Ford Escape Hybrid Too Pricey?

That's the conclusion of columnist Mark Savage... if you include all the bells and whistles.

Published: 29-Jan-2005

Hybrids are hot, and automakers are scrambling to add more of these dual power vehicles to their lineups.

Toyota and Honda struck first and are dealing with waiting lists for some of their gas-electric hybrids, the Toyota Prius being most popular at the moment. Sales of all hybrids are expected to hit at least 200,000 units this model year as both Ford and GM get into the act.

This week's test drive was an attractive red over silver Ford Escape Hybrid FWD, which means the small SUV has front-wheel drive instead of all-wheel-drive. AWD is available for an additional $2,000.

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Third quarter losses and fierce competition for American car and truck buyers, prompted the automaker to launch a corporate-wide campaign last month to reposition Ford Motor as a leader in innovation and cutting-edge energy policies.

While Ford is having trouble getting hybrids to American buyers, in the UK, Ford cars average 20-40 mpg more than their US counterparts.

Ford's next hybrid will be the Fusion slated to be introduced in 2008, along with the Mercury Milan Hybrid.

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