Ford and Lincoln SUVs Are Astoundingly Problematic in 2020

The latest Ford SUVs shine for their sharp driving dynamics and  user-friendly in-car technology. And for a plusher Ford experience, buyers gravitate toward its luxury brand, Lincoln.  While Ford and Lincoln SUVs offer much promise, their problematic tendencies still hold them back. 

What went wrong with Ford SUVs in 2020?

2020 Ford Explorer Limited in the wild
2020 Ford Explorer Limited | Ford

Buying a new car after redesign can be costly mistake, since they are prone to increased problems. The 2020 Ford Explorer unfortunate example of this. Ford completely redesigned the Explorer with a lineup of stronger engines and advanced features to make it more competitive. But the Explorer’s low predicted reliability ratings overshadow its improvements.

Consumer Reports recently updated its list of most reliable car brands. Ford was mid-pack last year, and it moved in the wrong direction in 2020 and is now among the least reliable automakers. CR gave the 2020 Explorer one of its lowest reliability ratings- a one out of a possible 100. 

2020 Ford Escape driving in the desert and there's a mountain
2020 Ford Escape | Ford

The Explorer’s astoundingly low score reflects owner reported issues concerning numerous transmissions replacements. Owners also complained about problems associated with the Explorer’s drive system, in-car electronics, and power equipment. Somes drivers experienced engine and body hardware issues too. 

Furthermore, Ford’s Escape also has a defective history. Ford redesigned the Escape for 2020 and it’s ratings are only slightly higher than the Explorer’s. CR gave the new Escape a 10 out of 100 for reliability. The Ford model to get an above-score was the Edge. 

Lincoln SUVs scored even worse

2020 Aviator Grand Touring grille shot
2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring | Lincoln

Lincoln SUVs share the same platforms as Ford models, so they bring similar issues. Lincoln’s all new Aviator model has dazzled critics and consumers alike, thanks to its incredible style and power. However, its glitches give pause here. CR’s member data shows that the Aviator’s main trouble spots are its digital instrument cluster and infotainment system. Other Aviator troubles include drive system failure and its keyless entry feature.

2020 Lincoln Corsair
2020 Lincoln Corsair | Lincoln

Lincoln also introduced another brand-new SUV for the 2020 model year, the Corsair. The Corsair shares a platform with the Escape, and effectively replaces the Lincoln MKC. CR’s data shows that the Corsair main problem area is its rain-sensing wipers; it has 14 for dependability.

Then there’s the Lincoln Nautilus, which competes in the luxury midsize SUV class. Like its siblings, the Nautilus shines for being a cushioned ride. Still this Lincoln isn’t immune to issues. The main Nautilus dilemma involves its transmission, which could need replacing. CR gave it a score of a nine.

Should you buy a Lincoln or Ford SUV?

2021 Lincoln Nautilus Flight Blue parked outdoors
2021 Lincoln Nautilus Flight Blue | Lincoln

Lincoln Is Finally Putting the MKZ Out of Its Misery

Lincoln’s lineup of troubled SUVs makes it CR’s least reliable car brand of the year with an overall reliability score of eight.  Lincoln SUVs have a few redeeming qualities, including excellent safety scores. Even so, you should explore some of the carmaker’s main rivals, like Lexus. Lexus has a strong history of reliability and its RX and NX SUVs are worthy alternatives to the Nautilus and Corsair, respectively. 

Same goes for Ford. If you’ve had your eye on the Escape for its sport look and feel, consider the Mazda CX-5, which has excellent ratings across the board. And if you are interested in the Explorer, you’ll see that the Kia Telluride does many things better.