Amanda, I've been well served by my 2008 FEH, with 120,000 miles on it now, only it's 2nd set of tires, and original, factory brakes, but I fully realize that I'm moving closer by the day to some major expenses, or major mechanic work (I do a lot myself). If you won't be driving over 300mi/wk you should not be concerned about MPG versus other costs of ownership.

Contrary to a lot of noise by those who have never even been in a position to replace a traction battery ("high voltage battery" or whatever else you want to call it), it is NOT a big deal, and would cost you less than major transmission or engine work could cost on any car. Look on ebay at batteries out of wrecked Escapes. Heck, go googling all over the web, the dealer isn't lying to you about that one (he might think he is tho). Here's a GREAT link to look at:
http://www.escape-city.com/viewtopic...10819&start=10

You need to have a good "get in - get out" strategy, almost like stock trading, except your "stock" will be dropping from the instant you get it. As you can see, I'm doing the "long-haul" strategy, and I probably will end up "parting it out" in another 100k miles. I don't recommend that strategy to others, and frequently question my own sanity.