Why Are Ford Escapes So Cheap?

The Ford Escape is like an upgrade that makes people long for the good old days. It is supposed to be one of the crossover successors of the smaller Focus and Fiesta. As a used and brand-new car, one common thing is that the Ford Escape is a cheap car compared to its rivals.

Ford Escapes are cheap because Ford makes a lot of them. Its cheap interior, unreliable transmission, and Ford’s reputation of making affordable cars are also reasons Ford Escapes are cheap. 

In addition to exploring the reasons for the Ford escapes relative low value, we discuss the best and worst years of the Ford Escape. Lastly, we review the Ford Escapes common problem and overall reliability.

Reasons Why Ford Escapes Are Cheap


Ford Motor Company makes a lot of cars. We are not only talking about the number of brands under the Ford badge. One of the sales techniques of the Ford Motor Company is to flood the market with their cars, including the Escapes.

The more cars available, the higher the possibility of them getting sold. The only downside to this is flooding with Escapes is that the only direction their price goes down. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing; low prices mean more sales. A combination of low prices and high volumes means a higher profit margin for Ford Escape.  

Transmission Issues

A cursory search on Ford Escape reveals something. The common complaint from owners is that the cars suffer from transmission issues. The major Ford Escape years that suffered from this issue are from 2008-2014.

What happens is a total transmission failure that costs at least $3,000 to replace a faulty transmission. These transmission issues have been a source of fear for potential buyers, especially in used Ford Escapes.

Lack of faith in the car’s transmission has led to reduced demand. Low demand, in turn, has led to a reduced price because of simple market rules. The lower the number of Escapes demanded, the lower the cost of the car. 

Underpowered Engine

Compared to some of its rivals like the Nissan Rogue and the Mazda CX-5, the Escape base 1.5L engine is more powerful. However, the base engine is slightly underpowered compared to most popular compacts or crossovers like the Honda CR-V.

The Escape makes up for it with its 2.0L turbocharged engine, which has more power and torque. So, for someone looking for a crossover with more power, these prospective buyers have to splurge on a higher engine before they can do that with the Ford Escape.

Cheap Interior Materials

 The use of cheap materials in the interior is a general Ford problem. Its interior always seems to be made of cheap hard plastic materials and no piece of luxury. There are no wood trimmings, leather seats, just hard plastic and more plastic.

For anyone interested in a more luxurious car, there are several options available. Unfortunately, the Ford Escape isn’t one of them. We should understand the mindset behind this interior, though. Ford is trying to make its car affordable. 

Part of the cost-cutting is skimping on the car interior. The bland interior is another reason that makes Ford Escape cheap.

Target Market

Henry Ford had a dream. He wanted to use his engineering skill to make cheap cars for the American people. This dream made Henry Ford one of the richest men of his time and made Ford Motor company a producer of affordable cars for the middle class.

Though Henry Ford is no longer with us, his company’s target market hasn’t changed. Most Ford cars still target the middle class, and their prices reflect that. Even their higher trims still follow the trend. They are cars attractive to people on the upper-middle-class spectrum.

When you consider this, you will see that there is no mystery why Ford Escapes are cheap.

Production Line

Another reason that makes Ford Escape cheap is its production line. Most Fords are mass-produced. They try to bring down the cost of production. Bringing down the production costs enables their prices to remain affordable.

Bringing down costs includes using parts that we might term cheap, especially in the interior. They also even merged productions with Mazda for a while to produce the Escape and Tribute. This collaboration ended in 2006. Mazda also provided the powertrains for the Ford Escape.

In all, Ford has mastered producing cars at the lowest possible cost to be affordable.

Fierce Competition

Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV-4, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, and Mazda CX-5 are part of the rivals of the Ford Escape. These CUVs provide fierce competition for the Ford Escape in a highly competitive class.

Another who wants to get a CUV is spoilt for choice. There’s a lot to choose from the engine to safety, cargo space, comfort, luxury, and most importantly, price. Everyone has to be on their toes to outdo their rivals.

Escape’s method to stay competitive against its rivals is to be above average and lower its prices.

Not Enough Prestige

The Ford badge isn’t known for its prestige. It doesn’t evoke feelings of luxury like BMW, Benz, or Lexus. The Escape doesn’t have a hope to compete with these brands, either in luxury or price.

It is essential to understand that Ford didn’t manufacture Escape to compete with these brands. They are supposed to be affordable compact SUVs that offer adequate engine power, a comfortable enough ride, and sufficient cargo space.

Luxury isn’t a priority for the Escape, and it shows in the price. The lack of prestige of the Ford badge plays a role in the low value of the Ford Escape.


There is a bias against Ford Escape. If you check the top ten cars in the compact SUV class, most are cars from Japanese brands. The only non-Japanese cars on the list are the Ford Bronco Sport, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Ford Escape.

There is a belief (probably based on experience) that car makers like Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, Hyundai, and Kia make better compact SUVs. This belief has led many to overlook Escape when it comes to picking vehicles from this category.

This bias is largely unfounded because Escape is good enough to compete if not match these competitors. The preferences of most humans have been logical. The love for these Japanese cars means that Ford Escape can only compete to lower its price.

Best and Worst of the Ford Escape Models

These are some of the best Ford Escape models

  • 2020 

2020 marked the start of the fourth generation of Escapes, and one of the most significant differences was the weight. The 2020 version is about 200lbs than its predecessor. It also has responsive steering and gives a comfortable driving experience.

Other advantages of the 2020 Escape are different engine options, a spacious car, and high marks for safety.

  • 2019

The 2019 Escape is also roomy. Reliable has tech like rain-sensing wipers, blind spot information system, and auto high beam headlamps.

  • 2017

The 2017 model Ford Escape is one of the best made by Ford. Back then, it was the bestselling Ford for the fiscal year.  Only the F-150 truck beat the 2017 Ford in terms of sales numbers. It has a new styling, suitable interior materials, and options when it comes to engines.

These are some of the worst years of the Ford Escape

  • 2005

The 2005 Ford Escape problems are the misfiring cylinders, coil failure, and short-circuiting ignition coil.

  • 2006

Transmission problems are one of the main problems the owners encounter. There’s also the problem of ignition misfiring and engine stumbling.

  • 2008

The problems of 2008 start from rust damage, damaged blower motor resistor, issues with the ABS, and many more.

Common Ford Escape Problems

  • Brake Issues

There have been complaints about brake noise, especially when they have warmed up. Ford has also released a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) on the electric park brake and ABS indicators.

  • Transmission

We have already discussed Escape’s transmission problems. The only to fix them is to replace or rebuild them. It costs around $3,000 to do this.

  • Engine Fires

Ford had to recall some of the Escapes in 2012 because of engine fires. Ford had to advise owners not to drive their cars because of the severity of the problems. A leaking fault caused the problem. If you are buying a used Escape, confirm this problem is not present.

Are Ford Escapes Reliable?

RepairPal gives the Ford Escape a reliability rating of 4 out of 5, and it can be least at 200,00 miles with regular maintenance.


The Ford Escape might be cheap, but it’s a great car. The only downside is the cheap interior and maybe a slightly cramped backspace. Ford Motor Company has a plan to make one of the most affordable vehicles in each category.

Thinking of getting a new Ford Escape or a used one, check for the common problems and avoid their bad years.

Be sure to stay updated on the latest car trends as well—

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