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Escape hybrid - on the beach?

Looking at the escape hybrid (& others), but i’m curious about the offroadiness of the ‘4x4’ escape hybrid. I’ve seen the lifeguard version for LA beaches, but i’m worried about making it past the dunes of hatteras. Soft, deep sand there. Anyone have 1st hand experience with escape hybrid on sand anywhere?

cheers

Sand is light offroad if you keep out of deep ruts. I ran a Subaru WRX across a beach without much issue or clearance. I do deflate the tires a bit if deeper sand.

I do some offroading in the NJ Pine Barrens in soft sand. Here is a good article about airing down for offroading. A little googling will get plenty of hits about driving on the beach.

http://www.4x4now.com/sfjun96.htm

If I had a hybrid I would be more concerned about the effect of salt air and water on the electronics and the batteries.

Ed B.

If I had a hybrid I would be more concerned about the effect of salt air and water on the electronics and the batteries.

NON-ISSUE…Believe it or not there’s NOT a whole lot more electronics in a Hybrid then a non-hybrid…When was the last time you heard of car problem related to the Salt-Air.

I’m wondering if the OP is more concerned about a hybrid-specific problem that has been reported on this forum. There have been reports that in poor traction situations, Prius drivers have been unable to spin the drive wheels when that is advantageous. The cars are allegedly programmed not to spin the drive wheels because of worries that axles shafts may snap when there’s suddenly good traction.

OP, is this what you mean?

A prius has no relation to OP(original posters) vehicle. The likely case is it is AWD. If not I would not venture too far onto a sandy beach.

Furthermore most modern cars do not allow you to “spin the tires”. They have traction control systems that (try) to prevent this. The programming behind is the effectiveness of the system. I have never seen a situation where spinning tires is advantageous.

“I have never seen a situation where spinning tires is advantageous.”

Ever been to a drag strip or mud-bogging? At the strip, a healthy burnout softness up the tires and cleans them off before a run. When in mud, momentum is everything, if you don’t keep your foot in it you’ll get bogged down. Also spinning the tires encourages self-cleaning as well. Traction and stability control can be hindrances sometimes.

andrew j, guess you’ve never driven a front wheel drive car uphill in snow. “spin the tires” = friction = heat = melted snow. (narrow tires are helpful)

Driving a FWD in snow and spinning tires to melt snow = fruitless. It turns into something far far worse for traction, wet ice.

I have only owned one FWD car in 20 years (VW Jetta GLI) and never had to spin the tires on purpose to drive in deeper snow.

andrew j, guess you’ve never driven a front wheel drive car uphill in snow. “spin the tires” = friction = heat = melted snow. (narrow tires are helpful)

I take it YOU’VE NEVER driven in snow in a fwd vehicle. That is one of the stupidest methods of driving in snow I’ve ever heard. Spinning tires ALWAYS…Let me repeat…ALWAYS gives you less traction on snow.

You DON"T want to spin your tires in the sand…you’ll just dig yourself a hole to china.

Tire tread being the major operational point here, the only other 4x4 type consideration that I can think of for you to wonder about on the beach is LOW RANGE.
The Escape hybrid has no low range or low gear ( cvt trans.). But would you ever need it ?

I have an 06 Escape hybrid AWD ( no switches, computer selected ) --and-- a 92 Explorer 4x4 ( electric push button selection ) with very different mechanics between them. New Mexico is nowhere near a beach but I like both trucks out here in the high desert red dirt. However there are different functions that I wouldn’t use each truck for. I wouldn’t use the AWD Escape to pull another vehicle out of the ditch or mud bog, nor would I go hill climbing with it. Yet there’s times in the icy winter that I like the automatic AWD when the 4x4 is already sliding before you can hit the switch.

I would take my Escape onto the beach without a second thought.

Well I lived on a barrier island (Ocean City, NJ) for 4 years and the salt air alone was rough on family cars (paint, rust, exhaust, etc). My cars are holding up a lot better since we moved 10 miles inland.

Ed B.

Be careful of running over sleeping people on the sand. They can really damage the underside of our vehicle. You can avoid, sometimes, that kind of damage by installing plates to protect the engine and trans if the vehicle did not come with them.

thanks to everyone for the interest. yes, my concern here is the lack of a 4wd low gear.
here’s a couple of vids with one in action (the lifeguard deal i mentioned earlier). i’m still a little skeptical, but if i’m out at the beach, i usually have 3 other buddies with trucks that will pull me right out.


thanks again
cheers

I spent my youth using my parents AMC Eagle not only driving on sandy river beaches but fording up to 1’ deep with AWD(albiet Jeep derived). Never once got stuck with it nor needed the low range.