2008 Ford Escape Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I have had this vehicle a few weeks and so far I am very happy with what I got for the money spent. The items that are noted as cons in the Edmunds review do hold true, but are not that big of deal in looking at the vehicle overall. I think the Escape handles well for an SUV and I enjoy driving it. The interior is nice and the cab is fairly quiet except when the engine is excellerating. I have only filled the tank on this vehicle 3 times so far. The first time I got 26mpg and the last two times I got 30mpg. This is a combo of freeway and city driving. I even drove it up the steep hills of San Francisco with three adults in it and still got 30mpg with good power.
Handles well for a Ford SUV. Have driven other Ford SUV's that do not handle well at all. This one does. Stock sound system is decent, but if you are used to an aftermarket system, you'll want to upgrade. I like the clean lines in the interior and the cab seems pretty quiet.
Decrease engine noise when excellerating, add daytime running lights, radio controls do not stay illuminated with lights off when in accessory key position. This vehicle is great for the price. The Highlander may have more features and may be a bit nicer, but for the money the Escape can't be beat.