Test Drive: Ford Escape: A Smooth Ride

An environmentally friendly sport-utility vehicle? It's a tree hugger's dream, right up there with a fat-free cheeseburger and a healthy cigarette. So when Ford offered me an early test drive in its 2005 Escape Hybrid SUV, I was, suffice it to say, a tad skeptical.

On its surface, the vehicle looks just like the familiar Escape, with the slight addition of a few cute road-and-leaf badges on the doors and a pair of subtle vents (to aid the battery's thermal-management system) on the back windows. And there aren't many changes inside--two new gauges on the dash and a fun little display...

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