Until you’re dwelling on Mars, you’ve heard that Ford Motor Firm has formally thrown within the towel on the sedan enterprise. It’s a surprising transfer, however not essentially a disappointing one, provided that the basic variations of these sedans weren’t all that nice to start with. However the efficiency variations of these sedans are particular. Should you want a sensible, reasonably priced car with a expertise for separating you out of your driver’s license, Ford has (or had) one for each finances, and that makes it a singular automaker.
However that’s the Previous Ford. Apparently, New Ford is all about crossovers, and its latest providing in these elements is the already-bought-abroad Ecosport. Does the EcoSport present a crystal-ball look into Ford’s future crossovers? For the corporate’s sake, I hope not.
When Previous Ford referred to as a journey “sporty,” it was often not Don Draper-fashion bullshit. You’d think, then, that it wasn’t kidding round when it named its new CUV “EcoSport.” Apparently, the joke’s on us. This factor isn’t simply non-sporty – it’s virtually stubbornly anti-enjoyable, even by the low requirements of the tiny-CUV class. It additionally manages to be foolish wanting, cramped, unrefined, and overpriced. As a bonus, it isn’t even all that nicely made.
Let’s begin with the styling. We will all agree that making a tiny field on wheels is a stylistic problem, and sure, this design’s a latecomer to our market, so it’s not the freshest design on the market. However there’s no getting round it: Seen from any angle except for the entrance three-quarter, the EcoSport seems too tall, too tippy, and an excessive amount of like a type of 5-buck diecast automobiles on the grocery retailer checkout.
Inside, issues are a bit higher – the design is engaging, and also you get a pleasant set of clearly marked gauges. Management layouts are easy and efficient, and whereas the B&B all the time argues about whether or not they like or detest the iPad-affixed-to-the-dashboard infotainment development, there’s no arguing how nicely the EcoSport’s system works – it’s massive, brilliant, clear, quick, and straightforward to make use of.
And with that, I’ve run out of good issues to say concerning the EcoSport’s interior. The seating place is excessive, because it’s wont to be on automobiles like this, however the seat itself is flat and never terribly snug. Rear-seat passengers are handled like schmucks – with the entrance seat set for my 5’10” body, I might barely get my size thirteen “Chucks” out and in of the footwells, and as soon as again there, each legroom and kneeroom have been in critically brief provide. Cargo space for storing is sufficient, however the tailgate opens horizontally, not vertically, so loading the cargo area can be difficult should you’re parallel parked.
A number of TTAC contributors have already commented on the EcoSport’s chintzy-feeling interior trim; having sampled an precise manufacturing car that hasn’t been clambered out and in of lots of of occasions a day at a car present, I wouldn’t go that far, however neither the supplies nor workmanship have been notably spectacular. Different particulars, just like the flimsy door handles, the hole-sounding door slams, and the mud speck I discovered embedded within the paint of 1 EcoSport on the dealership (the one on the showroom flooring, consider it or not), don’t converse properly for this car’s construct high quality. Time will inform, I suppose.
All of this might in all probability be a forgivable if the EcoSport killed it within the enjoyable-to-drive division, however in case you learn my introduction, you already understand how this film ends. Two engines are provided: a turbocharged 1.zero three-banger, and a 2.zero-liter naturally aspirated 4. All-wheel drive is an choice on the 4-cylinder model, and you may have any transmission you need, so long as it’s a six-velocity automated (which, fortunately, seems to be of the standard, non-DCT selection). I solely sampled the naturally aspirated all-wheel-drive 4, and whereas it’s satisfactory in cease-and-go visitors, when you drop the hammer at any velocity over, say, 35 or forty, all you discover is tons of NVH and virtually zero acceleration. The offender is weight: At three,327 kilos, this factor is 340 kilos heavier than a Focus hatch with the identical engine. As a bonus, the drivetrain is coarse and unrefined, and even manages to vibrate the steering wheel noticeably whereas at idle – a trick I haven’t seen on any car since my ‘eighty one Rabbit.
I wasn’t capable of push the EcoSport I sampled a lot, however based mostly on the final paragraph, do you think I’d need to? The reply is an emphatic “no,” and also you gained’t both. The EcoSport’s dinky size makes it straightforward to whip round in heavy visitors, and experience high quality is respectable, so I’m positive it’d be simply superb for slogging round densely populated metropolis streets – little question the setting Ford anticipates most EcoSport house owners inhabit. In another circumstance, this car’s virtually maddeningly sluggish.
That almost covers the “sport” a part of the EcoSport’s nametag; what concerning the “eco” half? Sadly, the EcoSport’s fuel financial system is virtually comically low for such a tiny car – the EPA charges the AWD SE model I drove at 25 mpg metropolis, and 29 freeway. Provided that you must flog this factor to get any sort of efficiency out of it, I think these numbers are type estimates.
Talking of comedy, let’s speak about EcoSport pricing. A base, FWD model prices $19,995 earlier than tax and supply; the mid-degree AWD SE mannequin I drove stickered out at round $27,000, and loaded variations push $30,000. That’s some huge cash for vehicle that stinks at doing something however trolling round on metropolis streets; if that’s all you want, then select one of many zillion Fiestas your native Ford supplier can’t unload, and save your self a couple of grand. For those who should succumb to the CUV craze, an AWD Escape is available in at round $25,000, and comes with non-embarrassing styling, the EcoBoost engine, and a again seat match for precise people.
I suppose the factor that bothers me most concerning the EcoSport – apart from the truth that driving it represented a 30-minute funding of my time that I can’t get again – is how half-assed it turned out to be. It’s virtually as if Ford, who was late to the tiny-CUV recreation, plucked this canine off the streets of India (the place it’s made), tacked an iPad onto the sprint, and figured People would purchase it for no different cause than our inscrutable want to drive tiny iPads on wheels which are proportioned like Air Jordan excessive-prime sneakers. If the EcoSport have been a Mitsubishi, perhaps I’d be much less harsh, however we’re speaking about Ford, which has proven an actual expertise for making automobiles which are related to individuals who like to drive.
If Ford has determined its future is all about crossovers, then that’s its name. But when the one really good feature on its newest entry into this courageous new crossover world is its infotainment display, I’d say that doesn’t bode properly for the Blue Oval.
[Images: Michael Freed]
– Reader Evaluation: Ford’s EcoSport is Neither ‘Eco’ nor ‘Sport’ –
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