2006 Ford Escape Hybrid Review

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful and efficient hybrid powertrain, large cargo capacity, comfortable interior, carlike handling, optional side curtain airbags.
  • Four-cylinder engine feels unrefined at high rpm, so-so interior materials quality.
Other years
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List Price Estimate
$2,133 - $3,765

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Edmunds' Expert Review

One of our favorites in the category, the Escape Hybrid is a very capable small SUV thanks to its powerful hybrid-electric drivetrain, spacious cabin and carlike handling.

Vehicle overview

Ford introduced the Escape in 2001 to capture buyers in the rapidly growing small SUV segment. It quickly became a best-seller thanks to a desirable combination of size, power and ruggedly handsome styling. First-year Escapes suffered numerous recalls, but recent models seem to have the bugs worked out. Mazda also sells a version of this vehicle. Called the Tribute, it shares the Escape's basic structure, platform and powertrains. A more luxurious version is also available from Mercury, dubbed the Mariner.

Appealing to a wide range of buyers, the Escape (and Tribute/Mariner) is intended for those who want the styling and all-wheel-drive capability of a traditional SUV combined with the size, price, practicality and driving characteristics of a midsize car. The Escape is more suited to on-road driving than off-roading, due to its light-duty AWD system and unibody construction, and isn't as rugged as some other compact SUVs like the Nissan Xterra and Jeep Liberty. Its main competitors include vehicles like the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Saturn Vue and Toyota RAV4.

Ford took a bold step for 2005 with the introduction of the very first hybrid-electric SUV. The hybrid drivetrain uses a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine in conjunction with electric motors to provide power while keeping emissions and fuel usage to a minimum. Under full acceleration, both power sources work together to provide maximum oomph, but under lighter load conditions, such as stop-and-go traffic, the Escape Hybrid alternates between the two, oftentimes running purely on battery power alone. A regenerative braking system converts energy normally lost as heat into electricity to recharge the car's batteries. Available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the Escape Hybrid boasts V6-like acceleration and gets up to 36 mpg. If you like the idea of driving a hybrid that doesn't force you to give up an ounce of day-to-day practicality, you would be wise to test-drive Ford's Escape Hybrid.

2006 Ford Escape Hybrid models

The Escape Hybrid is available in one four-door body style with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Standard amenities include air conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, a power driver seat, cruise control and an in-dash CD changer. The new premium package includes monochromatic exterior paint, heated leather seats, reverse-sensing system, an 110V A/C outlet and a navigation system. A moonroof is also optional.

Latest Ford News from Edmunds
The 2021 Rivian R1T Is the First New Electric Pickup Truck in 23 Years

2006 Highlights

Ford's first ever hybrid SUV continues into 2006 with package revisions and a newly available power moonroof.

Performance & mpg

The Escape Hybrid power plant consists of a 2.3-liter gasoline engine and two electric motor/generators. Ford calls the transmission a CVT, but there's no rotating belt as is in a conventional CVT. Instead, the motors work in concert with the gas engine through a planetary gear set to provide seamless power and maximum efficiency. If you're the driver of an Escape Hybrid, all you have to do is move the shift lever to "D" and press the gas pedal. Fuel mileage is rated at 36 city and 31 highway on the 2WD model and 33/29 on the 4WD, making the Escape Hybrid the most fuel-efficient SUV on the market.

Safety

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard. The optional Safety Package includes front side-impact airbags and full-length head curtain airbags with a rollover sensor. The Escape has done well in government crash testing, earning a perfect five stars for the driver in frontal impacts and four stars for the front passenger. In side-impact crash tests, it received five stars for both front- and rear-seat occupants. Less impressive is the Escape's "Acceptable" rating (the second-highest) in the frontal offset crash test conducted by the IIHS. When equipped with side airbags, the Escape merits a "Good" rating (the highest) from the IIHS for side-impact protection.

Driving

Fun to drive, the Ford Escape Hybrid offers impressive road manners for a compact SUV. It drives much like a tautly suspended sedan, with little body roll and responsive steering. The swift hybrid powertrain is nearly as quick as the V6 Escape and returns outstanding fuel mileage.

Interior

The Escape has never been known for its exciting interior, but most buyers will find the layout functional and user-friendly. The front seats can accommodate adults of all sizes, while the backseat is comfortable for kids and passable for adults. There is 28 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and you can fold them down to open up 65 cubic feet of capacity, a good figure for this class.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

The best car purchase I have ever made!!!!
Michael,08/23/2015
4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I reluctantly purchased my 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid in 2011 with 134000 miles!!!! Got it for 4000 dollars on eBay.... Immediately after purchasing I had to replace the hybrid battery cooling fan. Very simple to do, ordered from Amazon and did it myself in about 30 mins. Now, in 2015, I have 234289 miles and the only money I've ever put into the car was for routine maintenance. It's amazing! I have never owned a vehicle that was so easily kept. I consistently get about 27-28 mpg in the city with either heat or air in most of the time and I get about 24-25mpg on the beltway(I speed like crazy, so that's incredible mileage per gallon to me). The engine is quiet, the ride is smooth and for the first time since I started buying cars, I feel like I totally got my monies worth out of a vehicle! 4000 dollars for over 100000 miles and she still keeps going. I do think I'll need a wheel bearing replaced, which means I'll do them all at once, but I cannot say enough about the build quality and performance of these hybrids. To be able to drive an suv and get close to 30mpg while still being able to sit up high and grab lumber from The Home Depot without renting a truck... It's amazing! I wanted to write this as soon as I hit 100k miles and before I go and spend money on the wheel bearings(which I could let ride for a bit, but why would I do that? She deserves to be kept up). I'm currently searching for another since I'm giving this one to my newly licensed son. Lol So to anyone it there that can get their hands on one of these, get it!!! Take it home, check it over and baby it because you'll likely own it for a long, long time.
Ford nailed it
nanonevol,11/20/2014
4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I love this Ford. I think it has the right size motor and electric combination unlike some hybrids. I get at least 30 mpg. The computer must take some many factors into account so the car knows when to go electric and when gas. Brilliant. I love when I'm coasting or driving along on battery or when the motor shuts off in traffic or at a light. All cars should be hybrid. It just makes sense to get the most out of a gallon. Regenerative braking also just a common sense solution to wasted heat energy in normal brakes. Update a year later - Still love this car. It looks practically new and I rarely ever even wash it. I had to have the brakes done and front wheel bearings but it's got 170K miles on it. Still going strong at 187K. Car is a peach (opposite of a lemon).
Fantastic Hybrid SUV
dillpickle,02/24/2010
4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
The Ford Escape Hybrid SUV is an excellent alternative to the large, offensive SUV's driven by urban soccer moms. The gas mileage is terrific and extends time between fill ups on the highway. The vehicle is extremely dependable and very low maintenance compared to any other SUV on the road. The 4 wheel drive is competent and provides excellent winter traction and stability. The CVT transmission is similar to a golf cart on steroids and provides a seamless, smooth acceleration and "shifting". The cabin and ride are comfortable for long trips and space is plentiful for luggage and accessories. The best vehicle we have ever purchased.
Good Ride. Great Value
clcs5860,12/12/2011
4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I bought my 06 all wheel drive escape in 2007, had 16K miles on it at the time of purchase. I have not been kind to this car as I drive it for business and am on the go all the time. I have kept service up to date. The car now has 101K miles on it. The ride is good, acceleration peppy for a hybrid. Only unexpected problem I have had, is to replace a power steering module which cost $824. The leather on the drivers seat has worn through in the arm which indicates the leather in the car is fairly cheap No other complaints.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Poor
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid

Used 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid Overview

The Used 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Escape Hybrid SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid?

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Which used 2006 Ford Escape Hybrids are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2006 Ford Escape Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Escape Hybrid for sale - 7 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $20,129.

Find a used Ford for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $19,495.

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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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