on this vehicle?


  • I am really looking forward to this new vehicle, it will be out a year before my wife is anticipating buying a new vehicle, this would be great for our needs, especically the power and the AWD capabilities. Are there any other manufacturers that are coming out with a Hybrid sooner or in the relative near future?
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    GM and Dodge are planning on releasing hybrid pickups around the same time. I don't believe any of the other small SUV makes have released plans yet. I'm sure they will follow soon though.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Check out the Ford Escape HEV web site, its not updated lots but there is some good info there - but my faith in Fo. Mo. Co. is fading in part due to the recent Think stink, Ford is deliberately undermining the ZEV law. I don't buy their "greenwashing". They have shown their colors as another not so good corporate citizen. The Escape hybrid needs to be top notch from the word go.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Rumor has it that Lexus will be introducing a gas/electric hybrid late 03 or early 04.

  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 116
    There is a $2K tax credit available for buyers of eco-friendly vehicles, such as the Escape, Prius and such others.

    I'm going to be buying a car for the first time in over 20 years - and I even lived in LA w/o one!The nice thing about just renting whenever you need one, in addition to all that money you save on insurance and upkeep, is that you get to try out a variety of models. I like the Escape and congratulate Form for making a hybrid version of it, but I'm very troubled by its poor safety ratings and high insurance costs. The Forester is top-rated, but too low for my liking. Other than hike up the driver's seat, or slow down on curves, what's a guy to do? Suggestions, please!
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    >> There is a $2K tax credit available for buyers of
    >> eco-friendly vehicles

    I hate to burst your bubble, but... it's a deduction, not a credit.

    That means you'll get a few hundred dollars back on your income taxes, not $2K.

  • One note on those hybrids - They are only hybrid to the extent that the start/generator are now integrated into the drive train, and will only allow for engine stopping at red lights. The batteries used in those "proposed" vehicals are only on the 42volt range and cannot offer any of the benefits of the current Toyota Prius for example - the mileage of those trucks will only be about 5-10% better which equates to about a 2 mpg improvement. These are basically not real hybrids in the form that the Toyota company has produced.

    Too bad for us in the US that Toyota is not selling its 4wd (Sienna chassied) Hybrid van in this country - It gets @40 mpg and does 0-60 in @7.5 seconds or so. I think when those vans were released in Japan they were selling for about 27,000$ (they started retail sales in Japan last year - 2001)

    I would recommend not waiting for the US manufacturers to bring out anything more than a marketting ploy to pretend they are selling hybrids. They have been avoiding actually releasing anything for years now, and I cannot believe they will change their ways until they start loosing big market share..

    steve d.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Do you know if the upcoming Ford Freestar (04 Windstar) will get Hybrid power? I'd really like a van with a hybrid engine. (I've heard that Toyota plans a Sienna Hybrid for model year 05.
  • I like all the attractive features of Ford's 2004 Escape Hybrid SUV. I have requested more information on the warrantee and customer replacement cost on the hybrid battery cells. No response in more than 6 months. I assume prices for these batteries are not yet available. Before I invest in this vehicle, that battery price will probably be the deciding factor. I successfully maintain my vehicles beyond 300,000 miles. The cost of rebuilding and replacing parts is far less then buying new vehicles every 80,000 to 100,000 miles. I hope the Escape battery is not a few thousand dollars every couple of years or so! I wonder what effect the colder parts of Alaska may have on the hybrid battery system. I hope someone will enlighten me with realistic maintenance costs of this Escape hybrid. I realize a strong point for many buyers of the hybrid is to be green... to contribute to a cleaner environment.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Toyota is expected to have a hybrid Sienna and Camry within the next few years. Look for the RX330 as a hybrid within the next 18 months.
  • spamletspamlet Posts: 22
    I believe that Ford will have a 7 yr warranty on the batteries. Please don't quote me on that, but I did read where the warranty will be used to help sell the public on the hybrid car.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
  • wneiwerwneiwer Posts: 1
    Does anyone have an estimate for what the MSRP for the Escape Hybrid will be when sold to the public in the summer of 2004? I'm not sure what the markup has been for previously released hybrids by other manufacturers, but I imagine it will be comparable.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    I think the markup is usually $2000 - $3000 over the comparable all combustion models. Take a look at the difference in price between the Honda Civic EX and the Civic Hybrid for a better idea.

    Earlier rumors had the Hybrid Escape going for about $2000 more than a comparable XLT V6. Don't quote me on that though.
  • gd99gd99 Posts: 1
    I wanted the escape however when my wife got her Civic Hybrid a few months back I stopped waiting. When the US automakers decide to offer a choice, not just promo materials I might reconsider. In the meantime we went out and got a second Civic Hybrid.

    We had a Nissan Frontier SE Pickup and a Blazer 2 door prior to trading each one in on the Civic's. At first I wanted to wait for the Escape but when 2003 turned into end of 2003, then Mid 2004 for the "public" I took an honest look at my SUV/Pickup needs and decided for the 2-3 times per year that I actually utilize the carrying/hauling capacity of them I could easily borrow or rent. Getting 16 MPG in my old blazer for the 3 days that I really need the carrying capacity wasn't worth it. Now we regularly get 50+ MPGs. (brochure said 47/48).

    If you really need/use the carrying capacity then the Escape Hybrid should be a winner. I've been bugging Honda about offering the CRV as a hybrid for months.

  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    I'm not sure how much carrying capacity you'll be needing, but the 2004 Prius should be a very promising hybrid since it is now in liftback form and that will help maximize hauling capacity. Not to mention that the Escape will be using Toyota's old hybrid technology while the 2004 Prius pioneers second generation technology.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The 2004 Escape order guides should already be out to dealers. Therefore, most of these question, they SHOULD have an answer for.

    The batteries I read, have a 7 year warranty. WHAT exactly the warranty will cover, in relation to their condition/maintenence, etc. Should be asked for ahead of time, before purchasing.

    Keeping a hybrid such as this, for many years, should return the initial investment, that will offset the purchasing price.

    Escape Hybrid SHOULD be around 2-3K more. Same system will be used in the Futura sedan debuting in 2005. Therefore Ford has invested quite a bit of time and effort, into getting it just right, being it'll be implemented onto other vehicles.

    Next hybrid should be the RX330x from Toyota. That 's a bit over a year away, and then some.

    To answer someones question relating to the Windstar/Freestar, no Ford at this time, or future time will not offer a Hybrid van version. Hybrids lose their effectiveness on vehicles that are too heavy, as in, once you grow over 3800lbs. the efficiency factor lessens. And in the Freestars budget, there's no allocation for such a system. If hybrid do pick up, and Ford decides to offer a larger version of this system and they deem it viable, then you probably wont see it till the next Freestar appears for 2006-2007 using a totally new platform. THAT platform would be able to handle it.

    Pricing on the Escape Hybrid wont be released till probably the end of the summer when retooling at the factory will start. I believe (from something that flashed across my eyes last week) that the first Escape Hybrids will go to fleets in the beginning of next year, while regular customers will receive it in the spring. When I see this again, I'll confirm it.
  • jqueenjqueen Posts: 12
    I noticed from some pictures of the Escape hybrid that there was a floor-mounted automatic. Does anybody know if this is an option or standard? One of the reasons I liked the Ford over most of the others was the column shifter. I hate floor shifters- they are in the way. If anybody knows about this, maybe fill me in. I know most of the driving public prefers floor shifters, but I am still old school. I want BENCH seats and column mounted autos. I've already had to give up on bench seats-NOBODY seems to want those anymore.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I can't exactly confirm that for you, so I'll carefully choose my words. The reason some vehicles have the full center console is more storage space. And sportier type of pretencious depending on some peoples view points. The current Escape/Tribute have been critisized for having it's column mounted shifter block some controls from the radio. So this justifies that, AND being able to have more storage space.

    Curiously, NOT having a full center console, appeals to majority of women. It's mainly the place where they prop their purse. Which is minivan plus and well noted.

    But being I do not have that exact answer for you at this time, I would give you an educated guess and tell you that maybe this full center console will be standard on the higher trim levels. For cost saving concerns, I do not think it would be wise of them to offer it across all trim levels. But thats just an edcauted case. When I'm able to confirm it for you, and remember it, I'll post at that time.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    The floor shifter will not be available in the 2004 Escape according to the new order guides. I think the only big thing that changed is the deletion of the yellow copies.

    I read somewhere that the Hybrid and the Mariner will have the floor shifter, not the current Escape.
  • allan444allan444 Posts: 1
    Where I live in NJ auto theft is an increasing problem . In view of the wide spread theft of the new high intensity headlights in our state, I was wondering how easily/hard it would be to steal the battery on the hybrid?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Just a bit harder than stealing the engine of a car. It's a restricted area, and requires alot of work to get to, to just pull it out.

    Aside from that, what need would someone have with a battery system that can't regenerate itself, unless it has the other components involved ?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    A journalist is looking for a person who is in the market to buy a hybrid vehicle. If you care to be interviewed, please respond with your daytime contact information to [email protected] by Friday, July 11.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • gelijellygelijelly Posts: 2
    A couple of days ago I test drove a new Escape and I mentioned to the salesman that I was very interested in the Hybrid. He told me that Ford was thinking of pulling it because it was not doing well in fleet sales at all. Just something he mentioned, he didn't seem sure about it though.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    You mean the Escape Hybrid? I don't see that as possible considering they haven't been introduced into the market yet. This fall, it'll go to fleet sales first, THEN beginning of next year, to regular customers.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Anyone have color swatches on the Hybrid? I would really like to see an Escape Hybrid other than the one they showed at the New York International Car Show.
  • so there are none with fleets. I think the sales consultant was mistaken.

    The Ford website says available "late summer 2004"

    Go to
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    that's what Ford always does. (The General and Chrysler; for that matter.)
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    There were last minute issues with the Escape Hybrid, and being the new 2005 Escape's JOB1 date was around the corner, they decided to push it so it coincides with the 2005 Escape's instead of having them be introduced in 2004, considering they would have had the 005 models come in a month after.

    At first it was going to fleet sales, but they have decided to just attack the mass market first. This decision (to do fleet first) was so there would be more control if the first batch of Escape Hybrid's would have had an issue/recall, etc. But since the above issue the firstly delayed things has been fixed to their satisfaction, then they decided on the second route, mass market.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    won't be long after we have a Saturn VUE green-line edition.
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