Used High-Mileage Hybrids, Yellow Taxi Paint Thrown In For Free

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2009 Ford Escape Hybrid New York taxi (Image: eBay Motors)

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid New York taxi (Image: eBay Motors)

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We've talked about the longevity of hybrid cars on several occasions before, usually when some myth about batteries dying at ridiculously short intervals comes up.

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?...


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Comments (6)
  1. For $5000 it's not a big risk for many people. If it only saw duty as a backup car or light hauler from Home Depot, it could be perfect. Even as a commuter car it could be great if you have your AAA membership paid up and don't mind an austere interior.

  2. 300K miles in 4 years is a pretty heavy duty work cycle. it is very tempting deal offered. Dont really want to pay to have it shipped to California though. about $1,000

    Just checked KBB.comn and they are selling it under blue book.

  3. It's certainly the cheapest I could find by quite a margin. As you say though, 300K in 4 years is quite some punishment, but it's reassuring to know it's capable of that.

  4. Who, in their right mind, would operate with the partition in place? 2,600 children are hospitalized from NYC cab partition injuries every year. We are told that the TLC is crash-testing partitioned taxis now. What they mean is they are NOW using dummies at test facilities, instead of real people, on real streets.

  5. @Steve: I believe the partition is legally required equipment for all NYC medallion taxis. I would also point out that smart taxi riders ALWAYS wear their seat belts, for just that reason.

  6. I see on a daily basis how NYC cabbies abuse their cars.. As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't buy a former NYC taxi cab, regular gas-only Crown Vic or hybrid, unless it's priced the same as a "salvage title" car. :-D

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