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2021 Ford EcoSport Performance

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2021 Ford EcoSport Performance Review


Performance: 4.7

The 2021 Ford EcoSport is easy to maneuver, but its firm ride and underpowered base engine make it less enjoyable to drive than classmates like the Mazda CX-3. Its fuel economy, while average for a small SUV, isn’t as economical as its name suggests.

  • "The Indian-built Ford’s 123-horsepower 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine isn’t particularly powerful or efficient, and the EcoSport doesn’t have many of the driver-assist systems standard on most of its competitors." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2019)
  • "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)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: turbocharged 1.0-liter 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 (standard in SES)
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive (standard in SES)
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic

Reviewers appreciate the traditional automatic transmission that comes in every EcoSport. The same can't be said about the base engine, which suffers from turbo lag and lacks power, especially when the vehicle is fully loaded. The upgraded engine provides more power and helps deliver quicker acceleration. To get the stronger engine, you'll also need to add available AWD.

  • "With 123 horsepower, the EcoSport’s 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine isn’t especially powerful or efficient. The optional 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, with 166 hp, is the better engine. It’s the exclusive power plant in all-wheel-drive versions of the 2021 Ford EcoSport." -- Autotrader
  • "While we’re happy to report that Ford uses a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission (and not a continuously variable automatic transmission) in the EcoSport, the 3-cylinder feels sluggish, especially when you have a full load of people aboard. Moreover, the engine sometimes suffers from turbo lag, meaning its throttle response is delayed and power doesn’t come on with any noticeable force until above 2,000 rpm. Our preferred choice is the 2.0-liter. With 166 horsepower, this 4-cylinder feels noticeably stronger. It’s available only in all-wheel-drive (AWD) EcoSport models." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Base engine can struggle while carrying passengers and cargo." -- Edmunds

MPG Estimates

The 2021 EcoSport's gas mileage figures are unavailable at the time of writing. However, the nearly identical base 2020 EcoSport gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Opting for the stronger engine will get you 4 less mpg in the city. Fuel economy in the EcoSport is average for a subcompact SUV.

Handling and Braking

Over smooth pavement, the EcoSport delivers a pretty comfortable ride. This crossover's small size and tight turning radius make it super easy to maneuver through busy streets or into tight parking spots. However, its firm suspension results in a bumpy ride over broken and cracked cement. The ride also gets noisy at times.

  • "This tiny Ford crossover SUV, particularly the SES model, feels at home on winding roads. In spite of its relatively high seating position, the EcoSport is well suited for enthusiastic driving, with minimal body lean in turns. It may not be as composed as, say, a Mazda CX-30, but it’s close. On the downside, the short wheelbase of the 2021 Ford EcoSport creates a choppy ride, and the interior noise level is high." -- Autotrader
  • "Where this tiny Ford crossover SUV shines brightest is on twisting roads. Its suspension and steering are well suited for enthusiastic driving, putting the EcoSport on a dynamic par with the Mazda CX-3, one of the sportiest vehicles in the subcompact-SUV segment. On the downside, the short-wheelbase EcoSport has a choppy ride on rough pavement, and its interior noise levels are high." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Ride quality suffers in the pursuit of sporty handling, yielding a choppy, jostling ride on all but the smoothest pavement." -- Edmunds (2019)
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2021 Ford EcoSport

MSRP: $19,995 - $27,715

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