FORD ESCAPE HYBRID 2009 REVIEW
November 19, 2010
Sold my 2007 Honda Accord EX and replaced the car w. the FEH 2009 and have not been disappointed. The quality of the FEH exceeds that of the Accord and the nice amenities make the FEH a pleasure to drive. I would recommend you buy a FEH that is 2009 or newer. The 2009 FEH's have anti-roll software standard and result in a safer ride and lower insurance rates. I am a conservative driver and get 34.5 mpg City (w/o air), 31 mpg Highway, and around 32 mpg city with air on. I have manually tracked my mileage the old fashioned way (notebook & calculator) and compared the result to the car's on-board computer where the difference in mileage turned out to be 0.1 mpg! So the on-board mileage computer has been fairly accurate. I would not recommend buying a FEH w/o Ford Synch (Voice Recognition System). You would miss out on a ton of fun: hands-free dialing, Vehicle Health Reports sent to the internet using your bluetooth enabled phone, USB port for iPod (or musical USB digital device), and the ability to manipulate music (satellite, CD, iPod) hands free! Additionally, updating the FEH Synch software is really easy which allows those with minimal technical knowledge to do the updates vice the dealer -- easy downloads. My FEH has less rattles than the Accord, more features (outside air temp., low tire pressure warning system, and the music system along with satellite radio) that really makes driving fun. One quirk when purchasing the car was the horn was disconnected. At first I though the horn was broke but after playing with the fuses and doing some internet Googling I found out that many people did not like the horn beeping when the lock function was exercised via the remote. I missed my horn and had my mechanic reconnect the plug-in wiring. Their are two negative issues to unplugging the horn: 1) You cannot warn other cars, pedestrians, or small children that may veer into your path and 2) if you have a door ajar and use the lock function you will leave your car vulnerable to theft due to no horn sound. If you had the horn operational, you would notice the horn not working and correct the ajar (unlocked) door. Great car will by another after this one gets it's 150K miles of use. The engine seems rock solid and the transition from engine to electric and back is virtually unnoticeable, Ford's design of the transmission system is superb and apparently works significantly better than other hybrids in it's class. Many of the reviews I have read indicate that the FEH's do not do well in extremely cold weather, so be advised this is a moderate to warm climate vehicle. With gas prices on the rise, I do not regret my purchase of the FEH. My calculations indicate about three years will be required (due to higher mpg) to recoup the extra cost of the hybrid batteries vice a gas engine model. Searching www.cars.com and other internet sites revealed the FEH is a desired car. My car search took 3 months to locate a car with my desired features. Delivery for a new vehicle was taking around 6 months or longer and the dealers were not negotiating to my satisfaction, so I decided to go used. Hope this helps you in your decision to buy a FEH 2009 or newer!