Ford EcoSport Review 2023

Ford EcoSport At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Ford EcoSport is hardly a shining example of what the brand is capable of. It might be based on the excellent Fiesta, but it's nowhere near as good to drive, while it lacks practicality, quality and refinement compared with the best small SUVs. It only really makes sense as an affordable used buy in 2022.

+Impressive 1.0 EcoBoost engine. Raised driving position. Compact dimensions relative to the class. Improved after 2018.

-Barely any cheaper than the Ford Puma new. Lacks rear space, with an impractical boot. Disappointing ride and handling. Early Indian-built cars are best avoided.

New prices start from £20,745
Insurance Groups are between 9–15
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

The Ford EcoSport might be an on-trend small SUV, but it certainly isn't the brand's finest hour. A well-priced post-2017 used model is an okay buy, but as a new car it's a very difficult sell next to the Ford Puma, which is a far better all-rounder and barely any more expensive. Check out our Ford EcoSport review to find out why. 

The Ford EcoSport arrived in 2014, just as the small SUV craze was starting to gather pace. The hugely popular Nissan Juke saw other makers scrambling for a piece of the pie, and Ford's solution was a simple one. 

The Ford Fiesta-based EcoSport first launched in Brazil back in 2012, and as Blue Oval bosses pushed a global car agenda it was deemed good enough - with some tweaks - to be sold in Europe. The 2014-2017 versions were built in India and imported, but were criticised for their poor quality, ride and refinement. 

Ford of Europe decided it needed to up its game, making changes to the suspension and claiming quality improvements in 2015. But further efforts were needed, and from late 2017 the Ford EcoSports that sold in Europe and the UK were instead built in Romania in an effort to further raise quality.

By this point the EcoSport was facelifted and more competitive, and was available with the very well-received 1.0-litre Ecoboost three-cylinder turbo engine. But the writing was already on the wall, and more accomplished models such as the Peugeot 2008, Mazda CX-3, Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic were on the scene. 

We'd have thought Ford would've dropped the EcoSport by now, but as of 2022 it's still available to order. Newer rivals are setting much higher standards, not least the Ford Puma which is much nicer to drive, roomier, better built and basically the same price, particularly when it comes to leasing. 

The Ford EcoSport does have some positives, namely that strong Ecoboost engine, a good standard equipment list and a commanding driving position. But it's now off the pace in terms of its ride and handling, its refinement, plus its interior space and design. There's also that dated, awkward side-hinged tailgate to really show its age. 

Ask Honest John

Could you recommend a petrol SUV with a low boot lip?

"Unfortunately, our 1998 Toyota RAV4 has a slipping clutch and signs of rust. We're looking for a high-seated petrol SUV, preferably with a low boot lip so a dog can jump in. We like the looks of the Ford Ecosport (which I know you don't rate) and the Mazda CX-3. What would you recommend in this crowded market? It will be used mostly on local runs with the occasional longer trip. We have about £14,500 to spend. Thanks."
The Ford EcoSport has been heavily updated a few times. It might not be the best crossover in its class but examples from 2018 onwards are much better than earlier models. One of these will be in budget and will likely meet all your requirements. The CX-3 would be a good alternative, while we'd also recommend a Suzuki Vitara or a Honda HR-V.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Should the automatic gearbox in the Ford EcoSport be avoided?

"The original Ford EcoSport automatic had a problematic dry clutch transmission which was the subject of several successful lawsuits in America. This clutch was later replaced by a torque converter but Ford has stopped offering automatic transmission for this car. Is this because the torque converter system Is also to be avoided?"
No - the torque-converter automatic is pretty good. The EcoSport isn't great, though. Ford probably expects most customers to consider the new Puma instead. That's a much better car.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Why does my car constantly give me different ranges on a full tank?

"My 2016 Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi said I had 538 miles until the tank was empty when I first filled it. In the summer, it said 600 miles to empty. Tonight, I filled it to the brim and it said 508 miles to empty. Have you any ideas why there is such a difference in the mileage I'm getting?"
The estimate is based on your current mpg extrapolated. So if you are driving very economically it will estimate a greater range than if you aren't.
Answered by Honest John

Are there any small cars with a side-opening tailgate?

"Are there any small cars with a side-opening tailgate?"
Yes. Ford EcoSport. The only problem is it opens the wrong way for RHD. The hinge is on the nearside. Revised EcoBoost arriving soon so maybe this anomaly has been corrected.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Ford EcoSport cost?