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2018 Ford EcoSport Review

The 2018 Ford EcoSport ranks near the back of the subcompact SUV class. The EcoSport is easy to maneuver and park, but it disappoints with its weak acceleration, twitchy steering at highway speeds, cramped seating space, and large blind spots.

Pros & Cons

  • Maneuverable and easy to park
  • User-friendly tech features
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Subpar engine performance
  • Cramped, uncomfortable seats
  • Awkward blind spots

Rankings & Research

The 2018 Ford EcoSport's #11 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Affordable Subcompact SUVs category. Currently the Ford EcoSport has a score of 7.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 17 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 6.5
Performance: 6.5
Interior: 7.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Ford EcoSport Overview

Is the 2018 Ford EcoSport a Good Used SUV?

The EcoSport is an OK subcompact SUV. If you live in a big city and need a car for shopping, you might find it attractive. But many other SUVs do everything the EcoSport does, and they do it better.

The 2018 EcoSport has several highlights:

  • Easy to maneuver and park in tight areas
  • Stylish interior
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Roomy cargo bay
  • Above-average predicted reliability rating

It isn’t as impressive on the open road, with drawbacks that include:

  • Sensitive steering at highway speeds
  • Weak three- and four-cylinder engines
  • Mediocre fuel economy for a subcompact SUV
  • Large blind spots
  • Fewer safety features than many rivals
  • A narrow cabin with uncomfortable seats

There are better options in this segment, including the 2018 Honda HR-V and 2018 Hyundai Kona.

Compare the EcoSport, HR-V, and Kona »

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 21 Ford EcoSport reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2018 Ford EcoSport?

Based on listings for the 2018 Ford EcoSport on our site, the average price is $19,700, which is slightly below average for the class. Prices range from $17,000 to $23,900 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Ford EcoSport Cost to Own?

The EcoSport’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $22,400, or $4,480 per year. That’s average for a subcompact SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New EcoSport?

The price of a 2019 Ford EcoSport starts at around $20,000 but can top $27,000 in its highest trim level. Because the 2019 EcoSport sees no major updates over the previous model year, you may want to consider saving money with a nearly identical 2018 model instead. Ford launched the EcoSport as an all-new SUV for 2018.

Compare the 2018 and 2019 EcoSport »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Ford EcoSport?

The 2018 EcoSport has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about EcoSport reliability »

2018 Ford EcoSport Recalls

At the time of writing, there are no recalls for the 2018 Ford EcoSport.

See more information on Ford EcoSport safety recalls »

Which Used Ford EcoSport Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Ford EcoSport is available in four trim levels: S, SE, SES, and Titanium. The entry-level EcoSport S is a good pick for most shoppers, but you’ll want to opt for one of the higher trims if you’re looking for tech features like a touch screen or Apple CarPlay.

  • Ford EcoSport S: The EcoSport S has a 123-horsepower three-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. A 166-horsepower four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive are available. Standard features include a 4.2-inch display, six speakers, Bluetooth, two USB ports, cloth seats, a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, automatic headlights, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
  • Ford EcoSport SE: The SE trim includes a 6.5-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, automatic climate control, a moonroof, fog lights, and rear parking sensors.
  • Ford EcoSport SES: The SES trim comes with an 8-inch touch screen, a navigation system, seven speakers, a Wi-Fi hot spot, leather seats, blind spot monitoring, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a sport-tuned suspension, and 17-inch wheels.
  • Ford EcoSport Titanium: The high-end Titanium trim has a nine-speaker stereo, HD Radio, and heated side mirrors.

See 2018 Ford EcoSport trims and specs »

What Does Ford's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Ford offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Ford extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the original three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Each Ford CPO vehicle must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like vehicle history reports, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Ford warranty page carefully.

Ford does not have one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. According to our analysis, Chevy, GMC, Honda, Kia, and Mazda all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the EcoSport?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 EcoSport an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. The SUV received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash test. In the rollover evaluation, EcoSport models with all-wheel drive earned four stars, while those with front-wheel drive received only three stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety only performed one test on the EcoSport on the head and seat restraints, for which it received the top rating of Good.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • rear parking sensors
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert

See EcoSport safety scores »

2018 Ford EcoSport versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Ford EcoSport or 2018 Buick Encore?

The 2018 Buick Encore is a great option if you’re in the market for a used subcompact SUV. Like the EcoSport, the Encore is a cinch to park, and it has a user-friendly infotainment system. That said, the Buick outshines the Ford in most other areas. The Encore has a smoother ride and a quieter cabin with comfier seats than the EcoSport. It also has more available safety features, such as forward collision warning. You may also want to consider the Encore's corporate sibling, the 2018 Chevrolet Trax.

Which Is Better: 2018 Ford EcoSport or 2018 Mazda CX-3?

The 2018 Mazda CX-3 is another great pick in this segment. The Mazda tops its Ford rival with stronger engine performance, superior fuel economy, nicer driving dynamics, and a more luxurious interior. The CX-3 also includes more advanced safety features, including standard automatic emergency braking. Its back seat may be snug, but the CX-3 is a better buy overall.

Compare the EcoSport, Encore, and CX-3 »

2018 EcoSport Performance

How Does the 2018 Ford EcoSport Drive?

The Ford EcoSport offers a disappointing driving experience overall. Its standard turbocharged three-cylinder engine struggles to accelerate the SUV around town, and it provides meager passing power on the highway. It’s a similar story with the available four-cylinder engine, which is tasked with pulling the added weight of the SUV’s all-wheel-drive system. The hike from zero to 60 mph takes about 11 seconds. Both engines are also quite loud, and this buzzing can be tiresome on longer road trips. On the plus side, the six-speed automatic transmission executes prompt shifts.

The EcoSport is at its best in the city. It remains stable around turns, and the steering is very responsive at low speeds, making this SUV a breeze to park. The suspension yields a fairly comfortable ride as well, though you can feel the wheels pitter-pattering over bumps and dips. However, the steering feels too twitchy at highway speeds, and it demands constant corrections.

  • Base engine: 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder with 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 166 horsepower and 149 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive (three-cylinder engine); all-wheel drive (four-cylinder engine)
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Ford EcoSport Get Good Gas Mileage?

The EcoSport gets decent fuel economy for a subcompact SUV.

  • Three-cylinder, FWD: 27/29 mpg city/highway
  • Four-cylinder, AWD: 23/29 mpg
2018 Ford EcoSport Towing Capacity

The EcoSport’s weak engine performance makes it a bad candidate for towing a trailer. That said, the SUV is rated to tow up to 2,000 pounds when equipped with all-wheel drive; front-wheel-drive models are rated to tow up to 1,400 pounds.

Read more about EcoSport performance »

2018 EcoSport Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 EcoSport Seat?

The Ford EcoSport is a two-row SUV with five seats. The front seats provide adequate space, even for taller occupants, and the high seating position offers a good view of the road ahead. The seats are narrow and firm, and the armrests are mounted at different heights. This can make longer drives uncomfortable. The rear seats are even less accommodating because there isn’t much rear headroom, legroom, or shoulder room for adults. The seatbacks are also fixed in an uncomfortable upright position.

The EcoSport’s interior styling is one of its few strengths. The cabin has a sleek and modern appearance, and it’s accented by a tabletlike infotainment display. Unfortunately, most of the cabin materials consist of cheap plastics. Thin roof pillars provide good visibility to the side of the vehicle, but thick pillars at the front and rear corners create some large blind spots.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth seats
  • manually adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • heated front seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Ford EcoSport?

The 2018 EcoSport has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats.

2018 Ford EcoSport Features

The EcoSport is available with two different infotainment systems. The standard system has a 4.2-inch display with many buttons for the audio and Bluetooth controls. Though it's user-friendly, this setup is not as impressive as Ford’s excellent SYNC 3 system, which is paired with either a 6.5- or 8-inch touch screen, depending on trim level. These touch screens have crisp graphics and intuitive menus, and they also support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allow users to integrate their iPhone and Android apps on the display.

The EcoSport’s climate controls are simple as well, but they are positioned low on the dashboard and out of the driver’s line of sight.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 4.2-inch display, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and six speakers
  • Available infotainment features: 6.5-inch and 8-inch touch screens, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a navigation system, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Additional standard features: remote keyless entry
  • Other available features: automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, and a moonroof

See 2018 Ford EcoSport specs »

Read more about EcoSport interior »

2018 Ford EcoSport Dimensions

Ford EcoSport Cargo Space

The EcoSport has 20.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 50 cubic feet of space with these seats folded. That’s a good amount of cargo space for a subcompact SUV, but a few class rivals have more room, like the 2018 Honda HR-V and 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport.

Keep in mind that the EcoSport’s rear cargo door swings open to the side. All other class competitors have a rear liftgate that flips upward.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Ford EcoSport Length and Weight
  • Length: 13 feet, 5 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,021 to 3,300 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Ford EcoSport Built?

Ford built the 2018 EcoSport in India.

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EcoSport Shoppers Should Also Consider...

Hyundai Kona 2018 2018 Hyundai Kona

#1 in 2018 Affordable Subcompact SUVs

Buick Encore 2018 2018 Buick Encore

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Mazda CX-3 2018 2018 Mazda CX-3

#4 in 2018 Affordable Subcompact SUVs

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