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2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid Review

Chevy Flex Fuel HHR

Mercury Mariner Hybrid

Ford Escape Hybrid

Saturn VUE 2 Mode Hybrid

Mazda Tribute Hybrid

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz ML320 Bluetec

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BACK / NEXT

After offering a version of itself to the highest bidder in a recent beach preservation auction, Ford's Escape Hybrid SUV could afford to rest on its environmentally friendly laurels. But don't expect that to happen. This undisputed title holder as the world's first hybrid sport utility vehicle isn't giving up its quest for improvement.

2009 Ford Escape Information Display
2009 Ford Escape Information Display

With the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid growing in popularity with the rise in gasoline prices, the folks at Ford have heaped on improvements and refinements for 2009 to ensure it stays ahead of the competition.

A new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine now provides the underpinnings for the Escape's hybrid system and works with a new six-speed transmission designed to help improve fuel efficiency. A new engine processor smooths the transition when the power source changes from gasoline to electricity and back again. Braking has improved so it is unnoticeable when helping to recharge the hybrid battery pack.

The Escape goes further with conservation efforts. Soy-based seating foam, new for 2009, is designed to help reduce emissions and dependence on petroleum-based vehicle seats. Cloth seating surfaces are made of 100 percent recycled material from manufactured products that never reached the final consumer level, including undyed polyester fibers or plastic bottles intended, but never used, to hold soft drinks.

Ford's capless refueling system is new on the 2009 Escape Hybrid as a standard item. Other standard equipment includes ambient lighting, cruise control and Ford's Advance Trac stability control with rollover prevention.

Base price for the front-drive 2009 Escape Hybrid is $28,305, not including $695 in destination and delivery charges. But it still qualifies for a $3,000 federal tax credit. (The all-wheel-drive model tax credit is $2,200.) The Escape hybrid continues to top SUV fuel efficiency charts — about 34 city and 30 highway.

Ford has responded to consumer requests for more comfort and style. For 2009, there's a new Limited Edition Escape Hybrid with upscale amenities including standard keyless entry.

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