Seriously small crossovers really are becoming a thing these days, and Ford has just entered the fray with the subcompact 2018 Ford Ecosport. That means some buyers will compare it to the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, so let's see how they shape up against each other.
Exterior Styling: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
People don't buy these diminutive crossovers for purely practical reasons. It's for the look, and both have their pros and cons. The short scale of the Ecosport produces a slightly awkward, stumpy silhouette, while the Mitsubishi's somewhat more handsome outline is spoiled by styling that's far too busy.
If you like smooth and rounded you'll gravitate to the Ford, but if angular Japanese SUV styling is your thing it has to be the Mitsubishi. On balance though, the Mitsubishi has a slightly more likeable and modern style that should appeal to a wider audience.
Interior Space: Ford Ecosport
Despite the Ecosport being a good foot shorter than the Eclipse Cross and having a six-inch shorter wheelbase, the difference when it comes to interior space is much less than most would imagine. The seats, and therefore the driving position, are nice and high in the Ford and, believe it or not, there's more front and rear leg room in the Ecosport than there is in the Mitsubishi. There's slightly more cargo volume in the Eclipse Cross, but that's no consolation to cramped passengers, so the Ford takes this round.
Fuel Economy: Ford Ecosport
Small should mean economical, and both of these vehicles are reasonably frugal when it comes to gas consumption. The Mitsubishi is rated in front-drive form as good as 25 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined. That's not terrible, but it's not good enough to beat the Ecosport's front-drive ratings of 27 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined.
Engines and Performance: Ford EcoSport
The Eclipse Cross boasts Mitsubishi's first 1.5-liter turbo-four, an engine that will soon feature in other models and that produces 152 horsepower here. However, the Ecosport offers a 123-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo-three and a 2.0-liter inline-four boasting 166 horsepower. More power AND more choice hands it to the Ecosport.
This would be a tougher decision if the two crossovers were priced similarly, but it's hard to see the justification for the extra $3,300 the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross costs over the 2018 Ford Ecosport. Our recommendation is save some money and enjoy the greater legroom, power and engine choices of the Ford.