You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2019 Ford EcoSport: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 11/26/2018 U.S. News & World Report
a blue car parked in front of a building: 2019 Ford EcoSport © Ford Motor Company 2019 Ford EcoSport

The 2019 Ford EcoSport's short list of active safety features, weak base engine, and wavering ride quality contribute to its place near the bottom of our subcompact SUV rankings.

The 2019 Ford EcoSport is ranked:

Is the Ford EcoSport a Good SUV?

The 2019 Ford EcoSport can’t measure up to other vehicles in the subcompact SUV class. Although it features a good amount of cargo space and a user-friendly optional infotainment system, the cons more than outweigh the pros for this SUV. It accelerates slowly with its standard engine, and despite its moniker, the EcoSport has only average fuel economy. It also has a rough ride and offers few advanced safety features. The cabin’s heavy use of hard plastic is to be expected for this class, but the design looks dated compared to the cabin styling of rival SUVs. Though the EcoSport has a high seating position, its thick window pillars hinder forward visibility. Any way you slice it, the EcoSport comes up short.

Should I Buy the Ford EcoSport?

Truth be told, there are a lot more well-rounded options in the class. For that reason, we do not recommend purchasing the EcoSport. There are plenty of higher-ranked models that cost about the same or less than the EcoSport, which makes them a better value. These include the Hyundai Kona and Honda HR-V. The Kona has one of the most enjoyable rides in the class and plenty of available safety features, while the HR-V has an expansive cargo area and carlike handling.

Should I Buy a New or Used Ford EcoSport?

The 2019 Ford EcoSport is part of a generation that debuted for the 2018 model year. There are no major changes for 2019, so we recommend the nearly identical 2018 EcoSport. It will cost you less money in most cases.

We Did the Research for You: 17 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 17 Ford EcoSport reviews, as well as fuel economy estimates, performance specs, interior quality information, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Ford EcoSport generation, which runs from 2018 to present.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Ford EcoSport Cost?

At the time of writing, there's no available pricing information for the 2019 Ford EcoSport. The 2018 model had a starting price of $19,995.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local EcoSport dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Ford deals page.

Ford EcoSport Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Ford EcoSport or Hyundai Kona?

There's no real competition between the EcoSport and the Hyundai Kona, which has one of the lowest base prices in the class. It also has fantastic handling dynamics, stronger engines, and more available safety features than the EcoSport. The EcoSport’s larger cargo area is its only real advantage over the Kona. The Hyundai is a much better choice overall.

Which Is Better: Ford EcoSport or Chevrolet Trax?

Neither the Chevy Trax nor the EcoSport has the best performance in the class. Both have underpowered engines and a somewhat jarring ride over all but the most freshly paved roads. The Trax has a high-quality cabin with additional standard features and more available advanced safety tech. On the other hand, the EcoSport has a lower base price and more cargo space. Choosing between these two models comes down to personal preference.

Which Is Better: Ford EcoSport or Honda HR-V?

The strengths of the Honda HR-V lie in its massive cargo area and adult-friendly back row, which are both larger than the EcoSport's. Beyond that, the HR-V comes with a stronger engine and better fuel economy estimates. Both models offer limited safety features, but the EcoSport has a nicer upgraded infotainment system. Still, the HR-V is a far superior choice overall.

EcoSport Interior

How Many People Does the EcoSport?

The EcoSport seats five people in two rows. The front seats are comfortable, but the rear seats could use a little more room. Rear-seat passengers of average size should be okay as far as headroom is concerned, but legroom is lacking back there. Ford designed the EcoSport with a high seating position for the driver, but thick window pillars hinder forward visibility. 

EcoSport and Car Seats

There are two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats and an upper tether in the rear middle seat.

EcoSport Interior Quality

The EcoSport's heavy use of hard plastics isn't out of the ordinary for the subcompact SUV class, but the cabin design is outdated compared to what you find in rivals. Cloth upholstery and manually adjustable front seats are standard. Partial or full leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped and a heated steering wheel, and a power-adjustable driver's seat are available.

EcoSport Cargo Space

There's 20.9 cubic feet of cargo space when all seats are upright, which expands to 50 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. That's a respectable amount of room compared to what the EcoSport’s rivals offer. It's also worth noting that the EcoSport has a side-hinged cargo door, rather than a top-hinged doors like it rivals have.  

EcoSport Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include two USB ports, a six-speaker audio system, and a SYNC infotainment system with a 4.2-inch display. The EcoSport doesn't come with a lot of standard features, but it has a long list of available features that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a seven- or nine-speaker audio system, and HD Radio. You can also opt for the SYNC 3 infotainment system with a 6.5- or 8-inch touch screen.

Reviewers praise the optional infotainment system for being easy to use, with a well-organized screen and quick response times. There are some physical controls, but several of them sit low on the dash and are hard to reach.  

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

EcoSport Performance

EcoSport Engine: Skip the Base Engine

The EcoSport’s standard 123-horsepower, turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine feels underpowered. You’re better off opting for the available 166-horsepower 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, which has increased power for quicker acceleration. All models come with a six-speed automatic transmission that doesn’t deliver the smoothest shifts. Front-wheel drive is standard, and models with the four-cylinder engine come with all-wheel drive.

EcoSport Gas Mileage: Average Joe

The EcoSport isn't as fuel efficient as you might expect. The base EcoSport delivers 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which are typical estimates in the class. Models with the optional 2.0-liter engine get 4 less mpg in the city.

EcoSport Ride and Handling: Pretty Enjoyable  

The EcoSport delivers fairly sharp handling and a composed ride over smooth surfaces. When the road gets bumpy, however, this Ford's ride quality worsens tremendously.

Navigator Towing Capacity

With a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, the Ford EcoSport is actually capable of light towing, which can't be said about most of its rivals.

EcoSport Reliability

Is the Ford EcoSport Reliable?

As of the date of this review, the 2019 EcoSport does not yet have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power. The nearly identical 2018 model earned a three out of five, which is about average.

Ford EcoSport Warranty

The EcoSport comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, which are similar warranty lengths to many of its competitors.

EcoSport Safety

EcoSport Crash Test Results

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has rated the 2019 EcoSport at the time of this writing. The nearly identical 2018 EcoSport earned the highest rating of Good for its head restraints and seats from the IIHS. The NHTSA gave the 2018 EcoSport an overall rating of four out of five, with four stars in frontal crash tests, five stars in side crash tests, and three stars in rollover crash tests.

EcoSport Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features include a rearview camera and MyKey, which allows you to set audio and speed restrictions for drivers. Available features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

Which Ford EcoSport Model Is Right for Me?

The EcoSport comes in four trims: S, SE, SES, and Titanium. Since the base trim doesn't come with many features, you'll want to step up to the SE trim, which adds several infotainment upgrades like a larger touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. No matter which trim you go for, you should consider upgrading to the 2.0-liter engine. Not only is this engine more capable, but it also adds all-wheel drive. The SES trim is the only trim that comes standard with this engine.

Ford EcoSport S

The S trim comes with cloth upholstery, four-way manually adjustable front seats, MyKey, a rearview camera, and Ford’s SYNC connectivity system with a 4.2-inch display screen, two USB ports, and a six-speaker audio system.

Ford EcoSport SE

The SE trim has a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, fog lights, rear parking sensors, automatic climate control, a moonroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and push-button start. It also comes with the SYNC 3 infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen, satellite radio, six-speakers, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

Ford EcoSport SES

The SES is the only trim to come standard with the 2.0-liter, 166-horsepower four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. It also comes equipped with a sport-tuned suspension, partial leather upholstery, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a seven-speaker stereo system, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and the upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen.

Ford EcoSport Titanium

The top-of-the-line Titanium trim doesn’t come standard with the 2.0-liter engine, but it adds a nine-speaker premium audio system and leather-trimmed seats.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ford dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Ford deals page.

The Final Call

While the 2019 Ford EcoSport has some redeeming qualities, like a decent amount of cargo space and available all-wheel drive, it fails to keep up with its competition. It has slow acceleration, few active safety features, and a rocky ride over bumps in the road. The fact of the matter is that there are far better options available.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2019 Ford EcoSport review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.


More from U.S. News & World Report

US News & World Report - Cars
US News & World Report - Cars

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon