There are lots of details to consider when comparing new SUVs for 2020, such as the 2020 Jeep Renegade vs 2020 Ford EcoSport. The 2020 Jeep Renegade distinctly stands out from the pack, with styling that’s reminiscent of a classic Wrangler, complete with genuine off-road capability and generous driver-assist safety features. Drivers have the option to upgrade to four-wheel drive on any trim level when it isn’t already included as standard, that is.
Predicted to be one of its top competitors, the 2020 Ford EcoSport also offers the option of all-wheel drive on any trim level. It includes more front-seat technology in its standard models than in the past, with a user-friendly Sync 3 Infotainment system. However, the lack of tech-savvy driving aids could definitely be a miss for many drivers focused on getting top safety features, although it provides above-average cargo space for its class. Whether or not its engine options are powerful enough to carry multiple passengers and cargo without struggling remains to be seen.
Depending on your individual priorities when deciding on your next SUV, it’s important to be aware that several areas can differ greatly between seemingly similar brands. Even vehicles priced in the same range aren’t always equal. Here’s how the new Renegade stacks up against the Ford EcoSport for 2020.
Before jumping into exactly what these SUVs are capable of, let’s focus on safety first. Only time will tell how well a new vehicle actually holds up on the roadways, but the testing that has been done thus far on the 2020 models offers some preliminary insight.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is an independent reviewer that provides objective analysis for car buyers. In Frontal Barrier Crash Rating, both vehicles have earned a four out of five for overall in driver and passenger safety. In the category of Rollerovers, the Renegade received a four out of five rating, with an 18% risk of rollover. The Ford EcoSport didn’t do quite as well, with a three out of five rating and a 20.4% risk of rollover.
Key safety features that you can find in the EcoSport include a blind spot information system. This uses a rearview camera and integrated blind spot mirrors to communicate with the driver on potential hazards. The Renegade takes driver-assistance technology a step further by detecting cross traffic behind your vehicle when backing up. It also offers ParkSense rear park assist for added support when backing into a space. In addition, LaneSense lane departure warning on the Renegade is like a second set of eyes on the road, helping to nudge your vehicle back into its lane to help avoid a crash. Between the slightly better safety ratings, and the vastly more extensive driver assistance technology features, the Renegade appears to be a safer bet for 2020.
The Ford EcoSport has an 8-inch touch screen that can be connected to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, using voice-activated technology. The FordPass Connect system allows up to ten devices to be connected to a standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The Renegade’s touch screen is slightly larger, at 8.4 inches. Jeep’s UConnect system is also voice-activated and compatible with smartphone apps. It’s 4G Wi-Fi hotspot connects just eight devices, slightly less than the ten you can connect with FordPass.
Both vehicles allow for flexible cargo space, with fold-flat rear seats. The EcoSport offers good cargo volume for its size. The trunk can be opened to the side instead of overhead, making it easier to access depending on your parking position. The Renegade offers some creative storage solutions to help improve cargo flexibility. An adjustable cargo floor lets you load and unload gear more easily in the Renegade. Simply raise or lower the cargo bed floor to fit the items that you need to transport. It also provides above-average legroom in the back and plenty of headspace for both drivers and passengers.
Mechanical Power and Performance
The 2020 Jeep Renegade can have a 1.3-liter turbo engine or 2.4-liter tigershark engine. The same (1.3-liter) engine in the 2019 models, provided up to 32 miles per gallon on the highway with an output of 177 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. Using a nine-speed transmission and auto start/stop technology, the Renegade is able to strike the appealing balance of both fuel efficiency and power.
The Ford EcoSport is not really comparable in terms of off-roading capability or engine power. It has a max output of 166 horsepower with two gas engine options, a 2.0-liter or a 1.0-liter. Both are paired with a six-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Like the Renegade, the EcoSport also employs the benefits of auto start/stop technology to get maximum fuel efficiency; however, the best you can expect from the EcoSport is 29 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Jeep brand has a long legacy of off-roading capability. The Renegade’s stiff body structure and available 4×4 systems provide superior traction on any terrain. With five different settings, drivers can choose their terrain and customize the drive. Gain stability whether you are traveling on auto, snow, sand, mud, or rock modes. The Renegade is built with traction, water fording, maneuverability, articulation and ground clearance in mind.
Opting for the highest trim of the Renegade, the Trailhawk, gives you best-in-class off-road capability. It handles sharp turns with agility and is able to adjust to wet and slippery driving conditions with ease. These characteristics allow drivers to stay in control and fearlessly take on drives in the Renegade that other vehicles wouldn’t be able to handle. Although the EcoSport covers the basics by offering all-wheel drive, even its highest trim levels don’t go much further in terms of performance or capability.
Although not a deal-breaker for most people, another area to consider when designing your 2020 SUV is the exterior color options. The Renegade offers a much more vibrant color pallet, with spunky choices ranging from solar yellow, omaha orange, hypergreen, and colorado red. Other than blue candy metallic and race red, the EcoSport’s color pallet is much more subdued, based around brown, white, black and a few greys. Checking out the vehicle’s different looks both online and in-person can help you picture which SUV is the right fit for you.
The Ford EcoSport provides a few upgrades for 2020 that have improved upon its standard offerings from years prior. It offers some of the best cargo volume you can find for a small SUV. However, the Jeep Renegade is clearly a step above when it comes to driver safety aids and engine options. The suspension system and mechanical design of the Renegade are more suited to handle difficult terrains. By extension, it also handles quite well when navigating unpredictable city traffic or busy highways. Statistics on its superior horsepower and fuel economy make it a desirable choice for a variety of uses. Whether you plan to go out on a wild camping adventure, or you just need a safe and dependable SUV capable of handling day-to-day weather fluctuations, you can count on the 2020 Renegade to get the job done.