- Good value for money
- Distinctive looks
- Decent to drive
- Below-par interior quality
- Not the most refined
- 4-star NCAP rating
Compact SUV is spacious and good value for money
Ford is the latest manufacturer to jump on the popular compact crossover SUV bandwagon. The UK’s most popular brand hasn’t really been known for its SUVs in the past, but with so many buyers opting for crossover SUVs, it was important for Ford to enter the market. The EcoSport, introduced in 2014, is one of the few world cars outside of the luxury market. It offers family buyers a spacious, practical SUV, with unique, albeit controversial styling. It’s not as complete as its main rivals, the Nissan Juke, and the Peugeot 2008, but it is cheap to buy, cheap to run, and features some impressive engines.
Generous equipment, let down by poor quality and limited space
One area in which the EcoSport disappoints slightly is in its interior. The design is plucked from the Fiesta, but the materials used aren’t as high quality, and storage space isn’t necessarily the best out there either. When it comes to its cabin, the EcoSport doesn't maybe quite match its closest rivals.
When you step into the EcoSport you’ll be struck by just how similar the dashboard design is to the rest of the Ford range. Unfortunately, whilst other models have used attractive materials, the EcoSport feels a little on the budget side. The plastics used feel a little scratchy and hard, and though rivals aren’t the greatest either, the EcoSport is probably the worst of the bunch. Controls aren’t the best either, as there’s no touch-screen system, so getting used to the convoluted control system can take some time. But, then again, once you've mastered it, you'll be able to use it with ease.
Another area that is disappointing with the EcoSport is its storage space. The 333-litre boot capacity is smaller than almost all of its rivals, with the Peugeot 2008 (422 litres) and the Renault Captur (377 litres) both offering far more room. The unique side-opening rear door doesn’t help matters either, as you’ll need a fair amount of space behind the EcoSport when you park to be able to get your shopping in and out.
Equipment levels in the EcoSport are thankfully quite generous. The entry-level Zetec trim is probably the one to go for, as it includes air-con, electric windows, alloy wheels, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, and LED daytime running lights. That’s probably going to be enough kit for most buyers, and it’s good to see so much included on even the most basic models.
When all’s said and done, the inside of the EcoSport is a little bit of a disappointment. It’s not as spacious as its key rivals, and interior quality is a little on the poor side. There is plenty of kit as standard though, and coupled with the EcoSport’s cheap purchase price, it does represent reasonably good value for money.
Decent to drive, but not the most comfortable
With a name like EcoSport, you would expect this crossover SUV to be sporty to drive. Unfortunately, however, this isn’t strictly speaking the case. Whilst its younger brother, the Fiesta, is the most fun car in its class, the EcoSport doesn't really hit those heights. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of grip through the corners, steering is well-weighted, and body roll is kept in check, at least at lower speeds. It doesn’t quite match up to Ford’s reputation as a class-leader, but it’s not the worst crossover SUV.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride quality in the EcoSport is a little bit of a disappointment. Compact crossover SUVs are designed with small families in mind, and should be comfortable whatever the situation. The EcoSport’s suspension and chassis aren't the most refined, however, and it can be a bit uncomfortable both around town and at speed, especially on poor road surfaces. Overall, refinement is average for the class, but there’s a fair bit of road and wind noise at speed, so the EcoSport isn’t the most impressive motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the EcoSport come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a five-speed manual transmission, that’s lifted straight out of Ford’s current catalogue. It’s sharp and snappy, and great to use around town. There’s also an automatic option in the 1.5-litre petrol engine, although great if you're looking for an auto, it’s not particularly suited to the EcoSport.
Engines don’t live up to the ‘Eco’ name
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your EcoSport, you’ve got the usual two options; petrol, or diesel. There are three engines in total, but none of them are particularly eco-friendly, and they’re not exactly powerful either.
If you’re all about performance, you’re going to be disappointed with the engines in the EcoSport range. The most powerful is the award-winning 1.0-litre petrol EcoBoost engine. This produces 125bhp, and will accelerate the EcoSport from 0-62mph in 12.7 seconds. Hardly mouth-watering figures, but this engine is at least responsive, and it’s still nippy around town.
Eco-friendly buyers may feel a tad misled by the EcoSport’s name when they take a look at the engines on offer. The greenest engine in the EcoSport range is the diesel-powered 1.5-litre TDCi. This emits 115g/km of CO2 emissions, which is far from being the greenest in the crossover SUV class. Money-savers won’t be too impressed either, as whilst some competitors offer engines that are road-tax exempt, you’ll have to fork out £30 each year for the most efficient diesel. It must be said, you’ll still be able to get up to 64.2mpg out of the 1.5-litre TDCi, which is pretty impressive, but it’s still not as efficient as the class-leaders.
Whichever engine your used EcoSport has, you’re probably going to feel slightly misled by the 'Eco' Sport’s name. It’s neither the most efficient, nor the greenest, so it’s worth going for the most powerful 1.0-litre petrol engine, as it at least offers the greatest flexibility day-to-day.
Disappointing NCAP results, good standard safety kit
Unlike most of its key competitors, the Ford EcoSport failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. The 4-star results that it did get aren’t the worst, and the 93% in adult safety is among the best in the class, but a lot of family buyers will be rightly put off. As standard, the EcoSport is fitted with electronic traction control, the usual array of airbags, and stability control. You can also specify parking sensors as a £210 optional extra if you want to avoid prangs when parking.
Good value for money, if you avoid the cost of new car depreciation
The Ford EcoSport represents reasonably good value for money for family buyers. It’s not the greenest, nor the most efficient car in its class, but relatively low CO2 emissions and decent fuel consumption make the EcoSport pretty cheap to run day-to-day. The best option in the range is the diesel powered EcoSport, as it is the most impressive in both of these terms.
Insurance costs depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts at group 8 for the entry level models (1.5 TDCi Zetec), continuing up to group 13 for the top of the range 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium S. Generally speaking, no matter which model you choose to go for, you won’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is a large factor with the EcoSport, but is mainly of concern if you’re buying a new one. First-year depreciation is a big consideration with any model, but particularly one that fits in the more mainstream end of the market, such as the EcoSport. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Ford EcoSport is a little bit of a disappointment. We expected big things when Ford announced it was going to release a compact crossover SUV, but it’s not really lived up to those expectations. It is, however cheap to buy, generously equipped, and pretty cheap to run day-to-day, so you’re going to get good value for money at least.
Buying a used Ford EcoSport online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Ford EcoSport for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Ford EcoSport. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Ford EcoSport online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Ford EcoSport? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used EcoSport, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Ford EcoSport, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Ford to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.