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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone done a serious comparison between the Niro PHEV and the Escape PHEV? Price wise, they are quite close for comparable equipment. No ventilated seats, but the Escape does have an electric heater of around 7-8kW, which is comparable to my Bolt heater. It has more EV range, a more powerful EV motor, and qualifies for the federal tax credit.

On paper, the Escape seems a strong competitor. With the tax credit, it's certainly a better value. But paper doesn't always translate into real world. I realize the '23 Escape hasn't hit the dealers yet, so it's tough to say of it would be very different from a '22 model. But has anyone looked at the Escape PHEV and compared it to the new '23 Niro PHEV?
 

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On a different forum an individual was asking a similar question. There is not a lot of information or personal advice on the new Escape just yet.

Maybe explore the Ford Escape Forum. Ford does have their marketing information for this model on their website.

It is an intriguing car built right here in Louisville Kentucky I believe - with a great price and great EV range. MPG is not outstanding but many of us would use mostly EV mode.

Another positive is the number of Ford Service Centers and Dealers that are available.

Ford Freshens Escape With PHEV, ST Trim for 2023 | WardsAuto

"Starting prices for the ’23 Escape range from $28,995 for the Base trim up to $39,995 for the PHEV.
Built at Ford’s Louisville, KY, plant, "

From the pricing you can see it is a direct competitor of the KIA NIRO in the small/compact SUV arena.
 

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Have I driven or even seen one in real life - no. Did I carefully look at it on paper, mostly because of the tax credit eligibility - yes. My conclusions:

. With the tax credit, a good price and comparable to the '23 Niro PHEV new, assuming dealer markups aren't nuts.
. Combined (HEV) MPG of 41 lower than I wanted - closer to 50.
. Not the greatest reliability record, though maybe better than indicated here: 2021 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid SUV Reliability and Recalls | CarIndigo.com

I just couldn't find much data on them - nor any to actually drive nor buy in my area. The asking prices of even distant used ones seem quite high (higher than same-MY Niro PHEVs for sure). It was primarily the lower HEV mileage that turned me away, even though I understand it has quite a bit more power and can e.g. tow 1,500 lb. Also more EV range, a plus. Just not what I was looking for - basically a more stylish and roomy plug-in Prius. Finally, after all research, I left with the subjective perception it's not as mature/debugged as the Niro PHEV yet costs as much or more.

The above is all about the Escape PHEV <= MY 22. Like the '23 Prius Prime, show me a '23 Escape PHEV I can drive and maybe buy. Only that might change my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, the '23 Escape PHEV doesn't have different trim levels like previous years. They now come extremely well equipped, with only a premium package that adds things like a 360 camera. I have such a camera in my Bolt, and it is extremely useful. So you really have to compare the Niro SX Touring to be closer to comparable. Add in the tax credit, and the Escape really starts looking good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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To be fair, I think that's a better description of the RAV4 Prime. :)
The lower power/higher mpg hybrid core a la prius or Ioniq PHEV is what I primarily wanted. In that respect the Niro PHEV is indeed like a better-looking Prius Prime with more room. The RAV4 Prime is quite the monster power-wise, and also costs considerably more than any of the PHEVs so far mentioned in this thread. I did briefly consider the RAV4 prime and nixed it because it was out of my price range and unobtainium. A couple my wife knows tried to order one locally and were told there's an 18-month wait. Not sure I'd want to pay probably full price for a '23 vehicle some time in mid-year 2024. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not sure I'd want to pay probably full price for a '23 vehicle some time in mid-year 2024
Well, in fairness you'd be getting the '24 model by then. :) But I agree, the Toyota Prime models are pure unobtanium anywhere other than California and perhaps New York. My local dealer says they can't even order one for our state, regardless of the time involved to actually get one. The Niro is absolutely better looking the all the previous Prius models. But I have to say that Toyota did a good job with the '23 refresh. Even the funky center dash display is gone, and now has a more "normal" dash. I had a Prius rental last August for a day, and I absolutely hated the dash and shifter.

The reported MPG isn't as important to me, mostly because I know how much of my driving would be in EV mode. I had more than two years driving my '19 Niro PHEV to understand my driving habits. Having more EV power is a major plus for me, since I live on such a steep hill. My '19 Niro sometimes had to start the ICE just to maintain the 30 MPH speed limit up my hill. The '23 Niro shouldn't have that problem, since they've bumped the EV power along with the battery size.
 

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Well, in fairness you'd be getting the '24 model by then. :)
That wasn't my takeaway from my own conversations with two local Toyota dealers, though if true would be welcome news. What I got was, you get in line for a '23 and hope they keep making them long enough. Then there's a new line for the next MY once announced, and deposits are always required. They actually told me people had already committed to buy cars for which there wasn't even yet pricing available. No thanks, that's just nuts. For fun I left myself on the call-if-we-ever-get-one '23 Prius Prime list at such a dealer. Both dealers also said they get what they get, and try to match prospective buyers when they learn what's on the way.

I was salivating pretty good over the '23 Prius Prime until I discovered: again, unobtainium for possibly a long while (Toyota dealers here also say they get very few plug-ins at all), dealer markups to who-knows-what, $0 tax credit, no cool mustard color available, and last but not least, my head would hit the ceiling in the back seat - and be pretty close even in the front. I'm 6' with a long torso. The generous headroom in the Niro made quite a good first impression.

My wife in particular also didn't like the <= '22 Prius dash layout, and the passenger compartment felt kind of cramped to me. Our driving here is on level roads, either well under 25 miles round trip or 50 with a free charger at the far end, or heading out of town for 90+ mi. The EV range of our current Niro PHEV is satisfactory. Longer EV range would of course be nice, though on those longish trips we'd still run well past the range of any other PHEV in the price bracket (e.g. Land Rover not considered).
 

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" On paper, the Escape seems a strong competitor. With the tax credit, it's certainly a better value. But paper doesn't always translate into real world." Correcto! There are several Escape forums but the info there is pretty limited on PHEVs and they don't seem to be nearly as active / helpful as this forum.

I driven several Gen 4 ICE Escapes as rentals (probably 1,500 miles) and found them to be easy to drive and comfortable. I have also briefly driven an Escape Hybrid, but not the Escape PHEV.
As my my wife doesn't especially like the seating in our Niro, Si looked at the 2021 Esc PHEV extensively, even had a down payment one in late 21. In the end I decided that we didn't really need the larger car (have an Outback) and I as the primary driver I'm quite satisfied with the Niro PHEV. That said, I continue to watch the market on the two as I am always thinking about my "next car"..

The Escape has larger exterior and significantly larger cargo area while passenger area larger but not by a huge amount. Escape ride is a bit firmer. The Escape PHEV goes further on the battery, not quite as far on gas -- Escape PHEV owners report 45- 50 EV miles inc the city, around to 50 mpg highway -- it is very efficient and was named Best 2021 Hybrid SUV by U.S. News & World Report.. Niro's interior is nicer and tech better (talking gen 1 Niro & 20-22 Escape). I could be happy with either car & if the most interior space was a prime consideration I'd opt for the Escape. Pricewise it was a pretty much equal but the new Green Steal gives a $5K price advantage to the Ford.

Escape PHEVs have been few and far between for the past two years in the W WA area; while hard to find there appear to be more Niro PHEVs. Currently no one seems to know when the 23 Esc PHEV will be available. There are still a few 22 Esc HEVs and very few 22 PHEVs within a 500 mile radius of my home. Most are marked up significantly but I don't know what they are actually selling for.
As dedicated hatchback/wagon fan the other two PHEVs that I would consider for 2023 is the 23 Mitsubishi Outlander and Kia Sportage. Both are getting across the board rave reviews. IMO, all four of the above mentioned PHEVs look like great rigs. But in 2023, most if not all PHEVs are gonna be hard to find & harder to purchase at or near MSRP. It is sort of a buy the one you can find world at the moment :cautious:
 

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From what I can tell, once you add in all package the features, the tax credit will take the cost of the Escape PHEV down to slightly below what the Niro PHEV costs without the tax credit. It does make it very tempting considering you also get a 360 camera with it. If you can fit a rear-facing child seat easily in back, I might consider it (fitting one in a Niro is tight if you have tall driver/passengers from what I've read). But, it just looks so ugly compared to the Niro.

As for the Prius Prime, all the headroom went away. Even though the new model looks pretty amazing, I won't fit comfortably, and neither will most of my family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
From what I can tell, once you add in all package the features, the tax credit will take the cost of the Escape PHEV down to slightly below what the Niro PHEV costs without the tax credit.
Not if you compare the more equivalent trin on the Niro. That means the Niro SX Touring, which has an MSRP almost the same the Escape PHEV with the Premium package. The Escape maxed out is $45k (premium package, towing package, destination) while the Niro would be $41.7k (adding the cold weather package and the HomeLink mirror). Take $7500 off the Escape and you're down to $37.5k. The Niro has ventilated seats, longer warranty and better gas mileage when the ICE is running. The Escape has more EV range, more cargo space, a heads up display, and a similar warranty on the hybrid components (such as the battery). So, the Escape is about $4k less after the tax rebate, with some additional features as well as a few lesser abilities. Really, the two are quite close overall.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Escape PHEVs have been few and far between for the past two years in the W WA area; while hard to find there appear to be more Niro PHEVs.
Very true. Right now there's only a few '22 Escape PHEVs in the top trim level. The Marysville dealer appears to be selling at MSRP, while the Renton dealer is $10k over. But there appears to be enough changes with the '23 that I'd prefer that one if I do go that way. There are quite a few Niro SX Touring available in the greater Seattle area, and a bunch more by going to the Portland area. The Kia dealers still seem to be adding ADM, but they are finally coming down. The Auburn dealer was putting $9K on the top trims of the Niro, but I believe they are down to about $3k. Puyallup has come down to $1k, while the Renton dealer (where I leased my '19 Niro) is MSRP. But the Ford dealers aren't much better, although there are some that seem to be at MSRP or lower finally.
 

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Not if you compare the more equivalent trin on the Niro. That means the Niro SX Touring, which has an MSRP almost the same the Escape PHEV with the Premium package. The Escape maxed out is $45k (premium package, towing package, destination) while the Niro would be $41.7k (adding the cold weather package and the HomeLink mirror). Take $7500 off the Escape and you're down to $37.5k. The Niro has ventilated seats, longer warranty and better gas mileage when the ICE is running. The Escape has more EV range, more cargo space, a heads up display, and a similar warranty on the hybrid components (such as the battery). So, the Escape is about $4k less after the tax rebate, with some additional features as well as a few lesser abilities. Really, the two are quite close overall.
I was considering that to be slightly less expensive, but it is 10% so I guess I shouldn't.
 

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@ atc98092: Its a bit out of the way, but Ontario Ford Ranch in Ontario Idaho has 22 Esc PHEVs that appear to be listed at MSRP. Three are SEL models which is the sweet spot in my opinion. IF you want a 23 Escape PHEV, I'd be prepared to wait a looonng time as Ford is still shipping '22 Escape models. Apparently a sign of the challenge of getting parts for their large EV fleet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, from everything I can see I'd really rather have the '23 model. Ford does appear to have begun shipping the '23 Escape, but I can't say if the PHEV is yet. I likely have another month or so before GM takes my Bolt back, and the wife says we can get by with just the pickup for a while if we need to wait for something we want. Have to see what's happening once the Bolt is actually gone.
 
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One thing I'm finding interesting is the marketing vs. actual battery capacity on PHEVs. My gen 1 Niro is advertised to have an 8.9 kWh battery - and a pleasant surprise, that's how much I've measured it'll actually take going from 16-17% up to 100... 8.87 kWh to be exact. That marketing kWh number is then usable EV range for a Niro, plus an average ~15% reserve it maintains for hybrid operation... nice.

I'm also reading more on the '23 Escape PHEV, which BTW does not change its powertrain at all, unlike this year's Niro PHEV. The Escape is marketed with a 14.4 kWh battery, though possibly erroneously, has an 11.2 kWh usable according to this: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a39918592/2021-ford-escape-phev-by-the-numbers/ I know C&D hits EVs unusually hard - but driving relatively aggressively at 65-70 mph on a curvy and somewhat hilly metro area highway, my gen 1 Niro PHEV flipped to HEV at 25 miles, coincidentally the same as C&D measured for the Escape on a highway. Perhaps the rated 37 EV miles for the Escape is not as conservative as Kia/Hyundai. I'm not finding much else online about real-world Escape EV range either.

In part I did this research because for me to open the wallet for my next car, probably a new PHEV, it'll need to have substantially more real-world EV range, like 45-50 miles.

Last, IIRC 2021 was the first year for the Escape PHEV, so that powertrain - though likely very similar to the straight hybrid, appears to have had no more than than two years to get the kinks worked out.

I'd appreciate being corrected on any of the above, as it does seem to take some effort to discern in particular PHEV specs for an apples-to-apples comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The Escape PHEV was available in 2020, but who knows how many were actually shipped. Based on the posts I've found in an Escape forum (run by the same company as this site), users have gotten as much as 50 EV miles from the vehicle, so it does appear to be similar to the Niro in that some drivers can exceed EPA numbers without issue. One nice thing is that it does have an electric heater, and by preheating the cabin on a cold day you can get the same sort of range boost that an EV gets from preheating. Since I regularly got 30 miles from my Niro (although the engine had to run to heat the cabin, which provides a slight bit of charge to the battery), I expect the Escape would meet or exceed the EPA numbers with my typical use.

I'm rather torn between the new Niro and the Escape. Both have some pros over the other, but the additional range and tax credit for the Escape are really hard to pass over.
 
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The Escape PHEV was available in 2020, but who knows how many were actually shipped. Based on the posts I've found in an Escape forum (run by the same company as this site), users have gotten as much as 50 EV miles from the vehicle, so it does appear to be similar to the Niro in that some drivers can exceed EPA numbers without issue. One nice thing is that it does have an electric heater, and by preheating the cabin on a cold day you can get the same sort of range boost that an EV gets from preheating. Since I regularly got 30 miles from my Niro (although the engine had to run to heat the cabin, which provides a slight bit of charge to the battery), I expect the Escape would meet or exceed the EPA numbers with my typical use.

I'm rather torn between the new Niro and the Escape. Both have some pros over the other, but the additional range and tax credit for the Escape are really hard to pass over.
I read somewhere that there was a substantial delay in shipping the first Escape PHEVs, ultimately in mid 2021. Here: https://fordauthority.com/2020/09/ford-escape-phev-production-dates-revealed/ and Ford Escape PHEV: Finally There’s Light at the End of the Tunnel

Yep, same here, 30+ EV mi isn't uncommon from my gen 1 Niro. That tax credit sure is nice though. If the tax credit had been there for the Niro, I might have snagged the '23 PHEV after the test drive. Well-executed vehicle with a lot of changes for MY 2023 and with that a new round of recalls/bugs. I passed primarily because it cost more out the door than I felt it was worth, particularly for a first PHEV and with a good used one available for 13K less.

The Escape is quite comparable to the Niro - a bit more room, ~600 lb heavier, more HP, more EV miles, lower hybrid mpg. I'd say the Escape qualifies as a small SUV - able to actually tow albeit FWD only, with the Niro like a roomier-than-usual wagon, or call it a CUV, whatever that means. I have a good truck for towing and the Niro primarily to run up comfortable, low-cost miles.

Good point on the difference in heating tech options. I live in a relatively warm climate, so heat at all is in two months of the year and that only occasionally. Running the engine a minute or two now and then for that is fine. Electric cabin cooling is much more important. Different strokes for different folks. :whistle:
 

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I read somewhere that there was a substantial delay in shipping the first Escape PHEVs, ultimately in mid 2021. Here: https://fordauthority.com/2020/09/ford-escape-phev-production-dates-revealed/ and Ford Escape PHEV: Finally There’s Light at the End of the Tunnel

Yep, same here, 30+ EV mi isn't uncommon from my gen 1 Niro. That tax credit sure is nice though. If the tax credit had been there for the Niro, I might have snagged the '23 PHEV after the test drive. Well-executed vehicle with a lot of changes for MY 2023 and with that a new round of recalls/bugs. I passed primarily because it cost more out the door than I felt it was worth, particularly for a first PHEV and with a good used one available for 13K less.

The Escape is quite comparable to the Niro - a bit more room, ~600 lb heavier, more HP, more EV miles, lower hybrid mpg. I'd say the Escape qualifies as a small SUV - able to actually tow albeit FWD only, with the Niro like a roomier-than-usual wagon, or call it a CUV, whatever that means. I have a good truck for towing and the Niro primarily to run up comfortable, low-cost miles.

Good point on the difference in heating tech options. I live in a relatively warm climate, so heat at all is in two months of the year and that only occasionally. Running the engine a minute or two now and then for that is fine. Electric cabin cooling is much more important. Different strokes for different folks. :whistle:
A used PHEV for $13k? That'd be nice. It's 3x that here unless you get one that's half a decade old. Might as well buy new here.
 
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