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  1. #131

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    I have to admit I am jealous of all the reports of above 30MPG in this thread. We have had our FEH for about 14 months now, and we have yet to see any mileage above 27MPG. I get over 35MPG in my 93 Plymouth Colt, so I don't think my driving habits are overly aggressive. However, no matter how I try to change my driving habits for the hybrid, I have not been able to achieve even a small measure of the fuel savings promised.

    I think that those entries that talk about some FEHs being lemons have it right. I talked with my dealer technician and he says that he never sees less than 30 MPG on his vehicle. I talked to another technician, and he indicates that the hybrid should really shine in in-town driving and run mostly on EV. However, I have noticed exactly the opposite with my FEH, and I seem to be getting a better gas-mileage on 50+ mile trips involving freeways than I do when driving in town. My friend bought a 2005 Escape almost at the same time I did, and he regularly gets 24MPG, so at less than 3MPG difference, I am severely disappointed in my car's willingness to take advantage of its touted hybrid system.

    I have asked two dealerships with certified Hybrid technicians about my symptoms and both teams agreed that the description of the car's behavior doesn't sound right. Nevertheless, after running the car through all of their diagnostics, both dealers certify a clean bill of health for all systems and keep telling me nothing is wrong. I practically never run the Max AC or Defrost settings, so there is no reason why the car should not switch into EV mode. However, more times than not it seems that I barely look at the accelerator, and the gasoline engine kicks in immediately at less than 10 MpH. I have also noticed that my "Charge-Assist" gauge rarely ever leaves the "Charge" zone for more than a few seconds, and at times I can sit at a complete stop for more than 10 seconds, after a more than 20 minute drive, before the car will finally condescend to switch off the engine.

    I firmly believe that other people are indeed seeing the savings that the FEH promises, but such has definitely not been my experience with my own car. I sure wish I could find somebody at Ford who could look at the computer and reprogram it to be a bit more aggressive in using the power harnessed in those batteries and less worried about constantly preserving electricity and charging the batteries. I actually received an invitation about 4 months ago from Ford to join the designers of the FEH for a special symposium of early FEH owners. Unfortunately the symposium was in Michigan, and, even at Hybrid savings, driving all the way there from my home in Colorado was time- and cost-prohibitive. Too bad, I would have loved to talk to those engineers and get them to check whether mine is a lemon after all ... So far all I have gotten from Ford is some very sympathetic technicians and a friendly handshake assuring me not to worry and that everything is OK. Sigh ...

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  3. #132

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    R&S, go to http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/hybrid_ford_escape/
    and ask GPSman1 if he would check out you FEH. John is a high MPG person like myself and lives near Denver. It would not take him or me 5 minutes driving your FEH to find if there is a problem or not. He may fix it right there with a suggestion or help you with Ford if it's a software or mechnical problem. You will have to join the group, but it's safe.

  4. #133

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    Thanks Gary, I will check out the link and contact you suggested. It would be great if something could be done. Other than the mileage disappointment we really love our FEH.

  5. #134

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    I can't believe the poor mileage figures that people are getting. I have a FWD version w/ less than 500 miles on it and I would need to make a concerted effort to get less than 35mpg out of it.

    Have you tried re-setting the average MPG calculation? Basically, scroll to the MPG figure and then hold in the SET button. Onde I did this, the average moved out of the 20's and into the mide 30s. My first fill-up confirmed that the figure in the average MPG display was way too conservative and that I was rally getting mileage in the mid 30s.

    I am looking forward to getting even better mileage as the computer adapts the power management and I master the car.

    One trick is "bump and run" -- Once you are warmed up, on flat stretches or slight downhills, accelerate to 40 relatively quickly, then tap the brakes to turn off the IC. You'll recover the energy from the jack-rabbit start when you brake again. Slow acceleration is not necessarily a benefit, so don't expect to be rewarded for it.

    On steep hills with low speed limits, ride the brakes to keep the car just under 40. That will keep the IC off and charge the battery up at the same time. The higher the charge in the battery, the more of an assist you'll get from the electric motors later on.

    Avoid short trips. You just can't eke out good mileage until the car is warmed up a bit.

  6. #135

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    Hi Mike and congratulations on your new FEH!

    The Navi 15min average MPG is right on and not conservative at all. You may want to add a scangauge to your FWD FEH as I did, because it sounds like your going to max out the 60mpg limit on the Navi like I did. Filling the TANK is no way to measure the MPG used. If you reset the 15 min average at fill up, it will tell you your tank average till you fill up again.

    Do not accelerate quickly if you want the best MPG. The Atkinson 5 stroke has very little torque at lower RPM’s and I find that 1,800rpm is the best accelerating method or if you need more power, try 2,300-2,500rpm’s. Stay away from 1,900-2,200rpm’s and 3,000-3,500rpm's as much as possible because the torque curve is flat there.

    If you want to master the FEH, start with reading my article on “Hypermiling The Ford Escape Hybrid” at http://www.cleanmpg.com/ . How does 70-80MPG sound on a round trip? You will need to get your FWD FEH broke in first and that will come in time.

  7. #136

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    Hi All,

    I've been having a blast w my 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid.

    Recently I read an article about a Honda Civic Hybrid owner who was getting approx. 50+ mpg. I took some of his tips and am now getting approx. 35-36mpg!

    I'm driving in Orange County California. And what I noticed helps the most is using the cruise control on flat local roads. Instead of getting approx. 30-33mpg, I'm getting around 35mpg by setting it to 45mph.

    On the freeways it is MUCH better to use your foot and drive approx. 65mph.

    My current tank is going to get about 430 miles before the 50m low fuel warning comes on.

    This is my third tank this way.


  8. #137

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    Just to add my two cents --- I have had my 4wd FEH for a month now, and just passed the 1000 mile mark. Strangely, in the past week or two, something has changed -- the mpg has actually gone UP. I realize others have said that the car needs to "settle" and I think that is right. Instead of the 28 mpg I was averaging here in LA (mix of city and freeway driving), now I'm up to 30-32 mpg average, right on target. I'm not driving any differently either -- just accelerating slowly and doing the "double tap" when cruising to take it down to electric. So far, very happy with this car.

    A question -- anyone know what those noises I hear when I unlock the door are? Sounds like some machinery moving or fan starting up.

  9. #138

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    I want an SUV because I don't care for small uncomfortable cars, but I am not comfortable buying a gas hog. After a little on-line research, the Escape is the most appealing SUV hybrid to me, however, I am not sure a hybrid is the answer for me.

    I live outside a small city, and for shopping and errands, I drive a winding, semi-hilly road about 15 miles, ranging from 30-55 mph. I will also travel a 200 mile round-trip about once every two weeks at 60-70 mph highway with few stops. Not much of my driving will be in the city among slower traffic.

    Is the FEH the right car for me?

    Thanks for any opinions.

  10. #139

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid


    A hybrid car is for everyone, assuming it can carry what you need (we still need that minivan option). If you truly need the large size vehicle, the FEH or HiHY are clearly the right thing. However, I recommend that you sit in a Prius or Civic as well since they are fairly roomy as mid-size/compact cars go and get a lot better gas mileage.

    If your decision comes to a big hybrid or any non-hybrid I'd recommend you seriously consider the hybrid. They're more powerful *AND* consume a lot less gas than their antiquated brethren. What's not to like?

    CNG or Diesels may also offer clean or efficient options as well depending on where you live.

  11. #140

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid


    I am new to this world, but enjoying it. This site has been great in the advice. I picked my fwd feh a week ago and did ok with my first tank getting 29.2 on ave.

    I started out making lots of errors in driving. I have now had 15 minutes here and there of 45 - 55 mpg on flats and down hill strecthes. The highway driving on the PA TP around Philly has yeilded consistant 33+ mpg using cruise control set at 68. Very cool.

    Where I at issue is how to handle all little and big hills and pushy stop and go traffic. I am not getting good milage 27-28 in that environment. Any suggestions?

    For anyone new. Keys I have found.

    1) Cruise control
    2) Coasting
    3) the double/triple tap on brake to turn off ICE.
    4) This Blog for tips.

    Please give me some ideas.

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