Ford EcoSport (2013-2017) Review

The Ford EcoSport is a small city SUV that is easy to drive and cheap to buy. Its closest rivals are the Nissan Juke, the Renault Captur and the Peugeot 2008. A more upmarket option is the Mercedes GLA.

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6/10
wowscore
This score is awarded by our team of
expert reviewers
With nearly 60 years of experience between them, carwow’s expert reviewers thoroughly test every car on sale on carwow, and so are perfectly placed to present you the facts and help you make that exciting decision
after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Roomy interior
  • Competitive prices
  • Decent to drive

What's not so good

  • Poor quality interior
  • Sluggish engines
  • Weird looks

Ford EcoSport (2013-2017): what would you like to read next?

Overall verdict

At a glance, the interior looks identical to that of a Fiesta, but tell us that build quality is lower and most of the plastics look and feel cheaper. Passengers in the front have plenty of legroom and even more headroom thanks to the high roof, but passengers in the rear will find the seats neither comfortable nor supportive.

All Fords are nice to drive… Well, all except the EcoSport. The high body coupled with a 300kg weight increase over a Fiesta make it lean a lot in corners. The trade-off is that you get a high driving position that gives a great overview of the road ahead. The ride is mostly good, except on the worst of surfaces, but wind noise is high thanks, mostly, to the large door mirrors.

Out of the three available engines for the EcoSport, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol is the best bet. It uses more fuel and is slower than direct rivals, but is much better than either of the other options from its own stable. Its low fuel consumption means the 1.5-litre diesel is good if you frequently travel long distances, but with its poor performance, time keeping could well be an issue. 

Where the EcoSport scores some points back is in its generous equipment levels – even the base model gets alloy wheels, LED lights, air-conditioning and Ford’s multimedia and phone connectivity system. The top of the range Titanium model gets half-leather seats, cruise control as well as keyless entry. Rear parking sensors are a recommended optional extra that make the car much easier to park.

The EcoSport is easy to recommend as long as you ignore all of its rivals

Mat Watson
carwow expert

It’s rare that Ford brings out a new product that counts as disappointing but the EcoSport is that product. In fairness, quite a chunk of that disappointment is down to the fact that it isn’t as good as it could be, rather than because it’s truly bad. It doesn’t take any kind of fight or unique selling point to the myriad of class rivals and it’s phenomenally difficult to recommend over them for this reason.

If you absolutely must have a crossover and it must be a Ford, you’ll probably get on okay with the EcoSport. But most drivers would be better served by one of its rivals, or simply buying a regular Fiesta instead.

What's it like to drive?

If there’s one company that you can rely on to make even a dreary car drive well, it’s Ford. But the EcoSport proves that everyone has an off day.

The steering and damping are up to grade at least, but it lollops around at pace. Okay, so the 4×4 body style might not encourage you to throw the EcoSport around as much as you would a Fiesta, but Ford has managed to retain the sporty road car feel in the much larger Kuga.

It’s reasonably comfortable at cruise, but the suspension can get quite fidgety on more horrible surfaces at low speeds. In all fairness, this doesn’t mark it out as particularly unique amongst similarly lacklustre competition, but it’s a Ford and it shouldn’t be like this.

A lot can be done to improve the way the EcoSport drives

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Three engines appear in the EcoSport, two of which are very familiar – Ford’s four-cylinder 1.5 TDCi ‘Duratorq’ diesel in 90hp specification and the 1.0 EcoBoost three-cylinder, with 123hp. Making up the range is a 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder with 110hp.

The diesel is the better unit with a little more low-revs response and better real-world economy, but others reckon it’s a raucous unit with poor performance. The 14 seconds it takes to get to 62mph speak for themselves.

On the road the EcoBoost EcoSport feels lively but its performance and economy is blunted by the crossover’s bluff profile and higher weight – 300 kilos more than the equivalent Fiesta. The conventional petrol sits between the other two for performance, but fuel economy is well down. It’s the only engine available with an automatic gearbox, if you need to specify one. Ordinarily there’s little wrong with either engine, though neither really shines in this distinctly average crossover.

Available in the range-topping Titanium S, the 138hp version of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is borrowed from the Fiesta. Despite the ‘sport’ in its name, a 0-62mph time of 11.8 seconds means that there’s nothing sporty about the driving experience – some large people carriers will be faster. And, with a combined fuel economy figure of 52mpg, it’s not the cheapest to run in class, either. For comparison the Peugeot 2008 with a 130hp petrol engine, returning 58mpg, is marginally better on fuel.

The steering and damping are up to grade at least, but it lollops around at pace. Okay, so the 4×4 body style might not encourage you to throw the EcoSport around as much as you would a Fiesta, but Ford has managed to retain the sporty road car feel in the much larger Kuga.

It’s reasonably comfortable at cruise, but the suspension can get quite fidgety on more horrible surfaces at low speeds. In all fairness, this doesn’t mark it out as particularly unique amongst similarly lacklustre competition, but it’s a Ford and it shouldn’t be like this.

What's it like inside?

Design-wise you’ll see a lot of Fiesta in the EcoSport’s interior, but from there things start to go downhill.

Next Read full interior review
Buy a new or used Ford EcoSport (2013-2017) at a price you’ll love
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