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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
Five stars, all tests
Good," frontal offset impact; "good," side impact; Top Safety Pick
“One unwelcome change this year is the puzzling fitment of drum brakes to the rear”
The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid stands out in terms of crashworthiness, but for 2009 Ford, rather surprisingly, removes the four-wheel-disc brakes from the Escape Hybrid. While the front wheels still get anti-lock discs, the rear brakes are now an antiquated drum design.
Few vehicles on the road today can match the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid’s crash-test scores, and none can claim to surpass the Hybrid’s level of impact protection. That’s because in every single test it was subjected to, the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid earns a top safety rating. This string of perfect scores includes five-star ratings from NHTSA in two front impact categories and two side impact categories, as well as the IIHS’s top safety rating, “good,” in every single IIHS test. Furthermore, the IIHS is so impressed with the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid that they designate it a Top Safety Pick, citing the Escape Hybrid’s “good performance in front, side, and rear tests and standard electronic stability control.”
The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid comes with a decent complement of standard features, although one glaring omission is repeatedly mentioned in reviews surveyed by TheCarConnection.com. Beginning with what the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid does offer, Kelley Blue Book reports that the Escape Hybrid’s “standard safety equipment includes six airbags and anti-lock brakes (ABS), as well as AdvanceTrac traction control with Roll Stability Control.” Edmunds reviewers add that “full-length head curtain airbags with a rollover sensor are standard,” although they are disappointed to find “one unwelcome change this year,” which they describe as “the puzzling fitment of drum brakes to the rear” wheels of the Ford Escape Hybrid.
Although SUVs are typically criticized for offering poor driver visibility, the high seating position within the Escape Hybrid helps provide the driver with impressive sightlines. ConsumerGuide notes that “visibility is very good in all directions,” and with its latest Escape, Ford seems to have almost completely eliminated visual obstructions.
The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid suffers from a brake downgrade, but in terms of impact safety, it simply can’t be beat.