I am the original owner of a 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid, and can honestly say this is the best vehicle I have ever owned. After 98,000 miles, I have had only two component failures: A burned out tail light, and a bad starting battery. I expected the battery to give out after 5 years or so, so that was no surprise.
A word of warning to the rest of you though... You may not know this, but there is a separate cooling system in the cargo area at the rear of the vehicle, which contains an air filter. This air filter must be changed before it plugs up or you will burn up your battery and/or regulator. My understanding is that the regulator repair is over $1,000, and if you toast your battery, you might as well buy a Prius, because at last check, it was over $10,000. If you own a Hybrid, you need to check this filter now! It is located on the left side of the rear cargo area inside a small panel. Open this up, take out the filter cover, and pull out the filter. If you haven't done this yet, it's probably filthy like mine was. I heard about this from a guy who had an identical model that wasn't so fortunate to have been told about this filter. He smoked his regulator. Good luck!