The 2020 Ford EcoSport and 2020 Jeep Renegade are two sporty small SUVs with personality. Each has a different look and different features. Let’s look at the differences and make a choice.
The 2020 Ford EcoSport’s small build is a great choice for parking and navigating tight city streets. It comes with a comfortable interior and it offers a decent amount of cargo space for a compact SUV, with 20.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. The seats fold flat with a 60/40 split, providing 50 cubic feet of space. For a compact vehicle, that’s more space then most. The EcoSport seats five people in two rows; and for a small vehicle they can ride reasonably well in either row.
The 2020 Jeep Renegade seats five people and seats them comfortably, but the rear-seat legroom is tight. It has a little less cargo room than the compact EcoSport, with 18.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 50.8 cubic feet when the seats are folded flat. A drawback to its sporty boxy shape is lots of highway wind noise.
The EcoSport comes standard with a 123-hp turbocharged three-cylinder engine or an optional 166-hp four-cylinder engine. Both engines share a six-speed automatic transmission. When equipped with the more powerful engine, the EcoSport can tow a respectable 2000 pounds. That number is good for this small-size vehicle. Both engines are peppy leaving stoplights and at city speeds; and they feel athletic in and out of traffic on busy streets. It comes in four different trim levels: S, SE, Titanium, and SES - all-wheel drive can be ordered at every trim level, perfect for maneuvering new terrains. The base engine gets an economical 27/29 mpg city and highway.
The Renegade is standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 180 horsepower or an available option of 177 horsepower turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine. Both engines are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission, but neither provide great acceleration. Front wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is available. It also comes in four trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. Three limited edition trims are also available: Upland, Altitude, and High Altitude. You’ll want to bump up to the Trailhawk trim if you want to tackle rough terrain. When properly equipped, the Renegade can also tow up to 2000 pounds. The Renegade delivers an EPA-estimated 22/30 mpg city and highway, which averages lower than the EcoSport.
Tech, Safety, and Price
The Ford EcoSport comes standard with a rearview camera and Ford MyKey. The MyKey system encourages safe driving habits by adding extra seat belt reminders and letting you set limits on speed and audio volume. Available safety features include rain-sensing windshield wipers, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. It comes with a 4.2-inch display, two USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. It has an optional SYNC 3 user-friendly infotainment system, but in higher models it comes standard along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Attractively priced, the starting price for the EcoSport is $19,995 for the S model and ranges to $27,380 for the SES model
The only standard safety feature for the Renegade is a rearview camera. Optional safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, parallel and perpendicular park assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. The Renegade has a standard Uconnect infotainment system that comes with voice control, Bluetooth, a USB port, and six speakers. Available options also include Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, HD radio and satellite radio. The Renegade has an above-average starting price at $22,275 for the Renegade Sport trim to $27,794 for the Trailhawk trim. Top-of-the-line High Altitude trim starts at $28,640.
The 2020 Ford EcoSport and 2020 Jeep Renegade have similar features but offer different styles. If you want an affordable, sporty, compact SUV that is easy to get around town and in and out of places; but also plenty of room to hold the things you need, then the Ford EcoSport is your choice.