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  • actualsize 06/03/08 9:32 pm PST

    Of the two, I prefer the Ford. Ford's hybrid system is a "full" hybrid, and it will be more effective at improving mpg in a city driving pattern. The Vue is a "mild" hybrid, and does not have the capability to drive on the electric motor with the engine off. And the information I see shows that the Ford Escape can be purchased with AWD or front-wheel drive, but the Saturn Green-line only comes in front-wheel drive. Even though the Saturn is a newer design, the more highly-developed hybrid system and the availability of AWD lead me to reccomend the Ford.

  • stevedebi 07/07/08 7:21 pm PST

    Ford is now on their 2nd generation Escape Hybrid (FEH). The 2009 model gets an EPA rating of 34 city / 31 highway (FWD). I haven't seen the EPA figures for the AWD 2009. My 2008 AWD is rated at 29/27 (2008 FWD is 34/30). In actual practice I am getting 30-31 in the summer heat. In the winter I expect that to drop considerably, possibly to around 26 city (probably still around 29 - 30 on the highway). If you are willing to adjust your driving habits to maximize the hybrid features, the FEH is a very good option. I'd stay with FWD if possible. Your mileage may be lower if you are carrying a lot of weight.

    My normal drive is hard on a hybrid - 5 mile drive in the AM, then 5 miles in the PM. That doesn't allow alot of hybrid miles, since the engine has to warm up before the gas saving hybrid features are maximized. If you are making frequent stops, your engine should remain warm enough that you may not have to worry about short distance trips.

    I don't recommend the Vue. For one thing, they are really scarce and you probably can't find a new one. DO NOT buy a used 2007 Vue, they had considerable maintenance problems. For the other thing, they are not full hybrids, as others have pointed out.

  • pensive 08/05/08 4:15 pm PST

    I recently acquired a Ford/(=> mine is their Mercury Mariner)
    hybrid SUV. Really, I couldn't be more pleased with this vehicle.
    I drive around 15,000 miles annually.

    The comments I saw on the internet seemed to indicate
    the Ford system and technology to be a bit more reliable
    and have a longer track record.

    Although driving one is a really unusual experience,
    it has been flawless since I got it in late May of this year.
    Mine is a 2008. I think, if you wait until the 2009 model
    year, you will get an even more improved model.

    Having been an SUV owner for a long time, I do have
    a lingering desire to have more carry space capacity
    than my Mariner has. But, my chief goal was to have
    the mileage card. Factory said I should expect
    29 city and 27 highway on the 4WD unit I ordered
    but I routinely get 30+ miles in mixed driving this
    summer. Western PA area. I travel about 50-50
    city and highway roads.

    The Mercury isn't the 'carry all' that my last truck was
    but it was a 14 mpg ride and that isn't cutting it for me
    this year. I had to change.

    Will your boxes fit into the rear and where the 2nd seat
    row is when they are laid down? You might check.
    ---------------------------------------
    ---------------------------------------
    -------
    Their website says...
    Cargo capacity behind the second row is 27.9 cubic feet,
    accessible either through the tailgate or an independently
    opening rear window. Stow the backseat, and maximum
    volume totals 65.9 cubic feet.
    ---------------------------------------
    ---------------------------------------
    ------

    That still is less than my last extended wheelbase SUV
    but I can live with this now.

    I was a bit worried about the highway speeds and
    the merging with a hybrid. As long as you remember
    this vehicle is a 4 cylinder engine, and give yourself
    some room and time to merge to speed reasonably,
    you should be fine. I noticed the engine tach does not
    have a redline which is odd. The engine has run
    North of 6,000 rpm on really hard acceleration.

    By the way, I have noticed that the LED display mileage
    (shown as a calculated average mpg) can often
    be off to the low side. I double check my miles
    and gallons when I refuel.

    I lease this vehicle.

    It took a few months for it to be delivered to me
    by the Ford/Mercury factory this Spring. I think
    they had problems getting enough components
    and battery packs. Check with the dealers near
    you about lead times.

  • pensive 08/05/08 4:23 pm PST

    Another thing.

    I live (guess you do also) in one the snow belts of the US.

    My plan is to get a full set (4) of 'real' winter snow and ice
    cold weather season tires for this vehicle. Something like the
    Michelin X-Ices or Bridgestone Blizzaks.

    The factory engineered these with a low
    resistance radial tire as standard. They are a bit
    bouncy on the road. That helps mileage.

    I haven't had issues in heavy rains yet but
    do want to have a grippier composition tire
    on the road this Winter. It's just more hilly in my area.
    I have yet to read any comments against
    the factory tires, but have used both the
    brands I mentioned above in snow and ice
    before with wonderful traction results.


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