What Are The Best And Worst Years For The Ford Escape?

Published: April 27, 2022
Last updated: February 21, 2024

When shopping for a Ford Escape, it is important to consider its best and worst years. Some models had a couple of issues, making users wonder about the reliability of certain models and having a hard time using them.

You need to read this article if you don't want to experience such a thing. It is reasonable to wonder which years Ford Escapes are the best and which Ford Escape years to avoid. 

The Best Years

For the Ford Escape, the following years are the best.

1. 2010 Ford Escape

People looking for a vehicle that can accommodate extra passengers and cargo will find the 2010 Ford Escape an excellent option. We're delighted to inform you that this vehicle has excellent crash test results, excellent performance, and distinctive and innovative high-tech features.

This vehicle is said to have exceptional fuel economy, regardless of whether it is a gas-only Escape model or a hybrid Escape model. The vehicle's gas mileage is also claimed to be excellent. It is also reasonably priced compared to many other cars. Ford MyKey and active park assist features are available as options for the 2010 model's upgrade. 

Finally, Cars US News rates this vehicle is 7.6 out of 10, and it is ranked 16th overall in the affordable compact SUV class.

2. 2011 Ford Escape

The 2011 Ford Escape has several great features for those who love driving SUVs. The 2011 Ford Escape is said to have a spacious interior and several technology features you do not want to miss out on.

According to cars.usnews.com, this model has a safety rating of 7.7 out of 10, and the reliability rating is 3 out of 5, based on JD Power's research. In addition to this, this model is priced between $6900 and $13,600.

The average price can range from $6900 to $9900, but it depends mainly on the condition, features, and mileage the vehicle can achieve. This car is an excellent option that you might want to look into.

3. 2012 Ford Escape

According to the 2012 Affordable Compact SUVs category awards, the 2012 Ford Escape occupies the 11th position, followed by the 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid. In its overall safety rating, cars.usnews.com gives this vehicle a 7.7 rating out of 10. Additionally, JD Power rates the reliability of its services at 3 out of 10, which is not too bad.

In addition to all that, you will also be happy to learn that this vehicle's excellent fuel economy means the lowest operating costs. Moreover, in the overlap frontal, side, and rear crash tests, the 2012 model achieved the highest possible safety score. That makes it a safe and reliable vehicle on the road.

4. 2015 Ford Escape

The 2015 Ford Escape is considered one of the most reliable Ford Escapes because of its strong turbocharged engines, excellent handling compared to its competitors, ample spacious interior, and favorable reliability rating.

Among the most reliable vehicles, the 2015 Ford Escape is praised for its turbocharged engines, good handling compared to its competitors, spacious interior, and favorable reliability rating.

Finally, it receives a rating of 8.4 out of 10 for overall safety. Additionally, it is stated that this model hardly requires repairs, and even if they do, the repairs will be less expensive than those on other models so you will save money.

5. 2019 Ford Escape

According to the scores for the 2019 Affordable Compact SUVs, the Ford Escape is the 4th best vehicle in the class because of its excellent features. In this 2019 model, the features and packages have been reshuffled, making it even more attractive than it was before.

In addition to its amazing towing capabilities, this model has lithe handling, outstanding performance, a strong engine, and an automatic transmission with six gears. It also offers plenty of cargo room inside the car.

Additionally, this model offers excellent fuel economy, especially when equipped with a 1.5-liter engine. It will be easier for you to drive for long distances without being concerned about the vehicle breaking down.

6. 2020 Ford Escape

One of the best and latest Ford Escape models is the 2020 Ford Escape, as it is quite affordable and offers a lot of benefits. The Ford Escape has been completely redone in the new design. This model provides a spacious cabin for passengers and cargo and is fun to drive. This model has an easy-to-use infotainment system which makes it perfect for people of all ages.

Also, it has a function that deactivates cylinders as you drive the car, which helps you save fuel. Furthermore, this vehicle will reach higher speeds without any hesitation, thanks to its turbocharged four-cylinder.

The Worst Years 

Once you clearly understand which Ford Escape models to choose, let's move on to which Ford Escape years to avoid. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you should avoid purchasing these models during the worst years because they have numerous complaints from unhappy consumers and have been recalled repeatedly.

It is typically quite expensive to fix these issues completely, so they are troublesome. Fixing the problem is just one part of this. Due to their low ranking on several websites, these models don't exactly meet several safety standards. Leaving these problems unattended can lead to hazardous road conditions. Read on to learn which Ford Escape years to avoid.

1. 2005 Ford Escape

One of the worst models of Ford Escape is the 2005 model. According to various people who own this model of SUV, all of the details provided below reflect complaints submitted by users who were not satisfied with the model.

Generally, the common problems found with this model are ignition misfires, check engine lights that hesitate or don't work, problems with the internal transfer case considering the 4WD system, electrical problems, paint scratches, and body damage.

Several people who have complained have also pointed out that such problems usually occur during hot weather. Furthermore, they complain that they have had to fix these problems multiple times, which can be very expensive. We recommend you avoid models like this at all costs.

2. 2006 Ford Escape

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recalled the Ford Escape 2006 model about five times due to various problems found in the vehicle. The main problems include wheel bearing failures, power steering problems such as leaky pumps and hoses, unbalanced wheels, faulty electronic or air suspension, the failure of the Anti Lock system (ABS), loose interior and exterior trim, and roof molding or rusting, and brake failures.

Because this model still has a lot of problems, it is best to avoid it since you could fail the safety test and cause an accident.

3. 2008 Ford Escape

Ford Escape models with transmission problems have the worst chances of serious problems and cost a fortune to fix. The NHTSA has recalled this model five times for greater understanding.

Several users who encountered problems driving it said it was not reliable. Some problems with the vehicle include failing brakes, a malfunctioning anti-lock braking system (ABS), squeaking tires, worn ball joints, electrical system problems, or a vibrating car. But transmission failure is the most frequent issue.

4. 2009 Ford Escape

It is reported that the V6 and four-cylinder engines of the 2009 Ford Escape tend to make unusual and troublesome noises, which makes driving the vehicle a highly unsettling experience for many users. This vehicle's interior fit and finish have not been improved since its launch.

The NHTSA has recalled this 2009 model three times. There are reports that this model has air and water leaks that frequently occur on the vehicle's roof. Before the axle bushing reaches 200,000 miles, it will malfunction. Since you will need to fix issues more than once with this vehicle, it is best to avoid them.

5. 2013 Ford Escape

There have been 16 recalls on the 2013 Ford Escape model, according to the NHTSA. The number is certainly alarming. Because of the many problems connected with this model, it is best to stay away from it so that you can stay safe.

There are usually electronic system problems in vehicles, such as GPS, communication, Bluetooth, radios or speakers that aren't working well, and backup or other cameras and sensors not responding. The exhaust system can also have problems, such as leaks in pipes, a malfunctioning catalytic converter, or a malfunctioning muffler, affecting the vehicle's performance.

6. 2014 Ford Escape

Several websites indicate that the 2014 Ford Escape model is the second-worst model after the 2008 Ford Escape model. The NHTSA has recalled this model 14 times due to over 100 complaints.

A common complaint is that the electric system malfunctions, such as wire failure, a malfunctioning ignition switch or electronic ignition, a low battery, etc. These include issues with weather stripping, leaks in the vehicle's roof, malfunctioning sensors, backup cameras, and steering wheels.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Ford Escape?

Before buying a Ford Escape, don't forget to look into this information. Making your decision will be easier this way. Ford Escape buyers should thoroughly examine every aspect of the vehicle to avoid a vehicle that fails to perform or malfunctions.

The best thing you can do whenever you notice a small issue is avoid it altogether since it can turn into a major issue and ruin other vehicle components. Remember that Ford Escape models with these problems can be costly to fix, so you should not purchase them.

Below are a few of the most common issues:

1. Brakes Problem

Typically, this issue is found in the Ford Escape model years 2016 and 2017. Many people have reported hearing a sound coming from the engine. Moreover, Ford has also received numerous reports of brake squeals, driving some models to replace every worn-out component and the entire system.

Rather than being fixed within a year, this issue continued to persist for a couple of years, making it uncomfortable for users to drive.

2. Transmission Failure

Ford Escapes tend to have this problem quite often. There have been cases where vehicles have completely stopped while driving and wouldn't start. Ford Escape models usually suffer from this issue and provide no knowledge or warnings about these symptoms.

Depending on how serious the issue is, this can create serious traffic problems and cost considerable amounts of money to correct.

3. Faulty Engines

Ford Escape engines frequently malfunction, which is another serious issue. Almost all 2013 Ford Escape models have this problem. Ford has made numerous recalls regarding this problem. Faulty engines can cause serious problems such as catching fire, especially while driving. For this reason, you should avoid driving a vehicle with engine problems and get regular maintenance.

4. Affordable Ford Transit Lease Options

After considering the ups and downs of the Ford Escape, you might find yourself exploring alternative vehicle options. Transit leasing specialists present Affordable Ford Transit lease options for those seeking reliability and functionality. Renowned for its versatility, spaciousness, and efficient performance, the Ford Transit makes a suitable choice for both personal and commercial use. Delve into the variety of lease plans available, ensuring you find one tailored to your budget and needs, and discover a driving experience designed for optimal satisfaction and peace of mind.

Are you interested in learning more about cars and their maintenance? Head over to the KeepDriving website and check out our blog post on how to remove mold from the trunk of the car.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief Carmelo Pickel is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Keep Driving, with almost 20 years of experience working in the industry. Before founding Keep Driving, Carmelo held leadership roles for over a decade on top automotive dealership corporations across North America, handling various leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Incentives.
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