Ford Escape Hybrid -- realistic mileage?

I'm looking at the Ford Escape Hybrid as an alternative to something like the Toyota Rav-4 or Subaru Forester. My wife has a first-generation Prius
and loves it. I would buy a second Prius, but I really need something with a bit more cargo space.
The only big question in my mind is how realistic is the mileage on the Escape. It seems hard to believe it really gets the mileage they claim on the highway, given how un-aerodynamic the Escape looks. Anybody have any real-world experiences to report?
Most of my driving is my daily commute to work; 18 miles each way, about half of which is highway, half of which is local streets, over mostly flat terrain (New York suburbs). I do almost no inner city stop-and-go type driving.
I'm resigned to the fact that a hybrid probably isn't a good deal from a pure economic point of view, and that the 36/31 MPG is probably unrealistic. I just want to make sure I'm not going to be stuck with something getting 18 or 20.
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Roy Smith wrote:

If you baby it, expect about 25 MPG during the summer, slightly less during the winter. EPA estimates were put out by the Easter bunny and Santa Claus.
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    --What I can't figure out is *why* the mileage is so crummy? Any clues?
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : Woohoo! Cheney sez
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : lawyer season's open!
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steamer wrote:

Yeah, my suspicion is that this hybrid has a large IC engine and small electric. The OPPOSITE setup is what you need to get good milage.
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