Back in 2004 when green car technology was anything but commercial, there was one vehicle, the Ford Escape Hybrid, that became something of conundrum. An SUV that used a hybrid engine to save about 70% on fuel compared to the standard version and yet somehow managed to remain on a par in terms of power and performance.
Coming close to its eighth year in the marketplace, the new 2012 edition of the Ford Escape Hybrid remains a major contender in this category despite the recent onslaught of competition from a host of new SUV hybrids. In terms of the amount of fuel this vehicle uses when in the city, it is second to none. When running at low speeds in heavy traffic, meaning the engine would usually be working overtime and guzzling fuel, this is when the Ford Escape Hybrid is actually saving on petrol as the hybrid engine kicks in.
Those that usually drive a petrol or diesel SUV will notice that the engine noise dims to almost nothing in this mode. Indeed, that’s another benefit of electric hybrid vehicles such as this – not only do they cut down on air pollution they also significantly reduce noise pollution as well. The hybrid energy certainly pays dividends on fuel efficiency but it should also be noted that this vehicle does an impressive 30-plus miles per gallon when the gasoline engine is running as normal, an incredible performance for an SUV.
In many ways the 2012 version of the Ford Escape Hybrid hasn’t really changed, but then there was little reason to alter something that was already working perfectly well anyway. It’s got very similar standard features to the XLT gasoline model such as dual zone climate control, Ford SYNC communication/entertainment system, satellite radio, remote keyless entry and 16-inch aluminum wheels.
The interior feels like it’s of a high quality with a beautiful look and feel complimented by the backlit blue illumination. Also, you wont even realise that the battery pack is there as it’s stowed away under the floor. That means all the vehicle’s ample room remains intact. This vehicle’s eco credentials are further enhanced by the fact soy-based foam has been utilized to manufacture the seating.
What most drivers love about this vehicle – aside from the reduction in their fuel bill – is that this hybrid doesn’t look anything like a vehicle that is constantly counting the gallons. Many hybrids stick out like a sore thumb, but the Ford Escape Hybrid looks identical to its petrol and diesel cousins. In other words, it’s a fully fledged SUV with all the performance and size you would expect from a vehicle of this type.
When car manufacturers are able to keep their vehicles the same whether they are hybrids or gas guzzlers, that’s when you know the market is changing. The fact is there is very little reason for anyone to buy a petrol version over this when you consider the long-term cost saving.