Why I Bought a Ford Escape Hybrid

by Michael Dappert - Date: 2007-04-16 - Word Count: 715 Share This!

Unlike many millions of people, I need a small SUV for my business. We need the space to carry tools, a ladder, a laptop, antennas, boxes of cable, and the electronic equipment to be installed at a customers location.

We had been using a Chevy Blazer for the last 4 years that had accumulated about 130,000 miles and was getting around 16 miles per gallon. We had never had any trouble with the Blazer but, with the accumulated miles, I was getting concerned it would start to have problems about the time the weather broke this year and we really got busy doing installations. Also, presently gas is about $2.75 a gallon here in Illinois and I believe it will just continue to trend upward in price.

So, with Hybrid in the back of my mind, I started to look around for a new vehicle. We had to have something to carry all that gear in so that eliminated anything like a Prius or Honda Civic. So I got online and found the Ford Escape. It looked like just what we needed as long as I could get it in four wheel drive. The dealer finally found one at a dealer about 350 miles away and they drove it over so we could try it out. We did and subsequently purchased a new Ford Escape Hybrid in January, 2007.

I think most people with four wheel drive vehicles really do not need four wheel drive for any real reason, but, I do. We live in the country and have a quarter mile private lane to the public road. In February we woke up to about 8 inches of snow on the ground and about 35 mile per hour winds. Our lane was drifted shut and the road was drifted shut. At about 9 in the morning our electricity went off.

Now no electricity is a major pain but we still had heat because we have a wood stove. Not so for my 83 year old mother-in-law who lives alone in another house about 1/2 mile across a field from our house. After about 2 hours of no electricity her house started to get cold. She has a propane fireplace but was afraid to try to light it.

At first I thought I would walk over and light the fireplace and I actually did bundle up and start off across the field to her house. The wind was brutal out in the open and about a third of the way I noticed that most of the snow had blown off of the field and was probably up covering the road. So I went back and got in the Escape to drive over.

The Escape has an automatic four wheel drive system that engages the four wheel drive as needed. This was the first time I would actually put it to the test. Although most of the snow had blown off one side of the hill in the field the other side was waves of drifts but at least I had a run at it and made it over to my mother-in-laws house with no problem.

Later in the day I drove through the field up to the road but decided not to try the road because all that snow that had come off the field was definitely on the road. Believe me it is quite possible to get a four wheel drive vehicle stuck because I have done it. The road grader cleared the roads and our lane later that day only to have the wind start blowing hard the next day from another direction and deposit another bunch of drifts across the lane. But the Escape four wheel drive handled it pretty well.

At first the mileage on the Escape was about 24.5 miles per gallon. The dealer had told me that the mileage would begin to climb after about 5000 miles. I am not sure why that is but now at about 4000 miles the mileage is up to about 28.5 miles per gallon. The mileage estimate on the car is about 31 miles per gallon. I think when I start to average 30 miles per gallon I will be delighted and feel like we have accomplished one reason for the purchase of the Ford Escape Hybrid.

Related Tags: gas, economy, save, hybrid, suv, mileage

Michael Dappert is a co-founder of Winco, Inc., a provider of wireless internet access to small communities in West Central Illinois. Everyone is invited to discuss a wide range of issues at Flyoverfolks.com.

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