The Ford Escape is a compact SUV that was first introduced in 2001. It is the smallest SUV in Ford’s lineup, and it is designed to compete with other small SUVs like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. The Escape has been very successful in the market, and it is one of Ford’s most popular vehicles.
In fact, over the course of its production history, the Escape has been America’s best-selling SUV. But like all vehicles, the Escape has had its share of ups and downs. So, what was the best year for the Ford Escape?
2020 Model Year Ford Escape (4th Generation)
The Ford Escape has been one of America’s most popular crossover SUVs for a reason. It’s simply a great vehicle. You get amazing towing capabilities, exceptional fuel economy, and more. Some of the other reasons why the Escape is so popular include:
Reliability: The 2020 model year Escape is still quite new in the market so long-term reliability has yet to be seen. However, based on the low number of complaints for the model, it’s shaping up to be quite the performer.
Design: The Escape’s new design is modern and stylish yet still practical. While other SUVs now seem to revert back to a boxier and buff exterior, the 2020 Escape has those sleek sporty curves.
Features: The 2020 Escape comes packed with features that one should expect from a recent model year . These include satellite radio, USB connection, collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and more. You also got excellent fuel economy, anti-lock system, and outstanding crash test scores.
The Ford Escape is available in several different trim levels, including SE, SEL, Titanium, and Sport. There are also several different variants available, including front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
New Ford Escape models start at around $26,000 and go up to $40,000. Used Ford Escape models from this year start at $17,500.
2017 Model Year Ford Escape (3rd Generation)
The 2017 series proved to be a stellar model year for the Ford Escape. This is because it is a refreshed model year, which improves on all of the issues affecting earlier 3rd gen Escapes.
For example, earlier 3rd generation Ford Escape years were recalled for issues like faulty FDM flange welds and fuel leaks. But these issues were all fixed in the 2017 model year.
By investing in a 2017 model, you also avoid the numerous complaints for transmission problems, exhaust system issues, and electrical system issues. In fact, transmission failure was widespread in earlier 3rd generation models. So this was definitely one of the better years for the Ford Escape.
Reliability: The 2017 Escape is very reliable, and it has received high marks from both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power.
Design: The design of the vehicle is nice for its time. The “taller” rear end makes this model year look larger than its contemporaries. It does look a bit dated compared to the 4th generation.
Features: The 2017 Escape comes with a host of new features, including powerful turbocharged engine options, a revised suspension, collision avoidance technology. and a new infotainment system with SYNC3.
The 2017 Ford Escape is available in the following trims: S, SE, and Titanium.
This model year sells for an average price of around $20,000. However, you can find 2017 Escapes for as low as $16,500 and as high as $26,800, so be sure to shop around and compare prices.
2012 Model Year Ford Escape (2nd Generation)
The 2012 model year might lack many of the modern features and amenities that are now common in new cars, but it was still a great year for the Ford Escape. This is because 2012 was the year when the Escape received a major redesign.
The second-generation Escape was completely redesigned inside and out, and it featured a new platform, new engines, and a new transmission. The Escape’s gas mileage also improved significantly for the 2012 model year.
Gone were the previous complaints of air and water leaks and engine problems. All of these changes helped to make the 2012 Escape one of the best-selling SUVs in the country.
Reliability: The 2012 Escape also has a favorable reliability rating. In fact, it was one of the most reliable SUVs on the market at the time.
Design: The Escape’s exterior was completely redesigned for the 2012 model year, and the interior received a significant update, as well.
Features: Though sparse by today’s standards, the 2012 Escape featured collision warning, stability control, and other essential safety features.
Available trim levels include XLT, XLS, and Limited.
You can expect to pay an average price tag of $12,000 for a used 2012 Ford Escape. If you really research your options, though, you might be able to net one for as low as $8,000. But if you’re not careful, you could spend upwards of $15,000 for a used model.
2005 Model Year Ford Escape (1st Generation)
Some readers might be surprised to learn that the 2005 model year Ford Escape was one of the better years for the Ford Escape. That’s because it was not one of the first-generation Ford Escape model years affected by the seatbelt recall, and it had a very reliable track record.
Reliability: One of the main reasons why the 2005 model year Ford Escape is considered to be one of the best is because it was a very reliable vehicle. In fact, it had one of the better reliability ratings of any SUV on the market at the time.
This is particularly impressive when you consider that this gas-only Escape model was introduced in 2001, which means that it was still a relatively new model in 2005.
Design: While still somewhat boxy, the design of the 2005 Ford Escape was an improvement over earlier first-generation models. It featured a more modern look that was in line with other SUVs on the market at the time.
Features: The 2005 Ford Escape came standard with a number of features that were available on earlier models. Compared to today’s features, the 2005 Escape didn’t have a lot to offer. Only the most basic features here.
There were four trim levels available, which included XLS, Limited, Hybrid, and XLT.
With an average price of just over $5,000, 2005 XLT model year Ford Escapes are some of the most affordable on the market. If you want to go for an XLT Sport or Limited, you can expect to pay closer to $7,200.
Stick With These Model Years
Given its long history dating back to 2001, the Ford Escape has had some time to work out the kinks. As long as you stick with the model years outlined above, and avoid these Ford Escape model years, you’ll be getting a vehicle that’s sure to serve you well for years to come—potentially even serving as your go-to camping car!