If this SUV had more "Hybrid" competition, it would likely score lower w/me. But since there are few SUV "True Hybrids" out there, this one scores pretty well. Overall I really like it. It is fairly fun to drive, gets decent mileage (27 overall - great for a 4WD SUV), has surprising performance, has Nav, etc. There are downsides... It's ridiculously priced - 33K for an Escape w/a Hybrid drive! It should be in the 25-27K range when compared w/similar SUV's (assuming a 5K Hybrid markup). Buy it used like I did - paid 27k w/only 1,700 miles on it. Other than the Nav/Radio, inside it's a very plain (and dated) Ford product. CD changer under the seat is insane. And the seat cushions are too short.
Black w/Beige leather - love the look! Stereo sounds/looks great. Impressive power. Seat heaters work great, nice and hot, not like all the Asian vehicles I've driven. Overall the SUV "fits" me pretty well. I think it needs to be a "fit" for someone to like it. So try it out first!
All my thoughts were addressed in the 08 model. Unfortunately, they made a change I cannot live with. In the 08's, you cannot turn off the side window defrost vents when the heat is on. That's right, even when the heat is on "Floor", it blows out the side vents like crazy! I can't stand it...