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TheCarConnection.com drives the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid and brings you this hands-on review that covers driving attributes and other up-close, on-the-road observations. TheCarConnection.com also researches reviews from other sources and presents you with some of the most useful ones here in an adjacent Full Review on the Escape Hybrid.
- Excellent gas mileage for a compact SUV
- Available all-wheel drive is mechanical, not electric
- SYNC infotainment system is best in class
- Top-of-the-line safety ratings
- Interior and wind noise louder than competitors
- Hybrid noises not very well concealed
- Displays of hybrid information not well integrated
Considering it was launched in 2004, the latest 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid compact SUV is both popular and durable. Completely redesigned for 2008, the hybrid Escape was both the first hybrid manufactured in the United States and the first hybrid SUV. Nervous about how long those hybrid motors and batteries will last? Consider that more than 1,500 Ford Escape Hybrids are in regular use as New York City taxicabs!
Ford has regularly upgraded its hybrid-electric powertrain over the years. The Escape Hybrid carries over its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for 2010. The dual overhead-cam engine puts out 153 horsepower, with the electric motor boosting torque as needed. The Escape Hybrid will run solely on battery power with its engine off up to 25 mph, and in some limited circumstances up to almost 40 mph.
The combination of electric motor/generators in the hybrid system acts as an electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). The gasoline engine always runs at its most fuel-efficient speed, regardless of how fast the car is traveling. Acceleration is good if not spectacular, though the engine will howl when floored.
But hybrid buyers look for gas mileage, and the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid comes in at 34 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, according to U.S. EPA ratings. We tested a 2009 Escape Hybrid and averaged a consistent 30 mpg on a route with substantial 75-mph cruising.