The EcoSport is the latest crossover to join Ford’s U.S. lineup. While it has been on sale in other markets, the subcompact figures to be a welcome addition in the U.S. as consumers continue to shift from cars to light trucks. As with other nameplates in the segment, the EcoSport is available with front- or all-wheel drive and two engine choices. Here is a sampling of reviews of the EcoSport from the automotive media.
“The EcoSport feels less refined than most of the competition. Interior noise is quite noticeable, both from the tires and engine. The steering doesn’t provide much feedback.
“Rear legroom is limited, and the side-hinged tailgate is less useful in tight parking spaces than the roof-hinged tailgates all the competition has.”
— Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press
“Our 2.0-liter EcoSport, like most subcompact SUVs, has to work hard to merge on the highway.
“The standard six-speed automatic transmission isn’t the smoothest, but it makes the most of the engine’s modest 166 hp with prompt downshifts. If you’re considering buying an EcoSport, we wouldn’t bother with the 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine. We tested that small engine in the Ford Fiesta and Focus, and its meager power isn’t offset enough by good fuel economy to put up with it.
“Handling is a high point for this subcompact SUV. With its quick steering and limited body roll, the EcoSport is much more engaging than most of its competitors. It handles more like a sporty car than a dull SUV. Yes, driving the EcoSport has been a pleasant surprise.”
— Mike Quincy, Consumer Reports
“The car we drove had the turbocharged three-cylinder and front-wheel drive. The combo can hold its own in ordinary city and suburban driving, but more urgent calls for acceleration are met with a shrug. Under nearly all circumstances, the EcoBoost three-cylinder’s gritty warble is your constant companion. That the EcoSport uses a six-speed automatic rather than a CVT (as found in several of its rivals) is to its advantage, however. The conventional automatic cuts down on high-rpm droning, and this gearbox has no qualms about dipping into its lower ratios — with only 125 lb-ft of torque on hand, it can’t afford not to.”
“The EcoSport’s decent ride is a pleasant surprise in a vehicle with such a short wheelbase. On our example, 17-inch wheels were wrapped with 205/50R-17 tires, and their forgiving, all-purpose nature no doubt helped take the edge off bumps. The suspension manages a reasonable degree of body control, and the steering weights up appropriately once you get beyond parking-lot speeds. Although there’s nothing energetic about the EcoSport’s responses, they’re not particularly sluggish, either. The wee SUV simply goes where you point it, and of course it’s a cinch to maneuver in tight confines. There is a firmer chassis setup that comes standard on the SES model, which we did not drive.”
— Joe Lorio, Car and Driver
“Ironically, at least in front-drive form, the EcoSport is neither “Eco” nor “Sport.” You’d think such a small vehicle with a tiny 1.0-liter engine would at least be the former, but even the EPA figures for it are just 27 mpg city/29 mpg highway/28 combined, with the highway number, at least, being far shy of most rivals. And we averaged just 24.9 mpg in about 55 percent highway driving, though the “city” portion included a number of full-throttle 0-60-mph runs. Which brings up the “Sport” aspect.
“Our tester averaged 10.2 seconds in the 0-60 sprint, making it one of the slowest vehicles in the class. Floor the gas from a stop, and the little turbo provides a surprisingly decent jump off the line, but though speed increases linearly, it doesn’t increase very rapidly. Stab the throttle from speed, and the transmission usually kicks down fairly quickly, but again, there’s not much oomph there, making highway passing and merging a bit tricky.”
— Rick Cotta, Consumer Guide Automotive
“Marrying its small wheelbase to Ford’s natural athleticism (cue the Fiesta), Ecosport is a surprisingly good dance partner. Though limited to front-wheel drive in my 1.0-liter base turbo-3 engine — the 2.0-liter turbo-4 comes with all-wheel drive — the Ecosport followed my lead through Oakland County’s twisty lake country.
The 1.0-liter overachiever — its trophies for engine of the year would probably require a Ford Expedition to carry — continues to impress. The three-holer once-upon-a-time paired nicely with the 2,600-pound Fiesta (alas, it is no longer available with the U.S.-version Fiesta) and proves worthy of the porkier Ecosport SUV.”
— Henry Payne, The Detroit News
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