The 2022 Ford EcoSport is a subcompact SUV with standard all-wheel drive and a 2000-pound tow rating. Those two things are the height of its talents. Even before Ford gave it a death sentence—due to business decisions abroad—the tiny ute struggled to compete in a segment full of alternatives that drove better, had nicer interiors, and were more fuel-efficient. The EcoSport was never a very good value, and the introduction of the Ford Maverick pickup does it no favors. Not only is the small truck considerably more practical, it’s also less expensive and sips less fuel. The only reasons the 2022 EcoSport is worth a look, besides what was previously mentioned, are its lofty driving position and maneuverability. Otherwise, it’s worth overlooking.
What’s New for 2022?
With Ford’s announcement that it’s ending production of vehicles built in India, it also signs the EcoSport’s death warrant. The 2022 model year is set to be its last, and there are a couple of important things that differentiate it from last year’s lineup. The big change is that front-wheel drive, which once paired exclusively with the turbocharged three-cylinder, is no longer offered. Every EcoSport now comes standard with all-wheel drive and a non-turbo four-cylinder engine, which in turn contributes to a starting price that’s $1595 higher than before.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We can’t, in good conscience, recommend any EcoSport trim other than the least expensive one. Even though the base S model has standard all-wheel drive and costs about the same as other subcompact crossovers, it requires so many compromises that its value is severely diminished.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 EcoSport is only offered with a 166-hp four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. Still, it’s the opposite of quick. The EcoSport drives much better at slower speeds, slipping through busy streets with ease, but its vague steering and noisy ride diminish the experience. While its ride can’t isolate the cabin from rough surfaces, the softly sprung suspension on our Titanium test vehicle effectively cushioned occupants from the harshness. Too bad the spongy shocks and top-heavy demeanor led to unruly body motions. These effects were amplified at higher speeds. The brake pedal on our front-drive Titanium model never felt firm, but it delivered consistent response. One of the Ford’s few advantages is that it can tow 2000 pounds, which is more than most subcompact crossovers can handle.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Those who believe the “Eco” in EcoSport stands for economical will be disappointed. Its lone powertrain and standard all-wheel-drive system are rated at 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. On our 75-mph fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, it earned 30 mpg highway. However, it wasn’t as efficient as the Hyundai Kona or Nissan Rogue Sport we tested. For more information about the EcoSport’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The EcoSport interior is functional instead of fashionable, which we can appreciate on the cheaper models. Too bad the cabin quality is underwhelming on top trims that cost nearly $30,000. Meanwhile, there’s ample passenger space up front but not so much in back. Compared with the classy cabins of the Kona and the Kia Soul, the tiny Ford’s interior disappoints. The leather-wrapped steering wheel felt rubbery, and most of the plastic surfaces felt hard and hollow. The SES model dresses up things with exclusive leather-and-cloth seats as well as copper-colored trim pieces. Despite its diminutive size, the EcoSport has competitive cargo space and storage. Most test results were average; the Ford proved itself a useful, albeit compact, travel companion with a few handy tricks. It held fewer carry-on suitcases than the Rogue Sport and the Honda HR-V but had higher capacity than the other similar competitors. The EcoSport has an assortment of interior storage spots, but none are very large. A sealable vent in the glovebox connects with the vehicle’s air conditioner to create a climate-controlled compartment.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The EcoSport offers two levels of infotainment, with the top version based on Ford’s user-friendly Sync 3 system. It uses an 8.0-inch touchscreen packed with features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces. Base models have a basic display with Bluetooth compatibility but no other smartphone integration.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
While the Ford lacks advanced driver assists such as automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, the features that are available align with most competitors. For more information about the EcoSport’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available blind-spot monitoring
- Available rear cross-traffic alert
- Available rear parking sensors
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The EcoSport’s warranty coverage is strictly average; those who want the best protection available should consider either the Soul or the Kona.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance