Perfectly sized for cities. The subcompact Ford EcoSport was practically designed for urbanites. Measuring in at just 71.9 inches wide and 161.3 inches long, the subcompact EcoSport is incredibly easy to drive. Narrow alleys and tight parallel parking spots are a breeze to tackle in the EcoSport.

Despite its tiny stature, the EcoSport offers a good amount of space in the back seats compared to similarly-sized competitors. In the back, passengers get 36.7 inches of rear legroom and 37.5 inches of rear headroom. When it comes to legroom, that’s more than what you’ll find in the Mazda CX-3, Nissan Kicks, or Jeep Renegade.

While the side-swinging rear gate can be a headache, there’s a generous amount of cargo room for the class. Behind the rear seats, the EcoSport has 20.9 cubic feet of cargo space. That figure opens up to 50 cubic feet of cargo space in total. That’s more than the Hyundai Venue, Mazda CX-3, and Mazda CX-30, but below options like the Honda HR-V, Kia Seltos, and Nissan Kicks.

Excellent available infotainment system. The standard infotainment system in the EcoSport is a dreary 4.2-inch display. All of the higher trim levels come with a more modern 8-inch touchscreen that includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and satellite radio. Ford’s excellent SYNC 3 infotainment system is available with the larger touchscreen and brings crisp graphics and quick response times.

Subcompact SUVs are predominantly affordable ways to get around with an eye on value, so they don’t offer high-end audio systems. The Titanium trim is the first in the lineup to come with a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system that sounds crisp. A subwoofer is included with the system for extra bass.

Ford EcoSport

Below-average performance.Ford offers two engines with the EcoSport, neither of which endows the SUV with peppy performance. The standard engine is a turbocharged 1.0-liter inline-three that makes 123 horsepower. That engine is only available with front-wheel drive. The larger 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at 166 horsepower and exclusively comes with all-wheel drive.

While having all-wheel drive as an option puts the EcoSport above options like the Venue and Kicks, it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to performance. Competitors like the CX-30 are offered with turbocharged engines that make 250 horsepower.

Despite the small engines, the EcoSport is below average when it comes to fuel economy. The best the EcoSport can get is up to 28 mpg combined. That makes it less efficient than the Kicks, Venue, Seltos, CX-3, HR-V, Crosstrek, and Kona. Even some larger compact SUVs have better fuel economy figures than the EcoSport.

Missing safety features. Unlike nearly all of its competitors, the EcoSport doesn’t come with any standard driver-assist features. The only thing the SUV comes with as standard equipment is a rearview camera. Additionally, Ford only offers a handful of advanced driver-assist features as optional equipment. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are the only two available features.

The IIHS hasn’t completed its testing on the EcoSport yet, but the NHTSA gave the SUV a four-star overall safety rating. That score is down on competitors, which mostly come with a five-star overall safety rating.

Final Thoughts. The Ford EcoSport predominantly appeals to urbanites in need of a small, yet spacious subcompact SUV. It comes with above-average interior space and cargo capacity, while its small size makes it easy to drive. The available SYNC 3 infotainment system is another highlight.

Compared to the competition, the EcoSport doesn’t have the same performance, safety features, upscale design, or fuel economy. Even if affordability and size are the main things you’re looking for, there are better subcompact SUVs on the market.

If you’re looking for better value and a larger interior, the Kia Soul is a better option. It’s not available with all-wheel drive, but it has a cavernous interior, a more powerful turbocharged engine, and more available safety features. The Mazda CX-30 is the high-end option in the class with an upscale design, a lavish interior, and one of the largest infotainment screens on the market. Mazda offers the CX-30 with a 250-hp turbocharged engine and all of the latest advanced safety features.

Check prices for the 2021 Ford EcoSport »