DETROIT—The 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid will start at $26,380, excluding destination charges, the Detroit Free Press reported. The vehicle will go on sale this fall. The price of the hybrid version of the compact sport-utility vehicle is $3,300 to $3,425 higher than a comparable Escape. The base price for an all-wheel-drive Escape hybrid will be $28,005. Though fuel economy figures for the hybrid have not been released by the manufacturer, a front-wheel-drive Escape got 33.3 mpg when tested by the Free Press in May. That compares to combined highway-city EPA fuel economy ratings of 25 m.p.g. for an Escape with a conventional four-cylinder engine and 21 m.p.g. for a V6 model. Consumers may have to pay a premium for the first hybrid SUV. Demand has far exceeded supply for the Toyota Prius, causing waiting lists of six months or more and allowing dealers to mark up the sticker price as much as $8,000, the Free Press reported.