Fresh from its most successful sales year, the 2009 Escape Hybrid brings an array of new features, refinements and technologies to strengthen its claim as America’s most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly four-door sport utility vehicle.
First enhancement is the new, larger, 2.5 liter, DOHC, all-aluminum inline four-cylinder engine that is designed to run on the Atkinson combustion cycle. A new engine processor enables nearly imperceptible transitions between gas and electric mode. The hybrid also features a new powertrain damping system to reduce vibrations and feedback making its way into the interior. Combined with the 330-volt twin-electric motors/generators, the Escape Hybrid makes a total of 177hp and 136lb.ft. of torque.
The Ford Escape Hybrid uses a unique continuously variable transmission that doesn’t exhibit the usual ‘whine’ sound found on most others. The reason is that Ford doesn’t use a rotating belt as in a conventional CVT, instead, the electric motors work in concert with the gas engine through a planetary gear-set to provide seamless power and maximum efficiency. With more power and torque the Escape Hybrid sprints from 0-60mph in just 10sec.
The Hybrid’s braking system also has been refined. Engineers achieved a more seamless transition from electric regenerative braking system to traditional braking operation. A new brake pedal sensor is at the heart of the improvements. Ford also fine-tuned the ABS system resulting in better brake feel and shorter stopping distances.
For 2009, Ford adds a new model, the Escape Limited Hybrid. The Limited model features 16X7in. six-spoke bright machined aluminum wheels wrapped with new low-resistance Michelin tires, more exterior chrome accents, a new aerodynamic package that includes a redesigned front bumper chin spoiler and new rear tire spoilers, a standard AM-FM/Six-CD Changer, chrome and ebony interior touches on the center stack, console and door switch plates, and a luxury and convenience package that includes ambient lighting, heated front leather seats, a power moonroof and retractable cargo area cover.
The 2009 Escape Hybrid also features a fully independent suspension that has been revised and retuned with the addition of a new rear stabilizer bar and revised shock absorber tuning, helping to deliver a balance of enhanced ride comfort and handling confidence for the Hybrid that weighs 300lbs. more than the standard gasoline powered Escape.
The electric-assisted rack & pinion steering system has also been refined by finding the proper balance between tire performance and steering dynamics, giving optimal car-like drivability with increased responsiveness.
The new 2009 Escape Hybrid also features an array of standard safety features including AdvanceTrac with RSC, a safety canopy side air curtain technology offering protection for first and second seating rows, Ford’s Personal Safety System which features a suite of seven safety technologies including new dual-stage front airbags, side airbags and a front passenger sensor system, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and the LATCH system for child seats.
New high-end amenities for 2009 include SYNC developed by Ford and Microsoft, which is an in-car communications and entertainment platform allowing uses to control most MP3 players and Bluetooth-enable mobile phones hands-free using voice commands; SIRIUS satellite radio, Voice Activated Navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link which also includes AM-FM/Six-Disc in-dash changer, seven speakers and a subwoofer; ambient lighting, steering wheel audio and cruise-control buttons, and a standard 110-volt AC power outlet up front.
My new Limited Hybrid model also came standard with front fog lamps, auto lamps, roof rack, privacy glass, easy-fuel capless filler, Securi-Code keyless entry, power windows/door locks, power/heated side mirrors, front/rear dual cup-holders,
self-dimming rearview mirror, variable speed wipers/washers, rear wiper/washer, dual map lights, lighted vanity mirrors at each side, a grab handle for the front passenger, thick-cut carpeting/floor mats, 60/40 split rear bench that easily folds to provide more cargo room, power six-way driver’s seat, electronic dual climate control system, outside temperature/compass readouts, hybrid gauges, tilt leather wheel, and a larger 15-gallon fuel tank.
With the highest EPA fuel mileage ratings in the segment of 34mpg/city and 31mpg/highway, aerodynamic enhancements, a refined powertrain, suspension and steering system, plus an upgraded interior, plus a low base price of just $31,635.00, the new 2009 Ford Escape Limited Hybrid is one of the best bargains for those consumers looking to further space their fuel mileage needs while driving a comfortable, technologically up-to-date, safe, multi-functional vehicle.
New 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid Limited: “REFINING THE HYBRID SPORT UTILITY”
Price: MSRP $29,645
Type: Compact SUV
Where Built: United States
EPA Class: Sport Utility Vehicles
Length: 174.7 in.
Width: 71.1 in.
Height: 67.7 in.
Wheel Base: 103.1 in.
Ground Clearance: 8.3 in.
Front Head Room: 40.4 in.
Front Hip Room: 53.3 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 56.6 in.
Rear Head Room: 39.2 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 55.9 in.
Rear Hip Room: 49.1 in.
Front Leg Room: 41.6 in.
Rear Leg Room: 35.6 in.
Luggage Capacity: 27.8 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 66 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5
Base Number of Cylinders: 4
Base Engine Size: 2.5 liters
Base Engine Type: Inline 4
Horsepower: 177 hp
Max Horsepower: 6000 rpm
Torque: 136 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 4500 rpm
Drive Type: AWD
Turning Circle: 36.7 ft.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.1 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 29 mpg / 27 mpg / 28 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 437.9 mi. / 407.7 mi. / 422.8 mi.