The 2015 Ford Escape is one of the most popular mid-size SUVs on the market. While generally highly-rated, it has it’s fair share of problems. If you’re considering buying one, here’s what to watch out for:
- Transmission failure
- Minor engine issues (nothing serious, which is a good thing)
- Power steering failure
- Internal coolant leaks
- Electrical system failure
That being said, the 2015 Escape has proven to be one of the most reliable and dependable SUVs in its class. As a matter of fact, I even named it one of the best SUV’s under $20,000.
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What problems do 2015 Ford Escapes have?
There have been several owner-reported problems associated with the 2015 Ford Escape. The most significant problems are related to the engine and transmission. There have also been concerns regarding steering, brakes, and electrical systems.
The most commonly reported problem regarding the 2015 Ford Escape involves the complete failure of the transmission. Many owners reported premature transmission failure, which results in the vehicle not going into gear (or changing gears) properly. Owners have often needed to completely replace their transmission when it has failed to this degree.
For the record, this is a common issue on many Ford vehicles from this era. My list of 2013 Ford Focus problems included a pretty big section about transmission stuff.
Owners also reported problems associated with hard and hesitant shifting. While these problems are not as severe as a complete transmission failure, they indicate that an underlying problem might be present.
Because of the high repair costs associated with replacing a transmission, potential 2015 Escape buyers should have a full pre-purchase inspection done by a reputable mechanic.
Owners have reported fewer engine-related concerns for the 2015 Ford Escape compared to transmission-related concerns. However, owners have reported a loss of engine power, as well as excessive noise from the EcoBoost engine.
Owners indicated that the engine problems of the 2015 Ford Escape aren’t related to one specific thing (which is a good thing). Problems are just as likely to come from a mechanical failure as they are an electrical failure (which prevents the engine’s computer from working correctly).
Owners reported very few catastrophic engine failures. In most cases, engines were able to be repaired without being replaced.
Many owners have reported a severe fault of the 2015 Ford Escape’s steering system. In some cases, the power steering mechanism can fail entirely. A loss of the power steering system can make the vehicle very difficult to control and poses a critical safety concern.
Steering system faults for the 2015 Ford Escape were mostly associated with the Power Steering Control Module. The Power Steering Control Module is a device that manages the power steering system and steering-related driver aids.
Definitely have this checked out by a mechanic before purchasing one, because one of the things I described in my 2015 Ford Escape review (as well as my 2018 Ford Escape review for that matter) was how heavy it felt. Without power steering control, it’s easy to imagine that it could be a very difficult beast to control.
In some cases, it is possible for the coolant in the 2015 Ford Escape to breach it’s protective liner and enter the cylinders of the engine. In that scenario, coolant enters the area where air and gas are combusted to power the vehicle.
A coolant breach can have devastating consequences on an engine. If left unrepaired, the engine can fail completely. Because the damage from a coolant breach can be widespread and extensive, repair often requires replacing the entire engine.
In some cases, internal electrical faults within the Ford Escape can prevent the battery from charging correctly. Some 2015 Ford Escape owners reported premature failure of the charging system. Charging system failures may appear as a slow discharge over time, or a sudden lack of power in the vehicle.
There are a few infrequent reports of 2015 Ford Escapes losing power entirely while driving. While this isn’t likely to happen, a total electrical failure can lead to a complete loss of control of the vehicle, resulting in a crash.
The 2015 Ford Escape reportedly suffers from excessive rusting. The rust is most common on the vehicle’s underside, including exposed body panels and suspension components. As with most rusting problems, the issue appears to be most severe in wet areas near the coast or in areas that receive a lot of rain and snow (such as the Midwestern US).
The 2015 Ford Escape has a variety of other, more minor problems than those discussed above.
- 2015 Ford Escape owners have reported all sorts of minor problems with the EcoBoost engine. In some cases, engine performance is reduced, and fuel economy falls far below the typical minimum. You can read more about these problems in my 3.5L EcoBoost life expectancy analysis.
- There have also been problems reported with the 2015 Ford Escape’s power windows. Common failures include sticky or stuck passenger windows, as well as difficult-to-open sunroofs.
- Some owners have reported concerns regarding excessive paint wear and chipping. Typical stuff when it comes to Ford fit and finish issues.
Are 2015 Ford Escapes reliable?
The 2015 Ford Escape has some issues, but it is important to remember that the concerns reported above only occur for a small percentage of owners. Overall, owners see the Ford Escape as a generally reliable vehicle that they can trust to last for some time.
RepairPal awarded the 2015 Ford Escape a reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars. They ranked it 16th out of 26 for reliability compared to similar vehicles. These numbers place the Ford Escape solidly in the middle of the pack. There are likely more expensive vehicles that are more reliable, but the Ford Escape achieves low-cost reliability that will suit most drivers.
RepairPal estimates the annual repair cost of a 2015 Ford Escape to be around $576. The estimated repair cost is below-average for similar vehicles, indicating that the Ford Escape is cheaper for owners to maintain.
How long will a 2015 Ford Escape last?
Depending on driving conditions and style, owners can expect around 12 years of driving (or 150,000 miles of service) before massive repairs are required. This number may vary depending on how hard the car is driven and in what conditions.
Overall, owner reports suggest a new buyer can expect average to above-average longevity from a 2015 Ford Escape.
There have been a total of five recalls issued for the 2015 Ford Escape:
Door latch failure, issued June 2020
This recall references a previous recall of the 2015 Ford Escape. In 2016, Escapes were recalled for repairs to the door latching mechanism. The 2020 recall addresses the same issue, which dealers may have repaired incorrectly. Failure to correct this issue can result in doors becoming unsecured while driving.
Seatbelt anchor failure, issued July 2017
This recall requires certain bolts used to anchor seatbelts to be replaced. These bolts can fail unexpectedly and reduce the chance of the seatbelt properly restraining the passenger.
Door latch failure, issued September 2016
This recall implemented the replacement of faulty door latches. In some cases, doors may appear firmly closed and latched but may still open unexpectedly. In 2020 this recall was re-issued to correct problems with the initial repair.
Start/stop button failure, issued July 2015
This recall implements a repair designed to address faulty ignition switches in the 2015 Ford Escape. In some cases, the ignition switch or pushbutton can fail to turn off the engine. Without the repair, drivers may need to make multiple attempts to turn the vehicle off.
Instrument panel failure, issued June 2015
A software bug may cause the 2015 Ford Escape’s instrument panel to fail completely, disabling caution lights, warning chimes, and safety features. The vehicle may continue to operate following this failure, but with no information presented to the driver.