Tech: A Gas-Sipping SUV

The first hybrid sport-utility vehicle hits the road in style--and impresses

You know the car you are driving is something special when the parking valet compliments you on it. After all, this guy sees and drives everything. So even though the Manhattan garage where I parked for an hour last Thursday afternoon was packed with Lexuses, BMWs and other luxury vehicles, I knew the attendant was right on when he commented that the $30,000 Ford Escape Hybrid I was driving was a "nice car."

It's much more than nice, though. The first hybrid SUV sold in the U.S. and the first American hybrid car, it is also a technological breakthrough at a...

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