2010 Ford Escape Hybrid SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Ford Escape Hybrid SUV

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Ford Escape Hybrid Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 177 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 30/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid

  • The 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid offers the convenience of a compact crossover SUV without sacrificing too much in the name of fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Gets 30 mpg in the real world, surprisingly powerful hybrid drivetrain, innovative high-tech features, excellent crash safety scores.

  • Cons

    Pricey for its size, noisy under hard acceleration, fussy rear-seat-folding process, disappointing braking performance.

  • What's New for 2010

    New additions to the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid include standard integrated blind-spot mirrors plus optional features including a rearview camera, enhanced Sync capabilities, an automatic parallel-parking "Auto Park" feature and MyKey, which allows parents to limit speed and audio volume for their teen drivers. Ford has also switched the air-conditioning system to be electrically driven instead of belt-driven from the gas engine, thereby providing better A/C performance when the engine is stopped.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

09' awd escape hybrid base

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

All in all it has been a solid vehicle. No major repairs. Bought used from a dealer 2.5yrs ago w/ 40K. I drive 50K miles/yr for work. In the summer I avg 28-31MPG. In the winter 26-27mpg. Not sure how much cold weather affects mileage, because I let the car warm up in the driveway regulary. Recently my wife started driving and avgs 23-25MPG. Thought something wrong, so I reset the mpg. It went up to 30. I believe the driver has the most impact on MPG.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

108k and still going strong

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

I purchased my 2009 escape hybrid from my company fleet department. It was driven by a colleague of mine for 99K. I took it to Ford for the 100k service, all it needed was spark plugs, cabin filters and Oil Change! Are you kidding me? She said the hybrids have less wear and tear than a normal ICE (Internal Combustion Engine). Yeah the handling and performance is not of a BMW X5, but how about that reliability! and 33-35MPG that I get consistently. Oh and the 100k service $400 bucks at the dealer. Not bad

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

37 mpg! & great for

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

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.

Disappointing, especially in cold weather

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

I've had the car for almost three years, and am disappointed. The mileage numbers have never come close to the advertised numbers, and when it's really cold (i.e., less than 0), the MPG plummets to 14 or 15. This is hardly better than our 1997 Ford Explorer. Friends who own Toyota Priuses have also reported lower MPG in the cold, but theirs go down to 30 MPG, from 40. Even when the temperature is "normal," meaning 60 to 70, and I'm doing highway driving the best mileage I've ever gotten out of the car is 27 MPG. In retrospect, I wish I'd bought a non-hybrid and spent a lot less $$.

Why is my gas mileage

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

I recently purchased a used 2009 escape hybrid 2wd with 42000 miles on it. I think it was probably a fleet car. It's in good shape but I'm only getting 25 miles to the gallon with combined city/hwy driving. And, the gas tank only seems to take 11 gallons when I believe it has a 15 gallon tank. I know it's hot and the aircon has to be on but isn't that still pretty low mileage? Kind of wishing I had bought a new non-hybrid for the same money now. Any info/suggestions would be helpful in making me feel like I made a decent purchase. thanks

Too many issues

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

I've had too many issues: 1. Steering locking up while driving, had entire column replaced under warranty 2. Rear window leak 3. Missing wiring for heated mirror 4. Busted A/C blend actuator within a year 5. Brakes and rotors needed at 30k, even though the car uses regenerative braking that doesn't even use the pads and rotors above 5mph. 6. Jerky transition to mechanical brakes in rainy weather. Too loose a transition to mechanical brakes in hot/dry weather. 7. Grinding / Rubbing noise when turning sharp left that no one has been able to fix. Just too many issues.

Full 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid Review

What's New for 2010

New additions to the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid include standard integrated blind-spot mirrors plus optional features including a rearview camera, enhanced Sync capabilities, an automatic parallel-parking "Auto Park" feature and MyKey, which allows parents to limit speed and audio volume for their teen drivers. Ford has also switched the air-conditioning system to be electrically driven instead of belt-driven from the gas engine, thereby providing better A/C performance when the engine is stopped.


Cars of all shapes, sizes and intents come with some sort of compromise. In general, the added size and weight of an SUV reduces fuel economy, while small fuel-misers tend to suffer in terms of performance and space. The 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid, however, attempts to part with convention by delivering the convenience of an SUV and the frugality of a much smaller vehicle -- all without saddling the driver with anemic performance.

The Escape Hybrid has been out for five years now, and Ford has been making some recent improvements to keep the hybrid fresh, even if the actual Escape model is getting long in the tooth. This year Ford is maintaining the trend by adding standard integrated blind-spot mirrors as well as available options like a rearview camera, additional Sync capabilities, the parent-friendly MyKey technology and a high-tech Active Park Assist system. That last system works surprisingly well, using various sensors to automatically steer the Escape into suitably sized parking spaces.

As before, the Escape Hybrid has a hybrid gasoline/electric powertrain that allows it to deliver fuel economy in the 30-mpg range, making it the most fuel-efficient compact SUV. This standing is not without its drawbacks, though. Compared to the conventionally fueled Escape models, the added weight from the hybrid components has a detrimental effect on handling and braking. Also, the approximate $6,000 premium for the Hybrid model over a comparably equipped regular Escape will take years to recoup based on gas savings alone, though rebates and incentives may serve to lessen the impact.

Given the above-listed drawbacks to Escape Hybrid ownership, some shoppers may find traditional (and less expensive) gasoline-powered SUVs more enticing. Models like the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are all better vehicles than the Escape overall, and they still turn in decent, mid-20 mpg combined fuel economy.

As for competing hybrid SUVs, the Saturn Vue Hybrid is on indefinite hold, leaving the larger and pricier Toyota Highlander Hybrid as the only significant alternative. One final consideration might be Volkswagen's Jetta wagon fitted with the diesel-fueled TDI engine -- it offers similar fuel economy and interior room.

All said, we think the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid works pretty well for what it's supposed to be -- a small crossover SUV that delivers high fuel economy and available all-wheel drive. It also has a number of useful features such as Sync, MyKey and the park-assist system. But we definitely encourage potential buyers to check out alternatives and thoroughly crunch the numbers before making a decision.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid is available in two trim levels: base and Limited. The base model includes 16-inch alloy wheels, an integrated driver blind-spot mirror, full power accessories, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, the Sync system (includes iPod interface and Bluetooth), a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control and a four-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.

Upgrading to the Escape Hybrid Limited adds chrome exterior accents, a sunroof, rear parking assist, a rearview camera located in the rearview mirror, piano-black interior treatments, leather upholstery, heated front seats and mirrors and multicolor ambient lighting.

The sunroof is optional for the base Escape Hybrid. Either base or Limited models can also be outfitted with optional step bars, and a touchscreen navigation system (with a hybrid energy flow/fuel-consumption display) that comes bundled with a premium seven-speaker audio system, digital music storage and Sirius Travel Link. The Limited may also be equipped with an automatic parallel-parking system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2010 Escape Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine as well as an electric motors/generator; combined they produce 177 horsepower. Power is sent through a planetary gearset-based continuously variable transmission that provides seamless transitions between gas and electric modes. All-wheel-drive (AWD) models come with a third electric motor to power the rear wheels when additional acceleration or traction is needed.

In the absence of instrumented test results, we expect acceleration to be comparable to the gasoline-powered base Escape XLS, which reaches 60 mph from a standstill in about 9 seconds. EPA estimates for fuel economy put the front-wheel-drive Escape Hybrid at the top of the hybrid SUV category with 34 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 32 mpg in combined driving. The AWD version is rated at 30/27/29 mpg.


The 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid comes standard with antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags with rollover sensors. A new addition to the 2010 Escape is Ford's programmable MyKey system that allows parents to specify speed limits and stereo volumes for their teenage drivers.

In government crash testing, the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid scored a perfect five out of five stars for all occupants in both frontal and side impacts. Likewise, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Escape Hybrid its highest ranking of "Good" for frontal offset and side crash protection. Though we haven't performed instrumented testing on a 2010 Hybrid, we expect braking from 60 mph to be poor and probably a bit longer than the disappointing 138-foot distance of a V6 Limited Escape we tested recently.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid provides occupants with a simple and uncluttered cabin with soft-touch materials for an upscale feel. At night, the interior is further enhanced by modern, ice-blue illumination. The Limited trim adds even more pizzazz with its chrome and piano-black accents in addition to customizable ambient lighting.

The Escape Hybrid's cabin is roomy, but in terms of comfort and space the Escape is starting to feel its age. Up front, the seating position is too tall, which gives the driver the feeling of hovering above the controls, and there's no telescoping steering wheel. The backseat is flat and devoid of recline or fore/aft adjustments, but provides suitable space for average-sized adults. Space behind the rear seats can accommodate 28 cubic feet of luggage. Stowing the 60/40 split-folding seats is a bit of an arduous task, but once completed, provides 65 cubes for bulkier cargo.

Ford's popular Sync voice activation system returns with even more functionality for 2010. In addition to controlling mobile phones and the stereo with voice commands, Sync now adds the ability to acquire driving directions, traffic conditions and other information by pairing with Bluetooth-enabled phones. When grouped with the optional touchscreen navigation system, these features become even more simple and intuitive to operate.

Driving Impressions

Many drivers interested in hybrid vehicles expect diminished performance compared to conventionally fueled counterparts, but the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid should satisfy the vast majority of drivers. Under hard acceleration, the Escape Hybrid has the feel of its adequately powered V6 siblings, only with a labored four-cylinder sound.

The ride quality is fine for vehicles in this class, but the added 300 pounds from the hybrid drivetrain and batteries tends to add some body roll and reduce some of the car's agility. Though braking distances are poor, the brake pedal has a solid feel to it, though some drivers may find it a bit touchy until they get more time behind the wheel.

As with all hybrids, the Escape features an auto-stop feature, which shuts off the engine when you come to a stop to save fuel. Notably, this didn't work in previous Escapes if you had the air-conditioning on. However, this year's Escape now has electrically driven air-conditioning, thereby enhancing auto-stop functionality as well as allowing cool air to flow even if the engine is stopped.

Talk About The 2010 Escape Hybrid

Read more about the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid

Gas Mileage


  • 30
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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