2006 Ford Escape Hybrid SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Ford Escape Hybrid SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Escape Hybrid Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 155 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 30/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid

  • One of our favorites in the category, the Escape Hybrid is a very capable small SUV thanks to its powerful hybrid-electric drivetrain, spacious cabin and carlike handling.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Powerful and efficient hybrid powertrain, large cargo capacity, comfortable interior, carlike handling, optional side curtain airbags.

  • Cons

    Four-cylinder engine feels unrefined at high rpm, so-so interior materials quality.

  • What's New for 2006

    Ford's first ever hybrid SUV continues into 2006 with package revisions and a newly available power moonroof.

Gas Mileage


  • 30
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Nice little suv hybrid

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Bought this from a used car dealer who had lowered the price to 2500 below kbb. I think he was having trouble selling this because people fear battery failure even though the battery is supposed to last for the driveable life of the vehicle. We started out having trouble getting more than about 24 mpg, but a lighter foot better use of the regenerative breaking (shifting to L when stopping and long light taps on the brake rather than quick short stops) have brought our mileage up to 29 which is about what the new EPA estimates say we should get. This will probably hold its value given rising gas prices. Good job Ford for making a superior vehicle.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Just turned four

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Have posted here previously. Like others, was looking to do right thing for the environment, have some carrying capacity and seeking better mileage. About 38K mi.on the vehicle. 4WD Hybrid w/o navigation or moonroof. Has been very reliable and - depending on time of year and driving habits. . . currently about 70/30 hwy./city, it averages around 29 mpg. Better mileage in warmer months here in Pacific NW. Was quite helpful having undercarriage clearance when snow blasted Seattle for a week in 12/08. Very utilitarian since it's built on Ford Ranger frame and has continued to perform as advertised. My wife was rear-ended at about 20-25 mph a year and a half ago. Vehicle held its own.

Bill's escape

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I brought the car because I wanted to do good for the environment. And to get good economy. From the first day I started to drive it, it was a fun car. It's room, and can fit 4 adults comfortable. I especially like the navigation system. Too bad it was not true GPS. Now is it basically useless. I do like the roll out cover behind the 2nd seat. If you have to carry something and you don't want it to be seen, rolling out the cargo cover, hides everything back there. As long as it is not taller than the cargo cover.

Why get a hybrid?

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

My wife and I purchased the hybrid to increase our fuel efficiency. After 15 months, the Aux. Mode Door Actuator ceased to work. It wasn't under warranty so we paid over $500 to replace it. This offset all savings of having a hybrid. Now after 14 months, the same thing has happened again so we might as well have bought a standard Escape and saved in the long run. We found no benefit because of this in owning a hybrid by Ford.

Exactly what we hoped

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Got this car to go between San Francisco and Sacramento. One city is hilly and cool, the other flat and often hot. So, we do a lot of city driving on hills, and often use the A/C. In just over 3 years and 67,000 miles, we've avg'd over 31 mpg. (For the first 5000 mi or so, we only avg'd 28 mpg. This is as expected, as there's a sort of 'burn-in' period for the engine. Since then, we've avg'd over 32 mpg.) We've never had a repair, only normal maintenance - oil change, tune-up, etc. The car rides very well, but the interior is hard to clean, especially after carrying rock, soil, compost, and straw for our yard. In short, this car has met our best expectations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not as expected - not

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I got a pre-owned thinking most problems been solved. There still are, the infamous squeaks at the battery area, loose and squeaky front airbag. Consumption is great below 30mph, not at the hiway. Comfortable ride anyhow. Bad attendance for recalls, not all techs knows about hybrid. Power window switch fails, not just on my Escape but on my Focus as well.


Full 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid Review

What's New for 2006

Ford's first ever hybrid SUV continues into 2006 with package revisions and a newly available power moonroof.


Ford introduced the Escape in 2001 to capture buyers in the rapidly growing small SUV segment. It quickly became a best-seller thanks to a desirable combination of size, power and ruggedly handsome styling. First-year Escapes suffered numerous recalls, but recent models seem to have the bugs worked out. Mazda also sells a version of this vehicle. Called the Tribute, it shares the Escape's basic structure, platform and powertrains. A more luxurious version is also available from Mercury, dubbed the Mariner.

Appealing to a wide range of buyers, the Escape (and Tribute/Mariner) is intended for those who want the styling and all-wheel-drive capability of a traditional SUV combined with the size, price, practicality and driving characteristics of a midsize car. The Escape is more suited to on-road driving than off-roading, due to its light-duty AWD system and unibody construction, and isn't as rugged as some other compact SUVs like the Nissan Xterra and Jeep Liberty. Its main competitors include vehicles like the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Saturn Vue and Toyota RAV4.

Ford took a bold step for 2005 with the introduction of the very first hybrid-electric SUV. The hybrid drivetrain uses a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine in conjunction with electric motors to provide power while keeping emissions and fuel usage to a minimum. Under full acceleration, both power sources work together to provide maximum oomph, but under lighter load conditions, such as stop-and-go traffic, the Escape Hybrid alternates between the two, oftentimes running purely on battery power alone. A regenerative braking system converts energy normally lost as heat into electricity to recharge the car's batteries. Available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the Escape Hybrid boasts V6-like acceleration and gets up to 36 mpg. If you like the idea of driving a hybrid that doesn't force you to give up an ounce of day-to-day practicality, you would be wise to test-drive Ford's Escape Hybrid.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Escape Hybrid is available in one four-door body style with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Standard amenities include air conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, a power driver seat, cruise control and an in-dash CD changer. The new premium package includes monochromatic exterior paint, heated leather seats, reverse-sensing system, an 110V A/C outlet and a navigation system. A moonroof is also optional.

Powertrains and Performance

The Escape Hybrid power plant consists of a 2.3-liter gasoline engine and two electric motor/generators. Ford calls the transmission a CVT, but there's no rotating belt as is in a conventional CVT. Instead, the motors work in concert with the gas engine through a planetary gear set to provide seamless power and maximum efficiency. If you're the driver of an Escape Hybrid, all you have to do is move the shift lever to "D" and press the gas pedal. Fuel mileage is rated at 36 city and 31 highway on the 2WD model and 33/29 on the 4WD, making the Escape Hybrid the most fuel-efficient SUV on the market.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard. The optional Safety Package includes front side-impact airbags and full-length head curtain airbags with a rollover sensor. The Escape has done well in government crash testing, earning a perfect five stars for the driver in frontal impacts and four stars for the front passenger. In side-impact crash tests, it received five stars for both front- and rear-seat occupants. Less impressive is the Escape's "Acceptable" rating (the second-highest) in the frontal offset crash test conducted by the IIHS. When equipped with side airbags, the Escape merits a "Good" rating (the highest) from the IIHS for side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Escape has never been known for its exciting interior, but most buyers will find the layout functional and user-friendly. The front seats can accommodate adults of all sizes, while the backseat is comfortable for kids and passable for adults. There is 28 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and you can fold them down to open up 65 cubic feet of capacity, a good figure for this class.

Driving Impressions

Fun to drive, the Ford Escape Hybrid offers impressive road manners for a compact SUV. It drives much like a tautly suspended sedan, with little body roll and responsive steering. The swift hybrid powertrain is nearly as quick as the V6 Escape and returns outstanding fuel mileage.


Talk About The 2006 Escape Hybrid

2006 Ford Escape Hybrid Discussions See all Started By

When I bought a 2007 FEH in July 2006, the dealer told me that Ford provided a 3yr/36k mile Manufacturers Warranty & convinced me to buy an ESP for an extra $1948 to extend coverage to 60 mos / 6?...

TSB 08-24-5 states that some 2005-2008 Escape Hybrid and 2006-2008 Mariner Hybrid vehicles may exhibit a red triangle light and codes indicating a transaxle overtemp. This condition may result in redu...

2006 escape hybrid maintenance tips:...

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