2018 Ford EcoSport

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MSRP: $19,995 - 27,330

2018 Ford EcoSport Review

The 2018 Ford EcoSport is an all-new model. It debuts near the bottom of our subcompact SUV rankings because many class rivals are more fun to drive, are faster, and have nicer interiors.

6.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.5
Performance: 6.5
Interior: 7.1
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Tall driving position
  • User-friendly optional SYNC 3 infotainment system
  • Weak base engine
  • Less fun to drive than rivals
  • Rivals are more upscale and offer more driver assistance features

Is the Ford EcoSport a Good SUV?

The Ford EcoSport isn't a terrible SUV, but it's not that good, either. It features an underpowered base engine and so-so fuel economy estimates. You can opt for a larger engine that's a bit more potent, but it doesn't make the EcoSport feel any more athletic. Inside, you'll find a lot of hard plastics, and while that isn't uncommon for the segment, many competitors look and feel more upscale. The front seats are comfortable, and cargo space is decent for the class. The EcoSport is available with a user-friendly infotainment system, but many rivals offer more active safety features.

Should I Buy the Ford EcoSport?

You should not buy the EcoSport. Many class rivals offer better vehicles that cost about the same or a little more than this Ford, making them better values as well. You can also find compact SUVs that are better buying choices than this subcompact. Instead of the EcoSport, consider alternatives like the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, and Mazda CX-3.

Compare the EcoSport, HR-V, and Trax »

Should I Buy a New or Used Ford EcoSport?

The EcoSport is brand new for 2018, so there are no previous model years to choose from.

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How Much Does the Ford EcoSport Cost?

The all-new EcoSport debuts with a base price of just under $20,000. That's actually a little lower than many rivals' base prices, and the EcoSport's pricing structure is in line with that of other class competitors. There are four trims to choose from, with the high-end Titanium trim starting at around $25,900 and topping out around $27,300 when equipped with the larger engine and all-wheel drive.

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 Honda HR-V?

The Honda HR-V is one of the highest-rated vehicles in the class, and its base price is a little lower than the EcoSport's. The HR-V is maneuverable and provides a carlike ride. It gets better fuel economy estimates than the EcoSport and has a more upscale cabin. The Honda has more rear-seat legroom and more cargo space than its Ford rival. The HR-V is the better all-around vehicle.

Which Is Better: Ford EcoSport or Chevrolet Trax?

The Chevrolet Trax is similar to the EcoSport in terms of performance and fuel economy. Inside, the Chevy has a mix of high- and low-rent materials, two rows of supportive seats, and some features the EcoSport doesn't offer, like forward collision warning and lane departure warning. The EcoSport has more cargo space than the Trax, however, and the Chevy has a higher base price. Picking between these two SUVs may just come down to personal preference.

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

The Mazda CX-3 costs about the same as the EcoSport, but the CX-3 is unquestionably the most athletic SUV in the class. The Mazda accelerates with more urgency, handles well, and gets better fuel economy estimates than the Ford. The CX-3 has arguably the most upscale cabin in the class, and it offers features the EcoSport doesn't, like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and low-speed automatic emergency braking. The EcoSport has more cargo space, however. Overall, the CX-3 is the better SUV.

Compare the EcoSport, HR-V, and CX-3 »

EcoSport Interior

How Many People Does the EcoSport Seat?

The five-seat EcoSport treats drivers to a tall seating position, albeit with limited visibility because of large window pillars. The front seats are supportive and comfortable. The rear seats provide decent headroom but are short on legroom.

EcoSport and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats.

EcoSport Interior Quality

The EcoSport's interior fails to inspire, thanks to its liberal use of low- and midgrade materials. Though this is common for vehicles in this segment, many others look and feel more upscale.

EcoSport Cargo Space

With all seats in use, the EcoSport has about 21 cubic feet of cargo space. That's enough room for the family dog or a cooler and some folding chairs. Fold the rear seats down, and you get 50 cubic feet of room – enough for some larger outdoor gear. The EcoSport's rear hatch is side-hinged, which is different from most competitors' rear doors that are hinged at the top.

EcoSport Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the EcoSport include MyKey (which lets you set limitations on speed and audio system volume for other drivers of the SUV), two USB ports, a six-speaker audio system, and the SYNC infotainment system with a 4.2-inch display screen. Available features include a moonroof, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a seven-speaker audio system, a nine-speaker premium audio system, satellite radio, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with a 6.5- or 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Most of the EcoSport's best features aren't available in the base trim. It's worth upgrading to at least the SE trim to get the user-friendly SYNC 3 system, which features a responsive touch screen and smart menu layouts. There are physical controls for some functions as well, but some of them are difficult to reach.

Read more about interior »

EcoSport Performance

EcoSport Engine: 2 Choices, but Not Really

The EcoSport offers two engine choices: a 123-horsepower three-cylinder EcoBoost base engine and a 166-horsepower four-cylinder. However, the base engine feels so weak that you really shouldn't consider it. The four-cylinder is worth the extra money for its better power and acceleration, though it still won't wow you on either count.

While some class rivals aren't recommended for towing, this Ford is capable of pulling up to 2,000 pounds.

EcoSport Gas Mileage: Not That Impressive

You'd think that the EcoSport's base engine might compensate for its embarrassing lack of power with great fuel efficiency, but it fails to impress here as well. It gets 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, ratings in line with what many class rivals earn. With the more powerful engine and all-wheel drive (required if you want the larger engine), the numbers drop to 23/29 mpg city/highway.

Compared to rivals like the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V, the EcoSport will cost you an extra $100 per year in gas money.

EcoSport Ride and Handling: Poised, but Not Sporty

The EcoSport might be misnamed, as it doesn't feel very athletic. It maneuvers well and can turn on a dime, but many rivals feel more willing to tackle winding roads. The ride is fine over smooth pavement, but as road quality deteriorates, this Ford crossover will jostle you around a bit.

Read more about performance »

EcoSport Reliability

Is the Ford EcoSport Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2018 EcoSport a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is average for the class.

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. Several class rivals offer similar warranty terms.

Read more about reliability »

EcoSport Safety

EcoSport Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2018 Ford EcoSport.

EcoSport Safety Features

The EcoSport comes standard with a rearview camera. Available driver assistance features include rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Read more about safety »

Which Ford EcoSport Model Is Right for Me?

The all-new EcoSport comes in four trims: S, SE, SES, and Titanium. The base trim doesn't come with a ton of features, and not many more are available as options, so it's best to skip past it. The top-of-the-line Titanium trim comes with the most features, but it's also one of the most expensive trims, so it may not fit everyone's budget.

Instead, buyers should look to the SE and SES trims. The reasonably priced SE trim offers many of the advanced features found in higher trims. The SES meanwhile, comes standard with everything you can get in the SE plus a couple features the SE doesn't offer. The features that matter to you should be the deciding factor here.

Ford EcoSport S

The EcoSport S has a base price of $19,995. Standard features include MyKey, two USB ports, a six-speaker audio system, a rearview camera, and the SYNC infotainment system with a 4.2-inch display screen.

Upgrading to the 166-horsepower four-cylinder engine also requires an upgrade to all-wheel drive. It costs $1,595 for both add-ons. There aren't any notable option packages for this trim.

Ford EcoSport SE

The EcoSport SE has a starting price of $23,000. In addition to the base trim's features, the SE comes with heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, rear parking sensors, automatic climate control, a moonroof, push-button start, satellite radio, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

It's $1,500 to upgrade to the four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. The SE Convenience package ($1,795) adds a seven-speaker audio system, navigation, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and an upgraded SYNC 3 system with an 8-inch touch screen. The Cold Weather package ($500) adds heated side mirrors and a heated steering wheel.

Ford EcoSport SES

The EcoSport SES starts at $26,880. The SES is the only trim that comes standard with all-wheel drive and the 166-horsepower four-cylinder engine (the base engine and front-wheel drive are unavailable in the SES). Other standard features include a sport-tuned suspension, partial leather upholstery, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a seven-speaker audio system, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and an upgraded SYNC 3 system with an 8-inch touch screen.

You can add the Cold Weather package for $500.

Ford EcoSport Titanium

The EcoSport Titanium has a starting price of $25,880. The Titanium comes standard with full leather upholstery and a nine-speaker premium audio system.

It's $1,450 to upgrade to the four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. The Cold Weather package is $450.

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 2018 Ford EcoSport specs and trims »

The Final Call

Can you fail a litmus test? That's basically what a vehicle's debut year is, and the 2018 Ford EcoSport probably wants a do-over. This small crossover finishes near the bottom of our subcompact SUV rankings. Many rivals are more athletic, more upscale, and offer more advanced safety features. There are plenty of better buying options out there.

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

  • "The EcoSport's modest accommodations, modest power, and unfortunately modest fuel economy are tempered by its approachable technology, versatility… and fairly low cash outlay. Ford's entry in this segment is unabashedly at the tiny end of the spectrum, but perhaps that will be a plus for those who reject the notion that you should drive more car than you really need." -- Car and Driver
  • "The EcoSport may look odd, but it is not a penalty box to drive, despite certain inherent limitations for ride comfort and noise levels common to this segment. But the $28,000 as-tested price for our EcoSport SES has us wondering what else could be bought for that money: a mildly optioned Ford Escape or Mazda CX-5 come to mind." -- Consumer Reports
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