I am new here. The 2009 Escape has made it onto our short list as a replacement for an aging Windstar that has served many years as a utility vehicle. Obviously the Escape is smaller--which is fine.

Couple questions:

(1) Anyone know the width between the wheel well covers in the cargo area--measured at the floor level? How about length from the back of the front seats to the lift gate--again measured at the floor level? I looked on Ford's website for this detail but could not find it.

(2) Has anyone actually owned an FEH long enough to have the battery pack serviced or replaced? I view cars as "appliances" and tend to keep the good ones for a longer time (15 years in the case of the Windstar) and I wonder what the cost is.

(3) I believe that GM says that the batterires in the Volt have a manufacturing cost of ~$16,000. I do not know the A-hr ratings for the Volt and FEH, but it makes me wonder how Ford can offer the FEH at near-Prius pricing without some sort of subsidy.

(4) Anyone know why so many used Prius and FEH have "salvaged titles".

Regards, j