Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD : December 2004 - between 19% to 47% improvement in mileage compared to V6 petrol model.
Highs: Best fuel economy we've measured in a sport-ute, hybrid status hasn't compromised any of the Escape's usefulness.
Lows: Not the bargain the Toyota Prius is, lethargic, 10 percent heavier than a V-6 Escape.
The Verdict: Proof that hybrid technology works for sport-utility vehicles. Just don't expect 50 mpg.