Welcome, folks! It's Peter, and we're here to talk about the Ford Escape hybrid. This car is often overlooked, even amidst Ford's lineup, but I believe it's worth some attention. You're going to see features in this review that you won't find in other videos and learn why the Escape hybrid might be the simplest and most reliable vehicle compared to other models. 

Although this review is for the 2022 model and there have been changes for 2023, I believe my insights are still relevant to both models. Full disclosure, I have complete access to the entire selection of vehicles here at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals, so if you have any questions or comments about the car, leave me a message, and I'll get back to you. 

What's more, we're not limited to just the Escape hybrid. I can compare it side-by-side with all its competitors in the class. Usually, I'd do side-by-side reviews, but today, we'll take a closer look at the Escape hybrid, exploring why some of its features should be on other vehicles. 

So, hold on tight as we dive into this review and discover what makes the Ford Escape hybrid a unique and compelling choice for car enthusiasts.

Let's begin by discussing the impressive technology that powers hybrids. In the past, hybrids were seen as complicated vehicles with many potential issues. However, Ford has found many ways to efficiently and effectively enhance their performance. The Escape comes in three different engine options: a hybrid, a three-cylinder turbo, and a two-liter turbo. Despite the two-liter engine having a greater towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, it's far less fuel-efficient. 

Instead, Ford's engineers have designed an efficient 2.5-liter, four-cylinder hybrid engine with a towing capacity of 1500 pounds - an impressive feat for a vehicle in its class. And while the 1.5-liter, three-cylinder turbo engine is a good choice, a larger engine that doesn't have to work as hard is generally more durable over time. Because hybrids are designed with electric motors that assist the gas engine when it's doing the most challenging tasks, such as accelerating, they're considered among the most reliable vehicles available. 

The most significant difference in the Escape's technology is that the largest engine is the hybrid itself, making it the most efficient option. The battery and electric motor assist the gas engine to create a mid-range horsepower output with low torque, leading to exceptional efficiency and performance. This unique approach to developing an efficient engine will not only decrease fuel costs but also ensure a reliable driving experience.

Let's take a closer look at this vehicle. First, we'll check out the trunk and back seats, then I'll show you some technology features not covered in other videos. Before we dive into the trunk, I want to point out the sleek little roof rails. They're textured and low-mounted, which is rare for hybrids that often sacrifice roof rack rails for efficiency, but this one doesn't. That means you can get crossbars and take luggage up top. The rear has a powered tailgate, and a hitch capable of carrying up to 1500 pounds, complete with a two-inch proper hitch that works great with bike racks. It's better to place bike racks behind the car as bikes on the roof are aerodynamically inefficient. Moving on to the trunk, the Escape Hybrid has no visible intrusion of a battery or anything like that. You can lift the floor to reveal a spare tire and the trunk has a 12-volt port and tie-downs. While it's not the largest in its class, it's certainly class-competitive and adequate for most needs.

The trunk space is impressive. But before we hop into the driver's seat, let's check out the back. Approaching the back door, you'll notice that the seat is powered and moves all the way back when not in use, making for ample legroom. Sculpted seats create extra space, and while my legs are flush against the seat back, it still offers decent legroom. Additional features include a two-one interior, USB ports, vents, armrest cup holders, and pockets. Headroom is plentiful, with plenty of space between my head and the ceiling.

While the rear seats offer great features, let's not forget the true highlight of the car: the front seat. Before taking a closer look, let's check out the simple key fob. Unlock is on top, lock is the button in the circle, and you can double tap for remote start or to open the power trunk. It's worth noting that even on a hybrid, this car offers both eco-friendliness and remote start capability.

Overall, this car's got great features and an impressive amount of space in the back and front.

The Ford key is slightly larger than some competitors', but still fits smoothly in your pocket. It has a nicely profiled shape, and as an added convenience, the key fob has a touchpad built into the door handle which allows you to program a code and enter the car without the keys. The seats are very comfortable and have good adjustment options, including a lumbar support which is excellent for those with back problems.

Moving on to the hybrid technology, it's a mixture of gas engine and electric motor, which means you never need to plug it in. The battery charges as the car decelerates or coasts, while the engine can charge it by running. The big screen inside the vehicle is user-friendly and high-quality, though there may be some glare from the sun. The start button location is a bit of an afterthought, being located on the side instead of typical placement on the front. However, the tilt and telescopic rear steering wheel is a thoughtful addition for optimal comfort while driving.

During filming, I keep the setup nice and compact to capture optimal angles, and typically position myself too close to reach certain buttons. To get started, I plant my right foot on the brake, push the start button, and on a hybrid vehicle, the gas engine may not always kick in immediately. Once underway, the dash illuminates, and although some glare may appear in the footage, it's generally a non-issue while driving. The customizable display includes a power meter that we won't bother with in this particular demonstration, just as drivers of gasoline-fueled automobiles rarely require use of the tachometer or rely on an automated transmission. Instead, let's focus on the useful settings located here. The driver assistance function excels with some lag time, but ultimately works well. Additionally, the adaptive cruise control system maintains a set distance between you and the cars ahead of you, while the lane-keeping feature can helpfully guide you along the assumed central path of a lane.

The dealership doesn't prefer turning on some of the advanced features during test drives, such as the lane centering system, since it might spook inexperienced drivers. However, it is important to note that the vehicle is completely capable of steering itself with smart cruise control and lane centering. This feature allows for easier long-distance driving, reducing the need for constant steering. Other handy safety features include the speed sign recognition system, which leverages the same camera used for lane markers. With this feature enabled, speed limit signs are projected on the dash. Additionally, the camera system is used for blind spot information and cross traffic alerts to warn drivers of any hazards. The user can adjust certain features such as tolerances for speed limit warnings or activating/deactivating certain safety features. Keep in mind that not all features may be enabled on the user's vehicle.

The driving experience is a breeze in this hybrid vehicle, featuring advanced technology. Siri, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay are all standard features. Radio controls are easily accessible, alongside automatic climate control, which is a common feature for hybrids. Even heated seats can enhance your efficiency, as it allows the car to run on electric mode more frequently. Though I wish there was a wireless charger, USB and USB-A ports and a 12-volt port are available. The gear shifter functions identically to that of the Ford Maverick. My only qualm is that the shifter has the capacity to keep moving after transitioning to park or drive, which feels slightly disorienting. Dynamic drive modes are useful, from normal to snowy and slippery road conditions. Steering wheel controls provide easy access to audio and cruise control features, including smart cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

Driving this vehicle over long distances is a breeze. Before diving into other details, let me switch the camera around. You might hear the engine turning on and off in the background, as the hybrid running the climate system sometimes requires the engine to run intermittently. Fortunately, turning off the climate system can stop this toggling. That being said, let’s take a moment to appreciate the excellence of the headroom available in this car. The seats are perfectly supportive, and the car's spacious design provides ample room for passengers. Despite its squarish build, the roofline curves beautifully, allowing for considerable space inside. Back in the early 2000s, the original Ford Escape was an absolute square. But over the years, its design has been curving, making way for models like the sporty and squared-off Ford Bronco Sport. Speaking of the Ford lineup, this car has much to offer. If you're looking for something more squared-off, check out Jim Gilbert's Wilson deals or the Bronco sport. The visor holds three buttons for easy use and double up as a home link. A space for your sunglasses, computer controls for the system cameras and speed limit signs, and even self-driving features, are all in front of you. The interior is remarkably comfortable and can compete in the market's higher end. But enough about that, let’s get out and explore!

As we discuss this vehicle class, it's worth noting that the small crossover category is one of the most crowded in the auto industry - particularly in North America. There's something for everyone, but it's the little things that can make a big difference. Hybrids make a lot of sense if you're after more efficient fuel consumption but aren't ready for a plug-in vehicle. Thankfully, they're now produced by a range of manufacturers, including Honda, Toyota, Kia, and Hyundai - offering both excellent reliability and fuel economy. Plus, the engine is relieved of its hardest work by the electric motor. 

At Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals, you can compare hybrids to non-hybrids and plug-ins, seeing the many advantages the former can offer (even if you're just after fuel efficiency). It's essential to experience a variety of small crossovers for yourself to determine which one works best for you. Don't trust just any dealer, visit Canada's huggable car dealer, respected around the world for their exceptional customer service.

We want to hear from the hybrid owners too! Tell us about your experience with this car, and we'll keep creating informative videos about cars and classes. Subscribe to see more videos like this!

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