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For 2010, Ford adds a bevy of new available features not found on any of the Escape Hybrid's competition. Among the more notable is an integrated blind spot side view mirror, MyKey programmable key, Active Park Assist parallel parking aid, a rear view camera and the SYNC system with Traffic, Direction and Information.
The same, all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine found in the 2009 Ford Escape makes it way into the Escape Hybrid model, bumping up horsepower and torque while seeing a one-mile-per-gallon increase in highway fuel economy. Also new are a six-speed automatic transmission and an Escape Limited trim.
Ford's foray into the world of hybrid-electric vehicles appears to have been a short trip. After launching the Escape Hybrid to much fanfare, the company has backed away from its lofty hybrid fleet goals, focusing instead on alternative fuels such as E85. That's a shame, because the Escape Hybrid is an impressive little SUV, touting outstanding city fuel economy and greatly reduced emissions. While the Escape Hybrid costs about $5,000 more than a comparably equipped gasoline Escape, the price is still within reach of most consumers and is nearly $12,000 less than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. On the other hand, Saturn's VUE passive hybrid costs about $3,500 less, although it cannot match the Escape Hybrid's city fuel economy figures.