Ford Escape Years to Avoid (2023 Updated)


Since its launch, the Escape has established itself as a popular choice for the on-road family car market. But the popularity of a vehicle does not mean that all models are equally loved and have good quality. So before choosing a vehicle, proper research is necessary to ensure you get the best product.

Similar to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Years to Avoid, I have a guide about the worst and best years of the Ford Escape. If you want to know more about it, read the full article.

Back History of Ford Escape

The Ford Escape has a rich history that spans over two decades. It was first introduced in 2000 as a compact SUV to capture the growing market for versatile and practical vehicles. The first-generation Escape, which debuted in 2001, featured a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and offered various engine options. 

It quickly gained popularity for its reliable performance, comfortable interior, and capable off-road capabilities. 2008 the second generation was launched, showcasing a sleeker and more modern design. This iteration further refined the Escape’s driving dynamics and introduced new features and technologies. 

Over the years, the Ford Escape has continued to evolve, incorporating advanced safety systems, improved fuel efficiency, and innovative infotainment options. It remains a popular choice among SUV enthusiasts, combining functionality, comfort, and style in a compact package.

Which Years Need to Avoid for Ford Escape

Here are the bad years of the Escape SUV are given below.

  • The 2006 Year of Ford Escape
  • The 2008 Year of Ford Escape
  • The 2013 Year of the Ford Escape
  • The 2014 Year of Ford Escape

The 2006 Year of Ford Escape

The 2006 model is the first in our Ford Escape’s years to avoid list. There are many parts of the 2006 model that are inclined to failure. Its problems include the power steering (particularly the pumps and hoses), the electronic or air suspension, the roof molding, brakes, wheel bearings, and the interior and exterior trim.

However, the fuel consumption of the 2006 Year of Ford Escape is 3.0 L V6 has been reduced by more than 10%. The 2.3 L 4-cylinder now offers enhanced midrange torque, an electronic throttle, and a slight power increase to 109 kW (146 hp). Both engines meet Euro III emission regulations.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reportedly issued its recalls five times to resolve these issues. In spite of the numerous recalls, this model still has too many problems. Try to avoid it as much as possible in order to avoid failing the traffic test and causing an accident.

Number of Complaints:

There were 552 problems at and 272 complaints at

Short Owner review:

Chris C Reviewed: “I like the design of the car. I have had numerous issues with the car’s maintenance, alternator, suspension, and rust in shock plates. Currently looking for a replacement.”

Gabrielle B Reviewed: My vehicle is getting old. The air conditioning recently broke, and the radio no longer works.

The 2008 Year of Ford Escape

The 2008 model year is considered the worst year of this vehicle. Transmissions and steering systems were the most common complaints, resulting in significant issues and dangers. Moreover, there are some other issues, including interior accessories issues, Inefficient A/C system, engine, and body paint issues.

For this particular model, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued five recalls, but all of them were unproductive. If you don’t want to spend your precious money on its repair, then avoiding this model is a wise move.

Number of Complaints:

There were 4,279 problems at and 958 complaints at

Short Owner review:

Eron Reviewed: “Don’t bother spending money on this car; my transmission blew with only 162,000 on the dash; all my fluids were filled. It just blew with no warning.”

Chaz20 reviewed: “We bought this ’08 Escape Limited a year ago. Big mistake! The car had a really bad ride & was terrible on gas.”

The 2013 Year of the Ford Escape

The years 2006 and 2013 are common among the Chevy Equinox years to avoid and Ford Escape. Similar to the above models, it has many issues, but most of them are electrical, including malfunctioning of Bluetooth, Backup cameras, radio, speakers, communication system, and broken GPS.

Furthermore, it also has exhaust system issues or faulty catalytic converters. The NHTSA has issued 16 recalls due to safety concerns on the 2013 Ford Escape. But all of them are in vain; the issues are still there, and it is good to avoid this model.

Number of Complaints:

There were 2930 problems at and 456 complaints at

Short Owner review:

Carol reviewed: “Biggest piece of s**t I have ever had…$6000 this yr alone in repair and down again….transmission…evac..etc….will never buy another Ford guaranteed.”

Rowena Hamptom reviewed: “Keep leaking antifreeze. I have had it in the shop twice, but it still leaks. The transmission has been replaced twice but still has a miss. The panel in the back doesn’t fit the floor.”

The 2014 Year of Ford Escape

In addition, there is yet another model year you should avoid, which is 2014. It was considered to be the second-worst year of the Ford Escape. Transmission issues are the usual, but you may experience a poorly functioning ignition switch, electronic ignition, water leakage, and faulty wiring problems. 

This model year has seen everything from minor errors to a complete vehicle shutdown due to transmission issues. Fixing these issues can be extremely costly and time taking. It is more likely that you will see these issues after 100,000 miles.

The NHTSA issued 14 recalls of this model due to the day-to-day increase in complaints, but all were ineffective. So it is good to avoid this model year.

Number of Complaints:

There were 1,754 problems on and 317 complaints on

Short Owner review:

Kelly reviewed: “I Bought my 2014 Ford Escape Titanium fully loaded. I BOUGHT IT 8 MONTHS AGO AND HAVE BEEN PAYING OUT OF MONEY FOR EVERYTHING WRONG WITH IT. I.T.’S JUNK …”

Macbaker626 reviewed: “At 67,000 miles, I had to rebuild my engine ($6,000). The timing chain broke; it should not break! At 105,000 miles, my transmission went out. Guess what Ford did…NOTHING! I have never had such awful service from 2 different dealers.”

Which Years are the best ones for the Ford Escape

Here are the best years of the Ford Escape given below.

  • The 2011 Year of Ford Escape
  • The 2012 Year of Ford Escape
  • The 2019 Year of Ford Escape
  • The 2020 Year of Ford Escape

The 2011 Year of Ford Escape

The first model in our best years list is 2011. As a result, Ford gained a lot of attention and showed that it was still in the game. Besides a spacious interior, the Ford Escape 2011 offers a variety of desirable technology options. Yet, the engine and transmission were the most significant changes with the build. 

It has 3 out of 5 in the J.D. Power reliability rating, and a rating of 7.7 out of 10 is given to this model’s safety by If you’re looking for a great possibility, you should consider this one.

Short Owner review:

Janis T reviewed: “I bought this car from someone with 35k miles on it. Keep in mind it is 2011. I have had no problems at all. I love the car. It looks great and surely runs so well.”

Chpoz reviewed: “I have no complaints with my limited v-6. It has every whistle/bell that I want. It all works perfectly. The ride is good and quiet with comfort.”

The 2012 Year of Ford Escape

Its outstanding fuel economy is a primary reason this vehicle is included in this list. This vehicle offers the lowest running costs in the industry thanks to its excellent fuel efficiency. Along with that the 2012 model has the highest safety ratings in all accident tests conducted by the Institute for Highway Safety, including frontal, side, and rear overlap tests. As a result, it becomes a reliable and safe vehicle to drive.

The 2012 model year of the Ford Escape is ranked 11 among the most affordable SUVs in the USA. It has a 7.7 out of 10 safety rating given by  and a 3 out of 5 reliability rating by J.D. Power.

Short Owner review:

Monique reviewed: “I am the only owner. 135k im miles now. Zero problems with it. One set of new tires now. Regular oil changes & such.”

Forager7 reviewed: “Had this vehicle for 100K miles plus with no problems and great gas mileage.”

The 2019 Year of Ford Escape

The 2019 model year can still provide you with a great compact SUV that will still have its warranty intact. If you want to save money for future expenses like repairs and fuel, you should pick this model year.

Although this model has an old design, but it has exclusive features, including the Sync 3 entertainment system, push-button start, keyless entry, and power windows.

Edmunds rated the 2019 Ford Escape 4.0 out of 5.0, and according to J.D. Power, it scored 80 out of 100. Overall it is an excellent option to consider, but it is less fuel efficient than its previous models. 

Short Owner review:

Marie S reviewed: “For a small crossover SUV, it has a ton of room. Rides smooth. You don’t hear outside noise. Comes with many different feature options. I love the updates to the navigation system and SYNC.”

Bunker reviewed: “I have owned thirty cars in my life, never had one built this well. After two and a half years, there has not been one single issue, not so much as a loose thread.”

The 2020 Year of Ford Escape

In the 2020 Escape, every inch of the interior and exterior has been completely redesigned. In addition to its automotive aesthetics, it featured many powertrains and driver-assistance features. Driving this SUV with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine is a blast, along with a decent room for passengers.

This vehicle also has an excellent infotainment system with a user-friendly interface. According to Edmunds, the 2020 Ford Escape scored 4.0 out of 5.0 and received 77 out of 100 points from J.D. Power. It is a top-notch vehicle worth buying and driving.

Short Owner review:

Redd Karr reviewed: “A surprisingly quick, fuel-efficient, pleasant to drive vehicle. I recommend buying the Titanium version to receive all the benefits of owning the Escape.”

Tuwana B reviewed: “The vehicle is very roomy; driving it is very smooth and comfortable. The horsepower of the vehicle is very impressive.”

Common Problems in Ford Escape Models

Here are some of the common problems of this vehicle are given below.

Issues with the Brakes

One of the most common issues in this vehicle is the brakes. Some models have faulty brakes, and some of the models have noisy ones. A few models were so prone to brake squeals that Ford decided to replace worn-out parts or the entire system.  

Ignition Misfires

Misfires in the ignition are also a common Ford Escape problem. If the engine stalls or loses power while driving, then your car has ignition misfires problem, and you have to replace the ignition coils to fix the problem. This is a common issue but was more prevalent in the 2010 and 2011 models. Fixing it won’t cost much, and you can enjoy riding it afterward.

Transmission Failure

Another common problem with this crossover is transmission failure. Sometimes you will encounter common transmission issues, but if they are ignored and not fixed, it will lead to transmission failure. As a result, the engine will stop working and be costly to repair. This problem will appear after 100,000 miles.

Engine Fire

A faulty engine or engine catching fire is also one of the most common problems of this SUV. A widespread recall was issued due to this issue, but subsequent reports of the same kind have not been reported since 2013. 

Electric Components 

In addition to looking like a small problem, electrical components are also a major problem that can cause several other issues. For instance, it includes radio, wiring, GPS, Bluetooth, speakers, and camera issues, along with the malfunctioning of the Power steering. These issues are most common in this vehicle’s second and third generation and are good to be fixed as soon as possible. 


Ford Escape is a popular SUV with V-6 power and an advanced all-wheel-drive system. In its production run of over 22 years, some models are good, and some should be avoided. You can avoid its 2009, 2013, 2014, and 2011 model years due to transmission, electronic components, and leakage issues. 

While most of them were recalled, the problems remain, so it’s best to avoid them.  You can buy its 2011, 2012, 2019, or 2020 models and effortlessly travel on long routes without considering any issues. Besides being less problematic, they will only add a little weight to your wallet.   


Here are some of the frequently asked questions, and their answers given below.

What is the best year Ford Escape to buy?

The top-notch 2020 Ford Escape is the best model year. It has new designs with eye-catching looks, a lot of advanced features, and robust power.

What year did the Ford Escape have transmission problems?

In 2008 and 2014, model Ford Escape had transmission problems.

Is a 2017 Ford Escape a good car?

Yes, the 2017 Ford Escape is a good car with a reliability and comfort ratio of 4.6 and 4.7, respectively. It also has good fuel economy and a 5-star safety rating.

How many years does Ford Escape last?

If you are doing regular maintenance of your Escape, it will last from 200,000 to 300,000 miles, which means if you are doing 15,000 miles in a year, your car will last 13 to 20 years.

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