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2005 ford escape hybrid 70,000 miles vs. 2009 honda civic 170,000 hwy miles - I can only keep one

Just looking for some feedback. I have to choose between two cars. One is a 2009 Honda Civic with 170,000 highway miles on it. It has been well kept (regular oil changes and service). The other choice is a 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid with approximately 70,000 miles on it. Also has been well kept. Whichever car I choose will be a car my wife and I use to commute to work. It will be driven 6 times a week. We will be putting about 530 miles on it each week with our combined commutes. I’m really torn on which one to go with. Civic is 100,00 more miles but all highway miles. Ford is 11 years old at this point. Any thoughts and feedback would be appreciated.
My other car is a honda odyssey we use for traveling with the kids. 3 kids all in car seats or booster seats with another on the way.

I would not keep either one. 2000 miles a month I would trade them in on a new car with warranty. There are a lot of reasonable priced vehicles on the market and all of them will safety upgrades over what you have now.
The other side would to be just keep them and just drive them both into the ground.

Have a mechanic look both over for problems, like rust. May cost you $100 or so, but worth it.

My off-the-cuff thought is to ditch the Ford. It does not have very good reliability.
edit: and the Civic is approaching the end of it’s life.

On second thought, dump both of them.

I’m with @“VOLVO V70” . The escape was/is a terrible car for reliability. The Civic was a fantastic car in that regard, but at 170,000 miles things are going to be going wrong with it. New car time.

This is a third vote for ditching both cars and buying something new (or at least much newer), with a warranty. Keeping either a car with a sketchy reliability record or a car with high odometer mileage means that there will be inevitable reliability issues–and repairs–in the OP’s future.

If a brand-new car is not in the budget, then perhaps a late-model used car being sold by a rental company might be a good idea. These cars usually have at least some of their factory warranty remaining, and they do receive regular maintenance.

I might keep the Civic while saving like crazy for its replacement.

right now it looks like I may be holding onto the civic based on feedback from you all and my mechanic (he worked on both cars). new car is not in the budget right now as I just had to buy a minivan and have a baby on the way. Definitely going to start saving though as everyone seems to agree that I will need to get something new in the very near future. Thank you all for your feedback.

I’d sell the hybrid. It might need some more expensive repairs in a few months to years.

A civic with that mileage has 2 prime issues. One is it will likely need a head gasket repair pretty soon. This is a pretty common item on high mileage older civics. I have an '03 Civic and it got a new head gasket 2 years ago at 150K miles. It is running great still.

My Civic is a manual transmission, and I’ll assume your’s is an automatic. Civic auto transmissions are not the most robust and it might go on you. I’d have the transmission fluid changed about every 50K miles from now on if you want the tranny to last.

I’m not sure if your Civic has a timing belt or timing chain. Mine has a belt, which means a timing belt job every 100K miles. If your Civic has a timing belt have it changed on schedule. When a belt breaks on a Honda there is severe engine damage, and a huge $3,000 repair bill.

Keep the Civic and if you want it to last make sure to have money in your budget for maintenance and a few repairs.

mine has a timing chain

You will get almost nothing if you sell th Civic given the mileage. The Escape should sell for a lot more. Of course, there is the issue of what to do if the Civic requires an expensive repair soon. You will probably have to fix it and drive the Odessey in the meantime.

i am a gambler. you have taken good care of the civic, mostly easy highway miles, so why not just hold it and drive it for the remainder of it’s life? you have a minivan to fall back upon when repairs come up. i literally expect you to be able to drive it at least another 100K miles or more. that’s another 5 years at your rate. i would guess you will spend around $0-3K on repairs during that time. win win.

save for the next car in the mean time. 5 years of savings time to buy. i would NOT recommend buying another car right now when you have a dependable high mileage one at your disposal.

btw, i drove a honda accord to 300K miles with only small repairs along the way.

A ten year old hybrid would not be a choice of mine, but my vote would also be neither. You have to ask yourself if the Honda is a better car than a Buick? I got 500K on mine but would have been money ahead to ditch it at 300K. You can keep anything going for a price, but the question is why and is it worth it? Makes my back sore just thinking about that many miles a week in a Civic.

“Makes my back sore just thinking about that many miles a week in a Civic.”


In addition to having very poor ground clearance, and having seats that sit too close to the floor,
these cars have a notoriously high interior noise level. I don’t even want to think about the discomfort level of having to drive that many miles per week in an old Civic.

I have a friend who has a 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid that has over 100,000 miles. His wife uses the Escape to commute a,110 mile round trip there months a year. I have ridden a lot of miles in this Escape and found it comfortable. The institution from which I retired had several Ford Escape,Hybrids in its fleet. I drove one on a 220 mile round trip and found it quite comfortable. There were also some Honda Civic Hybrid in the fleet which I drove to the same conference 220 miles away and I found the Civic in comfortable as there wasn’t enough legroom. My wife was on the road quite frequently doing recruiting for the university. She didn’t care for the Honda Civic Hybrids at all–found them quite uncomfortable. On the other hand, my research partner, liked the Honda Civic Hybrid. Her personal car is a Civic. She is about 5’ 4" and the seating position is fine for her. I know I am going against the flow, but I would sell the Civic and keep the Escape.

I think the battery packs for the hybrid are warrantied for 10 year or 100k mikes, check the cost of replacement my word of advice.

6 of one, half-dozen of another. It’s a coin toss. Were I in the situation I’d choose the one that had proved most reliable, and if that was a tie I’d choose the one w/the best ride qualities.