Automotive

Updated EcoSport sets course for America

Updated EcoSport sets course f...
The EcoSport will debut at the LA Motor Show, but doesn't land in showrooms until early 2018
The EcoSport will debut at the LA Motor Show, but doesn't land in showrooms until early 2018
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The EcoSport is designed look and feel bigger than it actually is
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The EcoSport is designed look and feel bigger than it actually is
The pre-facelift EcoSport launched in Europe and Asia Pacific, but never made it the USA
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The pre-facelift EcoSport launched in Europe and Asia Pacific, but never made it the USA
The EcoSport will debut at the LA Motor Show, but doesn't land in showrooms until early 2018
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The EcoSport will debut at the LA Motor Show, but doesn't land in showrooms until early 2018
Power comes from either a 1.0 or 2.0-liter engine
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Power comes from either a 1.0 or 2.0-liter engine
The side-hinged tailgate on the EcoSport is a point of difference, but not necessarily a good one
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The side-hinged tailgate on the EcoSport is a point of difference, but not necessarily a good one
Ford has comprehensively overhauled the interior of the EcoSport
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Ford has comprehensively overhauled the interior of the EcoSport
The touchscreen in the EcoSport replaces a button-heavy console
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The touchscreen in the EcoSport replaces a button-heavy console
The EcoSport is built on the same platform as the Ford Fiesta
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The EcoSport is built on the same platform as the Ford Fiesta
The front end of the EcoSport has been designed to mirror the Escape's face
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The front end of the EcoSport has been designed to mirror the Escape's face
The EcoSport is front-drive in EcoBoost form, and four-wheel drive in four-cylinder guise
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The EcoSport is front-drive in EcoBoost form, and four-wheel drive in four-cylinder guise
USB ports are a must have for new urban commuters, and the EcoSport has plenty
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USB ports are a must have for new urban commuters, and the EcoSport has plenty
Behind the wheel of the new Ford EcoSport
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Behind the wheel of the new Ford EcoSport
View gallery - 12 images

Ford was one of the first to get on board the compact four-wheel bandwagon, but its first attempt at the EcoSport wasn't particularly successful. It wasn't much of a looker on the outside and felt cheap on the inside, especially compared to excellent cars like the Mazda CX-3. Finally, Ford has given the EcoSport a refresh, bringing it up to scratch with a handsome face and modern interior.

Whereas the original EcoSport wasn't sold in America, the updated model will make it stateside. That has influenced a number of changes, chief among which is the way the exterior looks. Gone are the slim headlamps and odd, multi-layered grille, and in their place is a more conventional front end in line with the new Escape. It still can't match the CX-3 or Honda HR-V for good looks, but it's certainly a start.

It's a similar story on the inside. The button-heavy center console, which was inspired by mobile phones of the time when it launched back in 2010, has been replaced with a more attractive touchscreen running Sync 3 software. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both included in the package, and high-end Titanium models come with a B&O sound system.

The touchscreen in the EcoSport replaces a button-heavy console
The touchscreen in the EcoSport replaces a button-heavy console

Although we'll reserve judgement for when we've had the chance to poke and prod all the materials, the new interior looks like a huge step up from the cheap, dark interior of the outgoing model.

It's not all plain sailing though. The boot is still accessed through a side-opening tailgate instead of a conventional hatchback. Although it might look cool, and make owners feel like they're driving a classic four-wheel drive for a while, it also poses a serious problem anytime you park too close to a wall, or someone pulls in right behind you. At least the vision-ruining spare-wheel has been given the boot this time...

Power comes from a choice of two engines, starting with the turbocharged three-cylinder EcoBoost from the Fiesta. It's hooked up to a six-speed automatic gearbox, and powers the front wheels, unlike the bigger four-cylinder option, which comes with four-wheel drive as standard.

The EcoSport will make its debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show, but sales won't start until early in 2018.

Source: Ford

View gallery - 12 images
1 comment
JimSimons
I like what Ford is doing here, but I have a feeling that the price will miss the mark. At some point, I will need to replace my Suzuki SX4. Its still going strong and drives circles around other AWD options when the weather gets nasty on my commute over the Rockies. It has been 10 years since Suzuki brought the very well made & affordable SX4 ($15k w/nav & heated seats) onto the market... I can't believe how limited the AWD hatchback choices are today! Suzuki pulled out of the USA in 2013 as a result of our "mint" printing so much money that it simply wasn't profitable to import a low-cost car anymore. I was hoping Ford would deliver an affordable AWD Focus or "B" platform here in the USA and although the new Focus RS is pretty sweet, its waaaay overkill for 99% of the potential buyers. What about a simple 2.0L Ecoboost AWD Focus for $20k?