The purpose of this study is to investigate the startability characteristics of a single cylinder direct injection compression ignition engine fueled with ethanol and blended with ignition improvers. The engine is modified to increase the compression ratio from 18:1 to 23:1 and 28:1. In this study, glycerol ethoxylate and palm oil methyl ester (POME) are considered as the ignition improvers blended with ethanol in various concentrations. Engine speed is used as the key parameter to explain the startability characteristics and categorize them into four types. Type A has excellent engine startability similar to diesel. Type B has good engine startability. Type C has fair engine startability. Engine startability for Type D is unsuccessful. The results show that increasing the concentration of the ignition improver enhances engine startability and reduces the number of misfiring cycles due to improvements in combustion. Glycerol ethoxylate is more effective in improving the quality of startability than POME. For a compression ratio of 28:1, blending ethanol with 10% glycerol ethoxylate and 30% POME can get excellent engine startability characteristics like the diesel case.