Ford EcoSport Review

Despite a wholesale mid-life overhaul, the EcoSport still lags behind a growing pack of rivals

Strengths & weaknesses

  • Well-equipped cheaper models
  • Economical petrol engine
  • Lots of Ford dealers for servicing
  • High running costs
  • Poor performance
  • Awkward boot door
Ford Ecosport prices from £6,795.
Finance from £159.28 / month.

When the Ford EcoSport was first launched in 2014, it seemed like a recipe for success: it was a car that combined the mechanical parts from the fantastic Ford Fiesta with a higher driving position like an off-road car.

But the resulting small crossover failed to live up to expectations, even after a raft of improvements in 2015, so a fairly comprehensive overhaul resulted at the start of 2018. Unfortunately, with the launch of a raft of new compact crossovers, including the Seat Arona and Hyundai Kona, the EcoSport is still struggling to match the best cars in the class.

The boot is hinged at the side (the wrong side for UK buyers, too) and opens like a conventional door, which can restrict access in tight parking spaces, but at least it’s an improvement on early models, which had a spare wheel mounted on the boot door too (although this is still a possible option), requiring even more space to open it.

Thanks to a tall roof, there’s plenty of space inside, with adequate headroom and legroom. The dashboard is simple and easy to work out too, although some features like Ford’s Sync voice control can take a little getting used to. One significant aspect of the 2018 update is a far better interior, with less engine and wind noise, better-quality materials and new seats that are designed to be more comfortable.

The entry-level Zetec trim level is quite well-equipped, with standard alloy wheels and air-conditioning, but you don’t get as much for your money as you’d expect with more expensive versions: the range-topping ST-Line, a trim added in 2018, however, does add the likes of an 8-inch touchscreen and the latest Sync 3 system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s also worth adding Ford’s desirable Winter Pack, including a heated windscreen so you don’t need an ice scraper.

Perhaps one of the EcoSport’s biggest selling points is its engines, with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol, which is fairly economical on paper and outputs of 125PS and 140PS. The 1.5-litre diesel is the best choice for fuel economy if you often make long journeys.

Basing a car on the nippy, agile and fun-to-drive Fiesta should result in an entertaining and comfortable drive, but the EcoSport is a disappointment. Its light steering might make it easy to manoeuvre in town, but on fast roads, it’s hard to work out how much the wheels have turned, so you’re constantly jiggling the wheel in corners to keep the car on the right track. The car leans noticeably in corners too: rivals such as the Mazda CX-3 and Renault Captur  are more stable and feel nippier.

The EcoSport can get upset by bumps too. The Peugeot 2008 and Honda HR-V are both better at providing a smooth ride.

Key facts

Warranty 3 years
Boot size 333 litres
Width 1765mm
Length 4017m
Height 1650mm
Tax (min to max) £165-205 in the first year, £140 thereafter

Best Ford Ecosport for...

Best for Economy – Ford EcoSport Zetec 1.5 TDCi

The only diesel EcoSport is also the most economical, with official fuel economy of 64.2mpg, but real-world results showing more like 48mpg in real-world conditions.

Best for Families – Ford EcoSport Titanium 1.0 125PS

With a high-level of convenience features like keyless entry and climate control, the Titanium model is comfortable. Roof rails boost practicality too.

Best for Performance – Ford EcoSport ST-Line 1.0 140PS

Extra power and lowered sports suspension makes the EcoSport a bit more precise to drive and cuts the 0-62mph dash to 11.8 seconds, without impacting economy.


  • 2014 EcoSport goes on sale
  • 2015 Thorough model update includes option to ‘delete’ tailgate-mounted spare wheel, improved interior materials and trim and an optional Winter Pack including a heated windscreen. All versions now get a 4in colour screen and SYNC voice control. Suspension upgrades are introduced to improve handling and engines are tuned to improve performance and economy.
  • 2015 Two separate recalls, firstly for models built from February 2013 to February 2014 to address a potential fuel leak and secondly for models produced from November 2013 to February 2015 to check for a rear suspension fault.
  • 2016 Titanium S range-topping trim level introduced with exclusive 140hp 1-litre EcoBoost petrol engine and sports suspension that's firmer over bumps
  • 2018 Revised EcoSport model arrives in the UK, with a raft of changes to the exterior, interior, engine and equipment ranges. New ST-Line trim is also introduced.

Understanding Ford Ecosport names

Trim level ST-Line

The EcoSport trims – Zetec, Titanium, Titanium S and ST-Line – tell you the amount of equipment included as standard, with more equipment added as the trim levels (and their cost) increase through the range.

Engine 1.0 EcoBoost 140PS

Ford offers three engines in the EcoSport range, two variants of the 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine and a 1.5 TDCi diesel. The size of the engine is shown in litres, as well as the power in horsepower, which is also written as PS.

Gearbox Automatic

All models are fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox, with the 1.0 EcoBoost 125PS also available with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Ford Ecosport Engines

1.0 EcoBoost 125PS, 1.0 EcoBoost 140PS, 1.5 TDCi EcoBlue

The 2018 update simplified the engine range, while also dispensing with units that were poor and unpopular. This resulted in reducing the choice to a pair of EcoBoost petrol engines and a new 1.5 TDCI EcoBlue diesel.

The 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine with 125hp is quiet and smooth, even if the weight of the EcoSport means that you do have to rev it to get moving. The need to rev it does have a big impact on fuel economy: although it has an official 54.3mpg fuel economy, but that typically drops to 40mpg in real-world driving, according to the Equa Index, which is based on tests carried out on public roads.

Better is the more powerful 140hp version, which uses no more fuel but doesn’t feel underpowered. Even so, acceleration from 0-62mph takes 11.8 seconds, which is still three seconds slower than a Mazda CX-3. 

If you have a high annual mileage, then the 1.5 TDCi EcoBlue EcoSport is the best choice: its real-world economy is 47mpg, according to the Equa Index. It’s slow off the mark, but the lack of power is less noticeable once you’re on the move.




Fuel economy


Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

1.0 EcoBoost 125PS






1.0 EcoBoost 125PS auto






1.0 EcoBoost 140PS






1.5 TDCi






Ford Ecosport Trims

Zetec, Titanium, Titanium S, ST-Line

While many Ford price lists resemble a catalogue, the EcoSport has quite a simple line-up, with just four trim levels: Zetec, Titanium, Titanium S and ST-Line, with different levels of standard equipment.

There are some optional extras available, so it’s best to ensure you choose exactly which version suits your needs at the outset.

For the cheapest car, the Zetec is quite well-equipped. Air conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels and a leather steering wheel with audio controls are all standard, along with Ford’s Sync voice control system and Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity. It’s available with the lower-powered petrol and diesel engines.

The Titanium trim level is the only version in the range with roof rails, which boost practicality and give it a more rugged appearance. This is further accentuated by silver plates under the front and rear bumper and chunky 17-inch alloy wheels. Convenience features include keyless entry (with a start button), climate control, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and cruise control. Ford’s Winter Pack is a worthwhile addition, adding heated front seats, door mirrors and windscreen to keep you moving on frosty mornings.

Only coming with the top 140PS petrol engine, the Titanium S is aimed at customers after a sportier-looking EcoSport. Sports suspension and black alloy wheels bring the EcoSport down a little closer to the road, while a black painted roof and door mirrors also make it look like a smaller car. Privacy glass is fitted and inside there’s a Sony stereo system with DAB digital radio. Sat-nav is still optional, though.

The range-topping ST-Line has 17-inch alloys, ST-Line badging, extended painted roof and door mirrors, leather-trimmed flat-bottomed steering wheel, part-leather seats featuring man-made suede inserts and red stitching, leather handbrake lever and gear knob, ST-Line branded scuff plates, stainless steel sports pedals, rear parking camera and an 8-inch colour touchscreen controlling the infotainment system that includes satellite navigation and smartphone connectivity (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).

Ford Ecosport Reliability and warranty

The Ford EcoSport doesn’t appear in the 2018 Driver Power – and neither does the Fiesta, with which its shares much of its mechanicals. This doesn’t augur well. However, the post-2018 revised cars are being built at a new facility in Romania, so this might improve quality.

Ford’s warranty last for three years or 60,000 miles, which is identical to a Volkswagen, but seems stingy when Hyundai and Toyota offer five years, and Kia leads the way with a seven-year warranty.

The Ford Ecosport was crash tested by the independent safety organisation Euro NCAP in 2013, receiving a respectable four star rating out of five

Used Ford Ecosport

Early cars are now getting on for three years old, so there are a number of examples to choose from, with prices starting from around £8,000-10,000.

An important consideration for buyers, however, will be whether they are happy to buy an older EcoSport, sold before the raft of improvements made by Ford in late 2015. Older models are most obviously spotted by their bootlid-mounted rear wheel – which wasn’t to everyone’s taste – and numerous changes to the EcoSport since then could make older models less desirable and affect their values.

Early EcoSport models will also now be out of their manufacturer three-year warranty.

Also avoid the 1.5-litre petrol engine which was discontinued in 2018. While this engine’s 112hp looks reasonable, its 0-62mph time of 13.3 seconds feels very sluggish. This is the only engine that’s available with an automatic gearbox, which makes it feel even less lively.

However, 2018 model cars (the one you want) are already popping up on BuyaCar. Titanium models are currently advertised for around £17,000 - a useful £2,295 cheaper than new.