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With the increase of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the market nowadays, consumers have many options to get a fuel-saving car while helping keep the environment clean. Ford is one brand that’s trying to move away from gas-powered vehicles to an all-electric future. In the meantime, the company is offering a handful of hybrid powertrains in its lineup for a few of its models. What does the brand offer for hybrid technology, and which one of its models is Ford’s best hybrid, according to MotorTrend?

What Ford has to offer in hybrid technology

A white 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid, which is the best hybrid Ford, parked close to a pier.
2023 Ford Explorer | Ford Media Center

Ford has the 2023 Explorer Hybrid in its lineup, which MotorTrend gave a 7.8 out of 10 score. While the publication felt it performed well, had decent tech features, and provided a fair amount of value for what you get, it disappointed in one area. Its fuel economy leaves a lot to be desired. 

Powering it up is a combination of an electric motor and a 3.3-liter V6 paired with a SelectShift 10-speed automatic, which provides only 28 mpg combined. That’s a poor figure for a hybrid vehicle. Ford doesn’t offer any other engine options either, so you’re out of luck. 

Another option in Ford’s lineup is the 2022 Escape hybrid model, which got an 8.1 out of 10 possible points. This version offers much better fuel economy than the Explorer Hybrid due to the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and electric motor setup. It can get approximately 44 mpg on city roads and 37 mpg on the highway. 

When it comes to cargo space, it trails some of its competitors. With 34.4 cu-ft of storage behind the rear seats, it falls behind the Toyota RAV4, which has about 2.2 cu-ft more. The total cargo space with the back seats folded down is 60.8 cu-ft. 

What’s the best hybrid Ford model available?

Out of the models evaluated by MotorTrend, the best hybrid Ford has is the 2022 Escape PHEV. Fuel economy and range are two of the best features, with 105 MPGe or 40 mpg combined on the gas engine alone. The driving range for the electric motor and 14.4 kWh battery pairing is 37 miles. If you add the gas power to that, you can go a whopping 520 miles. 

Under the hood is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired with an eCVT and an electric motor producing a total of 200 hp. This setup allows the Escape PHEV to go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. 

Like the Escape Hybrid, it offers 34.4 cu-ft of cargo space behind the rear seats, which is more than its rivals, the RAV4 Prime and the Tucson Plug-in. However, when you fold down the rear seats, it only has 60.8 cu-ft of storage space, which doesn’t compare to its competition.

Which hybrid models haven’t been rated by MotorTrend?

There are a few more Ford hybrid models that haven’t been rated by MotorTrend yet. The 2023 Escape Hybrid is one of them. The publication reports this model has a little more cargo space with the rear seats both up and down. It offers 38 cu-t standard and 65 cu-ft with the back seats folded down. 

Another model that hasn’t received a score from MotorTrend is the 2023 version of the Escape PHEV. The previous year’s model ranked high for the brand, and it seems as if this one will probably follow suit. Upgrades for the Escape PHEV include changes to the exterior styling, updated wheel designs, a 13.2-inch touchscreen as standard equipment, and LED headlights and light strips as standard.

The last hybrid model on MotorTrend’s list that hasn’t been scored yet is the 2024 Ford Explorer Hybrid version. So far, the publication isn’t too impressed with its fuel economy, which is rated at 27 mpg on city roads and 28 mpg when traveling on the highway with rear-wheel drive. An all-wheel drive model offers about 23 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. 

Ford has a nice selection of hybrid models to choose from, but if you want the best model, MotorTrend reports that the Escape PHEV is your best bet with the highest-rated fuel economy figures. 


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