Ford Escape Years and Generations to Avoid

Over the years, Ford Escape is perhaps a perfect example of progress. The progress is very important in basically every sphere of life, the same stands for vehicles. Firstly known as Ford Maverick, Ford Escape changed literally everything from the nameplate to its overall look. That progress can be divided into three generations. Just like with the other vehicles, each new generation brings some significant changes and improvements. Let’s try to introduce Escape’s generations and see which generation you should opt for, or avoid it.

Ford Escape 2001

First Generation of Ford Escape

The very first generation of the Ford Escape SUV happened in 2001. The final product was a result of the Ford-Mazda cooperation. The 2001 Ford Escape came with four trim levels, XLS, XLT, XLT Sport and Limited. The first generation was available with two different drivetrains. The standard unit was a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit and larger and optional engine was a 3.0-liter six-cylinder output.

The customers could opt for both manual and automatic transmission. The exterior was looking odd, but that is what you get in 2001. The interior looked good and comfortable, however, the strange positioning of the gear shifter and other features were completely awful. On the other hand, the very first generation lasted until 2007 and the hybrid variant was created during that time.

Ford Escape – Second Generation

The evolution of the Ford Escape continues as the second generation started in 2008. This generation lasted until 2011, and Blue Oval carmaker brought some serious changes and refreshments. For the start, the exterior was looking way better and more modern. Those changes weren’t enough for the customers, so Ford did some further changes in 2009. Those changes included a new engine and transmission as well. Again, two engines were in the offer, a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and optional 3.0-liter six-cylinder.

So, we can see that the optional unit was intact, however, a standard unit brought much more power than the first generation drivetrain. While the optional engine were the same unit as before, horsepower and torque figures were higher. It may sound stupid to compare the model from 2001 with the 2009 model, but Ford really took a serious step in the technology department. Plenty of high-tech and safety system was included as standard, and the 2009 Escape got a 5-star safety award.

Ford Escape 2009

Third Generation

The third generation of the Ford Escape is the generation that is still present. Whatsoever, any Ford Escape you spot on the road is probably in its third generation. The most technologically equipped generation is this one, for sure. For example, hands-free power liftgate came in the offer only a few years ago and it is probably the most favorite feature on this model for most of the buyers.

However, the biggest change is the exterior that looks no way near previous generations. The boxy looks are gone and Ford Escape now sports a modern and curvy design. Now, S, SE, SEL, and Titanium trim levels are in the offer, next to the eco-friendly turbocharged engine. Of course, hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants are still present.

Ford Escape 2019


Between the three generations of Ford Escape, Blue Oval carmaker faced some difficult tasks. The biggest problem was the exterior. Second generation exterior had to look much better and innovative which didn’t happen. On the other hand, at the beginning of 2000s, the Escape model really brought something new to the markets. With that in mind, First-Gen takes the win when it comes to the exterior design and styling. The interior of the third-gen is something you can’t compete with.

First two generations were very similar, however, the current generation offers something astonishing that is hard to beat. If we value the models by the things they brought into the specific period of time, the most innovative was the first-generation for sure. We can’t imagine the level of innovation that the fourth-gen could bring, but it won’t be anything spectacular next to the other company’s models.  So if you want an older model of Ford Escape, we think you should opt for the first generation models between the 2001 and 2007. If you want excitement, the third generation that is still present is the answer.

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