Here are some tips for those ready to begin research into whether this is the car for them. Personal research is all-important because many Ford dealer salespeople are not knowledgable about the FEH. Learn everything you can learn from the ‘official’ hybrid vehicle manufacturer websites such as the Ford Hybrid, Toyota, and Honda websites. This will give you a bit of understanding about what a hybrid is and some assorted terminology. Using browser search tools, find online discussion groups and join in the chatter. There is a wealth of positive and negative information from real people.
Note: one of the articles clarifies that “FWD” means “front wheel drive” and “AWD” means “all wheel drive.” We had that wrong yesterday when discussing sticker options.
We test-drove a Ford Escape Hybrid a while back; it was purely on a whim then, but we’ve now come around to the idea of wanting a capable SUV that has good gas mileage (what with the highway robbery at the pumps these days) and is designed with the environment in mind. It’s looking very much like we’re going to buy one this week, but we need to do a little more homework and make sure that we’re not paying more than necessary.
We went to about 6 dealerships Sunday, drove another Hybrid and also a Blazer, but the other dealerships were just not that into talking with us apparently, even after David set off a car alarm at the Jeep location. Weird – we weren’t even greeted at one place, and I thought that was the cardinal rule. The Jeep location was the most irritating; come on, people! We’re honking the horn at you indoors for a reason! Oddly enough, we didn’t even need to test drive the Liberty to know that we didn’t like it – we jumped inside, looked around, and said “Yuck.” For me it was especially uncomfortable – the ceiling was a couple of inches above the top of my head. One good speedbump and “BAM!” I’d be even more of a head case than I am already.
We nattered a bit about the Blazer, but Chevy is discontinuing it to concentrate on the bigger-ass Trail Blazer (affectionately known since our May 2004 road trip as the Silver Beast) for some weird reason (why??? the gas mileage sucks!). David liked driving a Blazer once on another trip several years ago, but this time, the Escape won out. It’s a very comfortable size for both of us.
Oh, and… hee hee! I get the RAV4, and we’re getting rid of my Corolla. I’m quite happy about this. No more skedaddling about in the snow.