2020 Ford EcoSport

2020 Ford EcoSport Review: Budget-Beating Crossover

by Aiden Eksteen

The crossover hype is at an all-time high in the USA and manufacturers haven't hesitated in jumping on board the bandwagon, with a prime example being the Ford EcoSport SUV. Taking full advantage of the fanfare, every brand offers a number of crossovers of various shapes and sizes. As the smallest crossover from the automaker, it occupies the subcompact segment where it faces rivalry from top competition like the Hyundai Kona and Kia Soul. It does so in a unique manner, though, with a 1.0-liter turbo triple engine an anomaly in a world of downsized four-cylinders, while upper trims get an engine with double the displacement from four cylinders but without a turbo. Front and all-wheel-drive are offered and a six-speed automatic does the shifting - par for the course. However, while a three-cylinder engine makes the EcoSport unique, low-rent construction and forgettable driving dynamics strongly detract from the experience.

2020 Ford EcoSport Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 EcoSport?

Ford has made no new performance or mechanical enhancements to the EcoSport lineup but has thrown in a handful of model-specific feature upgrades along with a few adjustments to general accessories. For starters, the SE model now comes standard with an eight-inch LCD capacitive touchscreen as well as a front passenger seatback map pocket and an adjustable cargo shelf. Ford's FordPass Connect with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability for up to ten devices is now standard in all models while the driver's seatback map pocket has been deleted from all trim levels. Finally, a black spoiler has been added to SES's Black Appearance Package.

Pros and Cons

  • Highly intuitive infotainment system
  • Commanding viewpoint
  • Full smartphone integration in most models
  • Relatively practical trunk
  • All models available with AWD
  • Consistently lackluster performance
  • Limited rear cabin passenger room
  • Comparably subpar fuel economy
  • Ride quality is on the firm side
  • Lack of advanced driver assists

2020 Ford EcoSport Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
1.0-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$19,995
SE
1.0-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$23,450
Titanium
1.0-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$26,265
SES
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$27,380

Ford EcoSport Exterior

Narrow, compact in length, and tall, the EcoSport crossover stands out from the crowd, while each trim within the lineup does a little to differentiate itself. The S and SES models are outfitted with a black upper-grille with black surrounds and with a black beltline molding, the SE model gets a silver-painted grille and surrounds, and the Titanium model a chrome upper-grille and surrounds complementing a chrome beltline molding. Halogen headlights are standard on the S, with halogen quad-beam projector headlights with LED signature lighting coming standard on the rest. While the S and SE models are equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, the Titanium and SES models are equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, all varying in design and style.

2020 Ford EcoSport Front Angle View Ford
2020 Ford EcoSport Rear Angle View Ford
2020 Ford EcoSport Rear Angle View 1 Ford
See All 2020 Ford EcoSport Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The EcoSport's dimensions place it well within the subcompact crossover segment, even if it is on the smaller side in comparison with class rivals. A body length of 161.3 inches makes it significantly shorter than both the Chevrolet Trax and the Honda HR-V both of which also have more than an inch on the EcoSport's 99.2-inch wheelbase. Its height of 64.8 inches and width of 71.9 inches (with mirrors folded) are on par with those rivals. Surprisingly, the EcoSport boasts one of the highest ground clearances in the class, at 7.9 inches. EcoSport curb weights range from 3,021 pounds to 3,300 lbs which are on par with the class average.

  • Length 161.3 in
  • Wheelbase 99.2 in
  • Height 64.8 in
  • Max Width 69.5 in
  • Front Width 59.8 in
  • Rear Width 59.7 in

Exterior Colors

There are ten exterior color options in total for the EcoSport, with availability dependent on the model. Available across the lineup at no additional fee are Shadow Black, Smoke, and Lightning Blue. The S can also be hued in Moondust Silver, Diamond White, or Race Red. The SES shares a similar color palette as the S, only replacing Race Red with Canyon Ridge, but it's the SE and Titanium that are the only two that get the more catchy hues. Canyon Ridge, Ruby Red, and Blue Candy are all available on these, the latter two of which carry a $395 additional charge. Both models can also be optioned in a White Platinum at a charge of $595. If opting for the SE or Titanium, then choose the Candy Blue for its uniqueness, Lightning Blue is otherwise a good pick for the S while Canyon Ridge suits the SES's blacked-out styling. Be sure to check out which looks best in our pictures and video sections.

  • Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • Blue Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat
  • Smoke Metallic
  • Shadow Black
  • Lightning Blue Metallic
  • Race Red
  • Moondust Silver Metallic
  • Diamond White
  • Canyon Ridge Metallic

EcoSport Performance

No matter which engine you go for, or even which drivetrain, acceleration from the EcoSport is guaranteed to be lackluster and woefully uninspiring. With the 1.0-liter turbo-three the FWD EcoSport crawls from 0-60 mph in a painfully slow 11.5 seconds; AWD cars are even slower. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder cuts off only around a full second for both FWD and AWD models. Rivals do vastly better, with the Hyundai Kona able to get down to the low seven-second region, although more humdrum efforts like the Chevrolet Trax are on par with the EcoSport.

Where the EcoSport does impress, however, is in its towing capabilities, when properly equipped, the FWD models are accorded with a 1,400-pound maximum tow capacity, the AWD models with a 2,000-pound maximum tow capacity, matched only by rivals like the Jeep Renegade while most tow less, if anything at all.

2020 Ford EcoSport Front View Driving Ford
2020 Ford EcoSport Rear View Driving Ford
2020 Ford EcoSport Engine Bay Ford

Engine and Transmission

Two configurations are available, and with only 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque in the 1.0-liter turbo-three engine (S, SE, and Titanium trims) and 166 hp and 149 lb-ft in the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (standard on the SES, optional on lesser trims), both of the EcoSport's engine options are sorely underpowered. Like waiting in a restroom queue at a festival, the EcoSport's slow-going acceleration just makes you more desperate to run and go! It's better suited to the confines of the city, the turbo three-cylinder is great at low speeds, but anything more than 40 mph is an arduous affair. The 2.0 performs a little better, but without the low-down torque of a turbo, it lacks that initial punch.

The engines are unrefined, too, with loads of vibration and noise from the turbo-triple and only a little less from the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter. Fortunately, the six-speed automatic gearbox that the EcoSport gets is far more appreciable; its responses are suitably quick and smooth, even though it's relatively unremarkable overall.

  • Engines
    1.0-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas, 2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Ford EcoSport is no Fiesta ST, though it has inherited some of the hot hatch's fun and capable driving dynamics - all best exhibited at lower speeds only, however. The suspension feels springy and the turn-in is sharp, although the steering itself is vague and not quite weighted enough. In tight inner-city streets, the EcoSport feels lithe, but the moment the tarmac becomes broken, things fall apart. Rough surfaces permeate the cabin, and the soft shocks result in an uneven ride and unpredictable levels of cushioning over changing surfaces. The tall body means that when cornering, there's a substantial amount of body roll, also not helped by the soft suspension, although larger bumps are effectively cushioned as a result. Noise makes its way in as well, and the thrum and vibration of the three-cylinder EcoBoost engine is overbearing at times.

The one true redeeming trait is the brakes, with decent pedal feel and responses that feel more Fiesta in nature. It's nothing spectacular, though, and even average rivals are more than a match, which the Hyundai Kona will absolutely leave the EcoSport for dead in the handling stakes.

EcoSport Gas Mileage

The Ford EcoSport's mpg figures disappoint once again, with the 1.0-liter turbo-three returning EPA gas mileage estimates of 27/29/28 miles per gallon city/highway/combined while the 2.0-liter four-pot manages only 23/29/25 mpg. The Chevrolet Trax just beats the EcoSport with mileage figures of 26/31/28 mpg in FWD guise, but it's the Honda HR-V that truly exposes the EcoSport for its shortcomings in fuel-efficiency, returning 28/34/30 mpg in FWD guise. All EcoSport models are equipped with a 13.8-gallon gas tank which when filled to the brim gives the base engine equipped models a total drive range of around 386 miles before running dry, and the four-cylinder models a total range of 345 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.6 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 27/29 mpg
* 2020 Ford EcoSport S FWD

Ford EcoSport Interior

While the cabin of the EcoSport is functional and ergonomically laid out, the impression given off by the layout and materials used is rather tacky and low-grade. The practicality is appreciable in the lower-specced models but the low-grade quality really becomes a downer when opting for the pricier top-specced models. The overall build quality is reasonably good, panel gaps are even and fixtures seem properly attached, resulting in a solid cabin feel that's respectable from a budget-friendly vehicle. The dated-looking infotainment and AC control buttons, hard-touch dash and panel plastics, and a homespun look and feel are otherwise the order of the day. Passenger room is abundant up front and the seats are nicely cushioned and contoured for decent comfort and support, but those in the rear might struggle for comfort.

2020 Ford EcoSport Dashboard Ford
2020 Ford EcoSport Dashboard 1 Ford
2020 Ford EcoSport Center Console Ford
See All 2020 Ford EcoSport Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The subcompact crossover SUV offers relatively spacious seating up front, though the passenger room in the rear is rather cramped, subsequently rendering the five-seater only really suitable for four. The rear center seat would be inhospitable with two adults in the outboard seats and would be best left to small teenagers. Nevertheless, whether in the front or the rear, the seats are surprisingly comfortable and supportive, the thick cushioning helps mitigate some of the EcoSport's imperfections in its ride quality and the discreet bolstering and contouring provide just the right amount of support. Head and legroom are ample up front and drivers of any physique should be able to find a comfortable driving position; there's a decent level of adjustability provided in the driver's seat and while the subcompact's small windows do hinder visibility, the small dimensions and upright stance of the EcoSport mean that there's a commanding view of the road.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.9 in
  • Front Head Room 39.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.7 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.5 in

Interior Colors and Materials

In the EcoSport S, Medium Light Stone cloth seating upholstery is the staple; it's fitted with a urethane steering wheel and features 'ice blue' gauge cluster lighting. The SE's seats can be upholstered in either a Medium Light Stone or Ebony Black unique cloth seating upholstery, while this model also benefits from a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob with black stitching. The Titanium gets the most premium interior with a leather-wrapped steering wheel featuring unique accented stitching and seats with perforated leather upholstery available in either Medium Light Stone or Ebony Black, the atmosphere is further enhanced by ambient LED lighting. The SES features Ano gray-colored instrument panel accents and seats upholstered with Ebony Black ActiveX upholstery.

Ford EcoSport Trunk and Cargo Space

For a subcompact crossover, the EcoSport has a relatively expansive trunk with 20.9 cubic feet available with the second-row seats in place. That's more than enough room for a moderately sized cooler box and four travel cases, and maybe even some camping equipment, making the EcoSport a great weekend getaway companion for an avid adventurer and his friends. Folding down the 60/40 split-folding rear seats expand cargo room to an abundant 50 cubic feet, the front passenger's seat folds down flat, too, which makes for great versatility and the ability to store longer items.

There's an abundance of in-cabin storage solutions as well, with a small console and sunglasses holder overhead, a center console with a sizeable armrest cubby and storage tray, dual cupholders, and a small-item bin. There's a moderately sized passenger-side glovebox, bottle holders in all four doors, dual cupholders in the center rear back seat, and a front passenger seatback map pocket.

2020 Ford EcoSport Cargo Area Ford
2020 Ford EcoSport Trunk Floor Storage Ford
2020 Ford EcoSport Luggage Space Ford

Ford EcoSport Infotainment and Features

Features

Features in the S model cover the basics and just a little more, remote keyless entry provides access to the cabin where a tilt/telescoping steering column, a four-way manual-adjustable driver's seat, and manual single-zone air conditioning are standard. Auto start-stop technology aids efficiency while cruise control, hill-start assist, and a rearview camera aid the driver. Comfort and convenience are vastly improved upon in the SE model, with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob coming into play along with an Intelligent access system with push-button start, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, single-zone automatic climate control, and a power moonroof with a sunshade. The driver is also further aided by a reverse sensing system. Both the Titanium and SES share many of the same feature upgrades, including a heated steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient LED cabin lighting, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Infotainment

While the base S model's infotainment setup may be rudimentary, all the other models get a relatively impressive setup. In the dash of the S is an outdated and tiny 4.2-inch central display screen that's integrated with an AM/FM stereo with MP3 playback capability and with a stock six-speaker sound system. The S doesn't get Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment software but does feature Bluetooth wireless technologies and Wi-Fi hotspot capability for up to ten devices. All other models are fitted with an eight-inch touchscreen installed with Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment software which incorporates full smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality and adds SiriusXM satellite radio connectivity. While the SES gets a seven-speaker sound system upgrade, the Titanium features a ten-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround sound system and voice-activated navigation as standard. It also receives an additional 110-volt power outlet. All models feature two USB charge ports and a single 12-volt power outlet.

Ford EcoSport Problems and Reliability

The 2019 Ford EcoSport fell subject to only a single recall pertaining to insufficient front seat frame welding which weakened the seatback's ability to remain fixed in the event of an accident. That recall seems to have been an isolated incident as the identical 2020 year model is yet to fall subject to any major faults. J.D. Power gave the Ford EcoSport a quality and reliability rating of 74 out of 100, which is actually below average for the class. The model is covered by a common three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

Ford EcoSport Safety

With high levels of safety becoming a staple in even the most budget-friendly of vehicles, the EcoSport's ratings are rather subpar. In its review of the 2020 model, the NHTSA gave an unimpressive overall safety rating of four stars out of five, while the IIHS has only tested a 2018 model on a single criterion, its head restraints and seats, where it scored 'Good'.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

Ford equipped every EcoSport model with an impressive standard airbag consignment of ten airbags, comprising both driver and front passenger knee airbags and rear-seat side airbags. Every model also comes standard with an SOS post-crash alert system and all the essentials such as ABS and stability control. In the way of driver-assist technologies, the S is equipped with only a rearview camera and hill-start assist. Models from the SE upward get a reverse sensing system and the Titanium and SES a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert. Unfortunately, there are no other available driver-assist features or any collision mitigation tech.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Ford EcoSport a good car?

In a competitive sphere where manufacturers are throwing the latest tech into subcompact crossovers, the Ford EcoSport is a dismal offering that reflects badly on Ford. From a brand with some of the best safety and infotainment systems, the EcoSport feels under endowed, while the cheap build and tacky plastics feel like they belong in a third-world offering. A standard slew of ten airbags is impressive, but subpar crash safety ratings are cause for concern. The problems are amplified by poor handling dynamics and a pair of weak engines that aren't even particularly frugal. Decent trunk capacity is really all that the EcoSport brings to the table, but in our books, that's hardly enough for it to show dominance over competitors like the Kia Soul and Hyundai Kona - both of which are far better in almost every possible aspect.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Ford EcoSport?

The new Ford EcoSport is one of the more affordable options for sale within the class, but just how much do they cost? The base-spec S trim has a starting MSRP of $19,995. The SE breaks the 20k barrier by coming in at $23,450, while the Titanium is technically the top-specced model and carries a cost of $26,265. The SES is more of a specialty sports model and is priced only a little more expensive than the Titanium with a tag of $27,380. The four-cylinder engine is optional at $1,450 for the models that come equipped with the turbo-three as standard, this will also install the AWD system. All prices are excluding Ford's destination charge of $1,095, acquisition fee of $645, as well as any tax, registration, or licensing fees.

2020 Ford EcoSport Models

There are four models in the EcoSport lineup: S, SE, Titanium, and SES. The S, SE, and Titanium come equipped with a 1.0-liter turbo three-cylinder engine and a FWD setup in standard guise, the SES is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an AWD system as standard - both of which are optional for the rest. All models are serviced by a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Specs for the EcoSport S include 16-inch alloy wheels and halogen headlights. It also comes standard with remote keyless entry, auto start-stop technology, tilt/telescoping steering column, cloth seating upholstery, a four-way manual-adjustable driver's seat, and single-zone air conditioning. Driver assists include cruise control, hill-start assist, and a rearview camera. A 4.2-inch display screen with an integrated AM/FM stereo with MP3 playback capability and a stock six-speaker sound system covers infotainment.

The SE upgrades the package with projector-beam headlights with LED signature lighting, keyless access, push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, unique cloth upholstery, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, single-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof with a sunshade, and a reverse sensing system. Taking over infotainment is an eight-inch color LCD touchscreen installed with Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment software comprising functionality in both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as SiriusXM radio.

Titanium trims get 17-inch alloy wheels and features a heated steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and ambient LED cabin lighting. It's also fitted with blind-spot monitoring. The seats are upholstered in perforated leather upholstery and the infotainment system is enhanced with a ten-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system and navigation.

The SES comes further equipped with a sport-tuned suspension, on the inside, it features ActiveX seating upholstery and a seven-speaker sound system.

See All 2020 Ford EcoSport Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There aren't really many packages worth mentioning for the EcoSport, as there are not many available at all.

For the SE there's a Convenience Package that for $1,495 throws in an upgraded infotainment setup comprising an enhanced voice-recognition communications system with voice-activated navigation, a seven-speaker sound system, a 110-volt power outlet, and a blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert, along with ambient cabin lighting.

The SES can be optioned on with an available Black Appearance Package which adds a black upper hood decal, a black-painted roof, and a black spoiler for $395.

🚗What Ford EcoSport Model Should I Buy?

In terms of value, the mid-spec EcoSport SE is the model we'd go for as it comes standard with a whole lot more than the entry-level S model with its base specifications, and at a price well below that of the two top-spec models. We don't really recommend adding the optional 2.0-liter four-pot mill as it doesn't significantly improve performance, but it does hamper gas mileage. Keep the FWD system as well, and add the Convenience Package for the navigation, blind spot monitoring, and seven-speaker sound system.

2020 Ford EcoSport Comparisons

Ford Escape Ford
Chevrolet Trax
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Ford EcoSport123 hp27/29 mpg$19,995
Ford Escape 181 hp27/33 mpg$24,885
Chevrolet Trax 138 hp26/31 mpg$21,300

2020 Ford EcoSport vs Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is essentially the bigger, better, and more expensive version of the EcoSport. It classifies as a compact crossover SUV so this does make sense, the question though, is whether it's worth the extra clams? Our answer, hell yes! A far more definitive and contemporary exterior already sets the Escape apart, while a modern design is carried through to the cabin as well, along with a vastly greater selection of high-end features and functions. It's also equipped with driver-assist technologies including a few collision prevention measures absent on the EcoSport. The Escape's powertrain options are more competent and more refined than the EcoSport's, delivering better acceleration and fuel-efficiency. At the end of the day, the EcoSport carries appeal in its affordability, but apart from that, it has nothing more on the Escape which is naturally the better all-rounder and worth the $5,000 difference in price between base trims.

See Ford Escape Review

2020 Ford EcoSport vs Chevrolet Trax

The Chevrolet Trax is a very similar subcompact crossover to the EcoSport overall, also equipped with an underpowered engine and delivering very low levels of performance, but the turbo 1.4 ensures it's slightly quicker and slightly more economical than the EcoSport. The EcoSport offers more cargo room in the trunk than the Trax's 18.7 cubes, with 20.9 on offer, as well as greater maximum tow capacity with the Trax not rated at all. The EcoSport boasts a better infotainment system and may get a better consignment of features in general, but there are more driver-assist features available for the Trax including a forward collision alert system. Furthermore, the Trax received exceptional safety ratings from both the NHTSA and the IIHS, rendering it the safer package. Both are affordable, but the Trax packs more in for what you pay, and while neither is particularly brilliant, the Trax is the lesser of two evils.

See Chevrolet Trax Review

Ford EcoSport Popular Comparisons

2020 Ford EcoSport Video Reviews

Check out some informative Ford EcoSport video reviews below.

$19,995 - $27,715
Price Range (MSRP)
Ford EcoSport