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STYLING | 8 out of 10
“Has maintained a relatively traditional SUV appearance”
“Virtually unchanged visually”
“Climate and stereo controls have a tidy layout”
The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid arrives on dealer lots fresh off a 2008 makeover, and as such, it doesn't change much from last year’s model.
The exterior styling of the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid leans much more toward the 1990s SUV glory days than contemporary cutting-edge hybrids. The Ford Escape Hybrid is, in the words of Edmunds reviewers, “a compact SUV…available in two trim levels,” which are the base and upscale Limited models. Jalopnik reports that the Ford Escape Hybrid is “virtually unchanged visually,” and it still carries “a bold front end [that] combines with sleeker lines to result in” what Kelley Blue Book “an Escape that’s both more rugged and more refined than its predecessor.” Cars.com points out that the Escape Hybrid “has maintained a relatively traditional SUV appearance with its upright grille and angular profile,” and the conservative styling is also reflected in the dearth of hybrid badging. Cars.com notes that, “as opposed to GM, which slathers its full-size SUV hybrids with stickers and badges, Ford has shown some restraint,” and the Escape Hybrid’s only green logos are badges on the sides and liftgate.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the Ford Escape Hybrid’s interior is pleasant, but somewhat dated. TheCarConnection.com’s own editors discovered one major discrepancy with the interior, as the instrument cluster and center console are woefully unintegrated, reflecting Ford’s inability to incorporate all of the latest technology throughout the Escape Hybrid. Otherwise, however, the interior wins over reviewers with what Kelley Blue Book calls a “much more contemporary demeanor” than the outgoing Escape Hybrid. Despite the modernized look, Kelley Blue Book still feels that the Escape Hybrid’s interior “seems a bit dated when compared with newer compact SUV offerings.” Ergonomically, Ford’s engineers succeed with the Escape Hybrid’s cabin, and Edmunds appreciates that “the climate and stereo controls have a tidy layout.” Impressively, Edmunds also reports that “the optional large display screen can show the navigation, audio and fuel-economy functions at the same time, without appearing cluttered.” While the outgoing Ford Escape Hybrid featured a green backlight for the instruments, the new 2009 Escape Hybrid is bathed in an Ice Blue glow from the interior lighting, and reviewers love the new color combination. For even more variety, the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid now offers a driver-selectable color option that enables the driver to switch between a number of interior colors.
The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid retains a rugged, conservative look that is equally at home in the city and the country.