The Ford Escape Hybrid was the world’s first hybrid-electric SUV and was awarded the 2005 North American Truck of the Year prize. Joined by the Lexus RX 400h, Toyota Highlander and Mercury Mariner, the 2007 Escape Hybrid is among the cleanest and most fuel-efficient SUVs in the world, combining the fuel economy and emissions benefits of a “full” hybrid with the go-anywhere capability, toughness and spaciousness of an SUV.
The Ford Escape Hybrid was launched in 2004 as the gas-electric version of the Ford Escape SUV. It was the first hybrid SUV to hit the market and it is now also offered by Ford as the Mercury Mariner Hybrid and a as the Mazda Tribute Hybrid.
The Escape’s hybrid system is one of the most advanced available on the market. It goes in the "full" hybrid category as it can switch automatically between electric power, gasoline engine power, or a combination of the two for maximum performance and efficiency at all speeds and loads. When braking or reducing speed, the Escape’s hybrid system uses regenerative braking that uses the drive motor as a generator, converting the vehicle’s momentum back to electricity for storage in the batteries. Having a total horsepower of 155, the Hybrid has nearly the same acceleration performance as the conventional 200 hp V6 Escape.
The full hybrid vehicles achieve their greatest fuel economy during stop-and-go driving, when the electric motor is most efficient. In fact, the Escape Hybrid can provide approximately 80 percent better fuel economy in city driving than the conventional V-6 Escape. The Ford Escape Hybrid can travel more than 400-500 miles in city driving on a single tank of gasoline.
The 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid is available in either front-wheel-drive or intelligent four-wheel-drive. It also offers towing capability of up to 1,000 pounds when properly equipped
For 2007, The Escape Hybrid offers customers the choice of four new packages, combining a fresh look with infotainment and safety features and three new exterior colors.
- Four available packages that combine appearance, infotainment and safety features
- Three new exterior colors available
- Outstanding fuel economy achieving 36 mpg in city driving
- Acceleration performance similar to a V-6, but with a smaller, gas engine
- “Full” hybrid system able to run on gasoline engine, electric battery power or both together
- Offers 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on Hybrid-related components
Body & chassis
The exterior design of the Escape Hybrid follows that of the traditional Escape, the best-selling compact sport utility, with a few key differences. The Escape Hybrid features the unique badging that uses the Ford road and leaf insignia, standard 16-inch alloy wheels and a discreet battery-cooling vent in the driver’s side rear window. The Hybrid Escape is also available with a special appearance package that features body-color door handles and silver bumper covers, body-side cladding and wheel lip moldings.
Escape’s wide stance, with aggressive large wheel arches, wide body cladding and integrated bumpers, gives a functional, off-road-ready, yet modern look. The headlamps are clearly defined quad circles behind jewel-effect clear lenses, and the egg-crate grille matches those in the rest of the Ford SUV lineup. Circular fog lamps and roof deck are standard equipment.
For 2007, three new exterior colors were added to the Escape Hybrid lineup. They include Dune Pearl Clearcoat Metallic, Tungsten Grey Clearcoat Metallic and Vista Blue Clearcoat Metallic.
Escape Hybrid’s Silver Appearance Package includes silver metallic fascias, body-side cladding and wheel lip moldings, and the Leather Comfort Group includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather-trimmed seats.
A Premium Package combines a monochromatic exterior in five colors with Premium leather-trimmed seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats and side mirrors, Reverse Sensing System, navigation system and hybrid-energy flow display with Audiophile stereo, 110-volt power outlet, cargo area retractable cover and floor mats.
Escape’s front structure was upgraded to provide increased protection in offset frontal crashes. In these types of accidents, only a portion of the front structure must bear the full brunt of the impact. To help manage these crash forces, the front rails have structural composite reinforcements to tailor the rate at which they absorb energy and help prevent deformation of the passenger compartment.
Overall height (w/roof rack) 69.9
Track width, front/rear 61.1 / 60.4
Seating capacity 5 passenger
Headroom Front row 40.4
Headroom Second row 39.2
Legroom Front row 41.6
Legroom Second row 35.6
Shoulder room Front row 56.3
Shoulder room Second row 55.9
Hip room Front row 53.2
Hip room Second row 49.1
Cargo Volume 27.6 cu. ft. (rear seat up), 65.5 cu. ft. (cushion removed)
Base curb weight 3594 FWD, 3759 4WD
Engine & transmission
The Escape’s hybrid power-train system consists of several key components engineered to provide a seamless flow of power. The heart of the system is the 140 cui four-cylinder gasoline engine featuring Atkinson-cycle combustion for improved efficiency and producing 133 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. The 70-kWatt (equivalent to 94 horsepower) electric traction motor provides an additional boost to the drive wheels when maximum acceleration is desired. An additional generator-motor recharges the batteries, starts the engine and helps regulate how the two propulsion channels blend together in the transaxle.
The Atkinson cycle is similar to the familiar four-stroke cycle - intake, compression, power, exhaust - except the intake valve closes well after the piston begins moving upward to compress the air-fuel mixture. There are two key benefits of the Atkinson cycle. First, it reduces the "pumping losses" associated with all gasoline engines. Additionally, because a fraction of the air-fuel mixture is released from the cylinder back into the induction system without being burned, the effective displacement of the engine is reduced. The power stroke, or the distance that burning fuel pushes on the piston, is longer than the effective intake stroke. This helps extract more energy from each drop of fuel.
The power is driven to the front wheels or to all the wheels if equipped with 4WD via a special electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission (eCVT) that harnesses internal combustion and electric power sources. The electric part of the car is sustained by a 330-volt nickel-metal-hydride battery pack located and sealed at the rear load floor. An electronic vehicle system controller manages charging, drive assist and engine starting functions. This device shuts the engine down during coasting and at stoplights to save fuel. It also converts the traction motor into a generator during braking to help recharge the batteries.
The combined output of both the gas and electric motors is 155 horsepower, and the power-train provides 0-60 acceleration performance similar to the conventional Escape with 200-horsepower V-6 engine.
The generator-motor provides power boosts during heavy load situations, helping Escape Hybrid accelerate briskly to speed. In addition to fuel-free operation, electric motors deliver maximum torque at low rpm, so they are an ideal complement to gasoline engines that generate peak power at higher rpm.
The optional Intelligent 4WD System, available on all Escape models, is fully computer-controlled and provides maximum traction as driving conditions vary. Its operation is so seamless that most drivers will never notice that it has engaged. The front-wheel-drive Ford Escape Hybrid achieves 36 mpg on the EPA city cycle; the conventional V-6-powered Ford Escape has a city fuel economy rating of 20 mpg.
Escape Hybrid features a fuel-saving engine stop/start function. As the vehicle comes to a stop, the system automatically checks the battery to ensure it has adequate power. If it is sufficiently charged, the gasoline engine rests to save fuel, and the vehicle operates on electricity alone, achieving the highest fuel economy and emissions benefits. There is no need to restart before hitting the accelerator.
In pure electric mode - indicated on the tachometer by a "green" zone below 0 rpm - the Escape Hybrid’s gasoline engine rests to save fuel. It automatically switches in and out of this rest state depending on the driving situation and vehicle demands.
"One of our biggest challenges was calibrating the vehicle so that automatic engine stop doesn’t seem as though the engine has stopped at all," said Watson. "After a lifetime of driving conventional vehicles, the sensation of the engine stopping takes some getting used to."
To ease the transition, the engine typically stops while the vehicle is still coasting, so the vehicle becomes quiet gradually. Because the engine is started by a high-voltage electric motor instead of the typical small, 12-volt starter, it springs to life almost instantly when necessary.
It is an extremely clean vehicle to operate – an amazing 99.4 percent cleaner, on average, than an unregulated vehicle. Escape Hybrid meets strict Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV II) and in California and states adopting California Emission Standards, Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) standards.
Gasoline Engine Duratec 23, I-4
Type 2.3-liter Atkinson cycle
Configuration Cast Iron block and aluminum heads
Valvetrain DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder with direct acting mechanical buckets
Bore x stroke 3.44 x 3.70 in.
Displacement 140 cu. in.
Horsepower 133 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 124 lbs.-ft. @ 4,250 rpm
Recommended fuel 87 octane unleaded
Fuel capacity 15.0 gallons
Fuel Injection Sequential multi-port electronic
Oil Capacity 4.5 quarts with filter
Coolant Capacity 11.6 quarts
Power 70 kw @ 5,000 rpm
Voltage 330V maximum
Transmission Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transaxle (eCVT)
Drivetrain Layout Front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Fuel Efficiency City/HWY
0 – 60 mph 9 seconds
Front Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs and stabilizer bar
Rear Multi-link independent with Lateral Links and Trailing Arm Design
Four wheel power brakes with standard 4-sensor, 4-channel anti lock braking system (ABS) and Integrated Regenerative Braking, Power assist,Dual Diaphragm
Front 10.93 in vented disc
Rear 11.89 in disc
The electric power-assisted steering system allowed Ford engineers to easily tune the amount of steering assist independent of engine and vehicle speed, giving the Escape Hybrid a very easy steering effort at parking-lot speeds, while retaining Escape’s hallmark crisp steering feel while driving.
Type Rack and pinion with electric power assist
Turning circle curb-to-curb 37.7 ft
Tires & wheels
Like the traditional Escape, the 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid offers seating for up to five and includes the same 60/40 split folding rear seat. Efficient packaging of the hybrid technology (locating the battery pack at the rear load floor, for example) means that interior versatility is preserved. Even with a full complement of five passengers, cargo room behind the second row seat is still an ample 27.6 cubic feet. The maximum cargo space can be expanded to over 65 cubic feet, if desired. The roof rack is also capable of holding up to 100 pounds of cargo.
A unique gauge package features an economy indicator with “green zone” that shows when the vehicle is operating on battery power. A separate gauge displays levels of charge and assist for the battery pack. An optional navigation system features an Audiophile stereo system, a unique energy flow diagram that displays hybrid system operation and a fuel economy screen that displays instant and average fuel economy.
All Escape Hybrids have a modern-faced instrument cluster with an integrated, multifunctional Message Center. This two-line, 24-character liquid-crystal display offers trip statistics like average fuel economy, distance-to-empty, an oil change reminder with estimated oil life and various warnings such as an open door, a bulb is burned out or the fuel cap needs tightening. An advanced navigation and hybrid status display is also available. With it, a 4-inch, color, liquid-crystal display serves as the audio system interface, a navigation system and a real-time "power path" offering visual indication of fuel consumption and the operating state of the hybrid system. It shows, for example, if the battery is being charged or discharged; if energy is being recovered during braking; or if the electric drive is providing additional power.
The white-faced instrument panel gauges have markings designed for legibility and are ringed in warm steel-colored bezels. Standard on all models is a battery indicator dial that indicates if the hybrid battery is powering the electric motor or if it is being charged while braking or cruising.
Modern woven cloth is the standard seating material. Leather seating surfaces are part of an option package that includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather door inserts. The 60/40 split rear seat can be folded flat for increased cargo space (up to 65.5 cubic feet), and the flip-up rear glass offers easy access to the rear cargo area.
The glove box locks, and each front door includes large, deep map pockets. The spare wheel on all 2005 Escapes has been moved under the floor, rather than inside. To prevent theft, it can be lowered by a winch operated only with the tailgate open.
Escape Hybrid also offers a 110-volt AC power outlet, perfect for a television, radio, air pump, electric razor or even holiday lights at the campsite.
The Escape Hybrid features the same safety and security features of the conventional Escape, including:
- The standard Personal Safety System, with dual-stage driver and single-stage front passenger air bags
- The available Safety Package includes a Ford Motor Company exclusive Safety Canopy side air curtain rollover protection system and the thorax-protecting side impact air bags (late availability on conventional Escape)
- Occupant Classification Sensing for the front passenger air bag
- Structural energy management zones for frontal and offset frontal impacts
- Three-point safety belts and head restraints at all seating positions
- Standard antilock brakes
Safety belt pretensioners tighten the front safety belts in the first moments of a crash, and energy management retractors gradually slacken the safety belt, if necessary, to help reduce the force of the belt on the occupant’s chest. As always, a vehicle occupant’s best line of defense in crashes remains the safety belt.
TopSpeed artists tuning recommendation
The Ford Escape is a simple and elegant looking SUV, without any aggressive elements. Our tuning was intended to add a little nerve to that look and also to improve off-road capabilities. The fascia was freshened up with a new front bumper, with a large air intake and vertical mounted fog projectors. Serving aerodynamic purposes are the two air exhausts placed now on the front wings. An eye-catching element are the new side mirrors that incorporate the turning lights and are painted in bright contrasting orange.
The element that really turns the car rugged are the new massive off-road tires mounted on 17” five spoke alloys.