|20.9||Cargo Space (cu.ft.)||18.5|
When you're looking for a car that offers the passenger seating, cargo space, and high seating position of an SUV, but you don't want the heavy curb weight, historically poor fuel economy, or overall bulky feel, a subcompact SUV can be a great option. These models combine the best qualities of a regular car, like good fuel efficiency and easy steering, with the desirable qualities of an SUV, like passenger and cargo volume. And when it comes to deciding on which subcompact SUV to get this year, it often comes down to the 2022 Ford EcoSport vs 2022 Jeep Renegade for many drivers.
Both of these sporty vehicles are a lot of fun to drive and have available all-wheel drive. Combine that with their seating and cargo capacity, and they're clearly ready for long road trips with adventurous detours. While Jeep is often the first thought when considering cars ready for camping trips and outdoor excursions, Ford shouldn't be forgotten and is a star in the areas of passenger comfort and reliability. Both of these vehicles are loaded with features that make them of high interest to anybody looking for an easy-to-maneuver, light SUV. Deciding which one is best requires a deeper dive. Let's take a look at how these two vehicles are the same and how they differ.
Drivers looking at any type of SUV––from subcompact to full-size––are often in the market for a good road trip car. But going on a road trip means making many stops at the gas tank. Seeing that dollar figure skyrocket while you fuel up can be disheartening––but it's a common experience when driving a large SUV. It's even more common given the current gas prices. Fortunately, these smaller SUVs have good fuel economy. The 2022 Ford EcoSport and 2022 Jeep Renegade are about head to head, with both models rated for 23 MPG city and 29 MPG highway when equipped with all-wheel drive.
If you're wondering how often you'll have to pull over to get gas, it's worth noting that the Ford has about a 345-mile range, and the Jeep has about a 330-mile range. So you'll need to make gas stops a bit more frequently with the Jeep Renegade. What ultimately contributes to the difference in fuel economy here is the curb weight. The Ford's lighter build allows it to be more fuel-efficient––it just has less to carry in its own body weight. The lighter build of the Ford also makes it slightly easier to maneuver than the Jeep.
Ground clearance is often a selling point on these subcompact SUVs, so looking at that is important, too. The 2022 Ford EcoSport enjoys a nice 7.8 inches of ground clearance for nice driver visibility. The Jeep has between 6.7 to 8.7 inches, depending on which trim or drivetrain you get. The front-wheel drive options will have lower clearance than the all-wheel drive models. Speaking of which, the Ford comes with standard all-wheel drive, but if you want that on the Jeep, you'll have to pay extra.
Moving inside of the vehicle, there's a lot to love and explore in both of these cars. Since subcompact SUVs are so popular for road trips, it's important that these vehicles have plenty of room for all of your stuff. Between those small items that keep passengers happy in the car, like magazines, drinks, and iPads, and the equipment you need at your destination, like coolers and floaties, there's a lot to carry.
Coming in first in the cargo department, the Ford EcoSport boasts 20.9 cu.ft. of cargo room. The Jeep only has 18.5 cu.ft. of cargo room. It's not a huge difference, but you'll feel it when squeezing in those last-minute bags and other items. The Ford is also rich with small, smartly-placed pockets and compartments throughout the car, helping passengers and the driver keep little essentials nearby. The Jeep Renegade is somewhat lacking in these types of cubbies, which can become a nuisance on long drives. For those times you want to make more room for stuff instead of people, the Ford has 40/60 split rear seats, and the Jeep has rear seats that fold flat, so you can make more cargo space when necessary in either of these cars.
As for the little luxuries that make a big difference, the Ford EcoSport has a vent in the glovebox that links up to the air conditioning––which lets you keep snacks and drinks cold on the road. It also has a panoramic sunroof to soak up some extra daylight and an available 10-speaker sound system to rock out to tunes on the way to your destination. The Jeep Renegade has a good sound system, too, but it tops out at nine speakers. Both of these cars have an available 4G Wi-Fi hot spot, so everyone can stay connected while on the road, streaming shows, reading emails, and more.
Drivers take their subcompact SUVs off the beaten path a lot. And because these are such popular road trip cars, they regularly go to new and unfamiliar territory, too. That's why driver assistance features are so important on these cars.
The 2022 EcoSport has some very useful driver assistance features, including available blind-spot monitoring that keeps an eye on those tricky spots when you can't. It also has rear cross-traffic alert that notifies you of an oncoming vehicle when backing out of driveways and rear parking sensors that can prevent those little dings and scratches when getting into tight parking spots. The hill start assist is a nice addition––it allows you to seamlessly switch from the brakes to the gas without rolling backward when on an incline. As for those times you go off simple city streets or paved highways, the standard AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control on the Ford comes in handy. It allows for good control on snow, gravel, wet roads, and pavement.
The Jeep Renegade offers impressive safety features, too. It also has the blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert found in the Ford. And it has standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking that stops the car if you get too close to other vehicles. The Jeep has its own system that improves traction on uneven or loose roads called the Selec-Terrain Traction Management System. Like the Ford's AdvanceTrac, it comes in handy when driving on mud, snow, or other unusual terrain. Both of these vehicles are designed to minimize the chances of accidents on the road and give you increased control under a number of conditions.