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Ranking 101 Ford Generations by Reliability

Sorting models by their generation gives us a clearer picture of common problems across a group of similar vehicles. From there, we can assign scores to each generation to give you a basic picture of which to consider and those to avoid. The higher the score, the faster you should run away.

Rank Model Generation Years PainRank (?)
101st Explorer 3rd Gen 2002–2005 123.25
100th F-150 12th Gen 2009–2014 58.13
99th Escape 2nd Gen 2008–2012 56.87
98th F-150 11th Gen 2004–2008 52.02
97th Windstar 2nd Gen 1999–2003 50.09
96th Escape 1st Gen 2001–2007 47.64
95th Explorer 4th Gen 2006–2010 41.81
94th Focus 3rd Gen 2012–2018 40.49
93rd Escape 3rd Gen 2013–2018 40.47
92nd Focus 1st Gen 2000–2007 38.76
91st Freestyle 1st Gen 2005–2007 37.76
90th Fusion 1st Gen 2006–2012 36.67
89th Taurus 4th Gen 2000–2007 36.53
88th Explorer 5th Gen 2011–2018 33.89
87th Fusion 2nd Gen 2013–2017 33.32
86th Focus 2nd Gen 2008–2011 32.31
85th F-150 13th Gen 2015–2018 31.1
84th Expedition 2nd Gen 2003–2006 31.09
83rd Explorer 2nd Gen 1995–2001 28.49
82nd Edge 1st Gen 2007–2014 27.59
81st Explorer Sport Trac 1st Gen 2001–2005 24.39
80th Mustang 5th Gen 2005–2014 24.03
79th Fiesta 6th Gen 2011–2016 23.6
78th Freestar 1st Gen 2004–2007 20.73
77th Edge 2nd Gen 2015–2018 18.88
76th Taurus 5th Gen 2008–2009 17.51
75th Taurus 3rd Gen 1996–1999 16.76
74th F-250 11th Gen 2004–2008 16.1
73rd Escape Hybrid 1st Gen 2005–2007 15.56
72nd Windstar 1st Gen 1995–1998 14.74
71st F-150 10th Gen 1997–2003 14.32
70th F-350 11th Gen 2004–2008 13.78
69th Mustang 6th Gen 2015–2018 12.69
68th Expedition 1st Gen 1997–2002 12.69
67th Transit Connect 1st Gen 2010–2012 10.9
66th C-Max Hybrid 2nd Gen 2013–2016 10.28
65th Thunderbird 11th Gen 2002–2005 10.21
64th Taurus 6th Gen 2010–2018 9.84
63rd Ranger 2nd Gen 1993–2013 9.44
62nd Flex 1st Gen 2009–2018 8.98
61st Fusion Hybrid 1st Gen 2009–2012 7.86
60th Explorer Sport Trac 2nd Gen 2007–2010 7.67
59th F-350 10th Gen 1997–2003 7.38
58th F-250 12th Gen 2009–2014 7.35
57th Contour 1st Gen 1995–2000 7.31
56th Taurus 2nd Gen 1992–1995 7.29
55th Expedition 3rd Gen 2007–2017 7.25
54th Escort 3rd Gen 1997–2003 7.11
53rd Explorer 1st Gen 1991–1994 6.89
52nd Fusion Hybrid 2nd Gen 2013–2018 6.68
51st Mustang 4th Gen 1994–2004 6.25
50th F-250 10th Gen 1997–2003 5.87
49th F-350 12th Gen 2009–2014 5.84
48th Escape Hybrid 2nd Gen 2008–2012 5.39
47th Everest 3rd Gen 2016–2016 5.07
46th Fusion Energi 1st Gen 2013–2018 4.2
45th Excursion 1st Gen 2000–2005 3.79
44th C-Max Energi 2nd Gen 2013–2017 3.7
43rd Transit Connect 2nd Gen 2013–2018 3.37
42nd Taurus X 2nd Gen 2008–2009 3.26
41st F-150 9th Gen 1992–1996 3.26
40th Crown Victoria 2nd Gen 1998–2011 3.07
39th F-250 13th Gen 2015–2018 2.89
38th F-350 13th Gen 2015–2018 2.6
37th Transit 5th Gen 2015–2018 2.54
36th Crown Victoria 1st Gen 1992–1997 2.41
35th Thunderbird 10th Gen 1990–1997 2.34
34th Escort 2nd Gen 1991–1996 2.14
33rd Probe 2nd Gen 1993–1997 1.64
32nd Econoline 4th Gen 1992–2014 1.25
31st Probe 1st Gen 1989–1992 1.22
30th F-150 8th Gen 1987–1991 1.14
29th Bronco 4th Gen 1987–1991 1.11
28th Focus Electric 1st Gen 2012–2016 0.99
27th Taurus 1st Gen 1987–1991 0.99
26th Tempo 2nd Gen 1989–1994 0.95
25th Everest 2nd Gen 2009–2011 0.91
24th Mustang 3rd Gen 1990–1993 0.74
23rd F-250 9th Gen 1992–1996 0.72
22nd Transit 4th Gen 2007–2007 0.71
21st C-Max 2nd Gen 2011–2012 0.71
20th F-150 7th Gen 1984–1986 0.7
19th Bronco 3rd Gen 1983–1986 0.7
18th Ranger 1st Gen 1983–1992 0.69
17th Escort 1st Gen 1979–1990 0.6
16th Bronco II 1st Gen 1987–1988 0.59
15th Thunderbird 9th Gen 1987–1987 0.59
14th Ecosport 1st Gen 2015–2018 0.51
13th GT 1st Gen 2005–2006 0.51
12th F-350 9th Gen 1992–1996 0.42
11th Fiesta 7th Gen 2017–2018 0.39
10th Aerostar 1st Gen 1986–1997 0.38
9th Econoline 3rd Gen 1976–1990 0.37
8th Bronco 2nd Gen 1978–1978 0.28
7th Tempo 1st Gen 1985–1986 0.28
6th Mystique 1st Gen 1995–1996 0.24
5th Bronco 5th Gen 1992–1996 0.2
4th F-250 8th Gen 1987–1991 0.16
3rd F-250 7th Gen 1984–1986 0.07
2nd F-350 8th Gen 1991–1991 0.0
1st Expedition 4th Gen 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).