The 2020 Honda HR-V and Ford EcoSport are two very different entries in the crowded subcompact SUV category. They show the wide range of choices out there for people shopping for a small SUV.
2020 Honda HR-V
Above Average: Highly versatile cargo space, fuel economy, fun to drive
Below Average: Somewhat underpowered, advanced safety doesn’t come standard
Consensus: The 2020 Honda HR-V is the very definition of small on the outside, large inside. Clever features such as Honda’s Magic Seat make it easy to fit large items in this diminutive SUV. The HR-V also boasts standard smartphone connectivity, as well as Honda’s proven reputation for reliability and resale value.
2020 Ford EcoSport
Above Average: High-tech features, peppy optional engine, side-hinged cargo door for easy loading
Below Average: Sluggish base engine, lack of advanced safety features
Consensus: The 2020 Ford EcoSport has rugged good looks, cool tech, and more towing capacity than other subcompact SUVs.
HR-V vs. EcoSport: Functional Fun vs. Rugged High-Tech
After the HR-V’s major update for 2019, the 2020 Honda HR-V remains mostly unchanged. The model range offers a wide variety of trim levels and optional features, including all-wheel drive — which isn’t available in every subcompact SUV out there. It’s got surprising room for people and packages inside. Credit Honda’s clever space management system, centered around the flat-folding Magic Seat. All but the base LX trim level come with Honda’s very good Honda Sensing system. This suite of safety features includes adaptive cruise control, collision and road departure warning, and lane-keeping assistance. On the road you might wish for more power, but it is a nimble vehicle with a comfortable ride.
What the 2020 Ford EcoSport lacks in passenger and cargo space and interior versatility it makes up for with cool technology and bold styling. The base EcoSport comes equipped with a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine that puts out a paltry 123 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. Unless your budget is just too tight, go with the 2.0-liter inline-4 engine on the AWD drive EcoSport. It puts out 166 horsepower and 149 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy will suffer with the larger engine (23/29 mpg city/highway vs. 27/29 mpg city/highway in the base engine), but daily life will be much better. The interior of the Ford EcoSport is a mixed bag. It lacks in rear seat space, and there are lots of hard plastics everywhere. The big infotainment screen is a nice plus, however. We also liked the swing-out rear door and the commanding seating position from the driver’s seat.
These subcompact SUVs have standard smartphone connectivity and offer 5-passenger seating and true-to-brand styling at a very good price.
Honda HR-V Advantages
Excellent interior flexibility, better fuel economy, more powerful engine, more agile handling, better resale value.
Ford EcoSport Advantages
The improved Sync3 system comes with an 8-inch touch screen that is easy to operate. The side-opening rear hatch is a unique cargo-loading solution.
The Honda HR-V achieves a lot of capability in a vehicle with a small footprint. You can carry large items in it that would be near impossible in other subcompact SUVs. It also boasts great resale value and reliability. It’s a subcompact SUV we highly recommend. Between the weak base engine, the lack of some advanced safety features at any trim level, and the hard plastics throughout the cabin, the EcoSport just doesn’t hold a candle to the HR-V.
Ready to buy a Honda HR-V or Ford EcoSport? Shop now for one on sale near you.
|2020 Honda HR-V||2020 Ford EcoSport|
|Engine||1.8-liter I4||1.0-liter I3|
|Horsepower||141 hp @ 6,500 rpm||123 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque||127 lb-ft @ 4,300 rpm||125 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm|
|Transmission||Continuously variable||Automatic, 6-spd|
|Fuel Economy||30 mpg (28 city/34 hwy)||28 mpg (27 city/29 hwy)|
|Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||5 Stars||4 Stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||102.8 inches||99.2 inches|
|Overall Length||170.4 inches||161.3 inches|
|Width||69.8 inches||81.0 inches|
|Height||63.2 inches||64.8 inches|
|Turning Diameter||37.4 feet||N/A|
|Headroom, Front||39.5 inches||39.6 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||38.3 inches||37.5 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.2 inches||42.9 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||39.3 inches||36.7 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||56.8 inches||53.3 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||54.5 inches||51.3 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||100.1 cu. ft.||91.1 cu. ft.|
|EPA Cargo Volume (behind first row)||58.8 cu. ft.||50.0 cu. ft.|