// Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid - Page 4
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  1. #31

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    I am a little skeptical about the EPA mileage figures quoted for the FEH and other hybrid vehicles. I am currently looking at purchasing a FEH or some other hybrid and feel like I will have to count on the fact that the mileage will be AT LEAST 10mpg less than quoted, especially at highway speeds with any kind of reasonable load (incl. multiple people in the car) and/or non-flat terrain.

    From reading this page, my impression is that the people who report figures in the 20-25 mpg range are probably seeing the actual, non-rosy-EPA mileage of the FEH. By the way, that's what my 1987 gas-powered ford aerostar cargo van got fully loaded driving cross-country and through the Rockies. So, have the hybrids come a long way in improving gas economy? Errr...maybe...but maybe not...or maybe not without modified driving habits.

    I'm not sure what anyone would expect the dealer to say or do in that event. They must know that 20-25 mpg is a realistic figure under a certain spectrum of conditions. "OH, ok...here's your money back!" Ya...that could happen...

    Off-road (or without adjusting driving habits or driving very aggressively), I'm sure the mileage is even worse - maybe take off another 5 to put it in the 15-20 range. Don't get me wrong - I'm not bad-mouthing the car - I just don't think I believe the rosy mileage figures. For light loads with 1 person and reasonable driving habits, I might believe 25-30, which would be consistent with reports.

    We're trying to switch to hybrids and just bought a Honda Civic Hybrid to replace another car which is supposed to get 48-50mpg. However, after a number of months, attempting to drive optimally, many miles, trips, etc., it gets around 37-38mpg, especially on long highway trips at 70+mph.

    So...what do I do? Buy the FEH? I don't know. I am somewhat disappointed that the hybrid mileage benefits are still so poor relative to what the technology should be able to deliver. My car's engine died today, so I guess I'll have to do something. :-/ I'm just not sure what that something will be.

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  3. #32

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    "We're trying to switch to hybrids and just bought a Honda Civic Hybrid to replace another car which is supposed to get 48-50mpg. However, after a number of months, attempting to drive optimally, many miles, trips, etc., it gets around 37-38mpg, especially on long highway trips at 70+mph. "

    I suggest a diesel. They are much better at long highway trips. Our Passat TDI will typically get 38-42 mpg at 70 mph cruise (in winter except in the deepest cold!) in straight highway driving, and it is a larger car than a Civic. Our Jetta will break 50 mpg on long highway trips. Diesels = highway, hybrid = city.

    Mike G.

  4. #33

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    Dave, if you want good gas mileage, you have work on it. I thought the same about EPA's ratings and thought the FEH would get around 28 MPG. I own a FWD now and the worst I have gotten is 31MPG. The second worst was 36MPG. With 40.25MPG being my best so far, 37MPG is a good all around figure for me and my wife.

  5. #34

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    Gary - Your results certainly sound optimal. What, specifically, do you do to achieve those results with respect to your ongoing driving habits that might differ from what other people seem to report. And, when you see those mileage results, are you primarily the only driver with no other cargo in the vehicle? If so, do you have mileage results for when you are not the only person in the vehicle and when the SUV is loaded for a fun outing (which is, theoretically, why you would need an SUV). Thanks for any insight you can provide.

    In the case of the Honda Civic Hybrid, it begins to pale rapidly under load. If any out-of-work jockeys are looking for jobs as Hybrid EPA rating test drivers for Honda, send in your resumes!

    After purchasing ours, we noticed that it had a cargo limit of 800 lbs. (I think that's right). So, if you're planning on carting around 4 big guys, that's probably not a good idea. :-) I'm not sure how that compares to other non-hybrid cars in the same class, however.

    I'll have to check - does anyone know if the FEH has a reduced weight allowance vs. the gas-only version? Does anyone have any off-road mileage stats?

  6. #35

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    Dave, as for the 800 pound rating, that's probably going to be the same as every other subcompact. The Civic is in the same size/weight class as the normal Civic, the Corolla, the Cavalier (now called the Cobolt), the Mazda 3, Neon, Focus, and so on. All will have about the same weight rating, usually 800-1000 pounds.

  7. #36

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    Dave - I am the primary driver but the FEH is now the family car. Everyone in my family is on the large size with me at 280 pounds. With regard to the weight effect on the FEH, it does real well. The only thing that seems to matter is taking off on Electric. Keeping it in elec. mode from a start to 32MPH is harder but can be done with a full load. Weight does effect gas mileage but alot less than you would think. The tork of the electric motor helps.

    My wife drives the FEH like she drives any other car with no regard of the electric motor or saving gas. She has a heavy foot BTW. She mainly drives the kids places, shopping, etc. and she always drops my computer 15 min. average of about 41.5MPG a few MPG.

    Right now the FEH is in the driveway with a 15min average of 55MPG on the computer. I filled up yesterday and reset the computer. I drove about twelve miles along the Jupiter Island coast where the speed limit is 30MPH most of the way. With my battey fully charged, I can stay on elec. only for about 1.6 miles at 30MPH. The engine starts up (1500RPM's at 30MPH) to charge the battery for about the same distance (1.6 miles) and the battery is full and ready for another 1.6 miles on electric, just tap the brakes. During this drive along the coast, the computer stayed at Max MPG which is 60MPG or above. The reason I have 55MPG on the computer is because I had to drive in rush hour three miles to my driveway from the Island.

    I try to find as many routes like this as I can so when I get on the Interstate, fast traffic etc. My average is overall great. Parking the FEH with a low battery is also my goal. The engine will alway run till it reaches a set temp., why not let it charge the battery during this time. I also reset the computer at differant speeds to find out at what speed I got the best average MPG with the engine. Between 40-46MPH the computer average stays at around 42MPG. Under 40 and over 46MPH the mileage drops off due to overdrive (under 40) and wind resistances (above 46MPH). I try to drive routes with a 40-45MPH speed limit also. Normally you would choose a lane at a stop light with no big truck in front of you. I choose the big truck lane so I can take off as slow as it and stay on elec. longer. I use speed control on elec. and gas speeds. Others have said it reduced gas mileage. Not here in South FL.

  8. #37

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    I've also noticed that if I continually push the reset button on the display screen, I can achieve unbelievably high MPG rates. I've gotten 55 mpg getting groceries. But as my husband says, this isn't a computer game.

    I've had my car over 4 months, and with 4000 miles on it, I figure my MPG using the "old fashioned" method of miles per tank of gas. I get 30-32 mpg consistently in my 2WD FEH. I think realistically this is what most drivers can expect. I get this no matter if I'm alone in the car, travelling with a full load of family and bikes, climbing hills, or cruising on the freeway...it seems to average out the same each tank of gas.

    That said, I love my car, and am happy with the fuel economy.

  9. #38

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    Joan, if your happy with 30-32MPG, that's fine. I was not talking about resetting your computer to make it seem you are getting better gas mileage. I was stating it was a test to find the best gas mileage at a set speed. This is with a fully charged battery in ideal conditions.

    The point I was tring to make was if you want better gas mileage with the FEH, it's up to you to find routes and control the SUV to save gas. What I like about my FEH, it give me that choice to run on elec, gas or both. When my wife drives the FEH, I have to work harder to get the computer average back to 41MPG, not reset the computer. This is not easy in some cases but my average is much better than 30-32MPG. It maybe because of living in a flat area in warm weather, I'm not sure. I just know I control the MPG better than than I ever did before.

    I'm happy with my FEH at 37-40MPG also.

  10. #39

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    My two-day-old FEH is getting about 22 in town and 26 on the highway. No, those aren't typos. The catch is, I'm in Minnesota and it's still a bit chilly here, so I'm guessing it takes the thing a while to warm up.

    Yesterday on my way home from work, I cruised two blocks on battery only, three separate times. It'll get better as the weather warms and as I get used to driving for economy, looking for the best tradeoffs in economy vs. "zip".

    Oh, and no dealer premium! I told my dealer that unless he told me where he was getting the killa ganja he was smoking (to think I'd pay above MSRP), then I wouldn't pay no five thousand dolla, mon. He wouldn't tell, so I didn't pay. Worked out great!

  11. #40

    Actual Mileage for Ford Escape Hybrid

    Staying in the elec. mode is the key. Saving gas was my first goal but now I've gone to saving battery life also. If you have the nav computer, you can watch the battery level and which way power is going. You'll find that when your on elec. and let off the gas pedal, you stop draining the battery. I found that cruise control on elec at 32MPH was nice but it also keeps the pedal draining the battery. The more use of the battery the longer it takes the engine to run to charge the battery. This causes the engine to use more gas to charge and drive.

    Same thing is true in the engine mode regarding the use of gas. Get off the pedal whenever you can and coast to slow traffic or stops. Also, when you reach your desired speed, let off the pedal to stop the high revs from the CVT. The trans will settle alot quicker and you save alot of gas.

    You control the pedal and the pedal controls the MPG. As far as weather, if you have a garage, use it. Not much else you can do.

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