The 2021 Ford Escape Has a Glaring Reliability Problem According to Consumer Reports

Priced just under $25,000, the 2021 Ford Escape is pretty affordable. It’s also known for being a safe option among its segment and was even tapped by the IIHS as a Top Safety Pick for the 2021 model year. While all of that speaks to the Ford Escape being a compact SUV worth checking out, this year’s model does have some problems to contend with. Its biggest one? Its disappointing predicted reliability ratings from Consumer Reports.

2021 Ford Escape being driven
2021 Ford Escape | Ford

The Ford Escape isn’t really known for being reliable

There’s no beating around the bush here. The Ford Escape isn’t the most reliable compact SUV out there. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, this Ford SUV has struggled with reliability ratings for quite some time. After the Ford Escape was first released in 2001, first-generation models struggled to secure anything more than a three out of five reliability rating.

In 2008, Ford launched the second-generation of the Ford Escape. Unfortunately, its reliability scores were pretty on par with first-generation models. While some model years were able to score a three out of five reliability rating from Consumer Reports, other model years were unable to earn more than a two out of five reliability rating.

It was much of the same story for 2013 models and onward. A majority of Escape models earned a two out of five reliability rating, with some achieving that three out of five score. However, the 2015 Ford Escape managed to score a four out of five reliability rating, which marks the highest reliability rating the Ford Escape has ever earned from Consumer Reports.

2021 Ford Escape driving
2021 Ford Escape | Ford

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What Consumer Reports’ ratings say about the 2021 Ford Escape

As for the 2021 Ford Escape? Well, we’ve got some bad news. This year’s model earned a pretty dismal predicted reliability rating from Consumer Reports. With a one out of five predicted reliability rating, this year’s new Escape is the least reliable compact SUV in its segment, according to Consumer Reports

But what is it about the 2021 Ford Escape that has it earning such disappointing reliability ratings? As it turns out, it’s kind of a lot. Previous model years had minor transmission issues, along with problems with its power equipment, body integrity, and in-car electronics. While one would expect those issues to be remedied for 2021 models, that’s not always the case. 

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Consider these reliable compact SUVs instead

Fortunately, the 2021 Ford Escape isn’t the only compact SUV out there. So, if you’d prefer a model with higher predicted reliability ratings, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. This year’s Escape is currently outranked by models like the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Cherokee.

But, there are even better options to choose from. According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Kia Sportage is the most reliable compact SUV to date. It earned a five out of five predicted reliability rating from Consumer Reports, which is pretty impressive. It did pretty well in road tests too.

And if the Kia Sportage isn’t quite your style? Consider the 2021 Mazda CX-5, which also earned a perfect predicted reliability rating from Consumer Reports. Unlike the Ford Escape, the Mazda CX-5 was also given a higher predicted overall owner satisfaction rating by Consumer Reports.

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Is the Ford Escape a good SUV?

It all depends on how you define a good SUV. While the 2021 Ford Escape didn’t earn the highest predicted reliability ratings from Consumer Reports, it did pretty ok in road tests and has earned high marks in crash tests. So, while it may not be the most reliable compact SUV out there, at least it’s safe and you’ll enjoy driving it.