New in the sub-compact sport utility category this year is Ford’s EcoSport, a petite version of the Ford Escape that handles well in the inner city while taking all that a rough terrain in The Wild West may throw at it.
This car is for people who want an SUV but really don’t have the room or the budget for one (prices start at $20K) and want something that has a little bit of quality lesbian muscle to it. It’s a spunky smallish roadie for the 21stCentury, which, given Ford’s current inability to predict its future, may not be around next year. So for now, consider getting one of the EcoSports still in dealer showrooms in a month or so as they try to clear them off their lots.
The EcoSport has been on sale throughout the rest of the world for a while now and Ford couldn’t resist bringing it to the USA. Well, it didn’t have much choice. The success of the Honda HR-V and other subcompact SUVs (and other cars which really are just small cars that look like baby SUVs) prompted Ford to make something so that they could compete. Enter the EcoSport. It’s a car that I liked because it met my needs for a small car that, well, could meet my day-to-day needs.
Spectacular? No. Practical? In almost every sense of the word, yes. It’s 1.5-feet shorter than the Ford Escape and has about 2/3 the interior capacity, so right there we are getting even tighter than the already ‘compact’ Escape, which truly could escape because it was so small and agile. I will never understand why anyone needs to downsize from a situation that has already been downsized, but here we are in the 21stCentury, where getting small means going smaller and spending more just to keep afloat. Demand for smaller is getting bigger.
I had the luxury (and I do mean luxury) of testing the top-tier 2.0-liter 4WD ‘Titanium’ trim, which starts at $27,330, and for that, you get leather upholstery, heated mirrors, Bang + Olufsen and blind-spot monitoring. For the Base S trim, you get remote locking, hill-start assist and two (count ‘em, two) USB ports, to name a few. Somewhere in between is the SE trim that starts at $23K ($24.5K if you want 4WD) and that may be where you want to land. Mileage will be 27 city / 29 highway. That’s not bad. All things considered, the brand-new EcoSport is a car worth your consideration. Doing your homework here is advised, since even I got confused as to what would be on the final, or even what course I was taking.
Efficiency is the key to the future, and cars are getting more efficient by the hour, it seems. We as people are supposed to be getting more efficient as well.
Thank goodness I am not competing in that category.
Photos courtesy of Dave Bear