TodayApril 15, 2022

2021 Ford Escape PHEV

I am so excited to get the Ford Escape Plug-in hybrid (PHEV). I have solar panels for electricity, so I get to make energy for the plug-in from my solar panels. I love not using gasoline. I love not giving money to monopolies. 

I am one of those people who plug a car in immediately and keep it topped off when they get a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). It doesn’t give me an accurate idea of what actual miles I will get once the electricity is used. Will I really get over the EPA estimate of 40 mpg?

Ford SUV best in class mpg

The all-new Ford Escape PHEV has a best-in-class EPA-estimated economy rating of 100 MPGe combined and an EPA-estimated 37 miles of all-electric driving range.

MPGe, or miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent, is an Environmental Protection Agency metric to compare the amount of energy consumed by alternative fuel vehicles. This includes those vehicles partially powered by electricity, like the Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid, compared to what traditional gas-powered vehicles consume.

I am the same way about my food; I have a garden full of organic fruits and vegetables, fruit trees, and chickens for organic food. I live in the country with no fire hydrants, so I have a 2,500 water storage tank that hooks to a generator and 200 feet of fire hose. I have sprinklers on my house and garage. I have a whole home generator in case there is an electric outage. We still have electricity and water to fight a fire or stay warm. 

I believe climate change is real and have taken precautions to live in the new normal. Having alternative energies and backups is the key to our ever-changing country. Ford understands that, and they are bringing more electrified vehicles to the market. 

I watched as the Escape battery clicked from one mile left to none. At that point, I waited for the mpg to plummet from 40.8 to a more realistic figure for a compact SUV. Thanks to Ford’s regenerative braking technology, I got 41 miles to the gallon combined. 

2021 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid PHEV SUV cargo room

Escape Plug-In Hybrid has plenty of room for passengers and cargo thanks to the creative placement of its liquid-cooled, 14.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery below the second-row seats. This allows more room inside rather than occupying a significant portion of the cargo area.

The Escape Plug-In Hybrid has a Level 1 or a Level 2 AC charging port. Using a 110-volt Level 1 charger, the estimated time to fully charge the battery is 10 to 11 hours. Using a 240-volt Level 2 charger, charge time drops to approximately 3.5 hours.

Hybrid models feature four modes that allow customers to select the setting most suitable for their individual needs. This means:

  • EV uses less energy than a gas-powered vehicle does. In Auto EV mode, the vehicle decides whether to run on gas or electric power. This is an important decision, especially since we’ve seen what happens when your car is stranded on a freeway in a standstill situation. 
  • In EV Now mode, drivers can operate on all-electric power.
  • In EV Later mode, drivers can switch to full gas-hybrid driving to conserve electric miles for later.
  • In all-new EV Charge mode, drivers can continue to charge the battery through braking technology while driving and generate electric-only miles to use later. 

Ford added a plug-in hybrid model to the Escape line-up in 2020. There are four trim levels, S, SE, SEL, and Titanium. The plug-in version comes in SE, SEL, and Titanium for 2021. While you can opt-in for an all-wheel-drive on any trim level of the regular Ford Escape, all-wheel-drive isn’t available on the plug-in version. 

2021 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid PHEV SUV miles per gallon MPG

The Ford Escape Titanium comes standard with:

  • Engine Block Heater
  • Curve Control
  • Traction control
  • Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS)
  • Post-Collision Braking
  • Reverse Sensing System
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering
  • Disc Brakes – Four-Wheel with Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)
  • Intelligent AWD
  • Electric Parking Brake With Auto Hold
  • Plug-in Hybrid 2.5L iVCT Atkinson-Cycle I-4 engine
2021 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid PHEV SUV engine

The infotainment system comes full of surprises with the SYNC 3, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Voice-Activated Touchscreen Navigation System with Pinch-to-Zoom Capability, SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, FordPass Connect, and a Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 10-Speakers and Subwoofer. 

Range: 37 mile battery-only, 520 mi total

Engine: 2.5L iVCT Atkinson Cycle I-4 Hybrid

Towing capacity: 1,500 lbs

Dimensions: 181″ L x 74″ W x 66″ H

Cargo volume: 34.4 ft, 60.8 ft with seat area

Horsepower: 221 horsepower

EPA Classification: Small SUV 2WD

Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive

Turning Radius: 38.4

2021 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models and pricing: 

2021 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SE

$33,075

2021 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SEL

$35,815

2021 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Titanium

$38,885 

2021 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid PHEV SUV miles per gallon MPG

The Escape PHEV Titanium I drove was priced out at $43,025. Add some rapid red metallic tinted paint for $395 and the titanium premium package for $2,500, plus taxes and destination. 

The Ford Escape has grown up since its mass-market introduction in 2005, and so has our country. My millennial godchildren bought a compact SUV hybrid. You can be of any age and appreciate the gas savings or the vehicle’s functionality. It’s fun to drive, and according to CNBC, 76% of older millennials are worried about climate change—and it’s impacting how they spend their money. In a good way for our country. 

Currently, there are state and federal tax credits available to certain consumers. Check with your accountant to see if you get a credit for being a good citizen. 

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Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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