The Ford EcoSport is not a new car; Ford has actually been selling it elsewhere in the world, except in the U.S. However, following the success of rival models, Ford has decided to refine the EcoSport and introduce it in the U.S. for the 2018 model year. This 2018 Ford EcoSport is Ford’s smallest SUV. The automaker showcased it recently at Los Angeles signifying its importance for the U.S. market. Read along to find out more:
2018 Ford EcoSport Exterior
From the moment you look at it, you can immediately tell the subcompact SUV is a “Ford”. The front fascia in fact shouts “Ford”. It comes with the all-familiar grille that features horizontal slats. The front also features a small airdam with an insert surrounding it to make it appear larger than it actually is. The front fascia also features headlights and fog lights that are identical to the latest Ford models. However, the A-pillars are unique as they look curved at the bottom and rise up to feed into the prominent edges of the vehicle’s hood resulting in a very muscular stance.
The same story continues on the sides where the subcompact SUV looks like a typical Ford model. Its side mirrors are mounted on the doors. It also features stylish front fender flares but they look as if they were forced at the rear.
At the rear, the hatch is as vertical as it can possibly be while the quarter glass bends towards the rear hatch. However, unlike many SUVs, the hatch is hinged on the driver’s side meaning it swings open from right to left and not upward. The rear also features a sculpted bodyline on the bottom of the door. Ford has placed a reflector on either corner of the rear fascia.
2018 Ford EcoSport Interior
On the inside, Ford has used a sporty design. It comes with a wraparound dashboard with the passenger side of the dash curving sharply unlike on the driver’s. This creates an impression that the cabin is larger than it really is. Ford has used a basic instrument cluster with a large speedometer and tachometer that are only set apart by a small digital display.
The model comes with the automaker’s Sync3 infotainment system, which is mounted on top of the dash. The system features two large knobs on either corner with buttons in between the knobs. The steering wheel looks traditional as it features a divided third spoke and thumb buttons on each side of the other two spokes. The simplicity continues on the center console, which features BVAC controls, a knob and push buttons.
Not much detail was availed about the rear but considering the model’s size, legroom and cargo space will be tight. However, I expect the rear seats to fold down to allow expansion of the cargo space.
Engine Specs and performance
Since the model is still far away from being released, details about performance and fuel economy of its drive-trains are still scanty. However, the automaker has confirmed that the model will be powered by a 1.0 L, 3-cylinder mill or a 4cylinder power-plant. Both engines will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission system. Models with the 2.0 L, mill will be equipped with the automaker’s intelligent 4WD system.
Knowing Ford, I expect the automaker to derive these engines from existing setups. As such, the 1.0 L, EcoBoost mill will be sourced from the Focus SE sedan. On the sedan, the mill returns 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. This engine will be the most fuel-efficient. On the sedan, it returns 30 mpg in city, 40 mpg on highway and 34 mpg on combined drives. On the EcoSport, the engine will return lower numbers but it will still be pretty frugal.
The likely 2.0 L, engine is the one that currently powers the Ford Focus. The engine is rated at 160 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque, which is quite okay for a top trim of a subcompact SUV. The engine also has some impressive fuel economy figures at 26 mpg in city, 38 mpg on highway and 31 mpg on combined drives.
Price and release date
The 2018 Ford EcoSport is still far away from making its sales debut. Actually, according to credible sources, the model won’t hit dealerships until the first quarter of 2018. As such, the automaker has not said anything about its price. However, I expect the model to start at around $19,000 with the top trim going for as much as $25,000.
The automaker will look to price it competitively to beat rivals as pricing plays an important role in this segment. Buyers in this segment are price sensitive and would not hesitate to shift their focus to rival models were the price to be varied significantly.