I love this truck and don't care that it will be old hat in five years...right now it is unique and state of the art in every respect....but I have already noticed two anomalies I would like to share and would appreciate informed feedback on.
1) When you have been operating all electric and come to a stop, full throttle off the line (from a green light, stop sign, etc) produces about a half second of marginal acceleration and then the full 4 cylinder is added and you're off. this is where the marketing hyphen b*llsh*t comes in...in other words, when Ford says it has "V6-like" performance...it simply doesn't and we are going to get our asses kicked by the Highlanders and Lexi come spring but what the hell, they cost 50% more. ANYWAY - I have found a way to eliminate this lag and get back a half second in 0-60 that is totally counterintuitive to everything I have practiced in performance driving for thirty years (where I made sure the AC was off before I punched it - late models having an automatic AC interrupt for that). With hybrid, I go to Max A/C while waiting for the light change which force starts the 4 cylinder, get my instant "full" power off the line, and then punch AC off as we roll since 4cyl stays on under load.
2) Of MUCH more concern is the following. After you pass through sixty and note your ET (or whatever your objective was in this full throttle run), you lift off the throttle. Hang on boys and girls. You are going to get another second of gradual taper from full throttle, like it or not. This is classic fly-by-wire behavior since you are not pushing a pedal hooked to a long cable hooked to carb and return spring, etc but instead are merely depressing and releasing a switch at the top of the accelerator (not a "gas pedal" anymore, that's for sure). You are making a suggestion to the computer about what you would like the vehicle to do. In this case it is telling you it will not allow that quite so abruptly. In a tight spot, this COULD become a safety issue...sure, you can override it with your 4 big disc brakes but you are definitely extending both reaction times and stopping distances measurably. There is a parallel here with the early Airbus airliner taken to a small town grass strip airshow for a flyby (in France, in France) with the pilot doing a buzz job for the locals and, approaching the trees at the end of the strip, dialing in full throttle and hauling all the way back on the little flybywire PC joystick for full up elevator. The computer response was "Pardonnez moi but sudden full power and full up elevator at this moment would upset the passengers, cause a fuel economy penalty, and add unnecessary strain to the airframe requiring premature downstream maintenance and expense...therefore I am going to feed in power promptly but pitch gradually. Have a nice day. Au revoir." The aircrafted ended up destroyed in the woods.
I suppose Ford will say that if the Escape computers were programmed for immediate responsiveness, the typical driver would experience herky jerky overcontrol symptoms and miniwhiplash the passengers. Tough crappola. First, this constant dumbing down of America and its vehicles will cost us our technology lead and defies Darwin (so we'll be overrun with inferior beings). Second, by way of compromise, why not put a big switch on the panel marked "A: Morons B: Drivers" and let us opt to get maximum control if we want it and accept the responsibility to contro precisely? Just axin. Thanks
PS The hysteria about battery costs and problems has thusfar proven (by Toyota, Honda, and Escape prototypes) to be just that...hysteria. However, there IS one little additional maintenance expense I;ve found over smudgepot Escapes. The independent rear electric AC unit (itself quite amazing) used to cool the batteries has a tiny air filter readily accessible from the rear that must be periodically changed.
PPS Look both ways when you cross the street cause you ain't gonna hear me comin'