If you’re a committed consensus seeker who might even be looking for input from your plug-in hybrid vehicle, then you should find the 2021 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid agreeable. For all other prospective buyers who couldn’t care less about your car’s feelings on a given matter, consider yourself warned that the measure of efficiency you’re able to squeeze out of the Escape PHEV isn’t entirely up to you.
In Cars.com’s most popular article of the past week, our comprehensive critique of the 2021 Escape PHEV, reviewer Aaron Bragman acknowledges the compact SUV as an attractive all-around option — with the stipulation that its tendency to switch unilaterally from electric to gas power is nothing short of infuriating.
The gas engine will kick in if you … press too hard on the accelerator or press it too quickly, drive too fast, drive on a slight downhill grade with a fully charged battery, use the heater, run the battery too hot or cold, shift into Low gear or are in Neutral, succumb to seemingly arbitrary alerts to engage “normal operation,” ignore the nagging, haven’t driven in a while and it decides to circulate the motor oil, or have a cold engine. Oh, also, normal hybrid operation uses the engine to charge the battery, so that could trigger it, too.
“Simply put, the Escape Plug-In Hybrid does not reliably operate as an EV when put in EV mode,” Bragman writes in his review. “It fires up the engine so often it made me wonder why it even has an EV mode, given the engine has to run that frequently in order to maintain optimal performance and efficiency.”
For Bragman’s full take on the 2021 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid, follow the link below to the No. 1 article on this week’s countdown.
In other top news this week, our cabin comparison of the two top trim levels of two of the top pickup trucks on the market settles in at second place. Cars.com named the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn and Limited its 2020 Luxury Car of the Year and the Ford F-150 Limited its Best of 2021 overall, and with pickup trucks in recent years having become some of the most passenger-pampering vehicles, it only made sense to rate their luxury in a head-to-head interior comparison.
The F-150 Limited scored points for its lush leather upholstery, carbon-fiber accents, suede-style headliner, intuitive controls, comfortable driving position and spacious backseat area, but got dinged for lower-cabin cost-cutting. The Ram 1500 Limited matched the sumptuousness of the F-150’s cabin appointments, but edged it out in the details like sophisticated stitching and a configurable center console to retain its status as the luxury truck to beat.
Follow the link below to our No. 2 news story of the week for the full details on our cabin comparo of the 2021 Ford F-150 Limited and 2021 Ram 1500 Limited.
Beyond that, we’ve got headlines on the Genesis GV70, Hyundai Palisade, Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla and much more — so don’t stop reading till the digits double. Here are the top 10 news stories Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past week:
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