The 2011 Ford Escape gives shoppers a choice of three engines, three transmissions, and front- or all-wheel drive, which plays out across the lineup in the form of fuel-economy lows and highs.
Starting with the base Escape, the EPA rates the four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive, manual-transmission crossover at 23/28 mpg. Add on the automatic transmission and the numbers drop in the city cycle to 21/28 mpg. Then couple it to an all-wheel-drive system, and the Escape checks in at 20/26 mpg.
Six-cylinder Escapes kick off at 19/25 mpg for the front-drive model; all-wheel-drive versions are rated at 18/23 mpg. The six-cylinder comes only with Ford's six-speed automatic, by the way.
Step into the Escape Hybrid and figures rise markedly. The front-drive Hybrid is rated tops at 34/31 mpg; adding in all-wheel drive lowers that to 30/27 mpg. Both versions direct their power to the wheels via an electronic continuously variable transmission, though the AWD edition has a mechanical, not a hybrid-derived electronic, traction system.