Ford’s hybrid lineup includes the Fusion Hybrid, Explorer Hybrid, Escape Hybrid, and the discontinued C-Max model.
Offering excellent gas mileage and cost savings, Ford hybrids have gained popularity among budget-conscious Americans.
Their limited use of fossil fuel means buying one of these models allows you to save money and the environment. However, you may be interested in the durability of these models. Are they even long-lasting as advertised?
Let’s find out.
How long do Ford hybrids last?
From our research, the average Ford hybrid can last anything between 150,000 to 200,000 miles. If you drive around 15,000 miles annually, your Ford hybrid’s lifespan should reach the 10-13-year range. This is amazing as this is almost the same number of miles/years you will get from regular gas-powered models.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Ford Hybrid?
With regular maintenance, a Ford hybrid vehicle can give you up to 200,000 miles of service. If you can put up funds for a battery replacement, the car may even last longer.
Hybrid batteries are expensive and many owners opt to abandon the vehicle instead of replacing the battery at the end of its service life.
We also found that some Ford hybrid owners had reported far higher numbers in terms of mileage. For example, in a MotorBiscuit.com article detailing high-mileage Escape Hybrids, one vehicle had clocked a whopping 618,000 miles!
As with many vehicles, driving habits and maintenance influence the longevity of Ford hybrids.
If you engage in aggressive riding, your Ford hybrid may break down before it clocks 150,000 miles on the odometer. A gentle riding style will reduce wear on components and prolong the lifespan of your Ford hybrid.
Here are some routine maintenance activities you must perform on your Ford hybrid if you want to prolong its life:
• Regular oil changes:
Ford hybrids run on synthetic oil that requires a top-off once every 5,000 miles.
• Regular fluid checks:
You should always check the level of transmission fluid in the vehicle. It is advisable to replace the transmission fluid once every 25,000 miles.
• Clean/replace your filters regularly:
Air filters, oil filters should be cleaned or replaced at intervals recommended in the service manual.
How Long Do Ford Hybrids Last Compared to Similar Vehicles?
Here is how Ford hybrids stack up against comparable models:
Ford Fusion vs. Hyundai Sonata
For the most part, the Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata are tied in terms of longevity; both models can last up to 200,000 miles. However, you will save more in the long run with the Sonata compared to the Fusion.
The former offers 25 mpg, while the latter offers only 23 mpg.
Moreover, the Sonata has a better reliability rating and lower maintenance costs.
It places 5th on RepairPal’s reliability rankings for midsize cars, while the Fusion places a distant 18th. The Hyundai Sonata also has the lower annual maintenance cost of $458, compared to the Ford Fusion’s $581 yearly maintenance cost.
Ford Escape vs. Toyota Highlander
Both large SUVs, the Ford Escape and Toyota Highlander last about the same number of miles.
With regular maintenance, you can get up to 250,000 miles from the Escape, ditto for the Toyota Highlander.
Unsurprisingly, the two vehicles tied on an iSeeCars ranking of longest-lasting hybrid vehicles.
However, you should also know that the Highlander has a better reliability rating and lower maintenance costs compared to the Escape.
RepairPal pegs the Highlander’s annual servicing costs at $489, which is over $100 lesser than the Escape ($600). In addition, the Highlander earned a 4.0 Predicted Reliability Rating from J.D Power. In comparison, the Escape had a lower 3.5 Predicted Reliability Rating.
Ford C-Max vs. Toyota Prius V
Although now discontinued in the US, the C-Max is still available for purchase as a pre-owned model.
Compared to the Toyota Prius, the Ford C-Max has a shorter lifespan, lasting between 150,000 to 200,000 miles. In contrast, Toyota’s trusty Prius can last up to 250,000 miles.
Surprisingly, the Ford C-Max has the same reliability rating as the Toyota Prius (4.0). However, the latter has cheaper maintenance cost ($408) costs than the former ($557).
This is important because servicing costs can quickly add up over time and often influence how long a car will last.
If maintenance becomes expensive, an owner may decide against keeping the car running.
How Reliable Are Ford Hybrids?
Ford vehicles have always had mixed performance in the reliability department, and it’s no different with the hybrid models.
Save for one or two models, Ford hybrids are often less reliable compared to rivals from Toyota, Honda and co.
For example, on an iSeeCars ranking of longest lasting hybrids, only one Ford hybrid, the Escape Hybrid, made an appearance. In comparison, Toyota and Honda had two models apiece appearing on the seven-car list.
The Best and Worst Years for Ford Hybrid Models
Since we are dealing with Ford’s hybrid lineup, we will take them one at a time:
According to CarComplaints, the worst year on record for the Fusion Hybrid is 2010. That year, multiple issues including power steering failure and engine stalling plagued the model.
The best year for the Fusion is 2019, where only one complaint for the model was recorded.
Per records, the worst year for the Ford Escape hybrid is the 2006 model year. Common problems encountered on that year’s vehicle include rear differential failure and catastrophic engine failure.
In comparison, the best year for this model is 2012, with the fewest complaints.
The best year for the discontinued Ford C-Max is 2018, its last production year. On the other hand, the worst year for the Ford C-Max is the 2013 model year. During that year, complaints aggregator CarComplaints.com received over 300 complaints about this model.
Common problems include dead batteries, malfunctioning radio, premature engine stalling, and steering failure.
What About Recalls for These Models?
Over the years, Ford has issued dozens of recall actions for its models, including the hybrid variants.
Below, we have arranged the various hybrid models according to the number of recalls for them:
- Ford Fusion Hybrid – 2
- Ford Escape Hybrid – 5
- Ford C-Max Hybrid – 12
From the data above, it’s obvious that the C-Max is the most-recalled Ford hybrid, with the Fusion Hybrid being the least-recalled model.
Are Ford Hybrids Expensive to Maintain?
When compared to other models, Ford hybrids are costly to maintain.
To illustrate, we compared maintenance costs of the models against the average in their respective segments:
Annual maintenance costs for the Ford C-Max total $557, which is higher than the average cost for compact cars ($526). However, only 10% of repairs on the Ford C-Max are severe, lower than the segment average (11%).
You should expect to spend $600 per year for maintenance on the Ford Escape.
This is higher than the average cost for compact SUVs ($521). Rivals including the Toyota Highlander ($489) and the Nissan Rogue ($467) have lower ownership costs.
The Ford Fusion has a yearly maintenance cost of $581, which is higher than the average for midsize cars ($526).
Competitors including the Hyundai Sonata ($458) and Toyota Camry ($388) are cheaper to maintain.
How Long Does the Brakes Last?
The brakes on the average Ford hybrid have a lifespan of 30,000 to 60,000 miles. However, this number may vary depending on factors such as riding habits and mileage.
Ford also recommends brake maintenance once every 15,000 miles.
This includes inspecting wear on brake pads and topping off brake fluid.
How Long Do the Hybrid Batteries Last?
Typically, battery packs on Ford hybrids last up to eight years or 80,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Nonetheless, you can prolong the life of your hybrid battery to 100,000 miles by keeping it in a cool storage area.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
Ford provides a 36,000-mile warranty on its OEM tires and advises owners to change the tires after six years. However, depending on the brand of stock tires on your vehicle, they may last up to ten years.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The transmission on your Ford hybrid should last anywhere between 150,000 to 200,000 miles, provided you maintain it properly.
This includes periodic checks and replacement of transmission fluid at every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
Going by Ford’s statements, the spark plugs on a Ford hybrid should last up to a 100,000 miles before needing replacement.
However, if you drive aggressively or drive frequently in stop-and-go traffic, the plugs may need changing at 60,000 miles.
What About Insurance Cost?
Annual insurance costs on a Ford hybrid add up to $1,404 ($117 per month). Nevertheless, this number may vary according to the specific model in question, regional differences, and insurer rates.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Ford Hybrid Vehicle
Here are tips to help you maximize the service life of your Ford hybrid vehicle:
1. Periodic servicing
Your Ford hybrid comes with a service manual that specifies maintenance activities to be carried out on the vehicle. Ensure that:
- A. The maintenance is done according to the schedule specified in the manual.
- B. The maintenance is done at a reputable dealership with trained technicians.
2. Reduce aggressive riding
Aggressive riding habits such as accelerating from a stationary position and constantly decelerating and accelerating will shorten your vehicle’s life.
Driving in a relaxed manner will limit wear on internal components and prolong its service life.
3. Stay away from vehicle mods
Performance mods may give your Ford hybrid vehicle more power but will ultimately shorten its life.
This is because these mods often increase the strain on vehicle components, exacerbating wear and tear.