The subcompact crossover market is exploding in the U.S., and Ford is looking to get in on the action by bringing its Fiesta-based EcoSport stateside. The tiny crossover, which has been on sale in other markets around the world since 2003, gets a face-lift for its U.S. debut ahead of the L.A. Auto Show.
The 2018 Ford EcoSport looks mostly the same as it did when the second-gen model arrived for the 2012 model year. The front end adopts the new corporate hexagonal grille along with new headlights and foglights. The interior has also been brought up to date with a free-standing infotainment screen and a simplified dash design.
The EcoSport will be offered in four trim levels: S, SE, SES, and Titanium. Buyers will have a choice between two powertrains: the 1.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost I-3 or a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated I-4. Ford doesn’t reveal specs for those engines, but the 1.0-liter EcoBoost makes 123 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque in the Fiesta and Focus, and Ford’s 2.0-liter makes 160 hp and 146 lb-ft in the Focus. Both engines are backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. Models equipped with the 2.0-liter come standard with all-wheel drive. SES models feature all-wheel drive, a sport-tuned suspension, and unique styling cues such as copper interior accents.
To appeal to millennials, the Ford EcoSport will be offered in 10 exterior colors and will have seven interior ambient light choices. The EcoSport will also offer a Ford-exclusive 675-watt B&O Play audio system by Harman, which features 10 speakers, including door-mounted tweeters and a rear subwoofer. The EcoSport will also offer Sync 3 infotainment and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. With FordPass, drivers can locate, start, lock, and unlock their vehicle from their phone.
To help promote its newest crossover addition, Ford is opening a dedicated consumer space in Hollywood. There, prospective buyers can check out the EcoSport and do other things that millennials like to do, like post to Snapchat with a unique geofilter, learn how to do nail art, and dance to live music.
Will Ford’s late entry into the subcompact crossover market—and its aggressive campaign to attract young buyers—pay off? We’ll find out after the EcoSport goes on sale in early 2018.
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