House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Are Ford Escapes Reliable? Facts & FAQ

2020 Ford Escape

Ford Escapes are a bit less reliable than the average new car, according to Consumer Reports1. As far as SUVs go, the 2022 Ford Escape is just a little less reliable than average. Technically, this doesn’t make it a bad car. However, you can expect an average number of breakdowns and an average repair cost.

With that said, major problems tend to be rather rare in this car. Most repairs reported are for minor problems that only cost about $600 to fix. Therefore, while this car technically needs to be repaired about average, the severity of the necessary repairs is low. You can do what you’d like with that bit of information.

The most reliable SUVs include the BMW X6, Kia Sportage, Chevrolet Equinox, Toyota Highlander, and Subaru Forester. Of course, there are slight variations from year to year. However, surprisingly, most car models maintain their previous year’s position in terms of reliability.

Sadly, Ford doesn’t seem to offer much in terms of reliability. Most of their cars are not listed as some of the most reliable.

car and road divider

Do Ford Escapes Have a Lot of Problems?

Ford Escapes have about an average number of accidents and repairs. Therefore, they aren’t technically more unreliable than other cars out there, but they aren’t the most reliable car, either.

The average yearly repair cost for this SUV is around $600, according to the owners. That’s slightly more than average.

Ford Escapes are known for having significant numbers of transmission problems. These problems tend to be particularly expensive to fix, costing over $3,000 in most cases. However, these problems aren’t terribly common.

Sometimes, ignition misfires, engine stumbling, and power steering loss are somewhat common, as well. Luckily, these repairs aren’t terribly expensive. An ignition misfire costs about $150 to fix.

Of course, the model year does affect the problems common in the car. 2016 Ford Escapes had known problems with their cooling system. Other models did not necessarily have this same link. The most significant problem years are between 2006 and 2014. Newer years tend to have fewer problems than older years.

2019 Ford Escape SE
2019-Ford-Escape-SE (Image Credit: Mr.choppers Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

Do Ford Escapes Last Long?

If you take care of your car, Ford Escapes can last quite a long time. They require regular maintenance just like any other car. Plus, how you drive the car also has a significant effect on the car’s durability. If you drive your car carefully, then it will last much longer than it might otherwise.

The most common problem with this car seems to be the ignition coils breaking down. However, these can be replaced without too much of a problem. Often, this issue is minor and isn’t limited to this car, either.

Generally, we’d expect this car to last about average. It isn’t the most durable car out there, but it isn’t practically unreliable, either.

driver starting the car engine
Image By: lzf, Shutterstock

Is It Worth Buying a Ford Escape?

Ford Escapes are available in a wide variety of trims, which makes them a bit more popular than some other cars. You can choose a layout that best fits your needs and budget. They also offer two different hybrid powertrains, which is more than most vehicles out there.

Many car owners like that this model features Smartphone app integration across all their cars. This allows you to remotely lock or unlike your car, as well as schedule service appointments. This high-level feature is common across many Ford vehicles.

The car also features a number of other technology-rich features. For instance, there is a modern head-up display that works to minimize distractions. There are tons of different safety features, as well. These features help prevent accidents and protect the occupants should an accident occur.

However, this car has a number of problems, as well. The handling and ride are not all that smooth. Many complained that the car handles poorly due to its stature. Furthermore, the cargo area is quite small. Despite being an SUV, this car cannot carry much.

Therefore, whether or not you should purchase this car depends on what you’re looking for. It has a lot of technology packed into it, making it great for those that are looking for plenty of technological benefits. However, the ride and handling aren’t great.

person driving a Ford vehicle
Image Credit: Skitterphoto, Pixabay

Which Ford Escapes Had Transmission Problems?

Not all Ford Escapes have transmission problems. Generally, the most troublesome models are between 2006 and 2009. These have significant transmission issues, with many customers needing new transmissions after around 80,000 miles.

This is much sooner than other options out there. Therefore, these models were known for being less reliable than other SUVs. Transmissions are extremely expensive, so this is a huge blow to car owners with this model.

Luckily, though, other models don’t have quite as many problems and they can be more reliable options for those that want a Ford Escape. The newest models tend to be the most reliable, with the average reliability going up each year.

It seems that whatever was causing the previous transmission problems in these cars has been fixed in newer models.

Does the Ford Escape Have Engine Problems?

The Ford Escape has a few reported engine problems. Specifically, misfiring and coolant leaking are most common. However, these have subsided over the past few years after coming to a head in 2017. In some cases, the engine even fails or catches fire. Therefore, regular service is vital to ensure that the engine is still functioning well.

Sadly, these problems arose pretty fast, after only 50,000 miles, so engine repairs are needed pretty early. These repairs can range from very cheap to quite expensive.

mechanic repairing car engine
Image Credit: A_stockphoto, Shutterstock

What’s The Worst Year for Ford Escapes?

Generally, this depends on who you ask. However, in terms of reliability alone, the 2008 model had the most complaints overall. This vehicle had many issues, including quite a few that struck early and were expensive to fix. Therefore, this car generally has a very low rating.

However, the car with the worst overall rating is the 2012 model. This car features lower-quality features overall, despite the fact that they experience fewer breakdowns. Therefore, we generally don’t recommend this car to most buyers – even if you’re not primarily concerned with reliability.

car and road divider


The Ford Escape scores about the middle of the pack in terms of reliability. This car isn’t known for having the best reliability, but it doesn’t have the worst reliability, either. Each year, the price of fixing one of the newer models is around $600, which is only slightly higher than the average price of repairs for an SUV.

With that said, this car does seem to have similar longevity to other cars. It doesn’t last a very long time, but it should last about average (for most models, at least).

Based on most metrics, this car is about average.

2020 Ford Escape (Image Credit: Kevauto, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools