6 Best And Worst Years For The Ford Escape – Gems and Duds

Picking the most trusted model of Ford Escape is a difficult thing to do. Learn from my comparison guide to avoid having a bad one

The Ford Escape has been a staple in the SUV market for years, providing drivers with a reliable and versatile vehicle.

However, not all model years are created equal. Some stand out as gems, offering exceptional features and performance, while others may leave you wishing you had chosen differently.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 6 best and worst years for the Ford Escape, helping you make an informed decision when it comes to picking your next ride.

List Of The Best Years For The Ford Escape

Best Years For The Ford Escape

These models are reliable and safe to buy and will be a lot cheaper to fix any issues that might occur.

Usually, there are no problems, but if there are, they are just some minor repairs required. Moreover, users of these models always have an enjoyable experience and recommend them to people considering purchasing them.

The best models include the following years:

  1. 2010
  2. 2011
  3. 2012
  4. 2015
  5. 2019
  6. 2020

#1 Best Year: 2010

2010 Ford Escape

The 2010 Ford Escape model is considered one of the best choices for people looking for a ford for passengers and or cargo.

You will be glad to know that this vehicle has outstanding crash test scores, can provide excellent performance, and has distinct and innovative high-tech features.

It is stated that the fuel economy of this model is phenomenal whether you purchase a gas-only Escape model or a Hybrid Escape.

The gas mileage is also said to work great in this model. It is also quite affordable than most cars out there. The upgrade made in the 2010 model is the active park assist, and Ford MyKey features added as an option.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that according to the site cars.usnews.com, the overall rating on this vehicle is 7.6 out of 10 and is ranked 16th place based on the 2010 affordable compact SUV category.

#2 Best Year: 2011

2011 Ford Escape

Another great model year, it has many great features to offer those who love to drive SUVs. It is stated that the 2011 Ford Escape has a spacious cabin and a wide variety of available technology features that you do not want to miss out on.

According to cars.usnews.com, this model has an overall safety ranking of 7.7 out of 10, and reliability is 3 out of 5 based on the research done by J.D. Power. Moreover, the average price of this model ranges from $6900 up to $13,600.

However, the average cost can be about $9900, but that can vary as it mainly depends on the vehicle’s condition, features, and mileage it can reach. A great option for you that you should certainly consider buying.

#3 Best Year: 2012

The 2012 Ford Escape is placed at 11th place based on the 2010 Affordable Compact SUVs category award scores.

This vehicle has an overall safety ranking of 7.7 out of 10 on the cars.usnews.com site. In addition to that, according to J.D. Power, the reliability score is 3 out of 10, which is not bad at all.

Besides all that, you will be happy to know that this vehicle has the lowest operating costs because of the excellent performance of the fuel economy, aided by efficient fuel filters that help maintain the engine’s optimal performance.

Moreover, according to the Institute for Highway Safety, the 2012 model has the highest safety scores for the overlap frontal, side, and rear crash tests. This makes it a reliable and safe vehicle to drive on the road.

#4 Best Year: 2015

2015 Ford Escape

Coming to the 2015 Ford Escape model is one of the most reliable because of its excellent and powerful turbocharged engine options, ability to handle well compared to other rivals, abundant and spacious interior, and favorable reliability rating.

You will be happy to know that the 2015 model stands in second place according to the 2015 Affordable Compact SUVs category and is a finalist for the 2015 Best Compact SUV for Families award.

Lastly, it has an overall safety ranking of 8.4 out of 10. It is also stated that this model barely requires repairs, but even if they do, they will be cheaper than other models, so you will be saving a lot of money.

#5 Best Year: 2019

There are excellent features in the 2019 Ford Escape that make it 4th place based on the scores for the 2019 Affordable Compact SUVs. There are added reshuffled features and packages in this 2019 model, which makes it, stand out even more.

The amazing thing about this model is that it has amazing towing capabilities, lithe handling, outstanding performance and strong engines, six-speed automatic transmission, and ample cargo room inside the vehicle.

This model also has an efficient fuel economy, especially the 1.5-liter engine. You will be able to go for long drives without worrying about your vehicle breaking down or damaging any parts.

#6 Best Year: 2020

Ford Escape 2020

The 2020 Ford Escape model is one of the most reliable and latest models that you must have as it is quite affordable and has a lot of features to offer. This is a fully redesigned version of the Ford Escape model.

People who own this model say that it is fun to drive and provides spacious cabins for passengers and cargo. The great thing about this model is that it has an infotainment system that is easy for anyone to use.

Moreover, it has a cylinder deactivation feature which helps to improve the fuel economy while you drive the car. In addition to that, with the turbocharged four-cylinder, this vehicle will be able to go at a faster speed without any hesitation.

What Years To Avoid?

The main reason why these are troublesome is because of expensive repairs that are needed to fix the issue completely. Fixing the problem is not the only issue.

There are also several safety standards that these models do not exactly meet because they have a very low ranking on various websites. These problems must not be ignored because they can lead to hazardous situations on the road for you and others around you.

Try avoiding the following years:

  1. 2005
  2. 2006
  3. 2008
  4. 2009
  5. 2013
  6. 2014

#1 Worst Year: 2005

Ford Escape 2005

This 2005 Ford Escape model is one of the worst. According to various owners of the SUV, all the information provided below are complaints that have been submitted by users of this model who were not convinced at all.

So the most common problems that were found in this model, according to the website repairpal.com, are ignition misfires, the check engine light might hesitate or not work at all, issues with the internal transfer case considering the 4WD prepared escapes, electrical problems, body and paint scratch as well as engine problems.

It is also worth mentioning that numerous people who complained have said that these issues usually happen during hot weather. They have also complained that they had to fix these issues multiple times, which can cost a lot of money. It is best to avoid this model at all costs.

#2 Worst Year: 2006

Coming to the 2006 Ford Escape model, you must know that this model has been recalled about five times by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) due to various problems found in the vehicle.

The main issues found in the 2006 model are the wheel bearings failure, power steering issues such as pumps and hoses tending to leak easily, wheel unbalanced, electronic or air suspension, the failing Anti Lock system (ABS), the loose interior and exterior trim, roof molding or rusting and brake failures and so much more.

There are still way too many issues in this model, and this is why it is best to avoid them because you can also fail the safety test and cause accidents on the road.

#3 Worst Year: 2008

Ford Escape 2008 MAF sensor problem

This 2008 Ford Escape model has the worst transmission problems, which can lead to serious issues and cost a ton of money to fix the issue. This model has been recalled five times by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for better understanding.

Many users had a hard time driving it. Various issues include the brake failing, malfunctioning anti-lock system (ABS), squeaking tires, ball joints wearing out, electrical system issues, shocks or struts, or vibrating cars. Still, the most common problem is transmission failure and repair can be costly.

#4 Worst Year: 2009

Ford Escape 2009

Coming to the 2009 Ford Escape, it is stated that the four-cylinder and V6 engines of this vehicle tend to make weird and disturbing noises which also makes the driving experience quite unsettling for many users. Moreover, this vehicle’s interior fit and finish also have not been improved as much.

This 2009 model has been recalled three times by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It has been reported that this model has air and water leaks commonly found on the vehicle’s roof.

The axle bushing will malfunction before even reaching 200,000 miles. It is best to avoid this vehicle because you will have to fix issues multiple times.

#5 Worst Year: 2013

Ford Escape 2013

You will be surprised to know that this 2013 Ford Escape model has been recalled 16 times by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is certainly concerning. There are a lot of problems linked with this model, which is why it is best to avoid it so you can stay safe.

The most common problems found in the vehicle are the electronic system malfunctioning, including GPS, communication system, Bluetooth, radio or speakers not working properly, and the backup or other camera and sensors responding well.

Other issues also include the exhaust system issues, such as with the muffler, pipes, leaks, or the catalytic converter not functioning accordingly, which can deteriorate the vehicle’s performance while driving.

#6 Worst Year: 2014

Ford Escape 2014

According to many websites, the second-worst after the 2008 Ford Escape model was the second-worst according to many websites is the 2014 Ford Escape model.

There have been over 100 complaints reported, and this model has been recalled 14 times by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA).

The most common problems reported are the electric system malfunctioning, such as wires failure, ignition switch or the electronic ignition not working well, battery dying quickly, and so on.

Moreover, these also include issues like weather stripping, air or water leaks, usually the vehicle’s roof, and steering wheels not being in control, sensors and backup cameras not working, and so on.

What Are The Most Common Problems With These Cars?

Before buying a Ford Escape, you want to look into every aspect of the vehicle and examine it thoroughly to avoid a poor-performing or malfunctioning vehicle.

Even if you notice smaller issues, it is best to avoid them at all costs because they can become bigger and ruin other vehicle components.

Do keep in mind that the problems found in the Ford Escape are expensive to repair, which is why you do not want to buy models that include them.

So here are the most common issues:

1. Brakes Problem

Brakes Problem

This issue was most commonly found in the 2016 and 2017 Ford Escape models. It has been reported by many that there are usually noises coming.

Moreover, the brake squeal is also one of the most reported, making Ford restore all the worn-out components and replace the whole system for some models.

This issue was not something that was fixed within a year but continued happening for a couple of years and made users uncomfortable driving.

2. Transmission Failure

This is one of the most common problems in many Ford Escapes models. In many cases, it has been reported that vehicles completely stopped while driving and would not start at all.

This issue usually happened with the 2008 Ford Escape model, and there was no knowledge, warnings, or linked symptoms shown at all.

Do keep in mind that if this happens in the traffic, it can lead to serious situations and will cost a lot of money to fix depending on how serious the issue is.

3. Faulty Engines

Another serious problem with the Ford Escape is the engine malfunctioning a lot. This issue is commonly found in the 2013 Ford Escape model. Due to this issue, there have been various recalls made on it.

This can lead to a serious situation such as being caught on fire, especially while driving. This is why you must avoid a vehicle with engine problems and be sure to get maintenance done regularly.


Does The Ford Escape Have A Timing Belt Or Chain?

The Ford Escape has a timing chain to the 2.5 L four-cylinder engine. This is because the engine has an overhead camshaft, which means that the engine does not need a rubber belt that you might see on other vehicles. It is worth knowing that timing chains are expensive to replace but work better than a timing belt.

What Is High Mileage For A Ford Escape?

Although the mile a Ford Escape can reach mainly depends on the efficiency and maintenance of the vehicle, the high mileage a Ford Escape can reach is about 100,000 miles.

However, various reports have shown that users can easily reach about 250,000 miles on the odometer effortlessly without facing any serious issues.

Are Used Ford Escapes Reliable?

Yes, used Ford Escapes are quite reliable. According to the reports and research done on Consumer Reports, the overall rating for Ford Escape is 3 out of 5, and an overall score is 62. It is said that this is one of the most reliable and family-friendly SUVs.

Is the Ford Escape A Good SUV?

Yes, it is. This is mainly because of the incredible base engine, which provides substantial gas mileage, and the optional turbo-four, which can accelerate easily. It is one of the most reliable and trusted vehicles by many users.

Is A Ford Escape Good In Snow?

Yes, this car is good in the snow. The vehicle will keep the crossover in control no matter how severe the crisis is.

This is with the slippery mode feature found in the vehicle, which gives the wheels a nice grip on ice or water. You will be happy to know about the deep snow mode.

Final Thoughts

There are two different way to purchase your Ford Escape vehicle. One of them is buying online and another way is to make purchase directly with car dealer.

Now that you know what the best and worst years are for Ford Escape, you can easily decide.

By considering factors like performance, safety, and features, you can ensure that your Ford Escape serves you well for years to come.

I would strongly recommend the 2010 Ford Escape model because it is safe, has barely any complaints or recalls, and would not cost you too much for repairs.

It will also make your family’s experience worthwhile. Just avoid the years in which there have been many complaints and issues as that can put your life at risk and leave you with an unpleasant experience.


Written by Kane Dan

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