Just passed 25k mi and overall average remains just above 30 mpg. Never expected to have this experience with this vehicle that has been trouble free and fun to drive. The ScanGaugeII and some techniques explained on this site have made a difference.
Your thread has caused me to add the Escape to the short list of vehicles I am considering buying. My 96 Nissan only has 83,000 miles and the Coast Guard is transferring me out of Michigan next spring so I am going to wait till next summer before I make a decision on whether or not to buy a new truck.
My criteria for a new vehicle are reliability, mileage, the ability to tow, and some form of 4 or AWD. The only AWD system that I really like is Suzuki's I Drive. You can select from 3 modes, FWD, AWD and locked AWD. The idea of being able to select the mode appeals to me but there doesn't seem to be much of a FE advantage to this system so far.
Most people don't need an SUV, 4WD, etc. but I spend enough time out in the woods that it gets put to use. Not to mention the fact that I have another winter left in Sault Ste Siberia! You'd have a hard time convincing people here that global warming is happening after this spring.
Glad you added the Escape. Do add the Tribute as it's a better looking version and has been tweaked by Mazda specs to handle a little more crisply.
If you do add the fwd Escape/Tribute to your list, know that the 5spd is rated for towing 1500 lbs. The auto is 1000 lbs. I think. The fwd 5 spd has traction and stability control as well as ABS. I do a lot of driving in snow (to go skiing) and the fwd with limited slip has worked well even with several inches of snow on the road. So my thinking is that most people don't really need awd. With gas at $4/gal now, a lot of folks may be coming to that realization.
The fwd 5 spd has traction and stability control as well as ABS.
Due to government requirements, over the next few years those features will be phased into ALL vehicles, as well as tire pressure monitoring systems.
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stability_control :
The United States was next, mandating ESC for all passenger vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4536 kg), phasing in the regulation starting with 55% of 2009 models, 75% of 2010 models, 95% of 2011 models, and 100% of 2012 models.
Of course, with stability control comes the equipment required for ABS and traction control, and it would be silly for manufacturers to put in ESC and not throw in ABS/SC.
As for the TPMS I mentioned before, I just looked it up and it's already in all new vehicles. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_pr...itoring_system :
This act mandates the use of a suitable TPM technology in order to alert drivers of a severe under-inflation condition of their tires. This act affects all light motor vehicles (<10,000 lb) sold after 1 September 2007. Phase-in started in October 2005 at 20%, and reached 100% for models produced after September 2007.
All that (IMO, unnecessary) expensive equipment mandated, and nothing for inexpensive MPG displays?
I am now a new Patriot owner. In a few weeks you guys will see an update on FE. I can tell you that the base model AWD with a 5spd is affordable, has a nice ride, handles well and has good acceleration for a 4 banger.
I agree, I hate all modernization and lack of control system like that. They do all have their places though, I mean roll control and traction control shouldn't affect you too much until you really need it and shouldn't add much to weight/hurt FE I wouldn't think.
As for ABS, I don't understand the modern system and why they have to suck so much. The best ABS I've seen was by Porsche, not sure if it's still like this but in the 70s 911s and such that I've used, they had 'ABS'. That is, they were manual brakes, UNTIL the brakes locked for more than a second or so, THEN it'd start modulating. So if you wanted to pump, go right ahead, if you wanted to brake right up to the limit of the manual brakes, go right ahead! But if you got scared and slammed the brakes by accident and didn't have time to think about pumping, then there's your ABS and you safely stop without skidding :-).
AWESOME system and I wish it were all like this. I hate automated ABS bullcrap, especially tight in a corner where I need to know exactly how much traction I have for braking and need to know exactly how much braking force the system is going to apply, etc.
This is the same reason I like traction control to, in an emergency or if you have a brain fart and dip too far in or need to get out of someone's way in slush or a gazzillion other things I can think of, the system has got you covered. But this, unlike ABS, only engages when there's slip.
As for 2wd SUVs, I'd say they make as much sense as ANY SUV. At least by the people buying them now a days. I love my truck and use it all the time, but I feel most people by SUVs because they sit higher and perceive them as taking a crash better, etc. Trouble is this mentality is a circle, it's only BECAUSE of SUV owners that we all need to 'sit higher' and handle crashes better. And I'd bet 90+% don't ever need or use the 4WD or go off road.
As for as bad mouthing 2wd specifically, I don't see the point, fwd is just as good in the snow as 4wd. Only in very specific situations (stuck in mud or front doesn't have tracation or one side, etc) that ONLY occur off road (IMHO) do you need 4wd or AWD. I'll agree that AWD does provide better traction and control in ALL driving conditions, but these conditions ONLY apply to driving as fast as you can at the limit on a track. There's no reason for the normal consumer to need AWD.
Lastly, I'm not sure why you'd compare the Patriot to station wagon, Jeep has one of those, the Compass. I almost got one because it was quite cheap, had CVT and reminded me of the Magnum but a bit bigger. Probably horrible on gas milage though.
The best ABS I've seen was by Porsche, not sure if it's still like this but in the 70s 911s and such that I've used, they had 'ABS'. That is, they were manual brakes, UNTIL the brakes locked for more than a second or so, THEN it'd start modulating.
Sounds like a great system that could be all things to all people, except for those people who need ABS immediately.
As for 2wd SUVs, I'd say they make as much sense as ANY SUV.
The concept is no more broken than 2wd pickup trucks. The fact that SUVs have replaced cars (IMO, a chain reaction originally triggered by CAFE legislation) is what's broken.
Lastly, I'm not sure why you'd compare the Patriot to station wagon
Modern small "SUVs" are the modern replacement for station wagons, sharing the same general shape and functions, differing mainly in height and styling cues. There are few station wagons on the market, so one looking for that function inevitably ends up considering a few SUVs.
Jeep has one of those, the Compass. I almost got one because it was quite cheap, had CVT and reminded me of the Magnum but a bit bigger. Probably horrible on gas milage though.
The Compass and Patriot are the same vehicle. The Patriot has a slightly higher roof, and I'd assume a slightly higher ceiling as a result. They share the same platform, same engine/transmission options, and exactly the same EPA ratings (23/25/28 for the 4 cylinder 5 speed manual of either model). They are both classified as SUVs. The Compass costs $1000 more.
The Compass comes with more "stuff" which is why it costs more, and might have just a little less cargo space than the Patriot.
The argument of FWD being as good in snow as AWD doesn't hold much water in places like Michigan. AWD or 4WD is best, FWD is next with RWD bringing up the rear. Tires also make a huge difference in places where you get anywhere between 11 and 16 feet of snow a winter.
We need more vehicles like the Patriot, Forester, Escape, etc. I know a retired GM ad exec and he thinks the last few months are going to make a lasting impression on American drivers and the "Big Three". Who knows he just might be right.
Anyway, my impression of the Jeep is pretty darn high. The vehicle is quiet and tight, even though the interior is mostly plastic it seems well made (and easy to clean for a kayaker, surfer, hunter, biker, hiker, etc.) and it handles and rides well for a vehicle that will see some limited off road use. The ability to buy a stripped version like I got, with roll up windows, manual locks and a low price tag, was also a big selling point. My vehicle gets me into the woods to have fun and that is all I need, basic transportation.
3 of the systems i hate...what happened to you know accually learning how to drive and know how your car handles?
abs i HATE on snow...traction well not floor it every time you take off and not try to go 30 around a wet 90* curve...
I'm just going to say there is good ABS and bad ABS. And IMO, US branded cars are more likely to fall short in that regard, but it has generally improved by very noticeable measures in the newest vehicles. I have however only had one car that performed so well with ABS on snow and ice that I actually liked having it, and it was my 04 STi. Nothing else came close to that car on modulation of the system. Even at Portland International Raceway, flat out hammering the brake pedal from 125 mph produced better slowing than attempting to modulate braking myself.
Every other car I have owned with ABS has simply fallen short in one regard or another.