The subcompact SUV category has blossomed with contestants in recent model years. These crossovers meet the demand of consumers who need a little SUV space for people and cargo, as well as the fuel efficiency cost savings at the pump. Ford launched its contribution to this class in 2019 with the introduction of the EcoSport.
It’s the smallest member of the blue oval’s SUV family, and some say its size might be its best asset for city life. But consumers wonder if this newer model crossover is as safe as some of its larger cousins, like the Edge and Explorer. We wondered too and took a deeper dive to find out just how safe the Ford EcoSport really is.
What some suggest is the best Ford EcoSport configuration
Not much has changed for the 2020 Ford EcoSport, other than the upgrade to include Wi-Fi hotspots on all models. There are four trims, although Auto Blog suggests the SE presents the most value.
Aside from the base S and upgraded SE, buyers can also choose between the sportier SES or, the more luxurious extras of the Titanium. Most models come equipped with a FWD drivetrain and standard three-cylinder engine, although the four-cylinder and AWD options are also available.
You’ll enjoy the basics you’d expect, though, and a little more with the SE, which includes leather, power-adjusting, and heated driver’s seat, and mobile pairing with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
But how does it rank in safety?
Some of the critics are quick to point out a few safety-related flaws with the Ford EcoSport. For example, the subcompact crossover has a few key driver assistance features like the rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring but seriously lacks in driver aid options.
Others in this class have far more standard features. Others point out compromising visibility from the driver seat, due to the vehicle’s small windows and thick pillars.
The Ford EcoSport has six standard airbags, including side and curtain airbags, but the shortage of tech is proving to be a significant safety drawback.
What the NHTSA and IIHS say about the Ford EcoSport
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn’t officially weighed in yet on the crash test ratings and safety evaluations. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has, and the results are marginal. The NHTSA ranks the Ford EcoSport with an overall four out of five stars. The tiny crossover did earn five stars in crash testing simulations.
But frontal crashes and rollover testing proved to earn four stars. According to the officials, the all-wheel drive version of the EcoSport is worthy of four-star ranking, but the front-wheel-drive variation only received three stars.
Is the Ford EcoSport a safe vehicle?
The short answer to this safety question is yes. The Ford EcoSport is a safe vehicle to drive and doesn’t fall short in any areas of essential crash test protection. And while it might not present with all the tech-best in terms of driver assistance features, you will have some great aids.
The Ford MyKey comes standard and encourages safe driving habits with speed and audio controls, along with seat belt reminders. There are also a few optional features you’ll want, including rear parking sensors and rain-sensing wipers. According to Edmunds, choosing the SE trim level will ensure you go home with the best the EcoSport has to offer.
The Ford EcoSport was ranked 14th in the subcompact crossover space by US News & World Report Cars, indicating there are probably a few other models within this segment with better value potential.
It will always boil down to your vehicle preferences, needs, and budget. But if you were concerned at all about safety, the Ford EcoSport does present as a safe ride. It just isn’t as safety conscious as some of its competitors.