$15,901 - $19,811

2019 Ford EcoSport Performance Review


Performance: 5.0

The EcoSport name is a bit misleading because it isn't particularly fuel-efficient or sporty. This crossover SUV suffers from languid acceleration and a ride that can get bumpy over broken pavement. The EcoSport's agile handling and responsive steering make it a nimble SUV, but its firm suspension can be unforgiving. The base engine is sluggish, but a more powerful four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive – a rarity in this class – are available.

  • "With a name like EcoSport, you might assume Ford's newest crossover offers a high-octane driving experience with an eye toward efficiency. In reality, it doesn't deliver on either front. Fuel economy is just so-so, and acceleration doesn't reach the modest bar set by the rest of the class." -- Edmunds
  • "Ironically, at least in front-drive form, the EcoSport is neither 'Eco' nor 'Sport.'" -- Consumer Guide (2018)
  • "Among subcompact crossovers, Ford's EcoSport is one of the most diminutive choices available. It's 8 inches shorter than the Honda HR-V and 7 inches shorter than the Mazda CX-3. If you're looking for a crossover that's nimble and maneuverable, the EcoSport is a compelling choice." -- New York Daily News (2018)

Acceleration and Power

A 123-horsepower, turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine is standard, but we recommend skipping it. Models with this engine struggle to accelerate and have a hard time passing other cars on the highway. The available 166-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine yields quicker acceleration, making it a better pick. Both models come with a six-speed automatic transmission that doesn't shift very smoothly. The base engine comes with front-wheel drive, and the available engine has all-wheel drive.

The base EcoSport delivers 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which is about average in the subcompact SUV class. You'll get 4 less mpg in the city with the upgraded engine. The Ford EcoSport can tow up to 2,000 pounds, which you can't say about most of its competitors.

  • "Order the four-cylinder/AWD combo if you plan on carrying friends since the standard three-cylinder is painfully slow." -- Edmunds
  • "Our biggest complaint - an anemic powertrain - revealed itself while driving the EcoSport on the highway. The little 2.0-liter engine really struggles to get the car up to speed. We counted off a slow 10 count getting this thing up to 60 miles per hour from a stop. The coarseness of the engine note under hard acceleration makes it feel even longer. If traffic is flowing well, the harsh engine noise continues as the EcoSport struggles to match pace with other cars on the road." -- Autoblog (2018)
  • "Our 2.0-liter EcoSport, like most subcompact SUVs, has to work hard to merge on the highway. The standard six-speed automatic transmission isn't the smoothest, but it makes the most of the engine's modest 166 hp with prompt downshifts. If you're considering buying an EcoSport, we wouldn't bother with the 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine." -- Consumer Reports (2018)

Handling and Braking

The EcoSport may not be sporty, but it’s nimble compared to its classmates. It has lively handling and minimal body roll. The EcoSport rides comfortably over smooth surfaces, but that all changes once the road gets bumpy.  

  • "Ride quality suffers in the pursuit of sporty handling, yielding a choppy, jostling ride on all but the smoothest pavement." -- Edmunds
  • "EcoSport's short length also means a short wheelbase, and that probably doesn't help ride quality any. Reactions to bumps are somewhat abrupt and hoppy, though the ride is fine on smoother roads and on the highway, where wind and road noise are reasonably subdued. Handling is nimble and the turning circle tight, but again, it doesn't quite live up to its 'Sport' moniker - though that may be different with the SES's sport suspension." -- Consumer Guide (2018)
  • "Handling is a high point for this subcompact SUV. With its quick steering and limited body roll, the EcoSport is much more engaging than most of its competitors." -- Consumer Reports (2018)

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