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Ford Escape Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers



  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    dean58 -
    I agree. Once someone owns a hybrid, more and more savings "come out of the woodwork". (fewer oil changes, lower personal property taxes in some states). And the focus on battery replacements costs are ridiculus. The HVBattery is warranteed for 100,000 or 8 years minimum and the 8 year history of the Prius indicates they will last much longer -- once the batteries need to be replaced en mass...the price will come down and there will be plugin options available. Moreover, does anyone out there think gas prices will go down in the next 5 - 8 years ??? So the return on investment calculations are way off. Before I bought mine in 2006, I calculated 6 years before I saved enough to make up the extra price.....20 months later I figure it will actually be a little over 3 years....

    [What other option on an automobile gets scrutinized with ROI calculations?, navigation systems?, fancy tires/wheels?, dvd systems?.....none. Buy a car with the hybrid drive train because you want it] :D
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    Another item to consider is the design of the battery pack. Ford's design is to use row upon row of D Cell sized battery cells. If a cell or cells go bad all you have to do is replace the individual cells, not the entire battery pack.

    Sure batteries cells will degrade over time, and at some point it may be more practical t replace all the cells (or most of them) with new fresh cells for optimum performance, but the point is it's your choice and you don't have to if you don't want to.

    Time will tell, as I have over 41,000 miles on my '06 which I got in May of 05' I'm going to hit the 100,000 mark long before I hit the 8 year mark I'll let you know.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "he HVBattery is warranteed for 100,000 or 8 years minimum and the 8 year history of the Prius indicates they will last much longer"

    I think the jury is still out on that one. There have been reports of high repair costs on some of the Gen 1 hybrids. The Gen 2s have only been out since 2004.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    yes, everyone agrees that repairing/replacing the traction battery component is expensive.....(at this moment in time)
    ......the point is, what has been the failure rate?, how many batteries have failed and why? did the design really change substantially between Gen1(2) and Gen2(3)?

    If the basic NiMH concept was flawed.....we would have seen a much higher rate of failure as the Prius design reaches 8, 9, 10 years old. I think a jury verdict doesn't need to wait until the design is 15 years old to decide if the NiMH HV Traction battery has a useful life that is comparable to other automobile components. :)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "yes, everyone agrees that repairing/replacing the traction battery component is expensive.....(at this moment in time)
    ......the point is, what has been the failure rate?, how many batteries have failed and why? did the design really change substantially between Gen1(2) and Gen2(3)? "

    I wasn't speaking of just the batteries, but rather of all repairs associated with the hybrid propulsion system. In particular, the multifunction displays have had some issues. The hybrids are very complex vehicles, even compared with today's more complicated ICE only vehicles.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490
    Yeah, I spoke to a friend last weekend who had a first gen Prius. 2 years ago it broke down (he didn't explain what happened). To fix it would have been $9000. So he just bought a new Prius. Not sure how 'economical' this was.
  • Its now December here in Michigan and my mileage has droped from around 35-36 to 30-31 city and on the highway from 31 down to 28, what effects has the cold weather had on your FEH!
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    the same effect it has had on all of my non-hybrid reduces FE by a few gallons or more....
  • Cold weather makes almost all components run inefficiently. All fluids (engine oil, brake oil, tran oil, steering oil, engine coolant, etc) become more heavier at low temperature than at normal temperature because fluid density changes with temperature. Therefore, initially, engine runs at higher rpm to warm up powertrain and catalytic converter at expense of fuel economy. The engine rpm will drop as coolant temperature reaches preset temperature (~70 C). The only way to save some fuel in winter is to park car in the garage over night. :)
  • I recently purchased a new 2008 Escape Hybrid. After 2 month of driving, I am greatly disappointed with the gas mileage. I have tracked my gas purchases, noted the mileage, and the average mpg is only 23.6 mpg. This average is for essentially in town driving. I live in Illinois and it currently is winter. But to lose over 30% of the stated "in-town" mileage estimate is unacceptable. Furthermore, I drive the car like an 'old lady', ie: slow acceleration, coasting to stop signs, etc...

    I am planning on having the vehicle checked out by the dealer. My next step will be sending a formal complaint to the Regional Manager for Ford.

    Anyone else having a similar experience? Be careful if you are considering buying this vehicle.
  • sksuhsksuh Posts: 13
    Your mileage my vary but I'm still averaging just under 29 mpg (after the metric to US conversion) up here in the wintery Rocky Mountains of Alberta -- this despite cold temperatures, reasonable amounts of snow and/or ice and the occasional use of my heated seats or defroster.

    Have also reduced fuel inefficient items such as the roof rack cross bars, interior cargo cover (quite heavy) and other unnecessary items.

  • My experience, I have 2006 4WD Escape Hybrid, is that on short hops around town, where average speed limit is 35-45 mph, my mileage stays down, about 25-27 mpg, but on longer trips it rises to about 27-29 mpg, still lower than advertised. In summer, when aircon is on a lot, it loses a couple of mpg, and same in winter if window fogs, so must run aircon on windshield. But on longer highway trips at about 65 mph, my gas mileage gains to about 30-32 mpg, higher than advertised. I also noticed, had the car for 2+ years now, that mpg screen has a natural tendency to 'drift down' over days, so it must be 'reset' periodically, or I'll end up down to 23 mpg! But if driving around at very low speeds <25 mph, like LA traffic jams, my mpg can go over 35! Not a perfect system, but must admit I really have enjoyed this virtually trouble free hybrid, taken off road in rough country, and comfortable driving around town, so overall am very satisfied. Still, if it got a few mpg's more, I'd be even happier. :) How about a 'plug-in' assist in future models?

    So Cal, USA, where the sun shines warm even in winter. :blush:
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Remember the "stated mileage estimate" you are seeking is a Government supplied number. Ford can help you determine is something is different (wrong) with your vehicle. What mpg were you getting in your previous vehicle you used to drive over these routes? Lots of things to know about the hybrid that can improve mpg. Full advantage of the batteries is not realized until: the engine/exhaust has a chance to fully warm up, are your in town trips longer than 3 miles in the cold? If not and the vehicle cools has to heat up all over again, etc., etc.
  • Hey Jstelter,

    I am having the same problem. I bought my 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid (FWD) on 12/22/08 and am on my second tank of gas, and am only averaging 22 or 23 MPG. I live in Chicago, and with our cold winters, I generally have the heat on, but I have been parking in a garage, so its not as cold as it could be. My wife and I have noticed a slight "siren sound" when we drive, but I assumed that it was normal, and part of the hybrid system. I'm wondering if this is a defect related to the low gas mileage. Obviously, I wouldn't have bought the car if I was going to get such low fuel efficiency. My next step is to call the dealer. Do you have a number for the Regional Manager for Ford???
  • dhuang2dhuang2 Posts: 15
    I have put almost 10k miles on my 2008 FEH FWD since last May. The FEH consistently delivers 29~31 MPG. I live in LA and traffic is usually bad causing me 2 hours of commuting per day, although weather is good. So far, I am very satisfied with 2008 FEH.
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    Just thought I'd mention that a little patience needs to be applied here before trying to jump all overRegional Managers and the like.

    Just a couple of notes:
    1- The engine and mechanics need to be broken in. This takes some time and probably takes a little longer in colder climates
    2- The colder climate. You are looking at the milage probably at the worst time of year for you (for me in So FLA August kills me at almost 100 degee humid weather)
    3- Millage will get better as you start to drive differently. To maximize your millage use the 15 min avg millage display (btw these new driving habits apply to non hybrids as well)
    4- Consider also that for a small SUV you are getting considerably more mpg than the same vehicle with a gas only powertrain (the government estimates always are higher for these as well).

    My experience with my 2006 Escape has been that the millage started out low but now after driving the past 3 years is consistantly good (avg for all driving is around 33 mpg) and this past weekend as I drove around house hunting topped 36 mpg.

    So before you think defect, give it a little time and see how it goes. I think you will be like most of the rest of us in a few months time... bragging about how well it runs and how great your millage is and smiling every time you go to fill up and watching the others pump a mortgage payment.
  • Thanks ekiehn,

    You're probably right. I got a little scared after shelling out almost $30k a month ago and seeing the lower MPG. Would letting the car warm up for 5 minutes every morning improve my MPG or would this result in no net change? The problem is my wife only drives about 5 miles to work and back, so by the time the car warms up, she's practically done driving.

    I'll keep monitoring and see if the average gets up to the 30 MPG range. Has anyone noticed the "siren" sound coming from the engine in the first 5 or 10 minutes of cold driving???
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    The situtation here is that your short 5 mile driver never allows the HV battery to reach full charge.

    IMHO if you are in the 5 to 10 miles per day catagory you are wasting alot of money if you buy a hybrid.

    I can't go on because it just so amazes me some of the people who go on and on insisting that they need a hybrid.

    I am assuming that your wife drives less than 10 k per year. Based on that you will probably recoupe the Hybrid Premium(cost of Hybrid vs Gas Escape) in about 12 years. Usually I insert some scarcastic comment here but I really just feel sorry for you.

    The Hybrid Premium is about $5k. You can buy a lot of gas for $5,000.

    Hybrids at this time are mostly HYPE and should be reserved for Taxis and other high milage uses.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    mschmal - you have overstated your argument

    The "hybrid premium" is now less than $5k. Also, you did not factor in the $2000 tax credit. (and any other state or local tax credits, which are common) Gasoline is $3/gallon, do you really think the price is going down over the next 3 to 4 years? Depending on the weather, its the 3 - 5 mile commute that is tough on the current FEH design, and anything over 5 miles is definitely able to use EV....but even at hiway speeds with the ICE running...its possible to get over 30mpg. [It is more than just the battery "reaching full charge"]

    I haven't even mentioned the lower emissions. People don't "need" a hybrid...its a conscious choice. IMHO automobiles are not investiments so why are they constantly being judged on ROI? Did you do an ROI on every option you purchased on your last vehicle? Or did you just get something for reasons other than price?

    And what about in a few years when FEH owners will be able to retrofit to a plug-in battery that allows 100% EV for the first 40 - 50 miles of any commute? At that point they will be getting over 120 mpg.
  • Dear mecheng1,

    I couldn't agree with you more. While our brand new FEH is getting 23 MPG on my wife's short commutes, I've been getting 34 MPG on my highway trips. I anticipate that once the weather warms up, her short commutes should start to achieve the higher 20s MPG. When you combine the average fuel savings of about $1000 per year, plus the $3000 tax credit, it makes total sense on an economic test. Plus wouldn't the residual value on the FEH be higher than the conventional Escape?

    Can you tell me more about the retrofit to a plug-in? I heard there is a company in Toronto that does this, but only if there is a large enough group of cars. The cost is $6000 per vehicle, so still a little high.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) concept is really starting to take off and several companies are working on Li-Ion (laptop) type batteries that can store more energy per unit volume and don't have to be heated or cooled like the current NiMH batteries. [Ford is displaying a PHEV Escape at this year's auto shows] It will be a few years before the technology is perfected and the retrofits can be purchased for an affordable price.....but the motors and the software and the rest of the hardware is already included in the FEH. When this happens we may even see our residual value go up...

    Many of the current products are just piggy-back extra batteries that take up all the space in the back of the FEH.......the Li-Ion retrofits will likely fit in the same space as the current HVBattery. [There are prototypes out there right now that can do this and get over 100mpg]

    Drive during the day. Recharge overnight. Repeat. But it will be a few years....
  • I totally agree. But, be careful with statements about the $3,000 federal tax credit. With the impact of AMT, a family of 4, with an approximate income of $75k annually might qualify, or a family with income exceeding $800,000 (yes, almost a million dollars) would also qualify. If your income level is essentially between $75,000 and $800,000, you will not qualify for the credit due to AMT. The wild card is the level of deductible expenses you can show on Schedule A-Itemized Deductions versus your income.

    Finally, AMT will not even allow you to receive partial credit as well.
  • Central Florida driving. I was wondering what I could expect my Electric motor usage to be under the following conditions. 35 mile highway commute avg speed 65mph. Then on area driving of about 40 miles avg. speed under 45 mph with approx 1-2 hours of parked idling. Then a 35 mile commute home, avg.speed 55mph. The A/C would be on April thru October.-Thanks
  • Good Response.

    If you see a car as an investment, you will be one disappointed investor...For some reason, as soon as I said I got a FEH, the first comments were on ROI. And then I get the overstated fuel consumption on non hybrid vehicles. The best one: I get 44 mpg with my Chevy Cobalt :P
  • exbexb Posts: 2
    I live in the Chicago area and have had my 2008 FWD Escape Hybrid since June of 2007. The summer was great. On every tank, the mileage was between 32 and 34 mpg. When winter arrived, the honeymoon was over. Currently the mileage is 20-25 mpg - definitely disappointing. In 8 months, I've driven it 8,000 miles with many short trips. I still enjoy the vehicle but I hope the mileage improves.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Compare the drop in FE in your FEH with the drop in FE (mpg) in your previous vehicle in the winter......huh?......what's that? don't remember/never measured what kind of drop you got in the winter in your previous car?

    Trust me, it was very close in percentage to that you are seeing in the FEH. And you are not alone, many many sob stories about how "lousy" the FEH is now that we have the traditional winter weather everywhere. But in reality....non-hybrid vehicles that get 17 to 20 mpg in the summer are now getting 13 - 16 because it is cold. That 25% drop would be comparable to the FEH getting 30 mpg in the summer and now getting 21 -24 mpg in the winter. To preserve the health of the HVBattery, allow for safe braking, and keep the emissions as low as possible.....the computer brain in the FEH runs the ICE for longer periods and allows less regenerative brakin in cold weather. :D
  • We recently purchased a 2005 escape hybrid with 17,000 miles on it. The mpg has been horrible, seemingly barely getting 20 mpgs out of it. the avg read about 27 when we got it. now its already down close to 23. we do have a thule box on top, but would that affect it sooo much? also, we can barely get 12 gallons of gas into an empty tank, or so the computer is telling us, yet itis supposed to have 15 gallon tank. help!!!
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    I lose 1 - 2 mpg when I have an open rack on top....I imagine it would be twice that with a full box on top. (Note: I lose the same amount of mpg on my non-hybrid with these items on top)

    A 12 - 13 gallon fill is normal if the gauge reads near or on E. The tank will take 15 (or a little more) if it is fully drained, way past E.

    Reset the mpg calculator often....and see if you can tell what part of your driving is really killing your FE. Have you adjusted your driving to the hybrid system yet?(more light braking, shifting to "L" to get into EV, etc.,etc.) Good Luck. :D
  • Speaking of driving in L.

    The owner's manual indicates that driving in L provides max regen braking. Is there a risk of wearing prematurely the cvt/regen braking system by driving constantly in L and/or at high speed?

    To be safe, for slower trips, I'm in L and Hwy, I use D. ;)
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    "L" is just a different set of PCM doesn't actually shift anything mechanically, so the popular opinion is that driving in D or L has no detrimental affect on the health of the just may help with Fuel Economy (FE).

    Google "low gear advantage" and "fake shift" with the words escape hybrid and you will some some lengthy dicussions on the subject of driving the FEH for optimum FE. :D
This discussion has been closed.