When we think about subcompact or mini SUV segment, instantly Nissan Juke or Mini Countryman pop to our mind. They made that market ultra popular, but they are far from first offerings. Kia Soul was there a year earlier, while Suzuki Jimny was present for decades. Jimny was not actually crossover, carrying ladder frame underneath, but we could remember more mini SUV offerings from the past. One of those would be Honda HR-V which debuted in 1999, and some time later Ford Ecosport was introduced in 2003.
WHERE WAS IT SO FAR?
Mentioned year of the revelation of Ecosport might baffle you as you may start to hear about it just now. The first generation was revealed by Ford Brasil, and it was sold just in Brasil and Mexico. Being a huge sales success it drove Ford into offering it globally upon the debut of the second generation in 2012, but still, US was out of its map.
Finally, the new model is here, and Michigan carmaker decided that 2018 Ford Ecosport is ready enough to take on US soil, joining the fight against Nissan Juke, Jeep Renegade, Chevrolet Trax, Mazda CX3 and quite a few more.
Let’s state that styling expression evolved a lot compared to the outgoing model. The grille is reshaped and moved upwards, we have larger and more serious headlights, and hood got two thin bulging lines. Unlike the front, rear changed a little bit, mostly due to the differently shaped skid plate.
The previous model was somehow too bleak in appearance while this one carries more character, as it seems that it tried to play more on the bulky and rugged card than trendy or posh. This is a more similar approach of Renegade than Juke for example, but it didn’t go through completely, and it stopped in the middle. In short, it looks as shrunk Escape.
Ecosport relies on Fiesta a lot, so the previous version had its cabin. Upcoming model again has Fiesta interior from the newest generation that just debuted, although this time there are some differences. We have the same 8-inch touch screen at the top of the dash, but air vents below it as well as on other places are shaped differently, and door panels are designed in their unique way.
If you are for some visual pleasures, you should probably opt for pricier “sporty” SES model which brings copper coloring around the cabin helping alleviate the sense of cheapness and blackness. Although we are talking about mini SUV, Ecosport is decently spacious, and it is well practical with over various size 30 storage compartment. Infotainment system features newest Sync 3 edition which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
UNDER THE HOOD
There will be a choice of two engines, 1.0-liter turbocharged I3 or naturally aspired I4, but the power figures are not announced yet. Both could be mated with manual or 6-speed automatic, while the bigger engine has the option of AWD. If you opt for SES trim, you will end with I4 and AWD, and plus to that, you’ll enjoy special steering and suspension setup.
WORTHY OF CONSIDERATION?
It depends whether you like it or not. 2018 Ford Ecosport is not as interesting or funky as Juke or Soul, and yet not rugged looking as Renegade, nor classy as Mazda CX3. Price is not announced yet since the car will arrive at the beginning of 2018, but we expect it to be fairly priced and if it drives like a true Ford it could draw customers looking for some cornering pleasure, giving Mazda fierce rivaling in that sense.
2018 Ford Ecosport Video