2022 Ford EcoSport

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2022 Ford EcoSport Review: The Budget Crossover

The Ford EcoSport has us wondering whether Ford ever expected the compact crossover boom to reach the US. You see, it first made its debut in 2012, and while it was built on a global platform, it was originally only sold in India, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, certain parts of Europe, and South Africa. It was a smashing success in those markets, which is probably why Ford revisited the idea of launching it in the USA in 2016. The crossover mania did, in fact, reach the USA, peaking around 2018, just as the EcoSport was launched locally. While the EcoSport was a revolutionary car back in 2012, it faced a tougher challenge in 2018. The segment had grown significantly and included newer, more modern rivals like the Hyundai Kona, Kia Soul, and Honda HR-V.

This year, the EcoSport is equipped with a 166-horsepower four-pot and all-wheel drive exclusively. However, the Ford still has a few things that count against it, like the sub-standard build quality, lackluster performance, and a suspension setup that doesn't quite work for the subcompact crossover duties it was built for. It's not all bad, though, but is a good infotainment setup, practical size, and AWD enough to redeem it?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 4 /10
  • Performance 4 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 7 /10
  • Safety 7 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2022 Ford EcoSport Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Ford EcoSport?

The big change for the 2022 model year is that the underpowered three-cylinder engine used previously has been discontinued, as has a standard front-wheel drivetrain. Every EcoSport now has a 166-hp 2.0-liter engine and AWD. There are no other major changes to report, other than the fact that this will be the EcoSport's final model year, with production ceasing later in 2022.

Pros and Cons

  • Ford's SYNC infotainment is brilliant
  • Elevated driving position
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on most models
  • It's practical for its size
  • All models now have standard AWD
  • Lackluster performance
  • Passenger space is limited in the rear
  • Fuel consumption is higher than expected
  • The suspension setup is too firm
  • Lacks modern safety features

Best Deals on 2022 Ford EcoSport

2022 Ford EcoSport Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$22,040
SE
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$25,510
SES
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$28,205
Titanium
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$28,395
See All 2022 Ford EcoSport Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The EcoSport does have some good handling characteristics, as it's based on the Fiesta. The steering is lifeless and it has no heft to it, but the EcoSport is keen to turn in at low speeds. In and around the city, you might even call it fun. At higher speeds, and on broken surfaces, the EcoSport is less fun. It's softly sprung, which sounds ideal for an SUV, but it's a bit too soft. Over rougher surfaces, it never feels 100% settled. The softer setup also means the body leans more through corners. The soft setup has no problems coping with larger bumps, however. Given how it will mostly be used, we would have preferred a more balanced setup.

Another big annoyance at high speed is the noise. The engine isn't particularly refined, leading to a lot of engine noise intruding into the cabin. The other decent carry-over from the Fiesta is the braking system. It does a good job, but nothing more than what we've come to expect from this segment. When it comes to ride and handling, the EcoSport can't hide its age. All of its newer rivals offer a better driving experience.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Ford EcoSport A Good SUV?

In many ways, the Ford EcoSport feels like a third-world offering, and that's because it is. It started out life as a rugged little SUV for terrible roads and cities in third world countries, but then the subcompact crossover boom hit, and Ford was left without a car to compete in that space. Instead of developing an all-new model, they endowed the EcoSport crossover SUV with everything necessary to legally sell it locally, along with a few other niceties. The result is a car that sits in Ford's lineup like a dollop of mustard would sit on top of chocolate ice cream. It just doesn't fit.

It's slow, not particularly fuel-efficient, handles poorly, and it feels cheap. In a world where the Kia Soul and Hyundai Kona exist, the new Ford EcoSport just doesn't have anything going for it. The only department in which it dominates the competition is trunk space, and that's just not a good enough reason for us to call it a good buy.

2022 Ford EcoSport Comparisons

Ford Escape Ford
Chevrolet Trax Chevrolet

2022 Ford EcoSport vs Ford Escape

The Escape is here because there is some overlap between the two models. With a starting price that's well over $4,000 more, the entry-level Escape is nevertheless cheaper than both high-end EcoSport models. You'd expect the Escape to be a little light on the equipment side, but no. First of all, it easily beats the EcoSport in the engine department. It has a 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine mated to a next-generation eight-speed automatic transmission. It's bigger, faster, more spacious, and a lot more comfortable. The standard kit includes manual air-conditioning, keyless entry, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, pre-collision warning, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection, and a rearview camera. It might not have a large screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but you still get a 4.2-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. We'd happily give up the large infotainment screen to get a car that's better in every other way.

See Ford Escape Review

2022 Ford EcoSport vs Chevrolet Trax

The Chevrolet Trax is similar to the EcoSport in many ways. It was also one of the first subcompact crossovers. The Trax has a larger 1.4-liter turbocharged four-pot, but it's still no ball of speed. It is faster than the EcoSport, however. The Chevy is also more efficient, as you don't have to work the engine so hard. The EcoSport claws back some ground by offering a larger trunk and an actual tow rating, but the Chevrolet offers more in the way of advanced driver-assist safety features. This is reflected in the Trax's ratings from the NHTSA and IIHS, both of which named it a safe car. The Trax also feels its age, and it also struggles to make a case for itself against more modern rivals like the Hyundai Kona and Kia Soul. Of the two, the Chevrolet is the better car, but when both are up against the entire segment, they fall exceedingly short.

See Chevrolet Trax Review
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