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MSRP: $20,485 - 27,715

6.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.2
Performance: 6.1
Interior: 7.3
Safety: N/A
Reliability: TBD

2020 Ford EcoSport Review

The 2020 Ford EcoSport is small and nimble, and it has some excellent optional tech, but unrefined powertrains and a mediocre ride place it in the bottom half of our subcompact SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Straightforward optional infotainment system
  • Good maneuverability in close quarters
  • Powertrains are sluggish and can be noisy
  • Ride is too firm for some
  • Limited visibility
  • Few advanced safety features

Is the Ford EcoSport a Good SUV?

The EcoSport is an OK subcompact SUV. It handles well, and it has a decent amount of cargo space and a superb optional infotainment system. However, its sluggish engines, dull ride, and so-so comfort lower its appeal.

Should I Buy the Ford EcoSport?

The Ford EcoSport is a respectable choice for active urbanites looking to spend less on a new SUV. It's one of the shortest of the subcompact SUVs – a boon for parking and navigating tight city streets but a hindrance when taller passengers want to pile into the back seat. Though it has a stubby footprint, there's a surprising amount of cargo space, giving the EcoSport the ability to haul more than the Mazda CX-3 or Toyota C-HR.

For most shoppers, there are better options in the segment. If safety is a priority, consider the Hyundai Kona. It has excellent crash test scores, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick+. It comes standard with a rearview camera, similar to the EcoSport, but the Kona also has standard forward collision warning, lane keep assist, and a driver attention monitor. These safety features aren't options in the EcoSport.

Compare the EcoSport, Kona, and CX-3 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Ford EcoSport?

Ford introduced the EcoSport to the U.S. for 2018, though it has been available in other markets for more than a decade. The 2020 model comes standard with a Wi-Fi hot spot. With no other significant updates for the new EcoSport, you can probably save money by getting a nearly identical older model instead.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 EcoSport and 2019 EcoSport reviews to help make your decision. You can also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 EcoSport »

We Did the Research for You: 16 Reviews Analyzed

Our Ford EcoSport review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than 16 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

This Ford EcoSport review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which includes the 2018 through 2020 model year.

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Does the Ford EcoSport Cost?

We currently do not have pricing information for the 2020 Ford EcoSport, though the new models will likely be similar in price to the 2019 EcoSport, which ranges in price from about $20,000 to $27,300. You can view listings of the EcoSport for sale on our site.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ford dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Ford deals page.

Ford EcoSport Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Ford EcoSport or Chevrolet Trax?

The Chevrolet Trax has many of the same drawbacks as the EcoSport. It has an engine that can feel underpowered, a middling ride, and so-so fuel economy. The EcoSport has a slightly larger back seat and cargo area. On the other hand, you get standard Apple CarPlay in the Trax, and advanced safety features such as forward collision warning are available. Though neither is a great choice, the Trax is a slightly better one.

Which Is Better: Ford EcoSport or Hyundai Kona?

Hands down, the Hyundai Kona is a better subcompact SUV than the EcoSport, and it places high in our rankings. Because of its superior combination of quality and value, the Kona was named our 2019 Best Subcompact SUV for the Money. This Hyundai's interior feels more upscale than most at this price point, and it comes with an impressive set of standard tech and safety features. The Kona delivers superior performance, with peppy powertrain options and balanced handling.

Compare the EcoSport, Trax, and Kona »

EcoSport Interior

How Many People Does the EcoSport Seat?

The EcoSport seats five people in two rows. Subcompact SUVs aren't known for having enormous cabins, and this pint-sized Ford isn’t any different. Average-size adults can ride with reasonable comfort in either row. A taller occupant up front infringes on the space directly behind them, leaving little legroom. That said, the EcoSport isn't as small as some competitors. Visibility takes a hit because of the EcoSport's thick pillars and small windows.

EcoSport and Child Car Seats

There are two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat.

EcoSport Interior Quality

Reviewers are mixed on the EcoSport’s interior styling and build quality. For some, the materials are appropriate for the price, and the design is attractive. Others lament an overabundance of hard plastics and styling that is outdated.

EcoSport Cargo Space

The EcoSport has 20.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. These fold flat with a 60/40 split, providing 50 cubic feet of space. That's more than most subcompact SUVs. The rear gate is a bit unusual, as it swings to the side instead of lifting up. We recommend a trial run to make sure you like this style.

EcoSport Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The EcoSport's basic technology includes a 4.2-inch display, two USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hot spot, the last of which is newly standard for 2020. If you can afford it, upgrade to a model that has the SYNC 3 infotainment system. It has an 8-inch touch screen, and it features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, which project your favorite apps onto the screen. The buttons and knobs are mostly easy to use, though a few are tucked away and tricky to reach.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

EcoSport Performance

EcoSport Engine: Not Very Sporty

Neither of the available engines in the EcoSport feel very brisk or refined, and you'll need ample room to reach highway speeds as you merge with traffic.

A turbocharged three-cylinder EcoBoost engine comes standard, and it's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The engine's 123-horsepower rating is among the lowest in the subcompact SUV class.

The upgraded engine is a naturally aspirated four-cylinder that produces 166 horsepower. It is only available with all-wheel drive.

EcoSport Gas Mileage: Not Very Efficient

Though the trade-off for sluggish acceleration is often superb fuel economy, that isn't the case with the EcoSport. Its base engine gets 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway (this rating is for the nearly identical 2019 model, as EPA estimates for the 2020 EcoSport are not yet available). That's close to average for a subcompact SUV, though rivals such as the Nissan Kicks earn significantly better fuel economy ratings.

EcoSport Ride and Handling: A Mixed Bag

The EcoSport is more agile than the average SUV this size. Its responsive steering makes for easy maneuvering in tight quarters, though it can feel a tad nervous on the highway. The suspension system does a decent job limiting body roll, but for some reviewers, the ride is overly firm. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drives comes in any model outfitted with the four-cylinder engine.

EcoSport Towing Capacity

A properly equipped EcoSport can tow up to 2,000 pounds. That's a good rating for a vehicle this size.

Read more about performance »

EcoSport Reliability

Is the Ford EcoSport Reliable?

The 2020 EcoSport does not yet have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power, but the nearly identical 2019 model gets a 3.5 out of five, which is slightly above average.

Ford EcoSport Warranty

Ford covers the EcoSport with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

EcoSport Safety

EcoSport Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the EcoSport an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. It earned five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash evaluation. In rollover testing, the all-wheel-drive EcoSport earned four stars while the front-wheel-drive model received three stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the Ford EcoSport.

EcoSport Safety Features

A rearview camera is standard in the EcoSport, as is Ford MyKey. This system encourages safe driving habits by adding extra seat belt reminders and letting you do things like set limits on speed and audio volume for secondary drivers. Optional safety features include rain-sensing windshield wipers, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

Read more about safety »

EcoSport Dimensions and Weight

The EcoSport is 13.5 feet long. It has a base curb weight of 3,021 pounds.

Where is the 2020 Ford EcoSport Built?

Ford builds the 2020 EcoSport in India.

Which Ford EcoSport Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 EcoSport is available in four trims: S, SE, SES, and Titanium. Most models come standard with a three-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. The alternate powertrain consists of a four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. This comes standard in the SES and is available in all other trims. A few upgrades are available across the lineup, including remote start and keyless entry.

The SE presents a terrific value. For around $3,000 more than the base trim, it pampers you with a power-adjustable heated driver's seat, leather trimmings, and automatic climate control. Its upgraded infotainment system comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Ford EcoSport S

The entry-level EcoSport S comes with the SYNC infotainment interface, a 4.2-inch display, two USB ports, and a six-speaker audio system. Cloth upholstery, four-way manually adjustable front seats, a Wi-Fi hot spot, the MyKey driver system, and a rearview camera are also standard. Pricing will likely start around $20,000.

Ford EcoSport SE

The EcoSport SE gets heated front seats, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic climate control, a moonroof, and push-button start. It has the SYNC 3 interface, which adds an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Additional standard features include proximity keyless entry, satellite radio, fog lights, and rear parking sensors. Its MSRP is expected to be around $23,000.

Ford EcoSport Titanium

The EcoSport Titanium is the swankiest model and comes with leather-trimmed seats, a 10-speaker B&O sound system, and HD Radio. It gets the same interior upgrades as the SES trim. Expect retail prices to start at a little more than $26,000.

Ford EcoSport SES

The sport-oriented SES comes standard with the larger engine, all-wheel drive, and a sport-tuned suspension. It builds off the SE trim, adding a seven-speaker stereo system, voice-activated navigation, a household-style power outlet, ambient lighting, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Retail prices will probably start near $27,500.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ford dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Ford deals page.

See 2020 Ford EcoSport specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Ford EcoSport has a few good qualities, such as its spacious cargo area and a user-friendly optional infotainment system. Unfortunately, it also has underpowered engines and so-so ride comfort. There are plenty of well-rounded alternatives that match the EcoSport or beat it in almost any category.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • The EcoSport makes the most of its modest footprint, as both passenger and cargo room are good for the class. … Many subcompacts offer a wealth of advanced driving aids, but only a rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring are available here. Both available engines feel underpowered, and this feeling only intensifies as you load the car with passengers and gear. We're also not fond of the EcoSport's lifeless steering, choppy ride quality or compromised rear visibility. … If you desire a small, easy-to-park runabout, there are better choices in the class. And if you have a little flexibility in your budget, you'll find a superior SUV in Ford's own lineup." -- Edmunds
  • To make its smallest SUV seen, Ford has endowed the EcoSport with bold styling, a modern interior and lots of high-tech goodies. … On the plus side, the EcoSport's side-hinged rear gate allows for easier loading from a city sidewalk. On the downside, the EcoSport's complete lack of advanced driver assists and collision-avoidance systems seems a glaring omission." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • The EcoSport isn't a bad car, but it's not the one I'd recommend. The Honda HR-V offers better quality, fuel economy and value. The Mazda CX-3 is a lot smaller inside, but its interior materials are superb, and it's way nicer to drive. In the end, Ford's EcoSport delivers an experience that puts it at the middle of the subcompact pack, at best. Would I have it over a Chevy Trax, Jeep Renegade or Toyota C-HR? Yeah, but that's not exactly saying much. … With no real value benefit to speak of, not to mention obvious signs of age, the EcoSport is tough to recommend in this fiercely competitive class." -- CNET (2018)
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