2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Drove a V6 Passat with Triptronic, now a CVT transmission instead. We were looking for a taller vehicle and lower maintenance costs if possible. Being in northern snow climate AWD was paramount. Have a Toyota Sienna minivan that was supposed to get good gas mileage for a van. Then gas prices went from $1.85 to $2.85 and up. Still enjoy our van but avoid driving it and started using the Passat at 20 to 24 mpg ranges. The Tribute/Mariner the only lower cost AWD SUV truck with a car-like ride unless going to the high end Highlander. The costs of hybrid technology made the Escape the clear winner for our next car. Pay under $30K for an Escape or much over $30K - for a Highlander both SUVs.
Paint colors, good pickup, comfortable as a taller driver. Good visibility, good storage for a small SUV, hoping to get over 30 mpg using regular gas! Rated as 33 mpg city/ 29 hwy as an 4WD which is great.
Lighter batteries and lower costs like LITHIUM that could be plugged in when want to. Use of multiple options for fuel such a biodiesel, electricity/solar, and 85 octane ethanol gas. Ability to add extra batteries for certain user's needs.