Ford Authority

2021 Ford Escape Reliability Greatly Improved Over 2020 Model

Consumer Reports just released its latest automotive reliability survey, and the results are a bit of a mixed bag for FoMoCo. The 2022 Ford Bronco Sport and 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E both earned CR‘s recommended status thanks to high predicted reliability, while the 2022 Ford Mustang lost its recommended rating due to poor projected reliability. Meanwhile, the 2022 Ford Ranger earned the organizations’ highest-rated American pickup truck status, while the 2022 Ford Explorer was named one of the 10 least reliable cars available today. In terms of brands, Lincoln finished last in the luxury segment, while Ford ranked below average in the mass market segment but improved upon last year’s results. However, there is another bright spot worth mentioning – the 2021 Ford Escape improved greatly over the 2020 model in terms of CR‘s reliability rankings.

What’s particularly interesting about this result is the fact that Consumer Reports put the 2021 Ford Escape on its list of popular cars to avoid list back in August due to engine vibration, poor ride quality and braking performance, uncomfortable front seats, and below-average predicted reliability. However, CR‘s latest reliability survey shows that owners of 2021 Escape models experienced improved reliability over owners of 2020 models.

Previous problem spots that owners named as improvements for 2021 include the transmission, drive system, paint/trim, body integrity, body hardware, and in-car electronics. Only one area got worse year-over-year – power equipment, which includes items such as cruise control, lighting, gauges, remote engine start, and body control modules.

In spite of these improvements, however, it seems as if Consumer Reports may not change its stance on the Escape in the short term, as the crossover’s poor showing for the 2020 model year is still dragging down the Escape’s projected reliability ratings for the 2022 model year.

We’ll have more on the Escape soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Escape news and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Chris D.

    Good or bad, CR’s ratings should be taken with a grain of salt due to sample size. Take the Mustang for example, it was the same car in both MY 2020 and 2021. Not redesigned. Yet, we see dramatically different reliability scores from one year to the next? That should be a red flag that the underlying methodology is questionable. The flaw is obviously a sample size that is too small leading to wide fluctuations. Their reliability ratings are essentially unreliable.

    Below is the best analysis of CR’s ratings I’ve read, courtesy of Alex on Autos. He posted this comment on FB recently when CR released their report. (He also has a video dedicated to this very topic).

    “First up, they score from O to 100 and average is a score of 50, but Consumer Reports won’t say what 100 and O really mean. How much more reliable is a 100 in the Lexus score than an 87 for Acura? Who knows.

    But perhaps the most important thing is that their survey is based on just about 300,000 cars, significantly less than in prior years. 10 years ago CR was pulling in over 1.2 million responses which was a much better sample of the automotive world.

    Also, domestic brands are very poorly represented in this data set. Data is good for Toyota, Honda, Lexus, but mediocre for the Koreans, spotty for the European brands and practically non-existent for the Americans.

    Brands missing from their list had too little data for them to speculate with, but even the ones they did cover have massive gaps in the years and vehicles covered.”

  2. Richard

    I agree with you 100% and have made similar observations in my previous comments. The media, including Ford Authority, should place less emphasis on any reviews by CR.

  3. William Todd

    I have a 2021 Escape the brakes make an awful noise in the morning after I drive it a couple of miles the noise goes away ford dealer said that they replaced front and rear brake pads it made no difference are there any TSB a or special service messages for this problem.


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