2020 Ford Ecosport

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2020
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2019
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Brian León Brian León Contributing Writer
August 2, 2019

Buying tip

The Ecosport SE represents the best combination of features, drivetrain, and price. Make sure you select the optional blind-spot monitors too.

features & specs

S 4WD
S FWD
SE 4WD
MPG
23 city / 29 hwy
MPG
27 city / 29 hwy
MPG
23 city / 29 hwy
MSRP
$22,080
MSRP
$20,485
MSRP
$24,950

The 2020 Ford Ecosport is not particularly good value, not particularly efficient, and not particularly good.

The 2020 Ford Ecosport is the smallest of Ford’s growing crossover SUV lineup. Its city-friendly size is about the only thing going for it: power, safety, and interior quality are all below par. We rate it 3.7 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

For 2020, the Ecosport gets no major changes other than a cargo management system and seat-back pocket as standard on SE and above.

The Ecosport has been on sale around the global market for years and in many ways its age and relative level of sophistication are obvious. A tall stance, blunt front end, and abrupt rear hatch make for awkward proportions, and the Ecosport’s trim pieces look dated compared to sleeker rivals. The interior is no different, the cabin is neatly organized, but material quality is far below average.

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Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available, and the Ecosport is motivated by either a turbo-3 or an inline-4, both of which ship power to a 6-speed automatic. Its short wheelbase and spunky turbo engine would imply sprightly driving dynamics, but this is not the case. Ride and handling are average, and steering is dull.

Despite its small size, the Ecosport offers ample interior space, with a roomy back seat. This is at the expense of cargo space, however, and with a high load floor and side-opening tailgate, it’s not the most practical compact SUV.

Crash-test scores are a concern, with NHTSA ratings of just four stars overall.

Base models start at over $20,000, which negates this crossover’s value play, but power features are standard as well as Bluetooth. A nearly $30,000 top-end price yields bigger touchscreen infotainment, B&O sound, and a few extra trim pieces, but nearly any mid-size compact sedan or crossover would be a better all-around vehicle at the price.

Fuel economy isn’t a particular strength either, maxing out at 28 mpg combined.

3

2020 Ford Ecosport

Styling

The 2020 Ford Ecosport wears its humble origins on its sleeve.

The 2020 Ford Ecosport looked old last year when it arrived new, and that problem hasn’t improved with age. We give it a 3 for its choppy, inelegant look. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Wearing tall hatchback proportions, the Ecosport’s raised ride height looks ungainly when matched with short overhangs and a narrow body. It looks like it’s missing about a third of the car when viewed from the side, and not in a positive way.

Inside, the Ecosport borrows something old and something new from Ford’s interior design department, the new piece being a center-mounted touchscreen on top-tier models. Something old refers to, well, pretty much everything else from the air vents to the myriad trim pieces.Higher-price SES and Titanium models clean things up a bit, but it doesn’t take much digging to see past this car’s humble roots in emerging markets.

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3

2020 Ford Ecosport

Performance

The 2020 Ford Ecosport has decent power for its size, but it’s cancelled out by its portly weight.

The 2020 Ford Ecosport has two perky engines that are betrayed by a very high curb weight. Its lack of steering feel and its rudimentary handling knock its performance rating down to 3 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The Ecosport comes standard with a 1.0-liter turbo-3 engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. At 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque it’s motivated enough, but has a hard time managing the car’s 3,000-pound-plus curb weight. The transmission offers quick-enough shifts, and while there is a Sport mode switch, it’s better off ignored—because it all but ignores you.

A simple optional all-wheel-drive system varies torque from front to rear wheels, and a more powerful naturally-aspirated inline-4 is available, making 166 hp and 149 lb-ft. It also adds about 300 pounds to this tiny crossover, negating the increase in power.

Front-wheel-drive models can tow 1,400 pounds and all-wheel-drive models can haul an additional 600 pounds.

Steering feel is lacking, and despite the Ecosport’s taut dimensions, it’s not particularly fun to drive. Ride comfort is average, and the brakes feel snappy enough, but nothing stands out from the driving experience compared to any other vehicle in its class.

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4

2020 Ford Ecosport

Comfort & Quality

The 2020 Ford Ecosport has decent passenger room but a low-rent cabin and compromised cargo room.

The 2020 Ford Ecosport is spacious enough for passengers, particularly in its rear seat. That’s about where the praise ends in this category. It’s a 4 for comfort, dragged down more by its quality. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

With just a 99.2-inch wheelbase and 161.3-inch overall length, the Ecosport is puny, but sitting in the cabin, you may not be able to tell so easily. Front seat occupants have decent space, and both head and legroom are more than acceptable for rear seat passengers. Cargo space suffers, however, with just 20.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats. Add that to an odd side-opening tailgate and high load floor, and the Ecosport isn’t particularly practical for hauling.

Base models have cloth seats that might as well have come from a commercial van. Bolstering is minimal and so is comfort, so if you’re prone to taking long drives, consider stepping up in price. A high driving position gives good forward vision, but small windows and big, upturned rear pillars make for large blind spots.

The Ecosport struggles with interior quality. Plastics are hard and cheap, and the overall design and finish feels cobbled together like a quilt made by committee. This thankfully does not affect noise levels, however, an area in which the Ecosport fares better than competitors.

Titanium models add leather upholstery and other niceties, but it’s not enough to offset the bad.

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2

2020 Ford Ecosport

Safety

The 2020 Ford Ecosport gets subpar crash test ratings and offers no active safety features.

The 2020 Ford Ecosport hasn’t been fully crash-tested, but the scores that exist are reason for concern, as is its safety equipment. We give it 2 out of 10 here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The NHTSA gives the Ecosport four stars overall, with just three stars on the rollover rating for front-wheel-drive models. The IIHS hasn’t rated the Ecosport.

The Ecosport does have good outward vision and a high driving position, but rear vision is limited, so opt for the available blind-spot monitors on the SE model. No Ecosport comes with active safety features, putting it far behind rivals like the Toyota C-HR that include it as standard.

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5

2020 Ford Ecosport

Features

The 2020 Ford Ecosport offers the basics, and not much more.

The 2020 Ford Ecosport has a decent amount of standard features, but its options list is behind competitors. We give it 5 out of 10 here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

At over $21,000 to start, the Ecosport S comes with cruise control, power features, 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, cloth upholstery, and a stereo with Bluetooth streaming and two USB ports. The S can be had with all-wheel drive, a spare tire carrier on the rear, and remote start.

For about $3,000 more, the SE gains rear parking sensors, steering wheel controls, satellite radio, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and automatic climate control. Navigation, blind-spot monitors, remote start, 17-inch wheels, and a better 8.0-inch touchscreen are optional.

The top-tier Titanium model piles on another $2,000 or so, and includes 17-inch wheels, leather, the bigger touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bang & Olufsen audio, and more. The SES trim is slightly below this level and skips the premium sound and navigation options in favor of sport seats and appearance.

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5

2020 Ford Ecosport

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Ford Ecosport fails to impress in the efficiency department despite its small engines.

The 2020 Ford Ecosport manages decent fuel economy from its small engines, but it should be better. We give it 5 out of 10 here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Front-wheel-drive models with the 1.0-liter turbo-3 get 27 mpg city, 29 highway, 28 combined; with just three cylinders, that highway figure should be much higher. The all-wheel-drive 4-cylinder Ecosport gets worse in the city, making 23/29/25 mpg.

This is a result of the Ecosport’s high weight, and for an SUV this small, it should manage better than its larger and more expensive counterparts.

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$20,485
MSRP based on S FWD
 
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3.7
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 3
Performance 3
Comfort & Quality 4
Safety 2
Features 5
Fuel Economy 5
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2020 Ford Ecosport Pricing Insights

  • 2019 EcoSport remains in stock; 2020s arriving
  • Factory cash up to $4,750 on 2019s; $1,000 on 2020s
  • Lease a 2019 from $219 for 36 months
  • APR as low as 2.9% for 36 months
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