2009 Ford Escape Hybrid New York taxi (Image: eBay Motors)Enlarge Photo
But just how much faith would you put in a high-mileage hybrid? Enough to part with your cash for an ex-NYC Ford Escape Hybrid taxi?
Because such a thing is for sale right now on eBay, and it means getting into a 2009 Escape Hybrid for as little as $5,000.
For comparison, that's significantly under half what you'd normally expect to pay. The catch? It has nearly 300,000 miles on the odometer.
You could pick one with more, too. Due to age restrictions mandated by the City of New York Taxi & Limousine Commission, the taxis are retired at a certain age regardless of how much life they have left in them.
This particular car doesn't actually look bad, although the camera can hide a thousand ills.
You'd have to put up with the bright yellow paintwork, and we suspect it's seen a few touch-ups during its life as a hard-working NYC cab. We can see a ding in the front fender and some overspray on the lower spoiler for instance, but otherwise it's fairly tidy.
Inside, prospective buyers will be faced with the taxi's standard partition and a cabin peppered with holes from all the driver's meters and radio gear.
It's hard to tell, but the steering wheel looks a little tired too. And we'd give the seats a jolly good scrub before going anywhere--this isn't a car for cleanliness freaks.
But hey, with almost 300,000 on the clock it's gotta be pretty solid mechanically, right? It's lasted several years of New York traffic, New York roads and New York taxi driving techniques. The description is basic, but says it's in "running and driving" condition.
And we know that these cars do at least that and more. So we'll ask again: Just how much faith would you put in a high-mileage hybrid?...