The verdict: Ford was late to the subcompact SUV party — its new-for-2018 EcoSport joined a crowded class of established vehicles like the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade and Mazda CX-3. Like the others, however, its backseat is best left to boosters; a lack of rear legroom made it tough to install rear-facing car seats.
- Latch: Although the two sets of lower anchors aren’t set too deeply into the seat bight — where the back and bottom cushions meet — the upholstery is rigid, so connection requires a bit of muscle. Three large top tethers are clearly marked, positioned a third of the way down the seatback for easy access and connection.
- Rear-facing convertible: We moved the front passenger seat up just a bit, but the 5-foot, 6-inch passenger still had enough legroom to be comfortable. It lost a grade because of the Latch connection, which requires some muscle.
- Forward-facing convertible: After removing the head restraint, this seat fit well. As with the seat in rear mode, installation with Latch required just a bit of muscle.
- Booster: After removing the head restraint, the booster fit well on the wide, flat cushion. The buckles are sunk into the upholstery, however, so kids will likely have trouble buckling up independently.
- Infant seat: We moved the front passenger seat forward, and our 5-foot, 6-inch passenger needed more room to be comfortable. It also required a lot of muscle to push past the stiff upholstery to connect to the Latch anchor.