Ford Escape Years To Avoid (Best and Worst)

Ford Escape Years To Avoid – The Ford Escape is a popular compact SUV, but it has had its share of issues over the years. Knowing which Ford Escape years to avoid can help you make an informed decision when purchasing one of these vehicles.

If you’re in the market for a Ford Escape, it’s important to know which years are the worst and which ones to avoid.

It was one of the first of its kind, introducing a new body style that many other carmakers would later adopt.

Consumers loved the Ford Escape, and it quickly became one of Ford’s best-selling vehicles. However, despite its popularity, the Escape has had its fair share of reliability issues.

Ford Escape Years To Avoid

In this article, we will discuss the worst years of the Ford Escape and why you should steer clear of them.

By knowing which years to avoid, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a pre-owned Ford Escape.

Ford Escape Years To Avoid

2013 Ford Escape

The 2013 Ford Escape is a crossover SUV that has earned a notorious reputation as one of the worst years for the Ford Escape. With over 3,000 NHTSA complaints and the “Avoid Like the Plague” seal from, it’s clear that this model has some serious issues.

Many of the reported problems are related to the engine, including stalling, engine failure, check engine light illuminating, and even engine fires.

Some owners have had to replace the coolant bypass valve, electronic throttle body, main wiring harness, or fuel sensor to address these issues.

The transmission is another major concern with the 2013 Escape, with numerous complaints of transmission failure and slipping.

Some owners have reported their transmission suddenly failing in the middle of traffic, which can be incredibly dangerous. Transmission slips are also common, often occurring around 60,000 miles.

The 2013 Ford Escape is a model to avoid due to its engine and transmission problems.

2014 Ford Escape

The 2014 Ford Escape has gained a notorious reputation as one of the worst years for this crossover SUV. While there were more complaints for other years, the nature of the complaints for the 2014 model is what sets it apart.

The main issue with this year’s Escape is the transmission, which can be incredibly costly to repair, with some places charging up to $5000.

The transmission problems can range from minor issues after more than 100,000 miles to the car suddenly stopping while driving, which can be extremely dangerous.

2008 Ford Escape

The 2008 Ford Escape stands out as one of the worst years for this popular crossover SUV. While the severity of issues may not match those of the 2014 model, it received a staggering 618 complaints, surpassing the number of complaints for the 2014 Escape.

The most significant problems reported were related to the transmission and steering system, which can lead to significant safety risks.

Additionally, owners experienced issues with the engine, interior accessories, faulty A/C systems, and body paint.

CarComplaints even labeled the 2008 Ford Escape as a non-winning model year and advised buyers to “Avoid Like the Plague.”

2009 Ford Escape

The 2009 Ford Escape is one of those years that buyers should steer clear of. Many users have reported hearing strange noises coming from the four-cylinder and V6 engines, which can be unsettling and indicate potential issues.

Additionally, the interior fit and finish of the 2009 Escape haven’t been upgraded as much as other years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued three recalls for the 2009 model year, which is concerning.

The roof of this model is prone to air and water leaks, and the axle bushing could fail prematurely, causing further headaches and expenses.

With these repeated repair issues, it’s best to avoid the 2009 Ford Escape and explore other model years that offer better reliability and peace of mind.

Read Also: Why Are Ford Escapes So Cheap?

2006 Ford Escape

The 2006 Ford Escape is another crossover SUV that has experienced its fair share of problems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued recalls for this model roughly five times due to various faults with the car.

Many parts of the 2006 Escape are prone to breakdown, including wheel bearings, power steering components (particularly pumps and hoses), electronic or air suspension, anti-lock brakes, interior and exterior trim, roof molding, and brakes.

Despite these numerous recalls, the 2006 Ford Escape still has far too many problems. It’s best to avoid this model if possible to prevent potential safety hazards and avoid the stress and cost of repeated repairs.

Failing a safety test or experiencing traffic accidents due to the issues with this year’s Escape is not something you want to risk.

It’s wise to steer clear of the 2006 model and explore other years that offer better reliability and peace of mind.

Ford Escape Best Years

The Ford Escape has been a popular SUV since its introduction in 2001. While it has seen several changes over the years, there are certain versions that stand out from the rest.

Ford Escape Best Years

We’ll be ranking the best years of the Ford Escape based on the most reliable years and the best years overall.

We’ll also provide some insight into what makes these particular Ford Escape models stand out above the rest.

So, if you’re looking for a reliable and capable SUV, read on to learn more about the Ford Escape’s best years and most reliable years.

2012 Ford Escape

Ford Escape Best Years

The 2012 Ford Escape holds a special place in the lineup as the last of the old body style. With its sleek and updated appearance, it remained a popular choice among SUV enthusiasts.

What sets the 2012 model apart from others is its impressive reliability.

Compared to other years, the 2012 Escape has the least number of complaints and very few reported issues with the transmission and electrical systems. This makes it one of the most reliable years for the Ford Escape.

2005 Ford Escape

Ford Escape Best Years

The 2005 Ford Escape stands out as one of the best-rated and safest years for this SUV in both the US and Europe. This model received numerous awards and became renowned for its exceptional safety features.

It went down in history as one of the safest vehicles on the market, making it a top choice for those seeking reliability and security.

With its impressive track record, the 2005 Ford Escape remains one of the best years for this SUV, ensuring peace of mind for drivers and passengers alike.

2011 Ford Escape

Ford Escape most reliable Years

The 2011 Ford Escape stands out as one of the best years for this SUV. It caught the attention of many car enthusiasts and proved that Ford still had what it takes to produce exceptional vehicles.

While the body style had been around for a while, there were a few changes to the exterior that refreshed its appearance.

However, the most significant improvements came with the build, particularly with enhancements to the transmission and the engine. These upgrades ensured a smoother and more reliable driving experience, making the 2011 Ford Escape one of the most reliable years for this model.

2015 Ford Escape

most reliable years Ford Escape

The 2015 Ford Escape is widely regarded as one of the most dependable options on the market, and it’s easy to see why. With its large and spacious cabin, it offers ample room for passengers and cargo.

Its competent handling sets it apart from its competitors, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable driving experience.

Additionally, the 2015 model received high ratings for its dependability, making it a reliable choice for SUV enthusiasts.

It was even nominated for the 2015 Best Compact SUV for Families award and ranked second in the 2015 Affordable Compact SUVs category.

With its impressive safety rating and minimal maintenance needs, the 2015 Ford Escape proves to be a reliable and cost-effective option.

Read Also: 2015 Ford Escape Problems

2019 Ford Escape

Ford Escape most reliable Years

The 2019 Ford Escape is a standout among budget compact SUVs, thanks to its impressive array of high-quality features. This model sets itself apart with its combination of upgrades and redesigned standard equipment, making it a noticeable choice in its class.

One of the highlights of the 2019 Escape is its impressive performance. With high towing capacities, agile handling, and strong engines, this SUV delivers a powerful and capable driving experience.

Additionally, its six-speed automatic transmission ensures smooth gear transitions, enhancing overall performance.

The 1.5-liter engine in this model is particularly noteworthy for its excellent fuel economy, allowing for worry-free long trips.

With its reliability and standout features, the 2019 Ford Escape proves to be one of the best years for this model.

Read Also: 2019 Ford Escape Problems

2020 Ford Escape

Ford Escape Best Years

The 2020 Ford Escape is one of the most enticing options for SUV enthusiasts, and for good reason. As one of the newest models, it comes with the latest features and technology. With its reasonable price, it offers great value for the money.

The 2020 Escape has undergone an extensive overhaul, resulting in a more refined and sleek appearance.

But it’s not just about looks. Owners of the 2020 Ford Escape rave about its performance and versatility. It is described as a blast to drive, with excellent handling and responsive acceleration.

The spacious cabin provides ample room for both passengers and cargo, making it a practical choice for families or individuals with active lifestyles.

One of the standout features of the 2020 Escape is its user-friendly infotainment system. It is intuitive to use, allowing for easy access to various entertainment and connectivity options.

Additionally, the cylinder deactivation mechanism in this model helps to increase fuel efficiency, saving you money at the pump.

And with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, you can enjoy a smooth and seamless driving experience without any stuttering or lag.

The 2020 Ford Escape is an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable and capable SUV.

See Also: 2020 Ford Escape Problems

Ford Escape Problems

If you are a Ford Escape driver, you may have encountered some common problems. The Ford Escape is a popular crossover vehicle, but that doesn’t mean it’s free from issues.

We will explore some of the most common problems with the Ford Escape, and why these issues may arise for drivers.

With this information, you can be better prepared to address any potential problems with your vehicle.

Ford Escape Problems

1. Issues with the Brakes

Noisy brakes have been a common issue, particularly in the 2016 and 2017 models. In some cases, the brakes would squeal so loudly that Ford had to step in and replace worn-out parts or the entire system.

This problem extended beyond just one year, affecting multiple years of the Ford Escape.

It’s important to be aware of this common problem so you can address it if necessary.

Don’t let brake issues put a damper on your Ford Escape experience.

2. Transmission Failure

This is a common problem reported by Ford Escape owners, and in severe cases, the vehicle can completely stop working while you’re driving, with no warning signs beforehand.

Repairing this issue can cost around $4000, which is a significant expense that not everyone can easily afford.

Ford Escape Problems like this can be frustrating and inconvenient, but being aware of the potential for transmission failure can help you address the issue promptly and avoid any further complications.

3. Engine Fires

You may have heard about the issue of engine fires that occurred in 2012 and 2013. This was a significant problem that resulted in several recalls, as the faulty engine had the potential to catch on fire, sometimes even while driving.

It was a serious safety concern that Ford took seriously and addressed with a widespread recall.

Fortunately, there have not been any additional reports of engine fires of this kind or severity since then.

4. Ignition Misfires

Ignition misfires are a common problem that Ford Escape owners from 2001 to 2013 have encountered. When the ignition misfires, it can lead to a range of issues, including poor fuel economy, loss of power, and even permanent engine damage.

The culprit behind these misfires is often faulty ignition coils, which can cause long-term damage to the engine if not replaced promptly.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms in your Ford Escape, it’s crucial to address the issue as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

Don’t let ignition misfires be one of the Ford Escape problems that dampen your driving experience.

5. Power Steering Loss

Power steering loss is a significant problem that numerous owners of the 2008 to 2011 Ford Escapes have experienced. This issue became so widespread that the NHTSA had to intervene and conduct an investigation.

Ford itself acknowledged the problem and identified the cause as flawed designs of the Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), which prevented the Power Steering Control Module (PSCM) from detecting driver input.

As a result, drivers had to compensate fully with the steering, making it extremely difficult to control the vehicle at lower speeds.

In some instances, the defect would even kick in during highway speeds, leading to a brief loss of control.

Is the 2015 Ford Escape a good car?

Absolutely! This rejuvenated version of the Ford Escape hit the market with a solid, sophisticated, and athletic design. But it’s not just about looks – this Ford Escape genuinely qualifies as fun to drive.

With agile handling and an impressively supple and composed ride, it’s a joy to take on the road.

Plus, the cabin is remarkably quiet, creating a serene and substantial feel.

Despite some common Ford Escape issues, the 2015 model year showcases the vehicle’s strengths and makes it a great choice for drivers seeking a reliable and enjoyable crossover.

What year Ford Escapes are being recalled?

Did you know that Ford Motor Company has issued a new recall for certain model year Ford Escape, Ford Maverick, and Lincoln Corsair vehicles?

A total of 125,322 vehicles from the model years 2020-2023 Ford Escape, 2022-2023 Ford Maverick, and 2021-2023 Lincoln Corsair are included in this recall.

The reason for the recall is a risk of fire due to engine failure. This is an important recall to be aware of, as it addresses a safety concern that could potentially affect your vehicle.

Is the Ford Escape highly rated?

When it comes to safety, the 2023 Ford Escape has received some impressive ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In fact, it earned the highest rating of Good in the six original crash tests.

This means that the Ford Escape has demonstrated excellent performance and protection in various crash scenarios.

However, it’s important to note that in the side crash test, it received the second-lowest rating of Marginal. The overall safety rating is still solid, this particular area is something to be aware of.

Are Ford Escapes good in the snow?

Absolutely! The Ford Escape is equipped with a system that automatically adjusts the electronic stability and traction control systems, making it easy for you to navigate snowy conditions without lifting a finger.

In addition, the slippery mode allows the vehicle to adapt to icy and watery surfaces, ensuring a secure grip.

And for those intense snowstorms, the deep snow mode kicks in, keeping the crossover under control even in the most challenging situations.

With these features, the Ford Escape is a reliable and capable vehicle when it comes to snowy weather. Don’t let winter weather slow you down with the Ford Escape!


When it comes to choosing a crossover SUV, it’s important to know which years of the Ford Escape to avoid. The Ford Escape has had its fair share of reliability issues, and there are certain years that buyers should steer clear of.

The 2013 model has been plagued with engine and transmission problems, making it a risky choice.

The 2014 model has earned a reputation as one of the worst Ford Escapes ever made, with costly transmission issues.

The 2008 model has the most complaints, particularly related to the transmission and steering system. The 2009 and 2006 models also have their fair share of problems. Avoiding these worst years will save you from potential headaches and expenses.

Related Articles: