After last year's facelift, the 2009 Ford Escape compact crossover SUV benefits from more power under the hood and improved suspension for better handling and ride. With a choice of either front- or all-wheel drive, the Ford Escape can be equipped with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine good for 171 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque, with either a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic, while a 3.0L V6 engine with 240 hp and 223 lb-ft of torque can be had on the XLT and Limited, paired to a six-speed automatic. Fuel economy with the FWD I4 automatic is 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy and 23 mpg in combined driving, while 4WD drops that to 19/25/21. The FWD V6 gets an estimated 18/26/21, while the 4WD gets 17/24/20. The Ford Escape Hybrid has a 2.5L four-cylinder gasoline engine and two electric motors, with a net output of 177 hp, coupled to a continuously variable transmission sans rotating belt. The motors work in tandem with the gas engine to provide seamless power and maximum efficiency. On the AWD Escape Hybrid, a third electric motor helps power the rear wheels when extra acceleration or traction is required. The FWD Ford Escape Hybrid fuel economy estimates are 34 mpg city/31 mpg hwy and 32 mpg in combined driving, while the AWD version is rated at 29/27/28. Safety features include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags with a rollover sensor.
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