Used 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid


Pros & Cons

  • Powerful V6, quick and efficient hybrid model, large cargo capacity, comfortable interior, carlike handling, optional side curtain airbags.
  • Four-cylinder models feel unrefined at high rpm, so-so interior materials quality.
List Price Estimate
$1,065 - $1,879

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Still one of our favorites in the category, the 2005 Ford Escape is a very capable small SUV thanks to its powerful V6 and hybrid electric engines, spacious cabin and carlike handling.

2005 Highlights

The 2005 Ford Escape gets a freshened look and some new mechanicals. Last year's base 2.0-liter engine is replaced by a new 153-horsepower, 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that's available with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. This new engine is a more viable choice for budget-conscious buyers, and like the V6, it can be matched with a new electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. Meanwhile, the V6 engine has been tweaked to provide improved throttle response. Antilock brakes are now standard across the line. Interior updates include a floor-mounted shifter, new gauges, upgraded seats and additional storage. The most significant improvement inside is the addition of the optional Safety Canopy rollover protection system. Further, the vehicle's structure has been modified to better absorb offset frontal impacts, and the backseat gets a full set of three-point belts. On the outside, all Escapes have reworked front and rear fascias with a new grille design and headlights. Finally, an XLT Sport model joins the lineup.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2005 Ford Escape.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

The best car I've ever owned
I love this car. If you are looking for a more "roomy" car that gets great gas mileage this is it. I get about 30mpg on average driving mostly on the freeway. The seats are super easy to put down, my sister and I have gone camping and slept in the back of my car rather comfortably. If you have never owned a hybrid car it can be rather eerie because it is so quiet, I can't tell you how many times I've panicked at stop lights thinking my car had died when I first bought it. Down sides: When your heat is on and the car goes to battery it blows cool air, Not fun in the dead of winter. Does NOT have a outlet to plug in an mp3 player. But overall, I love this car.
281K miles and still going!
John Garrett,06/26/2017
Hybrid AWD 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
12 year old vehicles are going to have very different values based on how they have been driven and maintained and, of course, luck. I feel very lucky with my 05 Escape Hybrid. While it doesn't have the horsepower it once had, and the transmission is starting to slip, and there's some rust in the left rear wheel well, I'm amazed at how well this car has held up with regular oil changes and good tire maintenance. I was reviewing my repairs for this car and was surprised to find that, besides gas, oil and tires, I have spent less than $2500 in repairs since I bought it over 10 years ago. While the 25 MPG I have averaged over that time has been less than advertised (I suspect that the HV battery is not programmed correctly, but couldn't find a shop that could figure out how to improve it) it has outlasted and outperformed my expectations when I bought it with 40K miles and about two years old.
Love it
This is the first truck I have ever owned so it is hard for me to compare a non-HEV truck to this one. I have been very impressed with the gas mileage and performance. I am averaging 33 mpg combined driving in the summer and 26 mpg combined driving in the winter. The mechanism that switches from full electric to hybrid when accelerating from a stop is very impressive. It is as seamless as could possibly be expected. I am not a very fast driver but I can report that this vehicle accelerates very slowly compared with previous cars that I have owned. I would recommend this vehicle to anyone who is looking to use less gasoline and can afford the extra cost of the hybrid vs. standard Escape.
Great all around dependable vehicle
Paul Danielewicz ,12/17/2019
4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I bought my 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid with all wheel drive in 2010. It has been positive in almost every respect with a few minor negatives. The original owner took good care of it for the first 75K miles. And I have put on an additional 140K miles in almost 10 years as my daily driver and weekend adventurer. Outside of following the normal maintenance schedules recommended by Ford, I have had zero mechanical issues. The only disappointment has been body rust: the spare wheel carrier seized up and was removed and the rear passenger wheel well rusted out, casualties of the snow belt. The engine, electric motor, transmission, and all wheel drive have worked flawlessly. I am always concerned about the 330 volt hybrid battery wearing out after the first 100K, but so far so good. “Dusty” has done everything I asked of it, whether on road or light off roading. I have never gotten stuck or stranded in mud or snow the woods, except one time when I stupidly parked in a dirt turnoff with over a foot deep of powdery snow (easily shoveled out by myself and was on my way). She has been especially good during snowy and cold New England winters. I will never forget foolishly driving through the heart of a major blizzard in February of 2013. While other cars and trucks were getting stranded I made the 35 mile drive home safely. It is fun to drive with spirited acceleration and agile handling. With the AWD and relatively low center of gravity (for a truck), cornering is superb with little body lean. Gas mileage is excellent, getting in the low 30s mpg overall and a little less in the winter, due to the hybrid battery output (like most batteries) being lower in the cold. Turning radius is relatively small and parking is easy with a relatively short length for an SUV. Braking in dry conditions is average, and great in the wet due to the all wheel drive. Visibility and driving position is excellent. The suspension is firm but comfortable. Highway cruising is very good and seating comfortable and supportive enough for 10 hour drives (I haven’t gone longer). Three passengers in the rear seat is a bit of tight squeeze and more suitable for two average sized adults. I wish it was a little longer with a bigger trunk, as I am an outdoor enthusiast often carrying a lot of gear and three passengers. But traveling solo the fold down rear seats provide adequate storage space. With the front seat fully reclined I can fit a 9 foot whitewater kayak inside! Or two smaller kayaks. 8 foot 2x4s fit easily. The roof is long enough and strong enough for a rack to carry four kayaks or two canoes and a kayak. Or large pieces of furniture. It was very handy during my last move carrying a lot of stuff. I am currently looking for a new vehicle because I want to drive a stick shift again (this has been my only automatic in 35 years of owning vehicles), and living in the city a compact car is preferable. But I think I could get at least another 100K out of her. The electric motor really saves the engine from wear and tear caused by idling (engine shuts off), and the stress of stop and go driving (when the electric motor does all the work). It runs in hybrid mode about 90% of the time, and pure electric or gas 5% each. The navigation system works OK but the supplied CD discs are outdated. And the screen is old and fades in and out. But these are minor issues for me. The stereo and 5 disc CD changer work well. If I was in the market for a hybrid or SUV I would not hesitate to get another Escape.


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
    Rollover3 / 5
    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
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2005 Ford Escape
More About This Model

After promising the debut of this vehicle for a good three years, Ford is finally bringing the highly anticipated Escape Hybrid to market. First shown as a concept at the 2001 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Escape Hybrid promises great fuel economy (in the range of 30 to 35 mpg) along with spirited V6-like performance. With the price of regular gasoline currently flirting (in L.A.) with $2.50 a gallon, the timing couldn't be better. Of course, there's also the benefit of reducing the consumption of a finite resource and reducing air pollution. But if Americans' appetite for gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs is any indication, it seems that those concerns aren't nearly as important as a serious hit to the wallet. In any event, we were eager to see if and how the Escape Hybrid lived up to the lofty goals Ford has for it. Could it really get nearly double the mileage of the V6 Escape without giving up zippy performance?

Looking at this Escape, you'd be hard-pressed to tell it apart from its "normal" siblings. A 2005 model, the Hybrid shares the same updates (such as a restyled front end and a console-mounted gearshift) that the whole Escape line received this spring. If you scrutinize the Hybrid, you may notice its unique wheels and "Hybrid" badges but other than that, you might as well be looking at any other Escape. And that's how Ford wants it -- why mess with the styling of the top-selling compact SUV?

The same philosophy holds true for the cabin, where the gauge cluster looks fairly standard until you notice the leftmost instrument that shows whether the battery pack is "assisting" or "charging." Within the tachometer face, there is a small, two-line message center display that shows average fuel economy, indicates estimated oil life and displays warnings such as "liftgate open." There is also the option of a navigation system, located in the center stack, whose screen can display graphics showing the energy flow to and from the various drivetrain components.

As with Toyota's Prius, the Escape Hybrid operates solely in electric mode at low speeds (up to around 25 mph or so) and low-demand (light throttle application) situations. This is why it gets higher mileage in the city, where it's quite possible to stay in electric mode most of the time. But even at low speeds, if you step into it a little more, the gas motor will fire up and kick in, relieving the electric motor and allowing the permanent battery pack to recharge. High-demand situations, such as accelerating hard or running up a hill, will have both motors running in tandem. Like the Prius, the Escape Hybrid's gas engine shuts off when the vehicle is stopped or coasting, automatically (and almost instantly) starting back up when needed.

The Hybrid's 2.3-liter inline four is essentially the same Duratec unit found in four-cylinder Escapes, except that it uses what's called the Atkinson cycle. For you gearheads among our readership, this means that the intake valve stays open longer than normal after the piston starts upward on its compression stroke, reducing "pumping losses" and sending some of the air-fuel mixture back into the intake tract, thus reducing fuel consumption. Optimizing fuel efficiency in this fashion comes at the expense of low-end torque. But with a torquey electric motor on hand to get the vehicle moving from a stop and assist when more power is needed, this doesn't present a problem.

The gas engine is rated at 133 horsepower, while the electric motor is rated at 94 horses. When combined, they make 155 hp, which may seem odd, as you probably think it should be 227. But there is a formula used to calculate total output and it isn't simply a matter of adding their output figures together. Although 155 ponies doesn't sound like much, the broad power band of the electric motor means that the net result is indeed V6-like performance. On our driving loop, which included running up the Hollywood Hills and cruising at 75 mph on the freeway, the Escape Hybrid felt as energetic as an Escape V6.

In place of the usual automatic transmission, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) does a fine job of delivering the power in a seamless fashion. It's also pretty quick to step down to a lower ratio (we'd say gear, except it doesn't have those) when you want some pickup. To maximize efficiency, the Escape Hybrid employs regenerative braking that in effect turns the electric motor into a generator upon deceleration. When the driver lifts off the gas pedal, the spinning motor sends energy back to the battery pack.

Unlike a full electric vehicle, the Escape Hybrid never has to be "plugged in" for a recharge. The battery pack is kept charged by the gas engine and the regenerative braking feature. The pack itself consists of a relatively compact unit under the cargo floor comprised of 250 D-sized nickel-metal-hydride batteries. Those worried about the longevity of the pack can take comfort in the 8-year/100,000-mile warranty that Ford provides for it.

In the spirit of this vehicle's mission, our day started with a contest to see who could get the best mileage on a brief six-mile loop around downtown Culver City, Calif. We paired up and set out, keeping in mind the tenets of maximizing fuel economy: going light and easy on the gas and keeping any sudden changes in direction or momentum to a minimum. My driving partner and I had an all-wheel-drive Escape Hybrid, which Ford estimates will pull 32 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway. Front-drivers earn higher estimates of 37 city and 30 highway.

For the record, this leadfoot, who drove as if an egg was beneath the gas pedal, got 35 mpg and was near the top of the list (for the AWD models). Alas, the celebration was short-lived, as my partner got 50 mpg on her go-round! Of course, she had almost all green lights, while my efforts were hindered by a string of reds... But all kidding aside, we were thoroughly impressed by the fact that we both soundly beat Ford's own city estimates for the AWD version. Our only complaint with the powertrain was a minor one -- the engine gets a little buzzy while maintaining speeds of 55 mph or above on long uphill stretches.

Beyond the cake-and-eat-it powertrain, the Escape Hybrid performs like any other Escape. That is to say, it delivers a pleasant driving experience with handling that is more sport sedan than SUV. The electric power steering (exclusive to the Hybrid) was natural in feel, so none of the enjoyment of taking an Escape through a twisty road was lost.

We have to admit, there were some jokes going around the office about when Ford was finally going to bring the Escape Hybrid to market. "They're waiting for gas prices to go up." "It's a Ford, look how long it took them to get the T-bird into showrooms." OK, so we had a few laughs at Ford's expense, but we're not laughing now and feel moved to congratulate the manufacturer. The company still managed to be the first to bring out a hybrid version of an SUV, a category that needs this fuel- and environment-saving technology a lot more than the small sedan segment does. The 2005 Escape Hybrid goes on sale later this summer and, considering how polished this first effort is, it's been well worth the wait.

Used 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid Overview

The Used 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid is offered in the following styles: Hybrid AWD 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and Hybrid Fwd 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid?

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Used 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid Listings and Inventory

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Can't find a used 2005 Ford Escape Escape Hybrid you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

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Find a used Ford for sale - 9 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $17,267.

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Should I lease or buy a 2005 Ford Escape?

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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