Is the Ford EcoSport reliable?

My grandpa worked for Ford, so I have access to the Z Plan, which means no dealership markups and can save a few thousand dollars. I want to get a compact SUV this spring. The Escape is too big and above my budget even with the Z Plan, so the only option that fits is the EcoSport. But my research has made me unsure about it.

Is the EcoSport really that bad? Should I stop thinking about buying from Ford?

I’m not picky about cars. I just want something reliable, with good gas mileage, and in that size range. Do you have any suggestions for similar SUVs at a similar price? I’d also like to know if they need to be ordered months in advance, like the EcoSport.

Also, if I go with another dealer, how much markup should I expect these days? I’ve only bought used cars under $10k before, and that was many years ago.

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I recently checked out the 2021 Ford EcoSport and found it lacking. While it’s good for city driving and offers decent cargo space, it has a weak engine, a harsh ride, poor visibility, and cramped rear seats. It also misses out on modern driver assistance features. There are better options available in the subcompact SUV market.

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My dad worked for Ford too, so I know about the Z Plan savings. I was in a similar situation when looking for a compact SUV. The EcoSport isn’t terrible, but it didn’t feel right for me either. I’d suggest looking at the Honda HR-V or the Mazda CX-3—they’re reliable, have good gas mileage, and are around the same size. You might need to order a few months in advance, though. As for markups, expect a few thousand dollars these days. It’s not like buying used cars for under $10k anymore, unfortunately.

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The Ecosport is the worst car being sold in North America right now in my opinion. The Mitsubishi Mirage is almost as bad. So, don’t buy them. If you want to stick with an American brand and a similar-sized car, the Buick Encore is a much better choice. The Trailblazer is also not bad.