The powertrain in the Ford Escape Hybrid was selected by Wards Auto as one of the ten best for 2009.

The 10 Best Engine Award winners are selected for their breakthrough design, outstanding output, and fuel efficiency among other categories.  The powertrain in the Ford Escape Hybrid was selected due to its fuel efficiency, ability to operate up to about 30 mph in electric only mode, smooth transition from gas to electric mode, and fun to drive nature.

The Ford Escape Hybrid took the award.  Though the Ford Fusion uses a similar powertrain, it was not eligible for the award because it was not released until after testing was complete.  The Escape Hybrid returns 34 mpg city and 31 mpg highway in a small SUV package.  Testing shows that those numbers are easy to reach and even surpass in real world driving.

The Escape Hybrid power train can reach speeds near 40 mph under electric power only.  But it's the powertrain's ability to smoothly transition between electric and gasoline modes that make it a real stand out.

According to Wards Auto, the Escape Hybrid is, "A hybrid and fun to drive terms which rarely find themselves in the same sentence, but Ford engineers did it by listening to their customers and then carefully optimizing key components and driving modes to deliver a new type of environmentally friendly driving experience.  It replaces the old herky-jerky feel of the traditional HEV with something more akin to the pulse-and-glide driving pattern used by hyper-millers."

Ford has done a great job with the power train in both the Escape and the Fusion and have been commended for their efforts by receiving the coveted Ward's 10 Best Engines award for the Ford Escape.

Source:  Wards Auto