Ford Escape Years To Avoid

Ford Escape Years To Avoid

Key Takeaways

  • Ford has issued a recall for certain Ford Escape vehicles due to engine issues.
  • Some Ford Escape owners have reported problems with the check engine light frequently coming on and transmission fluid leaks.
  • Most Ford Escape owners have not experienced any significant issues with their SUVs.

Do you plan on owning one of Ford’s most popular vehicles? The Ford Escape is one of the most preferred SUVs in the market – even NYC taxicabs use it to get by the bustling Big Apple. However, as well-liked as this SUV is, there are some Ford Escape years to avoid.

Ford recalled some Ford Escape vehicles due to issues with the engine. Others complain about the check engine light constantly turning on and transmission fluid leaks.

Having said that, let’s find out which Ford Escape years you’re better off not owning. Then at the end of this article, we provide a few model years worth considering. Let

Ford Escape Years to Avoid

Most Ford Escape owners have been driving their SUVs without problems. However, some years come with issues with their vehicles.

These are the Ford Escape years that are prone to problems:

  • 2001-2012 1st Gen
  • 2013-2019 2nd Gen
  • 2020-2024 3rd Gen

Let’s dive deeper into these Ford Escape years to find out why people dislike them.

2001-2012 1st Gen Ford Escape

Owners of the 2001-2012 1st gen Ford Escape dealt with issues regarding the car’s transmission failure the most. In an article by, they stated that some 2001-2012 Ford Escape’s transmission fluid was leaking.

Moreover, some 2001-2012 Ford Escape’s check engine light randomly turns on – even if there aren’t any issues with the engine. However, several Ford Escape owners of these years have experienced engine problems.

In 2012, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued Ford to recall some 2012 1st Gen Ford Escape models as there was a risk of an engine fire.

2001 Ford Escape Reliability Report
2001 Ford Escape Reliability Report

However, the Ford Escape years made after that also had similar problems.

2013-2019 2nd Gen Ford Escape

In a report by Consumer Reports, Ford also issued a recall for nearly 3 million cars, including many 2013-2019 Ford Escape vehicles. The defect with some 2013-2019 Ford Escape models is that it can roll even when it’s on park.

They also added that the reason was a “faulty bushing that connects the transmission to the shifter cable.”

2013 Ford Escape Reliability Report
2013 Ford Escape Reliability Report

And just like the previous Ford Escape years, the 2013-2019 ones still have check engine light issues.

However, despite the number of complaints and recalls, it seems that Ford still cannot address these issues – even the newest models still have the same problems.

2020-2024 3rd Gen Ford Escape

The 2020-2024 3rd gen Ford Escape is fairly new in the market. Therefore, there haven’t been widespread complaints about the vehicles of these years. However, the previous Ford Escape issues still exist in these models.

Many 2020-2024 3rd gen Ford Escape owners experience unstable transmission. The check engine light still randomly turns on. However, in a Reddit thread, Ford Escape owners think that this only happens on lemon cars – and is not a widespread problem.

Ford Escape owners concluded that, for the most part, Ford Escape is a reliable car. However, as well-loved as it is, Ford announced that they’ll stop manufacturing Ford Escape vehicles in 2025. Instead, they’ll replace it with an electric vehicle.

2020 Ford Escape Reliability Report
2020 Ford Escape Reliability Report

But just because some Ford Escape vehicles have issues, it doesn’t mean that none of them are worth purchasing.

Ford Escape Years to Buy Pre-owned

To Ford Escape owners, they often praise the vehicle’s spacious interior and fuel efficiency. These are the reasons why taxi drivers and long-drive enthusiasts depend on Ford Escape. Though all Ford Escape vehicles provide those, one year stands out.

According to various articles and surveys, the most reliable Ford Escape year is the 2015 one. Consumer Reports ranked this year as “above average.” Therefore, if you’re planning on going on a long drive with your loved ones, you might as well drive the 2015 Ford Escape.

However, if you have a little more money to spend, I personally recommend you also look into the 2019 Ford Escape; which U.S. News & World Report ranks this Escape year 8.3 out of 10. Just make sure TSB 19-2346 has been performed. If not, coolant has the potential to seep down the cylinder walls of the engine. A costly defect if left unchecked.

When it comes to affordability, the 2010 Ford Escape is the 16th (out of 40) most affordable compact SUV, according to U.S. News & World Report. However, just make sure issues around the Vehicle Speed Control have been resolved.

Vehicle reliability research tool.

Final Thoughts

Few SUVs provide comfort, affordability, and fuel efficiency at the same time – and Ford knew how to provide these to their consumers. Hence the existence of the Ford Escape. However, there are some Ford Escape years to avoid buying as it comes with issues that can result in injuries and accidents.

Ford issued recalls for defective transmissions and faulty bushings. Not only that, many Ford Escape owners complain about their check engine light turning on when there isn’t a problem with their engine. But many of them are still reliable for city driving or off-road adventures.

Ultimately, to avoid these problems, have a car technician check your Ford Escape – if you already own one. If you’re still in the phase of planning whether or not you should buy one, see first if that Ford Escape model is prone to the issues we enumerated above.

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