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You'll Like The 2011 Ford Escape If...

The Escape Hybrid delivers a unique combination of hybrid fuel efficiency, SUV utility and a sort of rugged and refined style that’s appropriate for both downtowns and campgrounds.

You May Not Like The 2011 Ford Escape If...

Although it recently underwent a major freshening, the 2011 Escape Hybrid still doesn’t match the levels of interior refinement offered by many of its small SUV and hybrid competitors.

What's New

The only major change for 2011 is the availability of HD Radio.

Interior Features

The Escape Hybrid’s interior uses generous quantities of thick carpeting and laminated glass to help attain a whisper-quiet cabin with greatly reduced highway noise, at least according to Ford. An upright dash, firm seats and clever features like available ambient lighting create a much more contemporary demeanor, but the overall feeling still seems a bit dated when compared with newer compact SUV offerings from Hyundai and Chevrolet. Long gone is Ford’s traditional green instrument lighting, replaced by a cool Ice Blue illumination. Many hybrid buyers will appreciate the fact that the Escape Hybrid’s seat fabric is constructed of 100-percent recycled material and its foam cushions are manufactured from soy-based, not petroleum based, oil.

Exterior Features

Despite its eco-friendly attitude, the 2011 Escape Hybrid is still unmistakably a member of the bold and boxy Ford truck family. A dramatic front end combines with sleek lines to result in an Escape that’s both more rugged and more refined than the earlier versions, yet also exudes an air of sophistication and polish. If not for the unique 16-inch aluminum wheels and "Hybrid" badges, the Escape Hybrid would be difficult to distinguish from the gas-only Escape XLT. The Limited trim adds bright machined aluminum wheels, lower chrome grille extension, chrome liftgate handle, chrome roof-rail inserts and driver’s door keyless entry keypad.

Driving Impressions

The Escape Hybrid never feels more environmentally friendly than when it’s gliding quietly through a parking lot – or during short bouts of stop-and-go traffic – on electricity alone. Fortunately, when the novelty of all-electric operation wears off, Escape Hybrid owners are left with a perfectly pleasant daily driver. In fact, once you get used to the engine turning off at vehicle stops, the automatic engine restarts and the unique sensations of the continuously variable transmission – all typical hybrid characteristics – the Escape Hybrid transforms into a rather run-of-the-mill SUV, with ride and handling characteristics not significantly different than those of its competitors.

Pricing Notes

The 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid starts at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just over $30,500 and tops out at more than $40,000 when fully equipped with a navigation system, four-wheel drive and other options. Like other hybrids, our Fair Purchase Prices have reflected real-world selling prices in line with the MSRP. For the time being, the Escape’s only real challenger is the larger Toyota Highlander Hybrid, which starts close to $36,000, although rumors of new hybrid models from Hyundai and Honda may soon change the compact hybrid SUV landscape. We expect the 2011 Escape Hybrid to retain resale value better than its gasoline counterparts but not as well as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Notable Equipment

Equipped similarly to the XLT gas-only model, the 2011 Escape Hybrid includes dual-zone climate control, four-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system with auxiliary audio input jack, Ford SYNC communication and entertainment system, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control and 16-inch aluminum wheels. Standard safety equipment includes six airbags and anti-lock brakes (ABS), as well as AdvanceTrac traction control with Roll Stability Control. The Limited trim adds 16-inch bright machined aluminum wheels, chrome exterior and interior accents, a six-disc in-dash CD changer, ambient lighting, leather seating, a power moonroof, the Reverse Sensing System, heated front seats, heated side mirrors and a driver’s door keyless entry keypad.

Notable Options

Some of the Escape Hybrid’s more desirable options include DVD navigation with 10GB hard drive music storage, rear view camera, MyKey, Active Park Assist, four-wheel drive, integrated side step bars, remote start, rear seat DVD entertainment system and roof rack crossbars.

Favorite Features

Navigation SystemWe’re always glad for the ability to quickly and easily find the nearest caffeine station.Active Park AssistA feature usually found only on super luxury cars, the Escape Hybrid’s Active Park Assist uses sonar and the electric power steering unit to automatically guide the Escape into an open parallel parking spot. Voice prompts tell the driver when to shift gears and apply power.

Under the Hood

As a so-called "full hybrid" the Ford Escape Hybrid is capable of running on battery power alone, at speeds up to about 25 miles per hour. According to Ford, the system delivers zero-to-60-mph acceleration equivalent to that of a 240-horsepower V6. Power is transmitted to the front- or optional four-wheel-drive system via a "gearless" continuously-variable transmission. A new electric power steering system requires less effort from the driver to keep the vehicle headed straight on slanted roads or in steady side winds.2.5-liter in-line 4 Gas/Electric Hybrid Propulsion System153 horsepower @ 6000 rpmElectric motor: 94 horsepower @ 5000 rpm136 pound-feet @ 4500 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 34/31 (FWD), 30/27 (4WD)

Editors' Notes

While the bigger, heavier 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid doesn’t deliver all the fuel economy of smaller hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, it does offer greater utility and capability, especially when outfitted with four-wheel drive. Choosing the Escape Hybrid over a gas-only model will initially cost you more money up front than you’ll end up saving at the pump, but you can still feel good about using less gas and spewing fewer pollutants than otherwise-efficient SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

Road Test Video Reviews

2011 Ford Escape Owner Reviews

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Better Safe than Warranty free

2011 Ford Escape XLS

For the most part it is a really good car. My only daily concern with the car is I wish the car had better gas mileage. Looking at major problems with this vehicle I have had some issues with the engine. Fortunately, it has been under warranty, so the costs have not been too significant. I would definitely recommend buying the warranty because it has been so worth it for me. This would be the third engine I have had in this car. This all started because one day when I was driving my car had a piece under the hood come off while I was driving. This piece went through the engine and destroyed it. After that the vehicle was in repair for nearly two months at a Ford dealership. They put a new engine in and again it was not firing right. After this they put the third engine in and after that I made sure to get an extended warranty on the engine. It is a good thing I did because after a few years my check engine light came on. I went to have it repaired and this would have cost me potentially over $5,000 without the warranty to fix a small piece of the engine. Luckily, I was able to get it fixed for a very low cost, and I was able to use a rental during the time it was being fixed. Although I have had my fair share of issues with the car, I still enjoy the vehicle. In addition, Ford has been pretty helpful making sure that everything is up to date and running smoothly with the car.

- Kathryn A

2011 Ford Escape was a great purchase for me.

2011 Ford Escape XLS

I drive a lot. My escape currently has almost 180,000 miles on it. There have been very few problems. We keep up with the regular maintenance on it. The dealership where we bought it takes care of the maintenance. When driven properly I get good gas mileage with it. Gas mileage averages from 24 to 30 mpg. Between town and highway driving I normally get 25 to 26 mpg. I have gotten up to 31 mpg on the highway. My escape is off white with black interior. The only thing I would change is the black interior. The black interior shows all the dust. We live in the country with a driveway that is gravel and 2/10 mile long. This has been a very reliable car with very few problems. Have replaced battery, tires and wipers but no major issues. This past week the check engine light came on and they replaced the seal on the gas lid. There is not a gas cap, just a seal on the lid that keeps dust and water out. I like the convenience of not having to keep up with a gas cap. My car handles very well on the road. And it is comfortable. The ac works great and I love the seat warmers. The radio has a good sound and I love that I was able to load my music into the jukebox. I have a sunroof but don't use it much due to problems with skin cancer. I would recommend the escape to anyone.

- Sherry A

Small size SUV, with sleek, heated leather seats.

2011 Ford Escape

I love the car I drive. It gets pretty good gas mileage. It is a perfect size for an SUV because it is compact and easy to park, but still has a great deal of leg room and feels spacious from the inside. It's an attractive looking vehicle. It is certainly reliable in every trip I have taken it on so far, driving smoothly and never "acting up". Some features I really enjoy are the heated seats, CD player and AUX plug-in, heating on windshield for snow and ice, etc. The seats are very comfortable. Mine has leather seats which are easy to clean and take care of. The interior is entirely black and dark gray, which can make it hot in the summer, but overall gives it a really nice and clean look. The exterior is sleek and attractive, a nice black finish. There is also plenty of compartments inside for belongings. There are 4 cupholders in the front with 2 more in the back. The back seats also have a small area in the middle with air vents, which could for sure be bigger (or there could be more), but this is still nicer than a lot of other cars.

- Grace H

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