Mumbai: The 2009 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner compact sport utility vehicles earned top spots in safety-ratings in the US. Both Ford vehicles earned five stars in each of the government's crash-worthiness tests. Infact, the 2009 Escape's improved fuel efficiency put it ahead of the Toyota RAV-4 and it also bettered combined safety and fuel efficiency ratings than the Honda CR-V.
2009 Escape Hybrid and Mariner Hybrid also achieved five-star ratings, the highest possible scores, in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests to outpace the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Toyota Prius.
The Escape Hybrid arrived in 2005 as the world's only hybrid sport utility vehicle, which offer at least 30 mpg city and highway ratings.
Both models, which went on sale this summer, feature a full array of standard safety equipment, including dual front airbags, headliner mounted side curtain airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, Ford-exclusive AdvanceTrac with RSC (roll stability control) and tire pressure monitoring system.
Ford and Mercury compact SUVs get some of their core strength from selective use of high strength steel in the body structure. The use of high-strength steel in the
B-pillars to help protect passengers in front and side impacts is only part of their robust safety profile. The gas and hybrid electric versions share identical safety architecture.
The 2009 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner offer a new, 171-hp, 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with intake variable cam timing (i-VCT) for enhanced fuel economy and performance. The hybrids also will feature a version of the new engine that uses the fuel-efficient Atkinson Cycle for combustion.
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