Ford Authority

2022 Ford Escape Still Not Recommended Due To 2020 Quality Issues

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.

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.

Subscribe to Ford Authority

For around-the-clock Ford news coverage

We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates. It's totally free.


  1. Jay

    this new generation is mediocre and IMO worth $5k-$10k less than the competition, no questions asked…sales numbers show exactly that. I for one swapped my 2017 Escape for a 2022 Mazda CX-50. For me the interior & the amount of cabin vibrations in the 2020 were just too much to bear.

  2. Bill Stokes

    We’ve had our 2022 PLEG Escape now for a month, and love it. Ordered on January 3rd and picked up on May 5th. Excellent initial quality and very nice ride, not harsh. It’s a small SUV, you don’t expect or want a mushy Cadillac ride. On a recent road trip to Alabama it got better milage both on the battery and overall than I expected. We are also very pleased with how well the hands free phone connection works. Very clear sound. And the front seats were very
    comfortable. The back seat is also comfortable and slides back and forth. Overall very pleased with this selection. Was disappointed with the other PLEG choices. Why does Toyota put all that HP in a small SUV? And Honda and GM don’t even have one. Ford was the only one making the perfect match for our lifestyle.

  3. Mike

    Run it in sport mode
    No vibration!

  4. Bill Stokes

    Should have said April 5th.

  5. Bob W.

    CR’s complaints are focused on the 3 cylinder turbo. They actually rate the Escape hybrid (which is a 4 cylinder with a different transmission) as a much better and smoother automobile. Too bad they lump two very different products together for one final recommendation.

  6. Terry Shoemaker

    I leased both a 2015 and 2018 SE Sport AWD with Nav. The 19 inch rims rode very nicely. They never went into the shop for anything other than oil changes.
    Great quiet highway driver, and it fit mountain bike inside for day trips. I could not accept the new styling, too wimpy looking. Ended up in an F150 Lariat Crew.

  7. Lurch

    Not my favorite Ford, but I don’t completely trust CR. They only survey their subscribers. Not exactly scientific.

  8. JIm

    We ordered a ’22 AWD Hybrid Escape Titanium in October, and picked it up in February. As of May it has 5K miles. We have not experienced any of the CR complaints. Mileage is above EPA estimates. 1000 mile trip from sea level to 7,500′ netted 37MPG. In-town varies so much it’s hard to quantify – 25 to 110MPG, but VERY EASY to achieve mid-30s.
    Ford does have the wind noise figured out. No wind noise on any of our 3 Ford vehicles we own, including a ’19 Ranger.
    Ride and handling is acceptable for what it is and we’ve owned 2 Porsche 911s and currently own an ’18 Focus RS. We don’t expect it to handle like those.
    If there is a complaint we wish there was a bit more power from the NA engine. We traded a ’17 Escape 2.0L AWD and spoiled us somewhat. Also, it takes awhile for the electronics to get their act together when the car is cold (<-10). They are sluggish and slow to respond. Once warmed up they are fine. That doesn't seem right for electrical things.
    I was wishing for a larger fuel tank at 14 gallons, but that fear was unfounded. I do wish the hybrid battery was larger however.
    The AWD system works as advertised just like our '17 and surprisingly so given the low rolling resistance tires which lack for meaningful traction. Here in the wilds of WY we need it.
    Overall the complaints CR notes we have not experienced and are very happy with the purchase.

  9. April

    We absolutely love our ‘22 PHEV Titanium. It’s my favorite car I’ve ever owned. A pleasure to drive and phenomenal gas mileage. We’ve owned two CMaxes, including one plug-in, and it is far superior to those. Better gas mileage than both of those as well, with longer range, and a bigger car. It handles great. Really good car for the price.

  10. Steve

    Own a 2021 SEL, 2.0L turbo, AWD. Overall avg. mpg is 28! And it will hit 60 mph in 6 secs if in Sport Mode. Have owned it 9 mos. without any issues… big or small. Very fun to drive and IMO rides just fine. Enjoy it as much as the 2017 Escape I traded in on the 21… just a great vehicle!

  11. Ray H

    We have a 2020 Escape Hybrid Titanium with the 2.5L I-4. We’ve experienced none of the issues CR reports and love the car. Ride is firm, but we prefer that. Fit and finish very good, drives smoothly. and love the fuel economy, especially with CA’s $6+ per gallon gas prices.
    I’m a Ford fan, which I’ve noticed CR typically is not, seemingly with a distinct anti-Ford bias IMO.

  12. Dave Mathers

    The door stop mechanism on our 2020 Escape driver’s door broke and the repair is, wait for it, replace the entire door!! The bracket used to be bolted but then they switched to spot welds to ‘save money’. How’s THAT working out?

  13. eRock92

    I own a 2020 Escape SE. I bought it last year when my 2014 Focus died. I originally wanted a Bronco Sport but couldn’t get comfortable in the driver seat no matter how much I adjusted it. I reluctantly sat in the Escape and somehow fit easily. The SE screams cheap economy car. There are little imperfections all over. It doesn’t take bumps nicely. But it does have a bigger 2nd row compared to the Bronco Sport. I could fit 4 big people in it.

    However, I’ve had no issues with the 1.5L engine. I get a smoother response from the engine when I use 89 or 91 octane gas. Don’t know if it’s all in my head, it very well could be. But the engine is great for commuting. I went on 2 road trips within my first year; one VA to OH, the other VA to LA. Average MPG’s were 32. The only time I get the weird engine rumble is in ECO mode when cylinder deactivation kicks in while I’m driving on an incline.

    I guess the last thing to mention is that I bought a 2020 model year while 2021’s were on the lot, bought during a dealership and Ford promotion, traded in my dead car, and was able to get one more small discount (the dealer also brought the wrong one from their sister store with included the rubber and carpeted floor mats, so I got to keep those for free). Also keep in mind that Ford took some of the SE’s standard equipment and charged them as packages in 2021+, so I save probably $100 or so with that, too. So I actually bought mine for about $5,000 under MSRP. $23k for a 2020 SE isn’t bad.

    The current gen Ford Escape is everything you need with nothing you want. It will get you to point A to point B as long as it’s on asphalt or leveled gravel roads. It won’t stand out in the crowd. It’s a humbling vehicle. I still prefer the Bronco Sport and Ford Maverick, but my Escape will do for now. Hopefully it will last longer than my Focus did. Only time (or the turbo’s longevity) will tell.

  14. Snark Twain

    I own a 2020 SE Sport HEV and after 18k miles, my lifetime MPG is over 45, and 57% of those miles are highway.

    I love the ride. I love the styling (except the nose and grill). I had a fit and finish issue with the lift gate and fender being misaligned, and an issue with streaking on the inside of the headlamp assembly. The dealership took care of all of it.

    I belong to several social media groups of Escape owners and have heard of others problems. I have not had those.

    But the unhappy customer is more apt to squawk than the content one.

  15. Uncle AL

    HO HUM…if I wanted information or data on a refrigerator or a lawn mower, I would go to
    Consumer Reports….would never use that rag for car data…

  16. Elizabeth Harris

    I had a 2015 4 cylinder ecoboost Escape and Love everything about it and not because it was paid for but because it ran like a sports car(fast on take off) had all the amenities including satellite radio, decent gas mileage mileage even with the ac on, and had room for everything and everyone. Sadly, in the middle of the pandemic I was forced to sell it to keep my lights on and food in the fridge. Getting back to work I recently purchased a 2019 (standard) Escape. Boy am I totally disappointed. This Escape is 4 yrs newer a little bit bigger, no satellite radio, terrible gas mileage, 24 mpg on the freeway and that’s if I’m not using the air conditioner, the transmission slips on take off and while driving and bogs down. And the scariest issue is it jerks from side to side while driving on the freeway/highway.. Worst car ever

    1. The Gentle Grizzly

      I’d not blame the car; I imagine the previous owner flogged it, or, they sold you a rental return.

  17. Dc

    Have had my 22 escape 1.5 since jan 22 and now have 2200 miles and 4months the pass door has to be slamed to shut tight been like that since new . Has a few raddels & sounds . I put a catch can to catch the blow by oil ford is known for . With the bad out of the way . Its a peppy fuel efficent cross over getting 30 to 33 mpg the adaptive cruise and lane keep are awsome .

  18. G Nelson

    Giving the 2020 & 2022 Ford Escape Hybrid bad reviews is in bad taste and incorrect. We have owned 2020 since 2020 and find the car exceptional and highly recommend it.
    Also, all the data on your website does not indicate these negative scores. Are you biased against Ford?

  19. Robert B Stanton

    CR has never liked American cars. The safety tech on American and Korean cars have leapfrogged anything coming out of Europe or Japan. CR will just ignore those safety tech until Toyota and Lexus catch up. A family member has a loaded Lexus Rx 450H and it does not even have Apple Play or a touchscreen or lane centering.
    When they criticized Tesla’s self-driving feature because it was too good they lost their credibility with me on cars though I still subscribe to CR.

  20. MaryK

    I’ve been buying and leasing Fords for 40+ years. My husband and I both leased Escape Hybrids when they first came out. We loved them so much we hated turning them in when the leases were up but the dealer strongly recommended. I’m still a fan of the Escape model. I’m just about 5 feet and it’s the only vehicle I can safely drive without a booster seat. All of that said, I ended up buying my 2017 at least-end because the 2020 was awful. Worth the seat on its highest position all I could see in front of me was this ridiculously high dashboard! I cried all the way home because I had leased it during Covid without a test drive after taking the dealer’s word that it hadn’t changed and was basically the same as the 2017. It took me a week to get my trade-in back and I had to go over the salesman’s head to the owner as I have been a faithful customer and have referred a lot of business to them. So, I own the 2017 whoch I will pass on to a family member as soon as Ford fixes the sight problems on the Escape which is still my favorite car. By the way, I learned to drive on a Ford Mustang, and I’ve owned amd/or leased everything from a Fairmount, to a Tempo, a Bronco II, an Explorer, a Ranger, a 150 Truck, an Expedition, and at least four Crown Vics, all of which I could drive, though I may have been an inch or two taller!

  21. Mike K

    I bought my 2020 Escape hybrid Titanium in March of 2020. Have 31k+ miles and averaging 41.7 mpg. I’m very happy with it and love the ride and handling. Only had one warranty issue that was fixed with a reflash of the computer. As I’m not a CR member my input doesn’t count.

  22. Robin

    We bought a 2016 Ford escape, it’s costs us alot of money, first the flex plate cracked, bolts fell out, it cost us $2500.00 to fix it, drove it for a few months, then transmission went out, now costs us $4500.00, to fix it, we still owe $11,000.00, the car is only worth $10,000.00. Meanwhile we are stuck making car payment. Escapes are known for these issues! So wrong 😕 only had 99,000 miles


Leave a comment