It was the first hybrid sport utility in the world, launched with great fanfare by Ford in 2004, and for 2011, the Escape Hybrid is still going strong--and still selling steadily. The current design dates back to a 2008 freshening of a basic vehicle first launched way back in 1999.
Now an old design in the twilight of its life cycle, the 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid blends hauling and load capacity, substantial ground clearance, and truck-like upright styling with a remarkably sophisticated hybrid powertrain that delivers 34 mpg city, 31 mpg highway.
It also offers the unique option of mechanical all-wheel-drive in a hybrid crossover, rather than the light-duty all-wheel-drive provided by Toyota and Lexus by adding an electric motor to power the rear wheels.
To get that combination anywhere else, you're automatically up to a full-size GM sport utility vehicle. And it's popular, with just under half of all Escape Hybrid buyers specifying all-wheel-drive, regardless of other options.