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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
“Available Sync system allows voice commands to your Bluetooth-compatible cell phone”
“Automatic dual=zone air conditioning is standard”
“Travel Link does a whole bunch of…cool stuff, such as locating the cheapest and closest gas stations”
Car and Driver
The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid is the first Escape Hybrid vehicle to receive Ford’s excellent new Sync interface, and Sync is now the flagship feature on Ford’s hybrid SUV.
The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid comes in two trim levels, base and Limited, with a significantly greater share of standard features available on the Limited model. Edmunds reports that base versions of the Escape Hybrid come with “dual-zone automatic climate control, a four-speaker CD stereo with an MP3 player input jack and satellite radio,” and full power accessories. The base Escape Hybrid’s satellite radio includes many practical and appealing features, and Car and Driver’s favorite is its ability to locate “the cheapest and closest gas stations and linking with the nav system to get you there.” Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the upscale Limited edition includes Ford’s Sync system as standard, along with heated leather seats, a sunroof, and a rear parking-assist feature. Edmunds reviewers rave about “the debut of Ford’s Sync voice-interface system” on the Limited, noting that it “allows voice commands to your Bluetooth-compatible cell phone, the audio system and the navigation system.”
For the Ford Escape Hybrid, the features list doesn’t end with the standard fare. On the latest Escape, Ford makes available a number of optional features that significantly increase the Escape Hybrid’s high-tech credibility. First and foremost is what Kelley Blue Book calls the “DVD navigation with 10GB hard drive storage,” a system that Cars.com thinks “has much-improved graphics and new capabilities, like displaying weather maps, gas prices and sports scores.” Car and Driver adds that the navigation system allows you to “rip MP3s to the 10-gig hard drive and upload family photos to use as wallpaper” on the navigation screen. Other available features for the Ford Escape Hybrid lineup include side step bars and a roof rack with crossbar bracing.
With the introduction of the Sync system—co-developed with Microsoft—the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid muscles its way into the class lead in terms of technology.