Author Topic: Going Hybrid  (Read 4449 times)

hunniebun

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Going Hybrid
« on: December 23, 2014, 07:42:37 PM »
Does anyone have any tips on buying a Hybrid vehicle?  More specifically a Ford Escape Hybrid?  We currently have two gas guzzlers a 2006 Honda Odessey (averaging 17 MPG) and an 2011 F150 (averaging amazingly 26 MPG), both paid for. We want to trade the bigger offender of the two (the mini bus) and the one we use the most in for a 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid with 80 000 km on it (they are asking 13K I think, or I saw a 2006 that is 9900K but has almost 200 000 km).  I like the idea of this vehicle because it is big enough to allow for two car seats, plus 3 adult passengers which we routinely have, plus plenty of cargo space for hockey bags etc. in the back.  The reviews seem pretty positive, but I wonder about how they actually work, if they are reliable (especially in really cold -30/-40 conditions).  Any suggestions or reviews?   I need to do a fair amount of commuting still and put on about 250 km city and 100 km highway driving each week.

cartechguy

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Re: Going Hybrid
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2014, 08:24:18 PM »
If you driving LESS than 100 miles a day then a hybrid isn't a great option!!  The Ford Fusion is an ok option.  But, when it comes to hybrid and my 20+ years in the auto industry the Hondas and Toyotas are the hybrids you want to buy.

Many people disagree with me on this but trust me!

sol

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Re: Going Hybrid
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2014, 08:41:04 PM »
We have a small fleet of Escape hybrids at work.  They're generally dependable and functional, but not very exciting to drive. 

We also have a few non-hybrid escapes, and switching back to one of those is kind of a surprise, like it feels too light and fragile by comparison.  The hybrids seem fine when you're driving them, but then switching back to the pure ICE version feels kind of like driving a twitchy sportscar.  Except, you know, it's still a mid sized SUV.

The cargo capacity is pretty good even with the back seats occupied.  We haven't had any significant maintenance issues on any of them, so I suspect reliability is pretty good.  They're a little bit taller than most mid-sized SUVs I've driven, including the Odyssey. 

When we first got them they were supposed to be "road cars" only, meaning we weren't supposed to take them off-roading for field work.  That went out the window in a hurry, and they get just as abused as our other cars now, with no apparent ill effect.

MoneyCat

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Re: Going Hybrid
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 08:54:56 PM »
If you want an American hybrid, I recommend my Ford Fusion Hybrid over the Ford Escape Hybrid.  With the Escape Hybrid, the engine has to run if you run the air conditioning.  That's not the case with my 1st generation Fusion Hybrid.  Also, the Fusion Hybrid can run on electric power up to 47 mph in the 1st generation and up to 62 mph in the 2nd generation for up to two miles.  The only thing the Escape really has going for it is cargo space.

sol

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Re: Going Hybrid
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 09:08:35 PM »
We also have a single Ford Fusion hybrid in our fleet, and it's always my preferred vehicle for road trips.  It's a much more pleasant car to drive, and the interface and controls are much nicer than the cheap ones in the Escape.  The seats are more comfortable for me too, but I've heard people claim the exact opposite so that may be a matter of body type.

I'd challenge that claim about 47/62 mph on electric only, though.  Ours typically kicks on the engine before you're done backing out of the parking space.

lostamonkey

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Re: Going Hybrid
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2014, 02:54:42 AM »
If you driving LESS than 100 miles a day then a hybrid isn't a great option!!  The Ford Fusion is an ok option.  But, when it comes to hybrid and my 20+ years in the auto industry the Hondas and Toyotas are the hybrids you want to buy.

Many people disagree with me on this but trust me!

Can you please explain why this is the case and provide some rough numbers. Is it because of a higher upfront cost and higher maintenance costs?

makincaid

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Re: Going Hybrid
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2014, 05:55:54 AM »
Back in the summer, I bought an 06' escape with 101k miles for 6.2k. It's been great so far. It only gets 27-28 mpg, but it is the 4WD version. I expect the FWD version would do a little better.

hunniebun

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Re: Going Hybrid
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2014, 07:09:29 AM »
Thanks for all the input.  I am not sure if we are going to go with the 4WD or the front WD. DH wants the 4WD since he is still of the opinion that it is safer for winter driving, but my van is front wheel drive and I have never been stuck or had an issue. I like the idea of a ford fusion, but I really need the cargo space.  I am really couldn't care less about how 'fun' a car is to drive, as long as it is safe and reliable! How boring am I??!?!

Kansas Beachbum

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Re: Going Hybrid
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2014, 07:15:21 AM »
We have a 2012 Toyota Camry hybrid and love it.  It has averaged just over 40 MPG all in during the two years we have driven it.  And in slight disagreement to the post about driving less than 100 miles per day, we drive far less than that generally, but hybrids (ours, anyway) shine in city driving...often times getting upper 40's/low 50's to and from work.  On the highway we get ~38 MPG...a little better if I can keep it around 70 MPH, but I tend to drive closer to 80 on long trips.  Good luck!

MoneyCat

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Re: Going Hybrid
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2014, 07:16:27 AM »
I'd challenge that claim about 47/62 mph on electric only, though.  Ours typically kicks on the engine before you're done backing out of the parking space.

You just have to be really gentle when you accelerate to keep it in EV mode.  The electric motor is only 106 hp, so if you accelerate too quickly, it'll start the ICE.  I am careful and cruise around at exactly 47 mph.  I've never had any problems reaching and maintaining that speed in EV mode.

superathlete

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Re: Going Hybrid
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2014, 07:19:18 AM »
You may want to look at the Prius V, it seems to have a lot of cargo volume in it.  We have a regular Prius with the same drivetrain.  80,000 miles and not a single issue.

I echo the disagreement that you need to drive 100 miles a day to see any hybrid benefit.  City driving is where they really shine.

Also, with falling oil prices, now is a great time to buy an efficient vehicle and dump an inefficient one.

hunniebun

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Re: Going Hybrid
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2014, 08:24:56 AM »
@superathlete - I was thinking this was prime buying time for a hybrid two. Now that gas prices are so low everyone wants to start driving their massive farm vehicles again!  I have seen a tonne of them come up for sale in the last 2 months!  Getting a hybrid at these low gases prices will cut my fuel bill by 60%! I can't wait!!!