The EcoSport might be the laggard entrant before, but Ford Australia is confident that this 2018 model - with its long list of updates inside and out - will sway buyers into the fold and away from rivals such as the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, and Nissan Qashqai.
Instead of just a broad overview of these changes in the prior announcement, we’ve now been treated to the official spread of variants along with the specifications and prices they’re attached to. There will be three to choose from, arranged as Ambiente at the baseline, followed by the midrange Trend and top-end Titanium.
All models will use a six-speed torque converter automatic to transmit drive to the front wheels, completing a brand-wide eschewing of the troubled dual-clutch PowerShift unit used before, with either a 1.5-litre three-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine in the Ambiente or the 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbocharged three-pot in the Trend and Titanium. Respectively, power figures stand at 90kW/150Nm and 92kW/170Nm.
The new EcoSport will start from $22,790, and while that doesn’t lend it the advantage of being the least expensive in the race, neither does it make it the costliest among peers. However, Ford is also banking on the improved feature and tech list to make up any possible lost ground.
Standard kit highlights includes 16-inch (steel) wheels, a rear view camera, parking sensors, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system running Ford’s SYNC3 software with compatibility for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also seven airbags, ESC, and cruise control.
The EcoSport Trend hits a sweet spot that Ford is counting on to resonate with most buyers, adding more exterior flair with door mirrors and door handles done up in its body colour, actual alloy wheels, black finish roof rails, and slicker highlights on the crossover’s front and rear fascia. Inside, there’s a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an upgraded audio system and a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with built-in satellite navigation.
In Titanium spec, the EcoSport comes with 17-inch rollers, a chrome grille, sunroof, keyless entry and start, climate control, leather-trimmed seats, automatic HID headlamps, rain sensing wipers, as well as more advanced safety features including blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
On paper, the 2018 EcoSport looks to be quite an update over the previous version. Though technically not an all-new model, Ford’s baby crossover might now have an overall package good enough to really give the more established players a good fight.
- EcoSport Ambiente - 1.5-litre N/A petrol - $22,790
- EcoSport Trend - 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol - $24,490
- EcoSport Titanium - 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol - $28,990