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2010 Ford Escape Hybrid Trims

4WD

Avg. Price: $21,385

Pricey? Yes. Flashy? No. Efficient? Definitely. The 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD is a five-passenger, five-door, small, full-time four-wheel-drive (4WD) SUV that, according to the automotive media, offers the best fuel economy in its class. Though dissed by most reviewers as lacking a few of the more common standard and optional amenities for vehicles in its price range, the base Escape Hybrid 4WD still offers a wad of goodies on top of some 66 cubic feet of cargo space (with the rear seats folded).

As with its hybrid siblings, the 2010 Escape Hybrid 4WD is equipped with a gasoline-powered 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) engine managed by a constant-velocity transmission (CVT) that together deliver 177 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque. The gas engine is bolstered by two electric motors, one for acceleration, the other for powering accessories, while a third, smaller motor delivers extra power and traction to the rear wheels when necessary. A center-mounted mechanical limited-slip differential provides constant power to all four wheels. The Escape Hybrid 4WD's powertrain is rated at 29/27 mpg.

Base

Avg. Price: $21,002

The front-wheel-drive (FWD) 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid Base compact SUV offers room for five passengers and five doors, including the rear liftgate cargo door. Standard amenities include a roof rack, 16-inch alloy wheels, front bucket seats with six-way-adjustable power driver’s seat, power windows, door locks, and mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, tilt-wheel steering, a USB connection, Bluetooth hands-free communications technology, and an MP3-capable single-CD player with four speakers and satellite radio service. Like its brethren, the Escape Hybrid Base also packs the new-for-2010 MyKey speed-and-volume-limiting ignition key and new, larger outside mirrors that are claimed to eliminate blind spots to the sides and rear of the vehicle. Options include a rear-view camera, voice-activated DVD navigation that’s integrated with Ford’s popular SYNC infotainment system, and side step bars. Additionally, the Escape lineup is touted as among the safest SUVs on the road today, despite a curious switch to rear drum brakes last year. Standard four-wheel ABS, traction and stability control, dual front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear side curtain airbags protect driver and passengers, while front fog/driving lights are offered as an option.

A two-mode hybrid system, with a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) gas engine, bolstered by two electric motors, powers the 2010 Escape Hybrid Base under the auspices of a continuously variable transmission (CVT). With this system, one battery-powered electric motor is used for acceleration, and the other powers the vehicle’s accessories. This combo not only limits the Escape Hybrid’s carbon footprint, but provides an impressive 34/31 mpg.

Limited

1 national listing
Avg. Price: $21,043

Ford’s 2010 Escape Hybrid Limited five-passenger, five-door compact SUV adds such standard goodies as premium leather upholstery, heated front seats and outside mirrors, a rear-view camera system, universal remote garage door opener, and six-speaker stereo system to the lineup. One additional option with the Limited is the much-ballyhooed Auto Park system, which uses front and rear acoustic sensors to assist drivers with parallel parking, often a chore for the less experienced. Standard front fog/driving lights are an additional safety feature.

Featuring the same gas/electric, two-mode hybrid drivetrain as its siblings, the front-wheel-drive (FWD) 2010 Escape Hybrid Limited offers 34/31 mpg and the capability of accelerating up to 40 mph on electric power alone for short distances. A nickel metal hydride battery and regenerative braking system provide muscle to the two electric motors (one for acceleration and one to power accessories) which have an output of 94 hp, while a 177-hp, 136-lb-ft/torque 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) gasoline engine delivers the primary driving force. This hybrid system is managed by a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Limited 4WD

Avg. Price: $19,926

Covering all the driving bases is the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid Limited 4WD. This is the top-shelf trim level in its lineup and features all the bells and whistles of its front-wheel-drive-only sibling, while featuring full-time four-wheel-drive (4WD) capabilities. A third electric motor is added to the primary two-mode gas/electric system to deliver extra power to the rear wheels when needed. The 171-hp 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) gas engine is supplemented by two electric motors, one for acceleration, the other powering accessories, and with the standard continuously variable transmission (CVT), manages 29/27 mpg, not to mention a more eco-friendly ride.

Standard appearance, comfort, and convenience features with the 2010 Escape Hybrid Limited 4WD mirror those of its front-wheel-drive brethren. Such goodies as 16-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a rear-view camera system, universal remote garage door opener, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth communications technology, and the MyKey speed-and-volume-limiting ignition key are common to the Hybrid Limited lineup. A notable option, meanwhile, is the well-regarded Auto Park sensor-operated technology, which allows drivers to parallel park the Escape Limited Hybrid 4WD on the first shot.