When it comes to choosing an SUV, you have to consider all of the feature sets and trims that come with each vehicle. But before that, you need to decide what size of SUV you need. There are many options, meeting various needs when it comes to passenger space, cargo volume, towing, and even maneuverability and comfort. For those asking specifically: “what size Ford SUV do I need?” This guide will run you through the different Ford SUVs, their classifications, their cargo volume, and their sizes. So whether you visit a Ford SUV dealer in Cincinnati, Palm Beach, or Los Angeles when shopping for a new vehicle, you’ll know exactly what to look for and what kind of SUV will fit your budget and driving habits.
Ford SUV Sizes
Looking at Ford’s SUV lineup, you may be overwhelmed by how many options there are. With eight different models to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin. So let’s start with the basics. All of the models in Ford’s SUV lineup fall into one of the four following size categories:
These are further divided into car-based crossover SUVs and truck-based traditional SUVs. Crossovers are usually cheaper and more efficient, while traditional body on frame designs are more rugged and better for towing and off-roading. The price changes depending on the size and seating, as well as the type of SUV you decide to go with, whether that be gasoline, hybrid, or all-electric.
Ford EcoSport – Subcompact Crossover SUV
The Ford EcoSport has been around for several generations since the early 2000s, and the four-door, five-passenger vehicle is classified as a subcompact crossover SUV. The EcoSport is situated on one of the smallest platforms in the segment, with a wheelbase that’s only 99.2 inches in length. It has a cargo volume of 50 cubic feet behind the first row and 20.9 cubic feet behind the second row, with a total passenger volume of 91.1 cubic feet. The turbocharged three-cylinder engine delivers a fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon in the city and up to 29 miles per gallon on the highway.
One of the major highlights of the Ford EcoSport is that due to its small size, it carries a very economical price tag with it. The MSRP for the Ford EcoSport starts at just $19,995. If you choose to go with an older model or a used model, you can certainly get one for far cheaper, which works out well for those looking for a budget-priced, subcompact crossover SUV.
Ford Escape – Compact Crossover SUV
The Ford Escape is a multi-generational compact crossover SUV. Much like many other compacts and crossovers mentioned in this article, it seats up to five people across two rows. Inside the Escape, you have up to 104 cubic feet of passenger space and a max interior cargo volume of 65.4 cubic feet. The Escape is also available with both gasoline and hybrid options, with the standard gasoline engine providing up to 27 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway. The hybrid delivers an estimated 44 miles per gallon in the city and up to 37 miles per gallon on the highway.
The 2020 Ford Escape also has a starting MSRP of $24,885. So it’s a significant price jump from the Ford EcoSport, but still cheaper than Ford’s larger SUVs. However, its size and moderate space, combined with the great fuel economy, make the Escape a popular option for shoppers looking for something maneuverable, compact, fuel-efficient, and easy to handle on the road.
Ford Mustang Mach E – Compact Electric Crossover SUV
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach E is Ford’s newest and most revolutionary SUV variant. It’s classified as a compact SUV and seats up to five passengers. However, it’s an all-electric vehicle with rear-wheel drive and performance that lives up to its Mustang name. The Standard Range battery pack delivers a maximum range of up to 230 miles and produces up to 255 horsepower, while the Extended Range version can take you up to 300 miles on a single charge. Finally, the GT version produces an incredible 459 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque.
The Mach E is situated on a 117-inch wheelbase and features 29.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat with 59.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row. The vehicle also has a total of 4.8 cubic feet of cargo space under the hood in the “frunk.” The small size and powerful electric motor are designed to make the Mustang Mach-E fairly nimble on the road.
Despite its diminutive size, the performance 2021 Mustang Mach E does not come cheap. The price tag has a starting MSRP of $42,895. If you’re working on a budget and need a lot of space, this probably won’t be your go-to solution. However, if you wanted a sporty compact SUV with luxury features and high top-end speed in the all-electric category, then the Mach E aims to fulfill that promise quite well.
Ford Edge – Midsize Crossover SUV
The Ford Edge is a four-door, midsize crossover SUV that seats up to five people and is available in two drivetrain configurations, including front-wheel and all-wheel drive. Size-wise, it’s situated between a compact SUV and a full-size SUV. The Edge sports multiple powertrains, producing up to 335 horsepower in the high-performance ST trim. With the standard engine, the Edge has a fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway.
Situated on a 112-inch wheelbase, the Edge offers up to 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and a total of 73.4 cubic feet of cargo volume within the cabin with the rear seats folded. The Edge also features a max passenger volume of 113.9 cubic feet, providing much more space than the Mach E or Escape by comparison. The MSRP for the 2021 Ford Edge starts at $31,250, which remains quite affordable for the size and performance.
Ford Bronco – Midsize Off-Road SUV
The Ford Bronco started out much closer to being a jeep, but the latest version has evolved into what’s considered a midsize SUV without losing its off-road performance. The four-door Bronco seats up to five people with a total cargo space of 77.6 cubic feet, while the compact two-door version has 52.3 cubic feet of cargo volume.
This SUV comes standard 4×4 and has multiple powertrains. The base engine is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine with up to 270 horsepower, while the optional 2.7-liter EcoBoost provides 310 horsepower. The Bronco is also the only Ford SUV to offer a manual transmission option. The size makes it easy to maneuver, and the 4×4 capabilities give it great off-road presence, much more-so than every other vehicle mentioned in this article.
The highlight of the Bronco is that it comes in multiple trims with many different packages and configuration options. This allows for a much more flexible pricing setup compared to some other SUVs that Ford has to offer. The starting MSRP for the 2021 Ford Bronco is $28,500 for the two-door and $34,796 for the four-door.
Ford Explorer – Midsize Crossover SUV
The sixth generation of the Ford Explorer now shares a platform with the Lincoln Aviator, putting its wheelbase at 119 inches and giving it a total seating capacity of seven passengers. The Explorer comes with three different powertrain options that deliver up to 400 horsepower for the ST trim and a fuel economy of up to 27 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway for the hybrid.
The much larger size of the Explorer means that it can be harder to maneuver on narrow roads and more difficult to park in the city. However, with up to 87.8 cubic feet of total cargo space when all rear seats are folded and a passenger volume of 152.7 cubic feet, you have plenty of room not only to store your goods but also to stretch your arms and legs.
Amenities such as space come at a cost, though, and the 2021 Ford Explorer has a starting MSRP of $32,225. However, if you chose to go the pre-owned route, this would make for quite a catch for those in need of a fully equipped midsize SUV.
Ford Expedition – Full-Size SUV
The current Ford Expedition seats up to eight people while older models can accommodate nine passengers. This behemoth is rightfully classified as a full-size SUV. The Expedition sits on a 119-inch wheelbase, but there is also the stretched Expedition MAX with its 131-inch wheelbase. This means it’s quite large, and that’s readily reflected with its expansive interior space.
The Expedition MAX provides up to 172 cubic feet of passenger volume and up to 121.5 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the first row, while the standard Expedition has the same passenger volume and 104.6 cubic feet of cargo space. The Ford Expedition’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 delivers 375 horsepower and a fuel economy rating of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon on the highway. Starting at an MSRP of $49,995, the Expedition is a significant step up from the other entries in this article, but it also provides the most space and luxury features as well.
Which Ford SUV Is Right for You?
Your budget and your size preferences should ultimately determine what sort of SUV you’re targeting for purchase. Smaller sizes mean better maneuverability and fuel economy, but it comes at the cost of luxury and space. Alternatively, more space and cargo capacity also means more mass to handle and a higher price. So you may have to find something between functionality and your financial ceiling.