With its rugged off-road exterior and sporty handling, the Ford Escape is one of America’s best-selling small crossover SUVs. It comfortably fits five passengers and also offers 4 Wheel Drive drivetrain options. Here’s a generational overview of how each year of the Escape stacks up.
First Generation (2001 – 2007)
The first Ford Escape entered the market in 2001. It came with only two trim options - the XLS and XLT. Although it was introduced as a very simple vehicle, the overall ruggedness it offered was very appealing to the crossover market.
Ford introduced the new XLT Sport trim and Limited trim in 2002, which added more interior functionality and styling options than in the original model year.
It was in 2005 that Ford first entered the Escape into the Hybrid market, when it released its first ever Hybrid engine option.
There were not many changes in the 2006 model, however, many consumers advise choosing other model years due to some transmission issues during this production year.
Second Generation (2008 – 2012)
The Escape’s second generation was introduced in 2008 and included three trim options. The standard engine produced a decent 153 horsepower, however, the transmission for 2008 and 2009 presented with some functionality problems. This was also the year that the Electronic Stability Control System with Roll Stability Control was added to the Escape.
Although the 2009 Escape was included in the years to be weary of transmission complications, Ford did a complete engine overhaul. With either a V4 engine producing 171 horsepower or a V6 engine producing 240 horsepower, the Escape captivated many Crossover consumers, regardless of the possible transmission issues.
The largest changes for the year 2010 were the introduction of the available Active Park Assist and MyKey features. These features only stayed as available options for a single year before becoming standard on all Escapes in 2011. Other than these, there were no notable updates through the year 2012.
Third Generation (2013 – 2019)
Every generation of the Escape was known for its optimal combination of power and smooth handling, and the third generation, which started in 2013, was no different. For the first time, the Escape’s exterior underwent an entirely new redesign. Up until now, the Escape was known for its rather box-like exterior. In 2013 consumers were pleased to see the incredibly sleek new interior and exterior appearance of the Escape. The MyFord Touch Infotainment System was introduced in this generation of the Escape. Additionally, there were three engine options available for this generation making it suitable for any need. Once again, however, the 2013 and 2014 models carried with them some spiritic engine and transmission issues.
Other than the addition of the rearview camera, the 2014 model didn’t carry any other major updates.
In 2016, the Escape underwent the largest technological update for the third-generation models. The newly introduced MyFord Touch Infotainment System was replaced by the all-new SYNC 3 Infotainment System. With an entirely upgraded and more user-friendly interface, its sleek and productive design inspired many consumers to upgrade to this year’s model.
The 2017 model year brought the additions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with a minor interior and exterior styling update. The impressive Turbocharged Eco-Boost V4 engine with stop-start technology was also made available for the upper trims in the 2017 Escape.
In previous manufacturing years, many consumers complained that there wasn’t an affordable trim option that included upgraded interior seating materials and the improved power liftgate. So, for the 2018 model year, Ford added the new SEL trim which sits in between the top Titanium trim and the mid-level SE trim. Among other upgrades, the leather interior and the much-desired power liftgate were included in the new SEL trim providing those more luxurious amenities without forcing consumers to fully upgrade the cost of their vehicle to the Titanium trim.
The 2019 model of the Escape didn’t provide any additional features then previous model years.
Fourth Generation (2020 – Present)
In 2020, the Escape was once again fully re-designed and refined even further. More standard driver assistance and safety features were added to this generation than wherever available previously. With each generation the Escape has gotten roomier, and this generation is no different. With the ability to seat five full-size adults, the fourth generation Escape became more enticing to a greater market than ever before. The predicted reliability ratings for the 2020 model year were also higher than they had previously ever been. Beyond these improvements, the largest change for the Escape in 2020 was the addition of a Hybrid Plug-In option, being added to the long running and ever improving standard Hybrid engine.
No matter what features you are looking for in a used Ford Escape, there is a model year to suit those needs. The possible engine troubles in certain model years is the biggest thing to keep in mind when searching for a used Ford Escape. Other than that, you are set to enjoy a new-to-you family vehicle sure to provide just the right amount of class and adventure you are looking for.