The first generation of the Ford EcoSport was designed by the Ford Development Center in Brazil and released in 2003. For nearly a decade, the EcoSport was one of Ford’s best-selling models in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Mexico.
In the wake of the vehicle’s smashing success in Latin America, Ford introduced the EcoSport in Europe and Asia when the second generation was released in 2012. Canada is one of the newest markets to receive the EcoSport.
Competition among subcompact SUV models is stiff. Chevrolet, Mazda, Jeep, and Honda have all come out with very capable vehicles that have substantial power for their size. Automakers like Hyundai and Kia have introduced subcompact SUVs as well, further demonstrating the demand for this kind of vehicle. In this review, we consider the Ford EcoSport and its tech, interior, and powertrain options.
What Is the 2021 Ford EcoSport?
The EcoSport is Ford’s contribution to the growing class of subcompact crossovers. In 2018, the car was released in Canada, following a slight facelift of the second-generation model. Since then, the EcoSport has seen minimal upgrades of interior and exterior.
The 2021 model year is no different, with Ford introducing only a handful of upgrades. These include an updated appearance package that gives the EcoSport a more modern, sleeker design. Many of the new tech and comfort features are available only to buyers choosing the higher Titanium and SES 4WD trims. If you’re looking for faux leather seat coverings and a power driver’s seat, you’ll have to come up with a few extra thousand dollars.
What’s Under the Hood of the Ford EcoSport?
Power isn’t exactly the strong suit of the EcoSport. It comes standard with an intelligent four-wheel drive system and a 123-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 125 pound-feet of torque. If that’s not enough, you can upgrade to a naturally aspirated 2.0 liter, 166-horsepower, four-cylinder engine with 149 pound-feet of torque. The US EPA estimates that the EcoSport gets about 9.5 liters per 100 kilometres in the city and 8 liters per 100 kilometres on the highway.
Test driving an EcoSport tells a similar tale. Straight-line acceleration is nothing to rave about, but the engine delivers a great ride at both highway and city speeds. Surprisingly, the EcoSport can tow up to 1,000 kilograms when equipped with its four-cylinder engine and about 600 kilograms with the standard engine. With one of the highest tow ratings in its class, consumers looking for a small-size SUV with outstanding towing capability may find the answer in the 2021 EcoSport.
What Is the Interior of the Ford EcoSport Like?
The interior of the 2021 Ford EcoSport is not very extravagant, but it serves its purpose. Most of the inside consists of plastic, creating quite a cheap and uninspiring look. Although marketed as a five-seater, only four adults can comfortably travel in the EcoSport. The front driver and front passenger areas have ample space and decent seat quality. But exceptionally tall passengers may have trouble squeezing into the back seats.
There is, however, much cargo space. The EcoSport boasts one of the largest cargo capacities in its class. If you take regular road trips, you will enjoy the ability to pack a decent amount of luggage and recreational items into the 0.5 cubic metres of dedicated space in the rear. The cargo doors of the EcoSport also open from the side, which may take a little getting used to.
What Is the Technology of the Ford EcoSport?
Most trims of the EcoSport come standard with an eight-inch touchscreen and a 4G LTE hotspot that enables you to stay connected on the road. But only the SE trim and above provide maximum smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The S trim has only Bluetooth and a much smaller 4.2-inch screen.
The 2021 Ford EcoSport also seems to be lacking when it comes to driver assistance features. Although many modern cars offer adaptive cruise control and lane departure assist, the EcoSport has neither. In select trims, you do have access to blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensor. Emergency brake assist comes standard in all trims. But you won’t find much else in the way of modern technology and convenience.
Our Take on the 2021 Ford EcoSport
Starting at just over $27,000 MSRP, the Ford EcoSport is a low-cost option for drivers who want a little extra ride height without jumping straight into a full-size SUV. Its new exterior design resembles that of other current Ford models, and its size makes it perfect for city dwellers who need to squeeze into tight parking spaces. Although unfashionable, the interior serves the basic needs of most drivers and passengers. The cargo space and towing capacity, top-rated features of the EcoSport, are huge selling points.
However, there are better subcompact SUVs. Given competitors like the Honda HR-V, Kia Soul, and Mazda CX30, there is no clear reason to prefer the 2021 Ford EcoSport. Many contend that it’s near the bottom of the list of similar crossovers. Minimal tech features, uncomfortable rear seats, and a below-average infotainment system work against the EcoSport in the current car market. If you like this vehicle despite its shortcomings, be sure to check other options before making a final decision.