2018 Ford EcoSport ST-line

Since it made its initial debut in 2014, the EcoSport has undergone many changes as Ford tries to make it more desirable to buyers in Europe, something the automaker is yet to nail as evidenced by the model’s disappointing sales compared to its rivals. Nonetheless, Ford is not about to give up and continues to hook up the EcoSport with more upgrades. For 2018, Ford has hooked up the EcoSport with a host of new updates including a new engine but the most interesting news is the addition of the ST-Line. The ST-Line is the sportier iteration of standard Ford models. The automaker has also shifted production of the 2018 Ford EcoSport ST-line from India to Romania. The addition of the sportier version is meant to improve the EcoSport’s sales in the European B-segment which is highly competitive.

2018 Ford EcoSport ST-line

2018 Ford EcoSport ST-line Exterior

To get a ST-Line treatment means the model has to look more aggressive than its siblings. Well, in this case, to make the EcoSport Sportier, Ford derived inspiration from the US version of the EcoSport that we saw earlier in the year at the LA Auto show. Compared to the standard models, the exterior of the ST-Line is remarkable. The 2018 Ford EcoSport ST-line will feature a dual tone color finish with black pillars and roof. In addition, the grille is also black. The model also features new projector headlights while at the rear there are new accents that make the rear fascia sportier compared to standard models. Buyers who opt for the ST-Line will have an option between 16-inch and 17-inch wheels in either a dual tone black paint scheme or alloy finish. There is also an option for black roof rails.

To further set the model apart from its siblings, it features performance-inspired side skirts and front and rear bumpers.

Interior

Ford also revised the cabin to ensure the ST-Line looks different than standard models. To start with, the cabin features a flat-bottomed steering wheel wrapped in leather. The seats are made of part leather and part recycled polyester and finished off with a red contrast stitching. The handbrake lever and the shifter are also wrapped in leather. The model also features stainless steel pedals while its sill plates wear “ST-Line” lettering to set the model apart from the standard models.

In addition, the ST-Line features other upgrades that will be available to standard models including adjustable ambient lighting available in seven different colors. Ford also offers an adjustable cargo floor that when raised provides a concealed cabin to tuck in those things you do not want peeping Toms to see.

Like other trims, the ST-Line also gets the SYNC 3 infotainment system that is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The system is managed via an 8.0-inch (6.5-inch for standard models) floating touchscreen that also supports swipe and pinch gestures. There is also a 10-speaker B&O audio system for audiophiles.

Engine and performance

Being a performance-oriented iteration, Ford decided to equip the EcoSport ST-Line with a new engine. The unit is a 1.5 L, EcoBlue diesel engine that produces 125 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. The engine will also feature Ford’s Intelligent AWD technology. A 6-speed manual gearbox does transmission duties for the ST-Line. The Intelligent AWD technology enhances the model’s on-and-off-road traction.

Price and release date

Ford is yet to announce official prices of the new ST-Line variant of the EcoSport but it will definitely be more expensive than the standard versions. Currently, the base EcoSport model has an MSRP of £15,645 so expect the ST-Line to fetch over £16,000. Sales of the ST-Line will commence in the second quarter of 2018.

Competition

In Europe, the EcoSport contends with models such as the Peugeot 2008, Opel Crossland X and Renault Captur.

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