Ranking 101 Ford Generations by Reliability

Each model can be grouped into generations – a collection of years where the cars are continuously produced and very few, if any, changes are made. Once something major is changed, say a brand new engine, automakers typically desigate a new generation.

Sorting models by their generation gives us a clearer roadmap of potential problems. If a problem trend pops up in the first year of a generation, you can bet on it showing up in future generation years too.

Is our generation data perfect? Nah. Truth is manufacturers don't always make it clear when a new generation begins. And because they hate clarity, they'll even let certain generations last longer in different countries. When in doubt, we stick with data about US models.

In other words, we do our best to keep our generation data as accurate as possible so we can predict problems and help you out. Use it as a guide for making your decisions. Or don't (but you really should).

Rank Model Years Reliability PainRank (?)
101st Explorer Gen 3 2002—2005
123.23
100th F-150 Gen 12 2009—2014
59.02
99th Escape Gen 2 2008—2012
56.74
98th F-150 Gen 11 2004—2008
52.19
97th Windstar Gen 2 1999—2003
50.32
96th Escape Gen 1 2001—2007
47.56
95th Explorer Gen 4 2006—2010
41.41
94th Escape Gen 3 2013—2018
41.07
93rd Focus Gen 3 2012—2018
40.52
92nd Focus Gen 1 2000—2007
38.73
91st Freestyle Gen 1 2005—2007
37.73
90th Taurus Gen 4 2000—2007
36.54
89th Fusion Gen 1 2006—2012
36.53
88th Explorer Gen 5 2011—2018
35.82
87th Fusion Gen 2 2013—2017
34.25
86th Focus Gen 2 2008—2011
32.74
85th F-150 Gen 13 2015—2018
31.93
84th Expedition Gen 2 2003—2006
31.09
83rd Explorer Gen 2 1995—2001
28.55
82nd Edge Gen 1 2007—2014
27.98
81st Mustang Gen 5 2005—2014
24.39
80th Explorer Sport Trac Gen 1 2001—2005
24.39
79th Fiesta Gen 6 2011—2016
23.61
78th Freestar Gen 1 2004—2007
20.73
77th Edge Gen 2 2015—2018
18.87
76th Taurus Gen 5 2008—2009
17.51
75th F-250 Gen 11 2004—2008
17.27
74th Taurus Gen 3 1996—1999
16.76
73rd Escape Hybrid Gen 1 2005—2007
15.56
72nd Windstar Gen 1 1995—1998
14.74
71st F-150 Gen 10 1997—2003
14.32
70th F-350 Gen 11 2004—2008
13.55
69th Mustang Gen 6 2015—2018
13.26
68th Expedition Gen 1 1997—2002
12.74
67th Transit Connect Gen 1 2010—2012
10.9
66th C-Max Hybrid Gen 2 2013—2016
10.39
65th Thunderbird Gen 11 2002—2005
10.32
64th Taurus Gen 6 2010—2018
9.83
63rd Ranger Gen 2 1993—2013
9.46
62nd Flex Gen 1 2009—2018
9.04
61st Fusion Hybrid Gen 1 2009—2012
7.83
60th Expedition Gen 3 2007—2017
7.68
59th Explorer Sport Trac Gen 2 2007—2010
7.67
58th F-350 Gen 10 1997—2003
7.38
57th F-250 Gen 12 2009—2014
7.35
56th Contour Gen 1 1995—2000
7.31
55th Taurus Gen 2 1992—1995
7.29
54th Escort Gen 3 1997—2003
7.11
53rd Fusion Hybrid Gen 2 2013—2018
6.96
52nd Explorer Gen 1 1991—1994
6.89
51st Mustang Gen 4 1994—2004
6.25
50th F-350 Gen 12 2009—2014
5.8
49th F-250 Gen 10 1997—2003
5.76
48th Escape Hybrid Gen 2 2008—2012
5.48
47th Everest Gen 3 2016—2016
5.07
46th Fusion Energi Gen 1 2013—2018
4.2
45th Excursion Gen 1 2000—2005
3.87
44th C-Max Energi Gen 2 2013—2017
3.7
43rd Transit Connect Gen 2 2013—2018
3.37
42nd Taurus X Gen 2 2008—2009
3.26
41st F-150 Gen 9 1992—1996
3.26
40th Crown Victoria Gen 2 1998—2011
3.07
39th F-250 Gen 13 2015—2018
2.89
38th F-350 Gen 13 2015—2018
2.6
37th Crown Victoria Gen 1 1992—1997
2.59
36th Transit Gen 5 2015—2018
2.54
35th Thunderbird Gen 10 1990—1997
2.34
34th Escort Gen 2 1991—1996
2.14
33rd Probe Gen 2 1993—1997
1.64
32nd Econoline Gen 4 1992—2014
1.25
31st Probe Gen 1 1989—1992
1.22
30th F-150 Gen 8 1987—1991
1.14
29th Bronco Gen 4 1987—1991
1.11
28th Focus Electric Gen 1 2012—2016
0.99
27th Taurus Gen 1 1987—1991
0.99
26th Tempo Gen 2 1989—1994
0.95
25th Everest Gen 2 2009—2011
0.91
24th Mustang Gen 3 1990—1993
0.74
23rd F-250 Gen 9 1992—1996
0.72
22nd Transit Gen 4 2007—2007
0.71
21st C-Max Gen 2 2011—2012
0.71
20th F-150 Gen 7 1984—1986
0.7
19th Bronco Gen 3 1983—1986
0.7
18th Ranger Gen 1 1983—1992
0.69
17th Escort Gen 1 1979—1990
0.6
16th Bronco II Gen 1 1987—1988
0.59
15th Thunderbird Gen 9 1987—1987
0.59
14th Ecosport Gen 1 2015—2018
0.51
13th GT Gen 1 2005—2006
0.51
12th F-350 Gen 9 1992—1996
0.42
11th Fiesta Gen 7 2017—2018
0.39
10th Aerostar Gen 1 1986—1997
0.38
9th Econoline Gen 3 1976—1990
0.37
8th Bronco Gen 2 1978—1978
0.28
7th Tempo Gen 1 1985—1986
0.28
6th Mystique Gen 1 1995—1996
0.24
5th Bronco Gen 5 1992—1996
0.2
4th F-250 Gen 8 1987—1991
0.16
3rd F-250 Gen 7 1984—1986
0.07
2nd F-350 Gen 8 1991—1991
0.0
1st Expedition Gen 4 2018—2018
0.0

Answers to the most frequently asked questions

What Are Vehicle Generations?

Generations are groups of model years where the vehicles are continuously produced, use similar engineering, and share features. Generational data is not always cut-and-dry – manufacturers might not always release generation information, some generations might last longer in different countries, and various trim levels and model variants can make the whole thing confusing. We do our best but make no guarantees about our generation data. When in doubt, we stick with data about US models.

Why Are Some Vehicles Missing a 1st / 2nd / 3rd Generation?

You might notice that some of our data starts at generation 5, 6, etc. So what happened to the older generations? One of two things. 1. some models have been around a long time and we don’t have any complaint or NHTSA data about them. 2. some new models share the same platform as existing models, so we typically tie them together. For instance, a new hybrid vehicle might be introduced during the 5th generation of its non-hybrid counterpart. We’ll typically start the hybrid’s generation at 5, unless it’s otherwise noted.

What is PainRank™? Where Does it Come From?

PainRank™ is a CarComplaints.com algorithm that uses complaint data from owners (the average mileage of failures, the cost to make repairs, etc), relative complaints analysis, sales numbers, NHTSA data, & owners’ own vehicle rankings to come up with a number representing how much pain a car inflicts on its owners. The higher the PainRank™ score, the more painful a car is to own (typically).