Buying a car can be a painstaking task. It might be hard to find one that has the features you want and fits your budget.
You might choose a car based on popularity instead to make it easier. Not everyone knows which cars have three-cylinder engines and why that’s beneficial (or not), but if everyone is buying Ford or Kia or Mazda, most people assume there’s a good reason for that.
Consumer Reports(CR), the 2021 Ford Escape, one of the automaker’s smaller SUVs, is also having issues measuring up. The popularity of the Escape and other 2021 models don’t necessarily reflect their quality.
Consumer Reports recommends better alternatives to popular cars
Consumer Reports put together a list of popular cars to avoid and which models to buy instead. If you’ve been with a brand for a long time, you might feel pressured to stick with them. But brand loyalty isn’t always the best option.
The most recent edition to the Escape line is fuel-efficient and agile, but it has poor ratings in predicted reliability.
Consumer Reportsconsistently ranks Ford low in terms of reliability, despite the popularity of its vehicles.
If you’re a loyal Ford owner, fear not. There are still other viable options such as the 2021 Ford Edge, which CR recommends as an alternative to the 2021 Honda Passport. Unfortunately, you might be better off avoiding the Ford Escape.
Why should you avoid the 2021 Ford Escape?
The Escape ranks below average with an overall rating of 46 out of 100 based on a road test score, predicted reliability, and predicted owner satisfaction. The road test brought up the total with an above-average rating due to the car’s nimble steering. But CR pointed out the touchy brake system and notable vibrations from the engine when moving slowly.
CR said the reliability of the car is "well below average," even with decent safety features like forward collision warning, blind spot warning, and automatic emergency braking. The uncomfortable front seats and firm ride gave the Escape an average score for predicted owner satisfaction.
Which small SUV should you buy instead?
If this just dashed your hopes of getting a small SUV, CR has other brands for you to try. Instead of an Escape, they named the 2021 Mazda CX-5 as a trendy alternative. The CX-5 is both popular and exceedingly well-rated, with a total score of 83.
In fact, it had great ratings in all three categories and an especially high score in reliability.
Another substitute outside the limelight is the 2021 Chevy Equinox. With a score of 74, this SUV is dependable even if it doesn’t stand out against its rivals. The predicted reliability and owner satisfaction scores aren’t remarkable, but it gets the job done with a satisfying level of comfort and dependability.
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