2018 Ford EcoSport Preview
- New subcompact crossover SUV
- EcoSport is sold in other places around the world, but now comes to North America
- S, SE, SES, and Titanium trim levels
- Turbocharged 3-cylinder or normally aspirated 4-cylinder engine
- Front-wheel drive, with optional all-wheel drive
When the Ford EcoSport (pronounced Echo-Sport) goes on sale early in 2018, it will slot beneath the Escape as the most affordable crossover SUV model in the automaker’s lineup. The new 2018 EcoSport will be offered in S, SE, SES, and Titanium trim levels, and Ford will provide complete details and pricing closer to the crossover’s arrival in showrooms.
Styling cues are familiar in that the EcoSport resembles other Ford products. Up front, it adopts a look similar to the Escape and Edge. The relationship between the front wheels and windshield pillars recalls the diminutive Fiesta. A floating roof resembles the Explorer SUV, while the short rear overhang and stubby tail is not unlike that of the C-Max.
What’s different about the EcoSport is the rear tailgate. It swings open from the side, right to left, requiring extra space in parallel parking situations.
Ford plans to offer the EcoSport in 10 exterior paint colors. All but the base EcoSport S get LED running lights.
Most likely, no more than 4 people will be comfortable aboard the narrow EcoSport, though 5 seat belts are installed. Ford promises “surprisingly spacious rear seats.”
Otherwise, Ford provides few details about the EcoSport’s interior. We know that ambient lighting is available, in up to seven different colors. Depending on the trim level, cloth or leather seating is available, and the sporty SES version is decked out with copper-colored interior trim and accents. Two fast-charge USB ports keep owners and their passengers connected.
Cargo volumes are unknown, but a cargo-management system helps to make the most of it. The rear seats fold down to expand space, and Ford provides 30 different spots throughout the cabin designed for stashing your stuff.
A handful of optional upgrades are confirmed for the EcoSport. They include a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, Sync 3 infotainment with an 8-in. touch-screen display and navigation, automatic climate control, Harman B&O Play premium sound system with 10 speakers, power sunroof, keyless access with push-button engine starting, and more.
Ford detailed the EcoSport SES, characterizing it as the sporty version of the sport-ute. It includes the larger of two engines, standard all-wheel drive (AWD), sport-tuned steering and suspension, sport-bolstered front seats, and special design details inside and out.
Under the Hood
A turbocharged, 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine is standard for the new EcoSport, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, and fuel-saving automatic engine start/stop technology. This is the same EcoBoost engine offered in the Fiesta and Focus, in which it makes 123 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. of torque.
When equipped with optional AWD, the EcoSport receives a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Today, Ford uses a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in the Focus, and it produces 160 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft. of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission handles power transfer in this version of the EcoSport, too.
By the time the EcoSport goes on sale, consumers will expect top-notch crash-test ratings. Ford confirms that a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert will be offered for its new crossover, but the company has not announced whether it will provide a forward-collision warning system with automatic emergency braking.
Ford understands that the EcoSport will be appealing to younger buyers. Therefore, the company will offer its Sync 3 infotainment system in the new model.
The latest version of Sync 3 features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone-projection technology, and with navigation the “floating” screen measures 8 inches across. Users can swipe and zoom using their fingers on the display, or use voice-recognition technology to issue commands.
Sync Connect services and a Ford Pass smartphone app supplies remote access to various vehicle systems. For example, the owner can remotely start the engine to warm or cool the interior, lock or unlock the doors, check the remaining fuel level, and more. Ford Pass also helps the owner to find out where the EcoSport might be at a given time.
Additionally, the EcoSport can be fitted with HD Radio, satellite radio, a dual FM radio antenna, and a 10-speaker Harman B&O Play premium audio system.