The Ford Motor Company has been responsible for manufacturing some of the most iconic models in automotive history. Henry Ford wanted to make a model that most US citizens could afford, so he designed the Model T and put it into mass production. The car enabled the middle-class to travel and it became the most influential car of the 20th century.
The car's affordability resulted in more than $16 million in sales. Ford's ingenuity didn't stop with the Model T. The company produced the Mustang, which many consider as one of the most successful muscle cars of all time. If that wasn't enough to cement Ford's legacy, the company produced the F-series pickup. Consumers loved the car so much that they kept it as the best selling truck in the U.S for more than four decades.
Although the company has produced stellar vehicles, it has also produced numerous cars that were subpar. Ford's incompetence in delivering quality cars has reflected in the sales of some of its models. The numbers looked so bad that Ford announced it will stop producing most of its sedan. The U.S. automaker wants to focus on producing SUVs and pickups, as well as the Mustang. We wanted to see which were the worst models that Ford produced, so we compiled a list of all the subpar cars that Ford produced since 1995.
25 1995 Ford Winstar
Ford started the production of the Winstar from 1995 until 2007. The car was a minivan and marked the adoption of a front-wheel-drive layout, in line with Chrysler minivans.
Although the car provided ample space, the car's mechanical failure led to its demise. After sales declined in the mid-2000s, Ford took the car off the market after the 2007 model. The car gained a reputation for reliability issues. The engine was susceptible to head gasket failure and transmission problems.
24 1996 Ford Galaxy
The Galaxy was a large multi-purpose vehicle that Ford produced over three generations. Top Gear rated the Galaxy in 1999 as the least satisfying car in the United Kingdom. Although several pundits panned the car, Which Car gave the Galaxy a 4 out of 5-star rating and said that the car was more fun to drive than most MPVs.
Several experts complained about the car's small engine, stating that it was too small for an MPV and most suitable for smaller cars.
23 1997 Ford Puma
The U.S. automakers designated the name Puma to two cars. The first was the compact coupe that it produced from 1997, and the second was to a subcompact crossover SUV that Ford launched in 2019. Ford sold the Puma in Europe and ended the production four years later.
The car's 1.7-liter engine was capable of producing only 153 horsepower and achieved a top speed of 126 mph. During the short production of the car, Ford manufactured around 133,000 units.
22 1998 Ford Focus
The Focus rolled off the production lines in 1998 and in the US and Canada the following year. The car has featured in Consumer Reports' list of the Least Reliable Vehicles. Sales of the Focus has declined in the U.S. since 2012 when it sold more than 245,000 to sell just over 113,000 in 2018.
Considering that Focus' sales have dropped more than double, I'm not surprised that Ford is going to stop producing the car this year.
21 1999 Ford Cougar
The Cougar became available in Europe in 1998 and Canada and the U.S. the following year. Ford intended the Cougar to be the third generation Probe but after rationalizing the three coupes in the United States, the automaker dropped the Probe in favor of the Cougar.
Ford protected the Cougar from theft and break-ins by installing an engine immobilizer, remote control central and double locking systems and an alarm. Ford intended the car to be a sports model, but the market didn't perceive the car like that due to its mediocre engine.
20 2000 Ford Excursion
The Excursion was supposed to compete with the 2500-series Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL. Ford produced the Excursion as a heavy duty extended-length sport utility vehicle, but the market didn't appreciate the car's potential.
The 2006 model was available only in Mexico while Ford ended the production in the U.S. in 2005 due to poor sales. The Excursion was the lowest selling SUV from Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury during its production. The numbers and failed potential were the reasons for its demise.
19 2001 Ford Escape
The Escape's first model was in 2001. The car was a compact crossover that Ford has sold over three generations. Ford announced a recall in 2014 of 386,000 Escapes produced from 1999 until 2004 for subframe failure.
The cars were prone to loss of steering control, thereby a risk for a collision. Ford discontinued the production of the Escape Hybrid due to the introduction of the third generation Escape. For the roof strength test, the Escape received a marginal rating while the hybrids received a poor rating.
18 2002 Ford Transit Connect
Production of the Transit Connect, a compact panel van, commenced in 2002. Ford introduced the Transit Connect as a replacement to the older Ford Escort and Fiesta-based Courier van ranges, which had ceased production in the same year.
In 2017, Ford recalled 2013 until 2015 models with a 1.6 Ecoboost engine due to the risk of engine fires that the lack of coolant circulation caused. The recall contributed to a charge of $300 million by Ford.
17 2003 Ford StreetKa
Ford diversified the Ka brand in 2003 by introducing the SportKa, featuring a sports body kit. The U.S. automaker produced a pink version to promote the new Thunderbirds film.
Although the StreetKa was supposed to be a sports version of the Ka, it failed to produce sports car-like speed. The car had a 1.6-liter 8-valve Duratec petrol engine, capable of pumping out only 93 horsepower. Ford stopped the sales of the StreetKa in late 2006.
16 2004 Ford Freestar
The declining sales of the Windstar forced Ford to re-evaluate the model. The automaker felt that the car had potential but had to rebrand the car. Ford changed the car's name to Freestar but that didn't help to convince the market that the car was a worthwhile purchase.
The car's engine was prone to head gasket failure, and Ford issued a voluntary recall of 575,000 Freestar for rear axle problems. Production of the Freestar ceased in 2007.
15 2005 Ford Five Hundred
Deriving its name from the Custom 500, the Ford Five Hundred was a full-size automobile that Ford started producing in 2005. Ford produced the Five Hundred as a four-door sedan, and Lincoln-Mercury marketed the car under the revived Mercury Montego nameplate.
Ford produced just over 241,000 units during the production run, lasting until 2007. Sales of the Five Hundred in 2007 were just over 35,000 units, inadequate to keep the Five Hundred nameplate.
14 2006 Ford Fusion
The Fusion is a four-door, five-passenger mid-size sedan and replaced the Mondeo in the Latin markets except in Argentina. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated a floormat-related unintended acceleration in the 2010 Ford Fusion.
The NHTSA estimated that the issue could affect more than 249,000 cars and issued a statement that the stacking of all-weather floor mats could cause accelerator entrapment. Although the car has a decent look on the outside, the same cannot be said for the inside of the car - for that reason, it became a 2006 dud.
13 2007 Ford Freestyle
The Freestyle was a crossover utility vehicle and marketed as the successor to the Ford Taurus station wagon. Ford produced the Freestyle from 2005 until 2007. Sales for the Freestyle dropped to just over 23,000 units in the last year of production.
Ford rebranded the Freestyle and introduced it as the Taurus X. That didn't work since Ford sold just over 6,000 units of the Taurus X in the 2009 calendar year compared to previous year's sales of just over 23,000.
12 2008 Ford Kuga
The Kuga is a compact sport utility vehicle and based on the C1 platform that forms the underpinnings of the Ford Focus and Ford C-Max. Ford offered a front-wheel and four-wheel drive. One of the biggest problems with the Kuga was the car's susceptibility to fire.
Ford recalled over 160,000 Escapes and Kugas in 2013 due to oil and fuel leaks, which could lead to engine fires. Numerous Kugas in South Africa with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost variant engines also caught fire.
11 2009 Ford Flex
Perhaps, Flex's eccentric shape has impeded its growth. Although several automobile experts commended the car's reliability, the Flex hasn't lived up to Ford's expectations in sales. Average annual sales of the Flex are just over 22,000 units. Ford sold only 38,000 units in 2009 compared to 43,000 sales of Buick Enclave, 91,000 sales of Chevrolet Traverse and 83,000 units of Toyota Highlander.
The 2018 Flex sales were just over 20,000 units. In all likelihood, the look of the car was the biggest reason.
10 2010 Ford Figo
Figo went on sale in developing countries since 2010. Not only does the Figo not provide ample space in the cabin, but it also has a weak engine. The 1.4-liter engine is capable of pumping out only 83 horsepower while the 1.6-liter can produce only 98 horsepower.
Consumers who are looking for a safe car would opt for the Figo but not ones who want, at least, average speed from a car. The Figo's engine drops from the bonnet area during a crash to prevent the car from catching fire.
9 2011 Ford Ikon
The Ikon is a subcompact car produced in India and Brazil, but Ford used the nameplate only in South Africa and Mexico. Consumers who sought a daily driver that didn't deliver high speeds would have opted for the Ikon.
The engine options available were 1.3, 1.4, 1.6 and 1.8-liters. The 1.3-liter engine was capable of pumping out only 68 horsepower, and the 1.6-liter could produce only 98 horsepower. Ikon's production ended in 2011 - arguably the very worst year for the car model.
8 2012 Ford B-Max
Ford Europe produced the B-Max from 2012 as a mini MPV. The car was supposed to be competition to the Fiat 500L, Nissan Note and Citroen C3 Picasso. The car didn't offer the same amount of space that a regular MPV would, nor the same power.
The 1.6-liter Duratorq was capable of reaching a top speed of 107 mph while the 1-liter EcoBoost could propel the car to a top speed of 117 mph. Production of the B-Max ended in 2017.
7 2013 Ford Transit Custom
The Transit Custom is a mid-sized, front-wheel-drive van. The only engine available for the car is a 2.2-liter in-line four Duratorq turbodiesel engine, in three output power levels: 99, 123 and 152 horsepower.
Consumers have a choice between a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. Ford doesn't sell the Transit Custom in the U.S. or Canada, as well as China until 2016. Considering the Transit Custom is a heavy vehicle, the engine should produce more power. The exterior of the ride also looks clumsy compared to past transit vehicles.
6 2014 Ford Transit Courier
The Transit Courier is the smallest vehicle of the Transit product range. The passenger version, outside UK markets, is known as the Ford Tourneo Courier. Considering Ford produced the Transit Courier to transport cargo, the automaker should've made the car more powerful.
The base engine for the car is a 1-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine, capable of pumping out only 100 horsepower. Ford should've fitted a bigger engine for more efficient delivery. The oval look wasn't the greatest either and likely hurt sales.
5 2015 Ford Fiesta
Jeremy Clarkson believes that the Fiesta is the best car for a parent to buy for their teenage daughter. While Clarkson praises the car, most Fiesta drivers had many problems with the car's reliability.
Consumer Reports has featured the car on its Least Reliable List several years. The car is prone to engine and transmission failure. Although the car has done well in the U.K., sales in the U.S. for the 2018 year were just over 51,000 units. Ford sold just over 1,000 units in Canada.
4 2016 Ford Territory
All good things must come to an end. That is what happened to Ford Australia when it canned the production of the Territory in 2016. Ford Australia produced the Territory from 2004, and declining sales led to the end of production in 2016.
Ford Australia managed to sell under 7,000 units in 2016 and reached peak sales in 2005 of just above 23,000 units. The Territory was a crossover family mover SUV offered as a rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive.
3 2017 Ford Everest
Otherwise known as the Ford Endeavour, the Everest is a mid-sized sports utility vehicle produced over three generations. Ford designed the third generation in Australia but built it in Thailand. It seems that the Taiwanese aren't fond of the vehicle, as the sales for the Everest in the country were just over 8,000 units for 2017.
Ford unveiled the MY19 Ford Everest in 2018, which included 2-liter bi-turbo I4 diesel engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
2 2018 Ford Tourneo Connect
Consumers who want a car that has a boxy shape could opt for the Ford Tourneo. Tourneo is a leisure activity vehicle that Ford unveiled to the British market in 2002. Ford predicted low sales for the Tourneo of between 800 to 1000 units to taxi operators due to the car's status as a commercial vehicle.
According to Auto Evolution, the Tourneo Connect offered a 1-liter EcoBoost engine, capable of producing 100 horsepower and a 1.6-liter, which produced 150 horsepower.
1 2019 Ford EcoSport
The only attractive feature about the EcoSport is that it is available under $20,000, according to U.S. News, giving the car an overall rating of 6.3 out of 10. The car has poor acceleration, an easily unsettled ride and large window pillars that hinder forward visibility.
The advanced safety features are limited. The perks of the car, besides the purchase price, are the decent cargo space, tall driving position, and a user-friendly infotainment system. Aside from that, it is a 2019 dud.
Sources - Car News & Auto Evolution