2020 Ford EcoSport

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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.

Read in this review:

6.5
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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

Best Deals on 2020 Ford EcoSport

2020 Ford EcoSport Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
1.0L Turbo Inline-3 Gas
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$19,995
SE
1.0L Turbo Inline-3 Gas
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$23,450
Titanium
1.0L Turbo Inline-3 Gas
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$26,265
SES
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$27,380
See All 2020 Ford EcoSport Trims and Specs

2020 EcoSport Exterior

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

  • 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
  • Curb Weight 3,020.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Blue Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Build Out: 02/01/2020 +$395
  • Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat +$395
  • White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat +$595
  • Lightning Blue Metallic
  • Smoke Metallic
  • Shadow Black
  • Moondust Silver Metallic
  • Diamond White
  • Canyon Ridge Metallic
  • Race Red

2020 EcoSport Performance

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

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    1.0L Turbo Inline-3 Gas, 2.0L 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.

2020 EcoSport Interior

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

  • 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

2020 EcoSport Trunk and Cargo Space

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

2020 EcoSport Safety and Reliability

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

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

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

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.

2020 Ford EcoSport Comparisons

Ford Escape Ford
Chevrolet Trax
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Ford EcoSport166 hp23/29 mpg$22,040
Ford Escape 181 hp28/34 mpg$27,185
Chevrolet Trax 155 hp24/32 mpg$21,700

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
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