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Ford Escape Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers



  • exbexb Posts: 2
    Without question my previous car (a 2002 Ford Focus) got poorer mileage in the winter. I tracked the mileage on the Focus the way I track the mileage on the Escape. My hope was that hybrid power would somehow improve winter mileage, too. This week I got a pleasant surprise. When the windows started to fog up, instead of running the defroster, l set the temperature control to 75 degrees on the economy setting and cranked up the fan a few notches. I was not uncomfortable and the windows stayed clear. The engine started using the HV battery sooner than it had all winter. So far I have driven 220 miles on this tank and the fuel needle is straightup at half full (or half empty depending on your outlook). The mpg reading on the panel indicates between 30 and 31. I'll know for sure at the next fill up when I make my own calculation. Here's hoping!
  • All cars, both hybrid and non-hybrid, get worse milage in cold (below freezing weather. The use of ethanol & other smog-cutting additive, the longer time to get to operating temperature, and the general cruddier conditions combine to reduce your milage. My ride, a BMW, drops 10-15% in milage during the winter. My F-150 truck is 15-20%. At least it uses regular unleaded.

    So if you add the inefficiencies of cold batteries and electric motors, the need to keep the batteries, the Catconverter and the human warm, its no suprise you take another 10-15% hit in milage with the Hybrid.

    The FEH still gets better gas mileage, even cold, than the non-hybrid version of the same vehicle.
  • Hi,

    I have had an 08 for about 8 months. I bought it in the spring, so I got the benefit of high mileage in the warm weather. I calculated between 31 & 32 mpg until the temp dropped. I live in the Chicago area and this winter has some bad cold snaps. My mileage started dropping when the temp went below 40. When the temp was hovering around 0, the mileage was down to about 25 mpg! While 25 mpg is good for an Escape being driven in the city, it is still quite a drop.

    The temp is back around 0, so the RPMs stay in the 2500 range for the 1st 30-45 min the engine is on. If the engine shuts off at a stop, it is only for about 30 secs and that is after everything has warmed up. The battery really suffers in this weather and appears to need quite a bit of changing after sitting in the cold all night. I keep my vehicle in the garage, so I can't imagine what the battery performance would be if the vehicle spent the night outdoors! The good news is that as the temp goes up, so does the battery performance. I expect my mileage to go back up when spring arrives.



    P.S. I drive about 90% in the city/burbs.
  • Thanks Tom,

    This is very good to hear as I bought our 08 FEH at the end of January and have pretty much been in the 22 - 26 MPG range. I've been wondering weather I bought a lemon or not, but have been told to just wait till the weather warms up. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    Thanks, John
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    Wow, been away to long, lots of great conversation going especially on the Cold Weather front.

    Good to see less talk about lemons when the mileage drops. When you put it in perspective though, 22-26 MPG in the winter for an Escape is still good mileage. Spring will come and mileage will go up (just when gas prices go up as well) and with every price increase you'll be smiling at the pump.

    BTW don't forget to factor in the 10,000 mile oil changes/maintenance instead of every 3 to 5. This just piles on your overall savings. :)

  • This is one area that I'm still leary about, regardless of the vehicle. Engine oil is an expendable fluid that directly impacts how long the engine will running without a rebuild. Considering all the gunk and dirt and grit contaminates that oil picks up, and the fact that when the filter gets packed up with this stuff, a blowby valve opens to keep the oil flowing, regardless of how polluted it is, makes me really skeptical of the "benefit" for 10 kmi oil benefit. I really like the truck, and the way it's put together, and I want to keep it for at least 200 kmi, as I typically do. I wouldn't put it past an unscrupulous finance group at FMC to "stretch out" the oil change intervals in order to save a couple of bucks on factory-financed service, with the long term impact of reduced engine life, especially since I don't believe the standard oil used is a full synthetic. In my mind, regular oil changes are cheap insurance for longer engine life. Same thing with engine coolant, but to a lesser degree.

    Does anyone closer to the automotive community have thoughts on this? Also does anyone know if there is any particular sensor that monitors the down-stream oil pressure from the filter, or the pressure drop thru the filter on the MMH? Would be reassuring to know. Otherwise, I'll probably stick with my own rule of oil changes every 5 kmi, regardless.

  • Most wear and tear on an engine is from idling. Where the oil is not fully pumped throughout the engine cylinders compared to when the RPMs are at optimum. The hybrid, through design, does not idle anywhere near as much as a standard ICE vehicle. Thus the reduced demand for oil changes. I have a 2006 hybrid 2wd. I have had the owner's manual suggested 5k, 10, and 20k changes. No more, no less. Ford has put millions of miles on their test vehicles. Do you think they would put something in their manuals that could lead to non-support of hybrid vehicles because of engine damage? They had to get everything right with this vehicle. I think they have.

    The only problems I have had is with a low tire pressure sensor being a little too sensitive in the winter time when its <40 degrees outside.
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    I agree, the book says you can go 10K (depending on driving conditions). I have always followed the stated recommendations in my manuals for oil change intervals and have had no problems. My '98 Ford Windstar has close to 170,000 miles on it by following the manuals recommendations.

    I do periodically do a visual inspection of the oil and so far it looks good (I know looks can be deceiving) but if I saw contamination or a serious degradation in the appearance I would change it sooner.

    With my Windstar I typically go to those Quick change sites, but the Hybrid I do take to the dealer (doesn't cost much more but does take longer) but I figure the certified tech gets to look at it each time it comes in and more time than not he's tweaked something that has helped optimize performance (I guess I'm lucky on that front). :D
  • I have a quick question about the MPG shown in the car and the actual mileage I get by hand calculation.

    In the below table the Avg. MPG is my hand calculation and the Given MPG is from the car. I reset all of them everytime I refuel. Why is there a difference between what is shown and the actual? Is there anything I am doing wrong?

    Mileage Between Filing------------Gals filled------Avg. MPG---------Given MPG
    401-------------------------------------------14.5-----------27.65517241--------- ----28
    465.4----------------------------------------13.609--------34.19795723----------- --34.8
    470.9----------------------------------------13.656--------34.48301113----------- --36
    448.5----------------------------------------13.721--------32.68712193----------- --34.7
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    This phenomenon is well documented by many FEH owners (as well as owners of other vehicles from other mfrs). Your numbers are the most accurate...especially if you fill up at the same pump every time. The slightly higher mpg reported by the vehicle has to do with how the software is designed - Exponentially Weighted Moving Average (EWMA) and such. I am not as concerned with an absolute number so I use the vehicle's numbers to compare tank-to-tank on a relative basis. :D
  • bjcarterbjcarter Posts: 28
    Fifty something dollars every 500miles isn't bad in the current market especially for a decent sized vehicle...
  • softpedalsoftpedal Posts: 12
    Just did a 300 mile trip from SoCal Pacific coast into Anza-Borrego desert interior crossing two mountains, and back again. Averaged 33.2 mpg on this journey, starting from about 27 mpg from just driving around OC traffic, mostly short hops. Not too bad from a 2 1/2 year old 2006 AWD FE Hybrid, with about 23K miles on it. The trick to keep decent mpg on long trips is to 'glide' rather than power full throttle. It makes for a nice driving experience too, not shy of going full speed limit, or over 70 either. Nice little SUV 4X4 wheeling in desert sandtracks too, at times outside GPS range. Fun!. :shades:
  • Dear mackris,

    I am considering a new FEH and have wondered how the tax credit works. Can you give me some information about that?

  • mikesbamikesba Posts: 3
    It's fairly simple. You can find out from the IRS website, the current $$ amount of the Tax Credit. The credit is available only for a certain number of Ford escape Hybrids (for the 2007, the credit lasted until Ford sold 60K FEH's).

    It is a Tax credit available only in the tax year of purchase. If you end up with little or no taxable income, then the credit isn't applicable for a refund or to use the next tax year. I found out the hard

    I bought my '07 FEH in July 2006. My credit was available for for my 2006 Tax Return and not in 2007.

    I would keep checking the IRS website for Official Memo's which it issues at intervals to confirm the $$ amounts of the various auto credits and the number of vehicles each manufacturer has reported as sold for each model year.

    Good luck
  • I bought my 07 2 wheel FEH a year ago........during last summer the mpg settled in at around 36.2 and then during the winter dropped to about 34.2. In the last few weeks, it has steadily climbed and now is about 37.1.........I've seen as high as 37.2 I've doubled checked the figures when I fuel up and on average are very similar. It's the only car I own, besides an RV, by the way, I tow my FEH behind my RV and works great. I drive it to work 5 days a week and it's a round trip of about 65 miles, of which 15 or so are in town, and the rest freeway. I typically cruise at 60-62 mph on the the right lane with the truckers......put the cruise on, and fighting traffic. In the first year, I've driven 20,000 miles, and I love the car......not one thing has had to be fixed on it.
  • jimt2jimt2 Posts: 7
    Just had it 2 weeks so far- so its not 'broken in yet'- I drive from suburban nj to new york city or to bus or train stops daily. Its a mix of city and hilly highway. So far I have averaged 26 -27MPG. That is what I expected and better than my Honda CRV by 5MPG and better than the regular V6 Escape.... So I am happy with it.
    I went a week and used 1/2 tank of gas. My CRV, 1 week- 3/4 of a tank...
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Just had it 2 weeks so far- so its not 'broken in yet'- I drive from suburban nj to new york city or to bus or train stops daily. Its a mix of city and hilly highway. "

    Is yours AWD or FWD?
  • rnargrnarg Posts: 27
    I have quit spending so much time and attention driving my FEH AWD like a turtle for better gas mileage. I have owned and been driving it for 7 months now, and it currently has just turned 6000 miles. For about the 1st 3-4 months average mileage was up and down but has now seemed to level off at 29 MPG. I have had no problems with the vehicle or the dealership where I ordered. I now drive as I do my conventional vehicles, EXCEPT for one thing,---------when applying pressure to your accelerator try to imagine that you have an egg (uncooked, still in the shell) between the bottom of your shoe and the accelerator, and apply pressure accordingly. This is also a good method to use for better gas mileage in conventionally powered autos.

    One observation made while purposely driving my hybrid to get good mileage is that most of the other jerks on the road drive as though they must get to the speed limit as fast as possible ------in other words, get to each red traffic light before I do, and guess what, they in fact do, and they beat me to each light by about .001 of a second.

    Drive your vehicle diligently, but don't go overboard trying to pay too much attention to too many methods of squeezing out more mileage. Your time will be better spent paying attention to your tire pressures and most of all to driving with safety in mind. Drive diligently and your vehicle will eventually average reasonable miles per gallon (Enjoy driving your hybrid , don't make it a chore)

    Also, if for what ever reason your mileage drops 3-4 miles per gallon less than what is advertised, and that's the only thing you can find "wrong" with your vehicle, don't declare your vehicle to be a "lemon" like some have done in these FEH forum subjects. Those who consider their vehicle a "lemon" because of a drop (significant or otherwise) in gas mileage simply have no idea what the meaning of "lemon"is when it comes to automobiles.------Don't panic, it will eventually get better.
  • tomgentomgen Posts: 6

    I am the original poster of this message. It's spring and excellent mileage has returned! It's back in the 32 MPG range again for nearly all city driving. :)


  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I have quit spending so much time and attention driving my FEH AWD like a turtle for better gas mileage. "

    I don't do it for the MPG - it is fun, and part of the challenge is NOT to impede traffic. I don't always accelerate like a turtle. At this point I'm still experimenting with the proper way to increase MPG. I don't use any of the "extreme" tricks listed on "hypermiler' sites. So far it appears to me that the FEH has to be driven carefully, and that the best performance depends upon the SOC (state of charge) of the battery. I am finding that the charge level of the battery when accelerating calls for differing approaches. I can't be more specific because I'm still gathering experience and data.

    I have 750 miles on the vehicle, and so far I'm right at 30 MPG, about 90% city. I have a 2008 FEH AWD. I expect to do a bit better once the engine breaks in.

    29 MPG is respectable, I'm assuming you are driving an AWD?
  • joseph85750joseph85750 Posts: 22
    I got my vehicle July of 2007.
    I get 35-37 MPG. This is driving mostly to/from work every day, about 25 miles each way. The trip is mostly city, with a small stretch where I can go about 50 mph.
    I was surprised how little difference there was during the summer when I ran AC a lot, compared to the winter where it never runs.
    In the summer I got closer to 35 MPG.
  • I received this email from a local dealer:

    Thank you for your interest in the Hybrid Escape. Unfortunately, they are in very, very short supply. There are only 6 in the state of Florida . We are out of them and don't for see any coming in due to the fact that Ford is shipping 95% of them to the West coast of the U.S.
    Because the air conditioning in them requires the gas part of the engine to be running for it to work, you don't get the benefit of the Hybrid engine because we have to run A/C here in Florida all the time, where is California and Washington, you don't.
    Ford feels that the best use of the vehicle will be in those climates and not the southeast so that is why there are none available. Dealers that do have one left from earlier in the year are asking over the sticker for them!
    You would be better off with just the regular 4 cylinder model if you are concerned about fuel economy. --

    Would love to hear from FL drivers with an Escape Hybrid.
  • joseph85750joseph85750 Posts: 22
    Interesting. I live in Tucson, AZ, and run the AC a LOT. I got my FEH last July and ran the AC all the way through October. I got about 35 MPG during that time. During this winter season, I've been getting about 37MPG. I was amazed that there wasn't too much of a difference, but I think it has something to do with the heated air vs. the cooler air as well. Either way, it does great in the summer with AC.
    So, unless you're a total psycho driver who has to floor it when the light turns green and slam on the brakes at the last minute when the light is red, you'll see a benefit from the hybrid in the summer too.
    I wonder how those Florida statistics were calculated. Obviously not from reality.
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    Well I've been driving mine since 2005. In fact I went to a Ford Road Show in Orlando to test drive one in 2004, went back to Stuart, FL (2 hours South on the East Coast) and put in an order for one. They ran out of 2005 models and I got a 2006 in May of 2005 (second one in town, a Former Ford Exec living here got one of the last 2005 models).

    Is it worth it in Summer, YES. I still get decent MPG and don't have to trade off to a 4 cylinder. So I don't get the 36 MPG high's that I sometimes hit in Winter and end up hovering more around 32. I still haul a lot of stuff and with over 50,000 miles on the vehicle I love it.

    Here's the scoop so you can decide. If you drive mostly to and from work during the morning,evening, you'll be fine- expect good milage if the drive is 15 minutes or longer (engine has to warm up for best efficiency). If you go out driving during the heat day, say out to lunch or off on to job sites (which is what I often do) it will depend upon the speed at which you are driving. With the air set to the economy mode, the gas engine will usually shut down below 30, like heavy traffic or a stop light. At this point if you have not been driving for a while to cool down the interior, it can get warm fairly fast. Since most stop lights are around 2 to 4 minutes in duration, I usually give it a couple minutes, if it gets two warm a quick flick of a switch and the gas engine starts and I have air conditioning. Remember when you start to drive almost everytime the gas engine will start so you get air anyway. So it's no big deal with the heat, it's manegable and I still remember the days living in Florida when my car didn't have A/C. MPG isn't killed unless you are at stop lights all the time and are running the Gas engine at the same time.

    Basically right now most hybrids are in short supply and the dealers know it. Maybe Ford is shipping more to California and the NorthWest as the climate there is optimum for the vehicle, but it by no means fails in the hot humid SouthEast. Do the math, if you hang onto your vehicles for long enough and you know gas prices will always go up, the premium may get paid off sooner than you think (mine did).
  • Short simple article. Too bad most people can't figure this out:
  • baysailorbaysailor Posts: 15
    The dealer is making excuses, and poor ones at that. Yes, the models are in short supply, and you may have to dig around for either an Escape or a Mariner, but I highly doubt that Ford's distribution is based on such a hair-brained consideration. As you will see with other posts on this site, the impact of A/C while driving is very small. Driver performance has a much bigger impact, which is why I can get 35 mpg regularly, and my wife only gets 31 on the same car, covering the same route. I shut up after "trying to help" got me "the look."

    My bet is the dealer is at the bottom of the sales performance list, and he's not getting any, or he can't sell the conventional Escapes he'll need to take for every hybrid he gets.

    Keep looking, they're out there.
  • jimt2jimt2 Posts: 7
    I have an AWD. Have gotten between 25 and 30 MPG depending upon traffic. Less traffic- lower milage....
  • We took a trip 2 weeks ago from Tucson, AZ to Omaha, NE. After reaching Omaha, the MPG reading was around 33. After returning to Tucson, it was 31.1. This would indicate the return mileage was around 30MPG. I'm not sure why it was lower on the return trip. It might have been due to a different return path, different gas octane, or the elevation increase on the return trip. Total miles driven was 3292. In northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, there were times when we were driving up hill, 70MPH, with the AC running. The RPM of the engine would sometimes reach 5500. According to Ford, this is within normal operating range.
    Overall, I thought it performed quite well on the trip!
  • baysailorbaysailor Posts: 15
    There are too many variables to pin down a single reason, although elevation would be a big part of it, since the last time I checked Tucson is much more mountainous than Omaha. The engine revving to 5500 RPM is certainly in the operating range but should be an indication that the truck is running really hard. You may want to try different driving styles in a situation like that and just back off the power to ~3000 RPM and let your speed drop off, you'll save a bunch of fuel that way. In hilly sections I disconnect the speed control and drive manually, letting the speed drop off on the hills and ensuring that you get a full head of steam up going down the other side. You don't get to you destination noticably slower, and you allow the truck to deliver it's potential 33+ MPG on the road.

  • I guess it was just nice not having to be manually adjusting my speed throughout the mountainous area. It would only jump to 5500 for maybe 5 seconds, so it wasn't too bad. Curious that the tac doesn't have a 'red zone' for RPM.
    On a related note, it would be nice if there were a sort of 'cruise control' that was based off RPM as well. So, one could set the speed at 60, and the RPM to a max of 4500. Then, if RPM reaches 4500, the speed is automatically decreased.

    As I'm driving with the CVRT, I can't help but wonder what other peoples' standard transmissions are doing. I see these little 4 cylinder Toyotas, going up the hills, and I'm thinking that car must be in 2nd gear at 6000RPM to make that climb. Don't people care when their standard transmissions are constantly shifting in/out of overdrive on such terrains?
This discussion has been closed.