Talk about a paradigm shift. You know, the kind where you have certain mindset or belief or opinion, and then something dramatic happens and it changes your viewpoint.
For me, it all started with a simple email. It came from a person representing Ford Motor Company and they wanted to know if I’d be interested in driving a Ford Escape Hybrid and let them know what I thought.
My first thought was, “Me, in a hybrid?” That would raise a few eyebrows – particularly since I give unmitigated grief to a close friend of mine who drives a Prius (of course a Prius is a pretty wimpy car compared to a Ford Escape).
I agreed to do it, thinking that at worst I’d get better gas mileage for a few days.
Oh, but it was so much more than that.
First of all, it looked, felt and drove like a regular SUV. In fact, I didn’t notice any difference in the acceleration or handling at all. The only time I knew I was driving a hybrid was when I was looking at the power distribution display or the fuel efficiency meter. Having been the owner of a Ford Expedition, I wasn’t surprised that the body was solid and it looked good.
Speaking of Ford, as a company, the one thing I can say is that the lack of reading about them in the news is, in fact, good news. While GM and Chrysler are essentially being taken over by the government, Ford has managed to not have its hand out to Washington – reason enough for me to strongly encourage anyone looking into buying an American-made car to buy a Ford.
If it’s a mid-sized SUV that gets great mileage you are looking for, then the Escape Hybrid is for you.
The one I drove had a 2.5 liter inline 4 cylinder Atkinson Cycle Engine, which I could have sworn was a 6 cylinder with the punch that it has. Mine had an optional Navigation system (which came in very handy a couple times when I was trying to find my way around Tucson and six freeway off-ramps in a row closed) and had an MSRP of $33,035.00.
I had it for a week, but I put it through a month’s worth of testing – from the forests near Flagstaff to the traffic in Tucson and everything in between, the Ford Escape Hybrid was up to the task every single time I drove it.
Coming soon… Camping, hybrid style…