Used Ford Escape Buying Guide
It seems untrue, but the Ford Escape model has been with us since the turn of the century. Getting its start with a 2001 model, the Ford Escape is now in its fourth generation and still going strong. This compact sport utility vehicle has offered families a sporty exterior with a family-friendly interior. Critics raved about the Ford Escape when it was first released, praising it for its sporty handling and rugged looks, and the Escape has stood the test of time. We’ll take a walk through the different generations and their features and flaws, so you can get the right used Ford Escape for you.
3rd Generation (2013-2019)
This generation of Ford Escape, like those that came before it, is known for its powerful engines and smooth handling. There was a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 168 horsepower as the base engine, with two other engine options in upper trim levels. However, engine and transmission issues dogged the first two years of this generation (2013 and 2014), so try to get a 2015 or later model year. This generation introduced the MyFord Touch infotainment system until 2016 when it was replaced with the vastly improved SYNC 3 system, which is everything you could hope for in an infotainment system. In terms of developments, the Escape added a rearview camera in 2014, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in 2017, and a new SEL trim in 2018. The midcycle refresh in 2017 updated the interior and exterior styling, added a new engine to the upper trims (the 179-horsepower, turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder), along with stop-start technology.
2nd Generation (2008-2012)
The second generation was a big visual improvement over the first generation while still maintaining what made the Ford Escape good underneath. At first available with three trim levels (XLS, XLT, Limited) and a 153-horsepower engine, there was a big overhaul to engines in 2009, giving the Escape new life due to its renewed power and acceleration. Starting in 2009, you could get an Escape with either a 171-horsepower four-cylinder engine, or a V6 that put out 240 horsepower. Some customers complained about transmission problems in the 2008 and 2009 models, but those largely dissipated in the following years. Active park assist and Ford MyKey were added as options in 2010, the former becoming standard starting in 2011.
1st Generation (2001-2007)
This long-running generation was widely praised at first but started to show its age by the end of its run. Generally, steer clear of the 2006 model year, since it suffered from some transmission problems. The first generation offered only two trim levels (XLS, XLT) in its debut year, but added the XLT Sport and Limited the following year. Ford invested early on in hybrid technology, so the first Escape Hybrid came in 2005 and then stayed concurrently with conventional gas-fueled Escapes until today.