The 2010 Escape Hybrid offers buyers an earth-friendly alternative to regular SUV’s. Its hybrid system provides reduced emissions, increased mileage, while still providing all the normal useful SUV features.
The 2010 Escape Hybrid uses a new, larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine linked to an electric motor. The net result is virtually guilt-free acceleration similar to that of a V6. As a full hybrid, the Escape Hybrid can provide truly guilt-free operation by running solely on electric power in low-load conditions.
The Hybrid uses a continuously variable transmission, also known as a CVT that optimally matches the power and gearing. Standard safety features include front and side airbags for the front seats and side-curtain airbags that cover both rows, four-wheel disc brakes, ABS and tire pressure monitoring. The Hybrid also offers a convenient AC outlet for powering small devices such as a laptop.
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A compact SUV, the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid is available in two trim levels, both with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (AWD). Standard features on the base version include 16-inch alloy wheels, a power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, a four-speaker CD stereo with an MP3 player input jack and satellite radio, cruise control and full power accessories.
Spring for the Limited and you’ll also get keypad entry, chrome exterior accents, rear parking assist, the Sync system (which allows voice commands for a cell phone, the audio system and the optional navigation system), leather seating, heated front seats, a sunroof, a six-disc CD changer, a retractable cargo cover, switchable ambient lighting and unique chrome and piano-black cabin accents.
Optional for the Escape Hybrid is a navigation system (with a hybrid energy flow/fuel-consumption display) that comes bundled with an upgraded seven-speaker audio system with an in-dash CD changer. Also available are a sunroof for the base Hybrid and running boards for both versions.
The Escape Hybrid power plant consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and two electric motors/generators. Their net output is 177 hp and they’re mated to what Ford calls a continuously variable transmission, but there’s no rotating belt as in a conventional CVT.
Instead, the motors work in concert with the gas engine through a planetary gearset to provide seamless power and maximum efficiency.
On AWD Escape Hybrid models, a third electric motor steps in to drive the rear wheels when extra acceleration or traction is needed. It’s not a true AWD system, though, so buyers needing a serious snow vehicle will be better served by the regular gasoline-powered Escape.
The front-wheel-drive Escape Hybrid posts impressive mileage ratings of 34 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined. The AWD version is rated at 29/27/28.
Antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags with a rollover sensor are standard.
The climate and stereo controls have a tidy layout and the instrumentation has an upscale and modern appearance, with a trendy ice-blue nighttime illumination. The Limited model takes it further with chrome and piano-black accents, along with choose-your-color ambient lighting.
The available Sync system allows voice commands to your Bluetooth-compatible cell phone, the audio system and the navigation system. Additionally, the Sirius Satellite Link allows you to find current gas prices in the vicinity at the touch of a button.
Even without the Sync system, you’ll find the various functions and features easy to use, thanks to intuitive and well-placed controls. The optional large display screen can show the navigation, audio and fuel-economy functions at the same time, without appearing cluttered.
The front seats will accommodate adults of all sizes, while the backseat is roomy enough for adults and children, even if its cushions are a bit flat. Note that the standard cloth upholstery is made out of 100 percent recycled material.
There are 28 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 60/40-split rear seats, and you can fold them down to open up 65 cubic feet of capacity, a decent figure for this class.