Auto shoppers put vehicle reliability at the top of their consideration before the purchase. With over a century of experience in auto manufacturing, Ford develops stylish, solid, safe, and tech-oriented cars. But like all other vehicles, every Ford car has its pros and cons, and some are more dependable than others. Today, we will share a list of the most reliable Ford cars to assist you in your buying decision.
How We Measured Reliability?
We will use predicted reliability scores from J.D. Power. The automotive research company ranks vehicles based on the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and the Initial Quality Study (IQS). J.D. Power says a forecasted dependability ranking of 91-100 is the Best, 81-90 is Great, 70-80 is Average, and 0-69 is Fair.
We have also considered U.S. News’ overall rating that covers all vehicle aspects, including critic feedback, performance, interior, safety, etc.
8 Durable and Long-lasting Ford Models
1. Ford Fusion
J.D. Power Reliability Rating: 87/100 – U.S. News Overall Rating: 8.3/10
The Ford Fusion’s reliability score of 87 (2020 model year) lands it at the top of our list thanks to its relaxing cabin, easy-to-use infotainment system, gentle ride, and spirited handling that do not pose much trouble to the owners.
Unfortunately, Ford stopped production in 2020, but seeing its dependability score, you should not hesitate to buy a used Fusion and apply some mods.
Ford offered three solid powertrain choices in the final year of production, including:
- A 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 175 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque
- A turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque
- A 2.0-liter turbo-four with 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque
The 21/31 mpg city/highway fuel economy is below average in the midsize sedan segment, but you can counter that by opting for the Fusion Hybrid or Fusion Energi (the plug-in hybrid model). The Hybrid delivers 43/41 mpg city/highway, while the Energi offers 42 mpg in the hybrid mode.
Besides the above-average trunk space of 16 cubic feet, there are plenty of advanced driver assistance features and the highest safety rating of ‘Good’ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in all crash tests.
A few of the issues owners reported about the Fusion include transmission half-shaft leaks and a power steering malfunction. These are not that hard to resolve Ford has documented them, and dealers offer a repair.
2. Ford Mustang
J.D. Power Reliability Rating: 88/100 – U.S. News Overall Rating: 8.6/10
J.D. Power didn’t rate the recent 2021 and 2022 Mustangs yet, but considering the reliability rating of 88/100 for the 2020 model year, we know what to expect from them.
The 2020 Mustang also sits at the top of the U.S. News ranking for the most Affordable Sports Cars, courtesy of its robust engine lineup, comfortable and well-trimmed interior, poised ride and handling, plenty of room for cargo, and excellent safety ratings.
With seven trim levels on offer – EcoBoost, EcoBoost Premium, GT, GT Premium, Bullitt, Shelby GT350, and Shelby GT500 – choice of coupe and convertible body styles, and a range of engine choices, there is a Mustang for everyone.
The engine options start with the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque (EcoBoost). The same engine delivers 330 horsepower and an equal torque with EcoBoost High-Performance Package. The 5.0-liter V8 is available in two tunes of power 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque (GT) and 480 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque (Bullitt). Lastly, the 5.2-liter V8 cranks out 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque (GT350), and the supercharged 5.2-liter V8 creates a massive 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of torque (GT500). The Ecoboost automatic is the most fuel-efficient in the lot, with a 21/32 mpg city/highway rating.
Being one of the most reliable Ford cars, everything from its 4.2-inch display or 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker/nine/twelve speaker stereo, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, Brembo brakes, an adaptive suspension (GT350), to heated and ventilated front seats with power adjustments (GT500) are dependable.
A few recalls Ford made to the 2020 Mustang include issues with the powertrain automatic transmission control module, forward collision avoidance sensing system, and rearview camera.
3. Ford Escape
J.D. Power Reliability Rating: 81/100 – U.S. News Overall Rating: 7.9/10
The 2022 Ford Escape received a ‘Great’ rating from J.D. Power thanks to minimal defects reported by owners. The reliability and quality attributes cover its comfortable and roomy interior, user-friendly infotainment system, two engines, and all the safety systems.
Available in four variants, the base Escape S uses a 181-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder mill mating to an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. A 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive are optional for other trims and standard for the flagship Titanium.
For a compact SUV, the fuel economy rating of 28/34 mpg (FWD) or 26/31 (AWD) city/highway isn’t bad. The bigger turbo is less efficient at 22/31 mpg city/highway.
The entry-level model comes with cloth upholstery, a 4.2-inch digital gauge cluster, a 4.2-inch infotainment touchscreen, a six-speaker stereo, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. In the range-topper, you get genuine leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, adaptive cruise control, lane centering assist, traffic sign recognition, a hands-free power liftgate, and navigation.
In the safety department, the basic amenities include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and driver drowsiness monitoring. You can add more safety tech by opting for the Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ package.
4. Ford Focus
J.D. Power Reliability Rating: 76/100 – U.S. News Overall Rating: 8.6/10
Although Ford had to axe the Focus production in 2018, it doesn’t mean it is any less capable. In fact, it had an above-average projected reliability score, roomy front seats, two body styles, superb handling, comfy ride quality, solid powertrains, and an all-electric variant.
The S, SE hatchback, SEL, and Titanium come equipped with a 160-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. On the other hand, Ford offers two performance-focused models featuring turbocharged four-cylinder mills – a 252-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (ST) and a 350-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder (RS). A 143-horsepower all-electric variant is also accessible.
If you are looking for one of the most reliable ford models that are also the most fuel-efficient, the SE sedan with manual transmission is ideal – rated at 30/40 mpg city/highway.
For the best-in-range features, we suggest you go for the SEL that comes with rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, a SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, a 10-speaker Sony audio system, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Of course, high-performance enthusiasts should choose between ST and RS, offering a sporty suspension system, a sport exhaust, and a flat-bottom steering wheel.
Bear in mind the used 2018 Fusion had two recalls related to manual transmission clutch fracture and canister purge valve malfunction.
5. Ford Edge
J.D. Power Reliability Rating: 82/100 – U.S. News Overall Rating: 8.1/10
The 2020 Ford Edge is a roomy, composed, and fuel-efficient midsize SUV with a ‘Great’ J.D. Power reliability rating. It also has one of the lowest predicted ownership costs in its segment. Besides, U.S. News picked it for the 2020 Best 2-Row SUV for the Money award and the 2020 Best 2-Row SUV for Families award. It means the 2020 Edge is not only reliable but is also one of the best family cars on this list.
Ford offers the 2020 Edge in four variants – SE, SEL, Titanium, and performance-oriented ST – and all are pretty well-equipped and highly safe. Two reliable engine choices include a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque and a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 with 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque (ST). The front-wheel drive is standard, while the all-wheel drive is optional, offering 21/29 mpg and 21/28 mpg city/highway fuel economy, respectively.
An 8-inch touch screen, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, and Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features are standard. The safety tech comprises pre-collision warning and braking assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, and a rearview camera.
While there are lots of optional amenities for the Edge, what makes this midsize SUV more desirable is its Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS and an overall Five out of Five Stars from the NHTSA.
Ford made some recalls to solve problems with the driveshaft, rearview mirror, and automatic transmission.
6. Ford F-Series
J.D. Power Reliability Rating: 86/100 – U.S. News Overall Rating: 9/10
Ford’s F-Series pickup truck was the best-selling automobile for the 40th consecutive year and the industry’s top-selling truck for the 45th successive year in 2021. The results aren’t different this year and beyond, where the new 2023 Ford F-150 achieved 86/100 score in J.D. Power’s quality and reliability index. In fact, the popular truck carries the same rating for the 2020 and 2022 model years, as well.
So, what makes the F-150 so successful? In one simple word – its versatility. It is a workhorse, an everyday family commuter, and an off-road explorer. Ford made sure the full-size pickup truck features the right mix of amenities for different segments of buyers.
It comes with a number of robust powertrains, decent interior quality, superb payload and towing ratings, easy-to-use tech, and high safety scores.
The engine choices start from naturally-aspirated and twin-turbocharged V6s to a hybrid mill and two V8s. All these offer a quick and confident drive. For the best off-roading experience, you need to opt for the F-150 Raptor R (new for the 2023 model year), featuring a 700-hp supercharged V8. The 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost with RWD offers the best fuel economy, rated at 20/26 mpg city/highway.
There is a range of Appearance, Work, and Performance packages to suit the specific requirements of different customers. You can even customize the truck for a full-time living.
Ford made some recalls for the 2020 model year related to a windshield wiper, rearview camera, electrical system, automatic transmission, and exterior lighting. Make sure you check all the components and their workings before the purchase.
7. Ford Explorer
J.D. Power Reliability Rating: 83/100 – U.S. News Overall Rating: 7.7/10
Both 2022 and 2023 Explorers boast ‘Great’ reliability and quality rating from J.D. Power for the SUV’s two lively powertrains, a fantastic amount of cargo room, composed ride, and handling. There is a long list of trim levels – 8 to be exact – and two engine choices.
A turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder generates 300 horsepower with the standard 10-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drivetrain or optional four-wheel drivetrain. The fuel economy stands at 21/28 mpg city/highway with RWD and 1 mpg less with 4WD. A 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 delivers 18/26 mpg with RWD and 18/24 with 4WD.
The Explorer can accommodate up to seven people, but the third row isn’t adult-friendly. The cargo capacity is rated at 18.2/47.9/87.8 cubic feet, according to the seating position, and the upper midsize SUV can tow up to 5,600 pounds.
The IIHS didn’t crash test the new 2023 Explorer, but considering the 2022 Explorer got a Top Safety Pick+ award, you can guess what the results would be when examined next year.
Lots of convenience and safety technologies are there to make your trips enjoyable. These include an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch touch screen, a Wi-Fi hot spot, voice recognition, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, automatic high-beam headlights, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, driver-attention monitoring, and so on.
8. Ford Expedition
J.D. Power Reliability Rating: 75/100 – U.S. News Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Do not let the ‘Average’ reliability rating from J.D. Power fool you! The 2022 Expedition has everything a buyer would expect from a large SUV. It is even perfect for sleeping-in and road adventures.
If you need a family-friendly SUV with an efficient mill, lots of occupant room in all rows, an abundance of regular and optional tech and comfort amenities, and amazingly decent handling for a big utility vehicle, the Expedition ticks all the boxes. For more cargo space, you can, however, go for the Chevy Tahoe or Suburban, while for a more balanced ride and better off-roading prowess, consider the Jeep Wagoneer.
The eight-seat SUV delivers 380 – 440 horsepower, 15-17 City, 19-23 Hwy fuel economy, and can tow up to 9,300 pounds, which is one of the best-in-class. The IIHS and NHTSA ratings aren’t available yet, but it got an overall Five out of Five from the NHTSA in 2021.
Furthermore, the driver assistance features are abundant, and so are the appearance and performance packages.
Are Fords Reliable?
It is a question people ask us often. The Ford indeed lands in the middle of reliable car brands and has above-average ownership costs, but some of its vehicles are quite robust and reliable. We have picked exactly those in our blog post and discussed their top features that make or break a deal for shoppers.
Pick the one from our list according to your needs and desires, and make sure you opt for a vehicle assessment and a test drive before the purchase.