Updated EcoSport sets course for America
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.
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.
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.