Following the release of Consumer Reports‘ most recent reliability survey, Ford – as a whole – ranked a mere 18th among 24 brands, dropping four places from last year. Additionally, both the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Ford Bronco Sport lost their CR “recommended vehicle” status over quality concerns, which is obviously not great news. However, there is one bright spot that comes from this recent study, and that’s the fact that the refreshed 2023 Ford Escape Hybrid has been added to Consumer Reports‘ list of recommended vehicles.
The 2023 Ford Escape Hybrid finished with an above average predicted reliability score of 3 out of 5, with a below average score for the 2020 model year, average for 2021, and above average for 2022. For the most recent model year, every single category ranked as above average except for body integrity, which landed just above below average and beneath the average rating.
The consumer organization gathers its reliability data via online questionnaires that it sends to its members, which ask if those owners have experienced any problems with their vehicles in 17 different categories over the past year. These problem areas include such things as the vehicle’s engine, transmission, electrical system, body hardware, paint, and trim, as well as more specific issues related to those categories. CR then uses that date to come up with predicted reliability scores, and this year, that data covers 300,000 2020-2022 model year vehicles.
To come up with a predicted reliability score, Consumer Reports average’s a vehicle’s overall reliability score for the most recent three model years, so long as no significant changes have taken place. To earn recommended status, a model must have a high enough overall score, which means they must perform well in CR testing, owner surveys, crash testing, and safety tests. This year, the organization notes that ongoing supply chains issues have made reliability more of a focus than perhaps ever before.
“With rising costs for parts and components, vehicle reliability is more important than ever,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. “Our data show that it takes automakers time to work out problems, particularly on all-new models. That’s why we recommend consumers wait two to three years before buying an all-new model, and focus their search on vehicles that are consistently trouble-free year over year.”