We Take a Look Inside Ford's New Subcompact Crossover
A few hours prior to the big unveiling of the new Ford EcoSport compact crossover, Ford invited journalists to get up close and personal with the little ‘ute. Because it won’t go on-sale until early 2018, driving impressions will have to wait, but here are some things we learned crawling around it.
Read more about the 2018 EcoSport HERE.
There’s a Lot of Passenger Space
When you see a vehicle this size, it’s easy to imagine the 2018 EcoSport will be cramped inside, but Ford has done a commendable job of finding passenger space. The rear seats are particularly impressive for the class, with ample hip, shoulder, and toe room. Head room is also quite good, as long as you don’t lean too far forward where the sunroof stores. Knee room is also quite good, as I, an average 5’9”, sat comfortably behind a 6’2” driver with my knees not quite touching the front seat. The seat cushions on the leather-equipped demonstration model were surprisingly soft and cushy for the class and would be comfortable on a long ride. The front seat area is more spacious and airy, though the center console cuts into knee room if you move the seat up too far.
The Rear Door Opens Sideways, and There’s No Spare Tire
The EcoSport originally was developed with other markets in mind, ones with rougher roads and buyers who demand full-size spare tires. Over there, the EcoSport carries its spare on its rear hatch like the old days, and the hatch opens sideways rather than up due to the extra weight. In North America, Ford talked to customers and decided the better idea was to save weight, not block any of the rear window, and improve aerodynamics. Plus, Ford felt the spare on the back looked dated. The hatch still opens sideways, though, as it would’ve been too expensive to reengineer the whole thing to open up. Instead of a spare, we get a can of fix-a-flat.
The Rear Seats Fold Flat, But Not Level
The 60/40 folding rear seat folds flat by by first lifting the seat cushion and then dropping the headrests. To make a flat load floor, you must then go to the cargo area (which is really small otherwise) and pull out the adjustable floor and reset it to the highest level to match the folded seats. This creates a flat floor, though not a level one. It angles up slightly from the hatch to the backs of the front seats, so secure items that could roll around.
There’s a Ton of Interior Storage Options
Ford knows you have stuff, and there are lots of storage options in the EcoSport. Besides the usual door cubbies and center console, Ford also put a little shelf above the glove box for phones and other small items. In the glove box itself, there’s a separate slot for the owner’s manual to keep it out of the way. The rest of the glove box can be cooled by opening a vent and turning on the A/C. In the back, there are multiple pockets in the backs of the seats, including small ones on the sides of the seats. In the cargo area, you can move the floor up to be flush with the hatch or angled up to match the folded rear seats. With the floor up, you can hide small bags and backpacks under the floor.
There’s a Lot of Tech
Every 2018 EcoSport gets a “floating” infotainment screen on the top of the dash. A four-inch screen is standard, while there are six- and eight-inch upgrades available. Sync 3 is available, as are Apple CarPlay, Siri Eyesfree, and Android Auto. Should you need juice to run everything, there are two fast-charging USB ports in the center console, plus a 12-volt power point. In the rear seat, a 12-volt power point is standard and you can order a 110-volt outlet. A 10-speaker, 675-watt B&O Play stereo with subwoofer is available to keep you entertained.
It’s Not Trying to be a Rock Crawler
All-wheel drive is optional, and it’s a fully automatic system. There’s no all-wheel drive mode to select, nor is there any way to manually lock it in full all-wheel drive. The computer will decide when additional traction is needed and send as much power to the rear wheels as it deems necessary. This, of course, means most of the time, it’ll be driving around in front-wheel drive to save fuel and send power rearward only when it’s really needed. The all-season tires should get you through the usual mud and snow, but it’s not intended for the serious trails.
Get more details on the 2018 Ford EcoSport in the First Look HERE.