I shopped for a mpg champ and looked at Hybrids. Ford was unable to get an Escape Hybrid that led me to Edmunds et al. I found the VW Sportwagen TDI. I liked the quality and the price so I bought it. It has the cargo space of an Escape with mileage exceeding its EPA and also for less money. Granted it is not an SUV but it is a nice car. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in cargo space and MPG. Also there is a $1300 tax credit they told me until June 30, 2010. Edmunds, Consumer Reports are right about this being a good alternative to a hybrid. I recently found Hybrid owners on the forums say their MPG drops with battery age by about 5-8 mpg on Escapes. So, my loss was gain.
Diesel Power, DSG transmission, rear AC, house AC plug on console, MPG, handling.
Foglights, Bluetooth upgrade to voice control and homelink. If the car had these features it would be accessorized as much as most any car on the market.