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Buying a New Car

My wife and I are considering buying the totally new and remodeled 2013 Ford Escape.
In the past I have always avoided buying a totally new remodeled car in the first year of manufacture because of the posssibility of problems with new parts and engineering that have not been “road tested”.
Should I still be concerned about this in 2012? Are the manufacture’s doing a better job on newly remodeled cars?
Can I buy the brand new remodeled 2013 Ford Escape with confidence?

The thing is that it’s not all-new per se. The 2013 is largely a Ford Kuga which has been sold in Europe for about 5 years. It also shares many mechanical bits with the Focus. The engines are mostly new for the North American market though. the 2.5L I4 is largely a carryover, but the 1.6L Turbo and 2.0L Turbo are new for the U.S. market, though they both have been used in several european models since 2010.

Buying ANY vehicle is a crap shoot, new or used. You never know how the previous owner maintained it(used) or if your vehicle might have been the last one they made on friday night.

With a new vehicle you have a warranty to cover those kinds of things, so buy with confidence that if something goes wrong, it should be covered by Ford

The problem I’d have is not reliability, it’s the high price that brand new vehicles often get for the first several months they’re on the market.

I know it might not apply to the Ford Escape, but I bought a Scion xB the year it was redesigned. Now that I am off of warranty, I am dealing with an electrical issue that is due to a component that Toyota improved by the second year of production. Although Scion is willing to pay part of the cost, this problem is costing me a lot of time and stress to solve. From now on I will be wary of buying any new vehicle in the first year of production or redesign.

I would agree with @FoDaddy to a large extent about the point that it isn’t exactly new, except for the fact that we’ve seen manufacturers roll out vehicles like this before, where they started production in one place and then brought it to the US in a different plant, only to have new and different reliability issues crop up. Think of the first gen Ford Focus - all sorts of little production issues in the US, even though they had been producing them in Europe for awhile. Most of the time these aren’t big issues, but rather nagging little quality issues that might have you making a few extra trips to the dealer the first year or two, after which the vehicle will tend to be fine…

Ford has been having some problems launching cars in recent years. Both the Fiesta and the Focus had a lot of annoying problems, many of which have now been solved. Based others have noted, the Escape isn’t quite new, but I don’t quite trust Ford right now, even at this. Too bad, it’s a beauty.

Luckily, small crossovers are popular so there are some nice alternatives. Alas, one of the nicest, the Mazda CX-5, is also new, though I trust Mazda more than Ford based on recent history. The ‘new’ Honda CR-V is more of a reskin, with few mechanical changes, so the new one figures to be quite reliable. It’s more attractive, too, without that funky rounded side window Honda’s designers inflicted on the old one. It looks an awful lot like the Escape, to my eyes. For something that doesn’t look like an Escape, my favorite is the dashing Kia Sportage. It’s not as roomy as most, but what a stunner in a sea of conservative competitors. It’s quite spiffy inside, too.

The Honda and Toyota have been very good at short development cycles, which allows them to test them more before bringing them to market. Ford and GM seems to be better at this than they used to be; I’m sure due to what Honda and Toyota are capable of. You can buy one now or wait a little bit to see if there are any problems. The usual release would be in early October, and you can look at the next 3 months as a test of early life problems.

@MarkM -

I’m with you on Ford’s new launches, but I wouldn’t trust Mazda much more - they’ve had similar issues in recent years with new launches (Mazda5 w/ suspension and fuel problems, for example). Even Toyota and Honda are seeing the same thing with many of their recent launches - the 07 Camry and 06 Civic, for example, both had significant issues at launch that they remedied in the first year of production, resulting in good vehicles…

Because of this, I’m back to the insistence on waiting a year or so on ANY manufacturer’s vehicles. Granted, the problems are nowhere NEAR what they used to be when that was an old rule to follow, but still, for my money, I want as few problems as possible.

Always good advice to wait on new models. I trust Mazda more because they have had individual, unrelated problems, some piece poorly designed or manufactured. In contrast, Fords have had whole systems work badly in most new cars. Transmissions, audio/entertainment (especially the MyTouch/Sync models, they’re still struggling to get those right. It’s usually straightforward to replace a bad part, but complex to debug electronic systems.

The early model CX-7 was plagued with turbo seal problems and AC condensers going out.

Those are a case where the parts weren’t cheap, but they weren’t part of a pattern. Other models had few problems or different ones. I don’t trust Mazda as much as Honda, but put them on the second tier of Japanese cars. All of which make generally fine cars, if not flawless. I’d happily buy a CX-5. I might regret it later, but I like supporting a small company developing original technology. As Mazda consistently has.