These days, everyone seems to be looking for an SUV — and even though fuel prices are relatively low, most people also want a car that’s good on fuel. Combining the two can be tough, especially on a budget, as most used SUVs weren’t developed with "fuel efficiency" as a major point. But there’s at least one I can recommend that’s cheap to buy, good on gas, and, well, an SUV: the Ford Escape Hybrid.
Yes, although Ford no longer makes it, the brand once made a hybrid-powered version of its Escape crossover. It seems like a no-brainer to continue making this vehicle in the age of rising SUV popularity, but Ford ditched it after the 2012 model year. While that’s bad news for new-car shoppers whose hybrid SUV choices are shockingly limited, drivers interested in a relatively inexpensive used hybrid SUV can find what they’re looking for in the Escape.
The Escape Hybrid was made in two generations, and the second-generation models — which came out for the 2008 model year — are more common and better than the originals, with more technology and newer interiors. Go on Autotrader and search for 2008 and up Escape Hybrid models, though, and you’ll discover they aren’t that pricey: the average asking price is around $8,000, which is far cheaper than rival models like the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid — which is much newer and much more expensive.
The Escape Hybrid hit excellent fuel economy numbers, too. According to the EPA, the Escape Hybrid could do 34 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which are excellent figures for an SUV — especially a decade ago. Reliability seems to be a non-issue, as well, as Escape Hybrid models are consistently some of the highest-mileage New York City taxi vehicles. Of course, that’s anecdotal evidence, and buyer beware, as this is a used car after all — but it’s a good example of how these hold up to heavy use.
Indeed, the Escape Hybrid isn’t the most beautiful SUV or the most modern — but it’s highly efficient and highly affordable, and it’s worth a look if you’re interested in an efficient SUV. Find a Ford Escape Hybrid for sale