2018 Ford EcoSport Preview Dec 8, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

Built on the same platform as the subcompact Ford Fiesta, the Ford EcoSport is a subcompact crossover that will be imported from India to the United States for the 2018 Model Year. Initially designed for international markets dominated by smaller cars, the Ford EcoSport will be introduced in North America with unique features for domestic drivers. While this model is truly compact and efficient, the design conveys an impression of off-roading power with a large grille, faux skid plates, and black body panels.

Engines and Drive Feel

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Drivers who appreciate the style and feel of an SUV but prefer a smaller and more efficient vehicle will want to take a look at the EcoSport. The 1.0L EcoBoost engine is a great choice for most drivers and should be the one you take with you on your test drive. It delivers an effective delivers 123 horsepower and remains quiet and unobtrusive. That said, you shouldn’t expect this crossover to drive the same way a Fiesta. You will notice a controlled ride and solid feel paired to a six-speed automatic. There is also a 2.0L direct-injection diesel engine available on potential 4WD or AWD models. The turbocharged EcoBoost is a favorite among experts thanks to its efficiency and power while the diesel is a good choice for those who care most about fuel economy.

Interior

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Inside the EcoSport, you will be able to fit four adults comfortably. Although there are seats for five, you can only fit an additional passenger if you are willing to tolerate a tight squeeze. Frankly, drivers should only consider the EcoSport if they would already look at a smaller car instead of a full-sized vehicle. In that vein, the interior also has many familiar controls for those who have driven a Fiesta, including the major controls. Keep in mind that because of the EcoSport’s small size the cargo area is not huge. The hatch does open sideways, however, helping this Ford stand out and making it easier for those of all heights to reach the handles.  That said, in comparison to previous international versions the polish on the current model is much better with a leather steering wheel, moonroof, and refined fit and finish on the EcoSport SE. Compared to a sedan or hatchback, you will appreciate the nice ride height of the EcoSport, which lets you easily slide inside and delivers a superior view of the road.

Features and Trims

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You can configure your crossover as an EcoSport S, SE, SES, and Titanium. It appears that the SES will offer 4WD/AWD and rugged styling details. The SE offers a more upscale cabin. Available features include the SYNC 3 infotainment system, blind spot and traffic detection, leather steering wheel, moonroof, ten-speaker sound system, and power seating. Upper trims have keyless entry and ignition, front fog lights, electric windows, a cooled glove box, climate control, connections for auxiliary audio and USB, and a CD player. Larger wheels, automatic lights, rain-sensing wipers, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror are optional.

The 2018 EcoSport has a facelifted exterior, upscale cabin, and solid driving dynamics. While smaller than a traditional SUV, this subcompact crossover merits a second look from drivers who don’t need three rows of seating.

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