In the past, Consumer Reports (CR) hasn’t recommended the Ford Escape, opting instead to recommend its larger corporate cousin, the Ford Edge. Now, the publication has once again placed the Ford Escape on its list of two- and three-row SUVs to avoid, penalizing the 2022 model year for continued issues observed with the 2020 model.
CR cites a number of reasons for mothballing the 2022 Ford Escape on its list of cars to avoid, including the fact that it doesn’t perform quite to its standards. The publication noted that the “ride itself skews firm, which makes the Escape less comfortable” than offerings from rival automakers.
In addition, there are some complaints regarding the performance of Ford’s 1.5L EcoBoost powerplant, which features a healthy amount of power and returned a solid 26 miles-per-gallon overall, among other attributes that they liked. However, this drive force is stunted by “an annoying vibration at low engine speeds,” Consumer Reports says.
In the handling department, the 2022 Escape is stable and agile but CR finds ride quality to lean towards the subpar due to a “noticeable bump during gear changes.” CR also found the shifting to be middling, as attaining smooth gear changes represents a challenge.
CR scores the Escape with a below-average predicted reliability rating. However, the publication’s data is heavily impacted by survey results collected from subscribers driving the 2020 Escape, which was known for quality issues. By contrast, the 2021 Ford Escape improved greatly over the 2020 model in terms of CR‘s own reliability ratings. Previously named problem spots have seen improvements with the new year, receiving positive feedback for the transmission, drive system, paint/trim, body integrity, body hardware, and in-car electronics.
As such, this latest reliability survey shows that owners of 2021 Escape models experienced substantially improved reliability compared to owners of 2020 models, a potential indicator that The Blue Oval dealt with some first year gremlins, as 2020 represented the first year of production for the fourth generation Escape. Overall, CR recommends that interested shoppers wait for the upcoming 2023 model year refresh before purchasing Ford’s compact crossover utility.