2009 Ford Escape Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I purchase mine used in Nov 2010 and it had 32k miles on it.
It was a fleet vehicle which probably means car rental which concerned me a bit, however aside from buying new, used versions are difficult to find.
I'm 6'6"and few cars/trucks fit me.
For being a compact SUV, this one is just right!
At temperatures above 50 deg, I'm averaging around 37mpg in mixed driving.
To get to the level I learned to maximize the battery when driving under 40mph as the engine can shutoff and drive under all electric power for a short time.
You really have to learn the thresholds as to when the engine will kick in driving under 40 then try to maximize the battery.
This will yield higher MPGs.
Great for tall drivers.
Sync system with ipod/bluetooth/sirius support is great.
Once you go hybrid, it's difficult to go back to conventional engines.
It's like taking a step back in technology.
Reliability - Rental purchased with 32k miles and I now have 62k with ZERO problems.
I've read these hybrids are overbuilt and have many heavy duty components installed vs conventional Escapes.
Battery Longetivity - I read an article about a fleet of CA Escape Hybrid taxis being put in retirement after 300k miles.
They were still running solid and the batteries held a greater than 80% charge.
Maintenance - Oil changes every 10k, low stress on the engine due to battery,
Convert to lithium ion batteries and make it a plug-in!
It's no wonder major car manufacturers are slow to roll out hybrids/plugins.
With their low maintenance, and longetivity, people will be visiting their dealers less often for maintenance and car purchases.
I'm looking forward to startups such as Tesla, to help motivate the competition.