The Ford EcoSport is the smallest vehicle in the company SUV range. Clever marketing means it has been restyled to tie in with the shape of its larger brothers, the Escape and Everest, as well as the big Endura which is coming in 2018.
Pretty well everything forward of the windscreen looks different, with a sculpted bonnet featuring a central ‘power’ bulge a large trapezoidal grille and interesting angular headlights and foglight surrounds. EcoSport’s rear bumper and taillight designs have also received the sculpted look.
Three colours have been added to further brighten the appearance; Lightning Blue, Canyon Ridge and classic Diamond White.
Unlike many so-called SUVs that are really just tall hatchbacks, the Ford has 209 mm of ground clearance, putting it close to the 210 mm that 4WD drivers consider to be a minimum for real off-road use.
Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system is standard across the range. It provides voice-activated sat-nav on the upper models of the range Trend and Titanium.
Smartphone can be connected via Bluetooth or USB, with full Apple CarPlay, Siri voice commands and Android Auto compatibility part of the system.
A 6.5-inch screen is used on the entry-level Ambiente, a full-colour display is a full 8.0-inch multi-use touchscreen is fitted on the Trend and Titanium models.
Sync 3 also brings emergency assistance as standard across the EcoSport range, joining emergency brake assist, hill launch assist and electronic brakeforce distribution on all models. The flagship Titanium also includes blind spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert.
The MY2018 Ambiente is powered by a new 90 kW/150 Nm 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated engine producing eight kW and ten Nm more than in the previous Ambiente. It’s mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission.
EcoSport Trend and Titanium have a 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine with 92 kW and 170 Nm. It sits beside an automatic transmission for the first time, a new-design six-speed unit.
New seat designs and a revised centre console with a media bin have illuminated USB ports. There’s also a handy storage tray beneath the front passenger.
At this stage we haven’t had a chance to get behind the wheel of the 2018 Ford EcoSport, but will do so asap and report back then.
EcoSport Ambiente: $22,790 (automatic)
EcoSport Trend: $24,490 (automatic)
EcoSport Titanium: $28,990 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Ford dealer for drive-away prices.