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2009 Ford Escape Sport Utility Crossover

4WD 4dr I4 CVT Hybrid Limited

Starting at | Starting at 29 MPG City - 27 MPG Highway

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  • $33,725 original MSRP
Printable Version

2009 Ford Escape Sport Utility Crossover

Benefits of Driving a 2009 Ford Escape Sport Utility Crossover

The 2009 Ford Escape is one of the most affordable and economical small SUVs, and its carlike ride and handling, along with good maneuverability, make it a solid choice for urban drivers. At the same time, the Hybrid model is one of the lowest-priced hybrids and offers a practical way to 'go green.'

What's new for 2009?

Following a redesign last year, the Ford Escape gets a minor facelift for 2009, with subtle exterior revisions both front and rear. The Escape now benefits from a new capless fueling system and an 18.5-inch rear anti-roll bar. Ford's SYNC communications and entertainment system is available for the first time. Escape Hybrids will get standard stability control with roll control, and are now offered in both base and Limited trim.

Model Strengths

  • Smooth ride and handling
  • fuel efficiency (four-cylinder and Hybrid)
  • eco-friendly seating material, competitive pricing.

Model Review

The Ford Escape comes with three different powertrains for 2009, all of them revised significantly from previous years. A 170-horsepower 2.5L 4-cylinder replaces the 153-hp 2.3L, while a 230-horsepower 3.0L ups power by 30 hp in the V6 Escape. The new 2.5L also makes its way into the Escape Hybrid, which pairs it with an electric motor system, battery pack, regenerative braking, and a sophisticated management system to produce 170 hp. Ford claims fuel efficiency has not been affected by the performance boost.

Printable Version

2009 Ford Escape Sport Utility Crossover

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2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

Source: The Car Connection

Editors at TheCarConnection.com drove the new 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid to bring you this hands-on review of its performance, styling, quality, comfort, and features. Editors also evaluated the Ford Escape Hybrid against its competition to provide you the best information and help with your shopping decision.

The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid compact SUV is the latest model of Ford's pioneering hybrid. In 2004, it was both the first hybrid SUV and the first hybrid built in the United States. It's capable, attractive, and in the last few years, a perennial bestseller for Ford. Buyers nervous about the durability of hybrids should be reassured by the fact that more than 1,500 Ford Escape Hybrids are in regular use as New York City taxicabs.

Ford has consistently upgraded its hybrid-electric powertrain over the years. For 2008, the hybrid Escape got an enlarged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams, raising 153 horsepower. There is only a single engine/transmission option. Under the right circumstances, the Escape Hybrid will run in electric-only mode up to almost 40 mph.

The hybrid-electric system acts as an electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), letting the engine run at its most efficient speed regardless of road speed. Acceleration is good, although putting the pedal to the floor quickly runs the engine up to a howl.

But it's fuel economy that really makes the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid. The EPA rates it at 34 mpg city/31 mpg highway, and during a four-day road test with substantial highway mileage, we consistently averaged 30 mpg or very close.

Unlike the handful of other all-wheel-drive hybrid crossovers and SUVs, the Escape Hybrid AWD drives all four wheels mechanically. Other SUV hybrids use an electric motor to power the rear wheels. Under extreme circumstances, that motor could shut off to prevent overheating or damage--leaving the vehicle with only two driven wheels. We view this as a plus for the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid.

That said, the Escape isn't a rock-climbing off-roader. It's fine for dirt and gravel roads, has a decent 8.5 inches of ground clearance, and holds the road nicely, thanks to a suspension that was completely retuned last year.

The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid is a square, upright vehicle that's actually a bit larger than it looks. Its latest restyling takes it further into the tough-SUV mold, which some competitors have moved away from.

There's decent room for four adults inside the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, and every passenger sits high up, with good views out the windows. The front seats are better than the rear seat, which has a short bottom cushion and may be better for children than taller adults.

The 2008 restyling vastly improved the cabin décor and materials. Instruments are easy to read, with blue-green backlighting, though the high-gloss black plastic surfaces seem to attract dust like a magnet.

Our least favorite facet of the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid is the wind noise, which is louder than expected and worse than in most other compact SUVs. This may reflect the age of the basic design, which launched a decade ago and has a more upright windshield than it might be today. The mirrors also generate a lot of noise at speed, though they are pleasantly large and provide excellent visibility. Our test Escape Hybrid also suffers an annoying, moaning howl right at the 2,000-rpm mark, though it's the only one we've driven with that problem.

The folding rear seat proves annoying. It requires all three headrests to be removed--but there's no place to stow them. Once the seat bottom is folded forward and the back flipped down, the load floor is flat and the Escape Hybrid offers 66.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Still, those headrests!

Our test vehicle comes with the optional LED interior lighting, which offers a choice of several different colors for floor, console, and cup-holder lighting. It's fun the first few times, but feels like a gimmick after that. Ford's Easy-Fuel capless gas filler system is a nice feature that eliminates the need for a separate gas cap.

Another sign of the Escape Hybrid's age is the lack of integration between the instrument cluster and the console screen. The cluster contains a mode gauge that shows when the battery charges and discharges, but all fuel efficiency data remains on the central console screen. The newer 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has both parts integrated and superb graphical displays in the cluster right in front of the driver.

Finally, the air conditioning compressor in the 2009 Escape Hybrid remains driven by the engine, which means any time the AC is switched on, the engine must start. Newer hybrids (including the 2010 Fusion Hybrid) use electric air conditioning that can run even with the engine off.

As a family vehicle, the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid has to score well on safety, and it does. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) deems it a Top Safety Pick, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives it five stars in its front and side impact tests. Dual-stage front airbags and side airbags are standard, as are anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and traction control.

Ford has won kudos for its Sync interface to infotainment systems, and justifiably so. Microsoft and Ford partnered to develop Sync, and it's remarkably versatile. Users can pair (most) Bluetooth mobile phones and connect MP3 players, then operate them entirely by voice command--improving safety significantly. Other Sync features and options include Sirius Travel Link, also voice controlled, which offers navigation, real-time traffic data, weather info, and even local fuel prices.


The Bottom Line:

The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid is a viable and sturdy contender in the family crossover arena. Gas mileage is excellent for a compact SUV, and optional mechanical all-wheel drive sets it apart from softer competitors.

Printable Version

2009 Ford Escape Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Rear Parking Aid Std
Handsfree Wireless Std

Security

Alarm Opt
Telematics Std
Printable Version

2009 Ford Escape Sport Utility Crossover

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 5 Years/60,000 Miles

Ford Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Manufacturer's 7 years / 100,000 miles Powertrain Limited Warranty from original in-service date. 12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty. See dealer for details.. See dealer for details. Rental Reimbursement $30/day.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 model years or newer / less than 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 172
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2009 Ford Escape Sport Utility Crossover

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