For 2009, Ford has given the Escape, its sub-compact SUV, an eco-friendly overhaul [and has also provided some fairly comical marketing photos of the Escape as this rugged, off-road vehicle].
The conventional 2009 Escape models will be fully integrated with FFV [Flexible Fuel Vehicle] technology, allowing them to be powered by E85 ethanol fuel. Getting a power boost all across the board, both the Escape Hybrid and the base-trim Escape receive 2.5L, 4-cylinder in-line engines to replace their previous 2.3L I4’s, equaling an overall boost in horsepower from 153-hp to 171-hp.
The upgrade in power can be directly attributed to the new intake variable cam timing found in the 2.5L engines, a feature which makes the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid the first Atkinson cycle hybrid with variable-valve timing [a fact really only fully appreciated by the guys who read Popular Mechanics]. Not to be left out, a bigger 3.5L V6 engine, higher compression ratio and a new fuel-injection system provide a 30-hp power pump for the 2009 Ford Escape Limited, netting a total 230-hp over previous years’ 200-hp. Despite the performance modifications, Easy Fuel cap-less fueling technology as well as roll-resistant Michelin tires claim to increase EPA fuel efficiency on conventional Escape’s by 1mpg.
Bottom line: with Ford playing such an aggressive game of catch-up, it almost doesn’t seem fair for us to continue picking on the Toyota Prius. Almost.
|2009 Ford Escape Hybrid|
|Base Price||$29,305 – $31,055|
|Vehicle Layout||Front gasoline/hybrid engine, FWD/4WD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|Engines||2.5L/171-hp/ I4 Atkinson Cycle Engine and Electric Motor; 2.5L/171-hp/I4; 3.5L/230hp/ V6|
|Electric Motor [Hybrid Only]||Permanent Magnet AC synchronous motor/330V NiMH/94-hp[70 kW]|
|Transmissions||Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable; 5-sp manual; 6-sp automatic|
|Curb Weight||3792 lbs|
|Length x Width x Height||174.7 in x 71.1 in x 70.2|
|Ground Clearance||8.6 in|
|EPA city/hwy Fuel Econ.||34/30 mpg [ECCV FWD]; 29/27 [ECCV 4WD]; 22/28 mpg [Manual FWD]; 18-20/24-26 mpg [Automatic FWD]; 17-19/22-24 mpg [Automatic 4WD]|