Just joined the forum. I have a new 07 Ford Escape Hybrid AWD. I think I got every option available including the Navigation system and 6 disc CD changer.

I have already had it in the customizing shop for some subtle work. I had a clear bra put on before the front end gets any rock chips in it. I had a 10 disc MP3 player installed and kept the factory 6 disc changer as well. I had a Rolen bluetooth device installed, a homelink rear view mirror with outside temp gauge installed and a power cord for my Valentine radar detector as well.

I have had the vehicle just over a month now and have put on 1700 miles. 1000 miles of that was a road trip from Vegas to Grand Canyon to Phoenix back to Vegas. I averaged about 30 mpg on that trip. The speed limit on US-40 is 75 MPH. The little truck did fairly well going up the big hill towards Williams, AZ at 75! It made a lot of noise compared to a conventional car but did the job none the less.

A couple of concerns I have are:

There is no engine temp gauge? When going up these hills and the little 4 banger is wailing away, I have no way of knowing the condition of the gas engine. Any ideas?

Second, there was no outside air temp gauge. I fixed that by installing the home link mirror set up. I plan on using this car for ski trips and it's nice to know the freezing point.

Third, I smelled an electrical smell driving down the big hill from Flagstaff to Phoenix. It was not real strong but there just the same. Could not figure out what or where it came from. It seemed to be coming out the air vents? Is this just a break in smell on a hybrid? Anyone else smell this?

And lastly, When should I do the oil changes? I want to do one soon with the break-in oil in the engine. I think the book says every 5000 miles? This seems like a long time for a car not running on synthetic. Any thoughts?

Sorry for the long post. I love this car so far and hope to have many trouble free miles on her. I got tired of bitching about high gas prices and figured I'd try and do my part to help reduce my usage. Even my new Corvette gets 29 MPG! I should send back my Chevron card!

Thanks for listening!

Braced