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Here Are The Ford Escape Years To Avoid

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Black Ford Escape

Source: Pixabay

The Ford Escape is one of the most popular crossover SUVs on the market. They were one of the first, breaking the mold on the body style. Soon after, many other carmakers followed suit, releasing several similar body styles. Other brands love them but so did consumers, making it one of the most sold cars for Ford. 

Thanks to several significant reliability woes, the Escape may sound perfect, but they are far from it. Below, we have a list of the Ford Escape years to avoid, helping you know what to look for when purchasing a pre-owned unit. 

Ford Escape Years to Avoid

The Ford Escape has had a lot of ups and a few downs too. When looking at pre-owned Escapes, there are a few years that all buyers should avoid. We’ll tell you which ones are and why you should avoid them below.


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The 2013 Ford Escape

The 2013 Escape is a problematic SUV that earned the “Avoid Like the Plague” seal from with more than 3,000 NHTSA complaints. Unfortunately, many of the reported issues about the 2013 Ford Escape are related to the engine. Some reports include stalling, engine failure, check engine light illuminating, and even engine fire.

Numerous reports indicated that their Escape’s engine stalled without any warning. The common fix was to replace either the coolant bypass valve, electronic throttle body, main wiring harness, or the fuel sensor.

Furthermore, the 2013 Escape also received numerous complaints about its transmission – one of the worst mechanical issues. Out of the many issues of this type, transmission failure seems to be the most widespread.

At least twenty reports stated that their transmission failed suddenly and in the middle of the traffic. Transmission slips were also common, according to several complaints, and may happen around 60,000 miles.

The 2014 Ford Escape

The worst model out there to date has been the 2014 Ford Escape. According to CarComplaints, there were well over 200, which doesn’t seem bad. Though other years had more complaints, the type of complaints gave the 2014 model the reputation for being the worst Ford Escape ever made. 

The main issue was the transmission, which can be very expensive to fix, with some places charging up to $5000. Problems with the transmission ranged from minor issues after more than 100,000 miles to issues with the car stopping suddenly while driving.


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The 2008 Ford Escape

Though the issues with the 2014 model were more severe, the Ford Escape year with the most complaints was 2008. There were a total of 618, much more than the 2014 Escape. The most significant complaints dealt with the transmission and the steering system, which could cause significant issues and dangers. Other problems reported that year included: 

  • Engine issues
  • Interior accessories issues
  • Faulty A/C system
  • Body paint issues

According to CarComplaints, The 2008 Ford Escape is also a non-winning model year, earning the notorious “Avoid Like the Plague” seal implying that it’s one of the worst models you can get.

The Best Ford Escape Years

Not every year has been the best for the Ford Escape, but a few have reigned over the rest. If you’re looking for the best Ford escape years, these are it. 

The 2012 Ford Escape

The 2012 Ford Escape was the last of the old body style produced. That cool, updated look had been around for a while, and 2013 would see a whole new look. Not only does the 2012 model have the least number of complaints, but there are also very few issues reported with the transmission and other electrical systems.


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The 2005 Ford Escape

In 2005, Ford was doing things right when they designed the Ford Escape. This model was rated one of the best-rated and safest years in both the US and Europe. This year’s model won all kinds of awards and went down in history as one of the safest vehicles on the market. 

The 2011 Ford Escape

A year before, one of the best was the 2011 model. This model caught a lot of attention and showed that Ford still had it going on though they had slipped up before. The body style had been out for some time, though there were a few changes to the exterior. Still, the most significant changes came with the build, including improvements to the transmission and the engine. 

Common Issues with Ford Escape 

If you’re in the market for a Ford Escape, there are a few things that you should keep a lookout for. Not only will these help you pick a better preowned but know what your risks are when choosing a Ford Escape. A few common issues with the Ford Escape are: 

Issues with the Brakes

There have been several reports about noisy brakes, though they were reported more heavily in the 2016 and 2017 models. In some cases, the brakes squeal was so bad that Ford took the initiative and started to replace worn-out parts or the entire system together on some of the models. Still, this was not a one-year issue; this one spread out over a few years and was something to keep in mind. 

Transmission Failure

We already hit on this above, but this is a common issue reported with Ford Escapes. In severe cases, the vehicle just stopped working while driving without warning or previous symptoms. The cost for that was up in the $4000 to fix, something that not everyone can just shell out.

Engine Fires

From 2012 and 2013, there were a few recalls due to a faulty engine. Not only was this engine defective, but in severe cases, it caught on fire, sometimes even while driving. This was a major issue that caused a widespread recall, but there have not been any additional reports of this kind or severity since then. 


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Ignition Misfires

Various Ford Escape models from 2001 to 2013 had received complaints about ignition misfires. When the ignition misfires, drivers are likely to experience symptoms like poor fuel economy, loss of power, and permanent engine damage. In the case of the Escape SUV, the ignition misfires were attributed to ignition coils going bad – thus, the coils must be replaced ASAP or you risk long-term damage to the engine and other components.

Power Steering Loss

Numerous owners of the 2008 to 2011 Ford Escapes have reported incidents of power steering loss while on the road. It became such a prevalent issue that the NHTSA had to step in to investigate. Ford itself has detected the problem and found out that the issue stemmed from the flawed designs of the Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), preventing the Power Steering Control Module (PSCM) from detecting driver input.

According to the reports, people had to compensate fully with the steering since steering became too difficult at lower speeds. In some cases, the defect would kick in during highway speeds in which drivers briefly lost control of their vehicles.

Ford Escape Years to Avoid: The Wrap Up

The Ford Escape is one of Ford’s hottest sellers. It has the look and room of an SUV but drives smooth and handles well like a car. Though it’s a hot seller and looks stylish, there have been issues here and there, which is essential when shopping for a preowned. Knowing about these critical issues is key to finding a reliable model, even if it has a few miles. 

When it comes time to start shopping for your Ford Escape, give CoPilot a call or download our app. We can gather up a list of the top Ford Escapes in your area, allowing you to browse and investigate specs without ever stepping foot outside of your home. Plus, you won’t have to deal with a dealership or dealers, which is always a plus. Your perfect Ford Escape may be out there. You just might not know where to look, and that’s what we’re here for.

Are Ford Escapes typically reliable?

The reliability of the Ford Escape is inconsistent. Some model years have proven to be nightmares, while others are rock solid for dependability. Choosing just any Ford Escape can be a recipe for disaster.

How much does a used Ford Escape typically cost?

Although the Ford Escape has been around for over 20 years, buying one that old may not be advisable. Instead, let’s look at pricing for something more recent. According to CoPilot Price Pulse, a 2008 Ford Escape has a typical asking price of $7,184, which includes a 17% premium due to volatile market conditions. CoPilot Price Pulse reports a 2020 Escape goes for $25,633 (including a 29% market premium).

Is the Ford Escape a good car to purchase?

Dependability among the many model years of the Ford Escape is uneven. A car shopper needs to weed out the bad years so they’re more likely to drive away in a trustworthy Escape. Fortunately, this information is readily available. Check out this information that covers the safest years of the Ford Escape to buy used.

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