All You Need to Know About the 2018 Ford EcoSport
By Bryan D on May 17, 2018
Let’s face it, Ford are no strangers to the SUV market, and realistically should be in a great position to know exactly what their audience are looking for. They’ve built up experience through their Escape, Edge, Explorer and Expedition SUV models. But, now they’ve decided to create another with the EcoSport, which is a smaller subcompact to add to their range.
Ford have already tested the waters with the EcoSport for 15 years across South America, China and India. Now they feel they’re ready to hit North America and was released earlier this year. Let’s see how well it sells and find out if it’s a vehicle the US market are searching for.
Just by looking at the exterior, you’ll notice that it’s a Ford car; the hexagonal style grille, large blocky headlights and faux skid plate point towards it being one of their models. Another thing you’ll notice is the gap between the underside of the car and the ground. To be precise, there’s 7.8-inches of ground clearance, which immediately places it ahead of its competitors for coping with difficulty conditions and terrains.
Moreover, Ford have decided to introduce a massive cargo area into their subcompact, which will never make you feel like you’re restricted for storage space. If you fold the seats down, you’ll have 50.0 cubic-feet of room to play with. The EcoSport is based on the Ford Fiesta chassis, which makes it seem like a bloated economy car, or just a tiny SUV; make of that what you will.
The small theme continues as you step inside, with the interior very narrow. As a result, there’s limited leg and head room, which means it’s not ideal for families. Well, unless you want endless quibbles over the lack of personal space? Depending on the variant you choose, you could have a 4.2, 6.5 or 6-inch touch screen infotainment system which sits on top of the dashboard.
It has Ford’s Sync 3 technology, which includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Alexa voice-command. Plus, another wonderful feature is the 4G LTE-powered Wi-Fi hotspot which gifts connection for up to 10 people. Additionally, you’ll find a push-to-start button, full leather seats, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers and 10 speakers dotted around for crisp B&O audio.
Now, in terms of performance, it doesn’t exactly shine. But, for an affordable subcompact SUV, you can’t really expect it to perform like a Mercedes-AMG. So, the standard model comes with a turbocharged 1.0-litre three or four-cylinder engine, which is naturally aspirated. With that, you’ll receive 123-BHP and 125 pound-feet of torque. However, there is an option to upgrade to a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine which bumps it up to 166-BHP and 149 pound-feet of torque.
Connecting the power to road is a 6-speed automatic gearbox, which hooks up nicely to the start-stop technology. You may not think it, but pulling away using the start-stop function is actually quite nippy, which increases the driving enjoyment dramatically. Although, fuel economy is where it falters, with a combined MPG of 25, and that’s on the top version.
Another area where it doesn’t do itself any favours is the handling; it’s very top-heavy which doesn’t give you any confidence going into corners at speed whatsoever. However, if you stick it at a reasonable speed, you’ll find that the drive is quite pleasant. Thanks to the active noise-cancelling technology inside the cabin, driving along the roads is smooth and quiet to say the least.
In addition, there’s a variety of safety features, with the likes of a rear-view camera and blind-sport warning signals coming as standard. The base price of the EcoSport comes in just shy of $20,000, at $19,995. But, you can end up paying much more if you want an upgraded variant. The SE is $23,000, the Titanium is $25,880 and the SES is $26,880, plus there’s all the extras that you can choose from such as the 2.0-litre engine and increase safety features.
It’s all-round sound subcompact SUV, but the small size of the car plus the average performance doesn’t make it a stand-out car in its category.