Ford will expand its range of sports utility vehicles with a new micro SUV known as the EcoSport. The car promises to combine all the benefits of an SUV -- i.e. flexibility, high driving position, ability to enrage hippies -- with the economy, affordability and driving dynamics of a small car.
If this recipe sounds familiar that's because Ford has manufactured and sold the EcoSport in South America since 2003. The car's ongoing popularity in that region combined with a healthy European appetite for baby SUVs like the Nissan Juke has prompted the company to finally dish it out in places like the UK.
The EcoSport will be based on the same B-segment foundations as the Ford Fiesta and B-Max, but will sport a stocky SUV-style body with high ride height, large wheels and an outboard spare wheel on the rear door. It'll definitely stand out on your local high street thanks to a huge front grille and skinny, intricately designed headlights. We think it's a real looker, though the plastic cladding that runs the full circumference of the lower part of the car cheapens the look slightly.
Inside, the EcoSport will feature a variation of the typical Ford interior theme and will come equipped with Ford Sync. The voice controlled infotainment system lets you access everything from the navigation to music playback systems and will include emergency assistance, which enables the vehicle to contact the authorities in the event of an accident.
“Ford EcoSport will deliver great value, quality and fuel economy,” said Nick Collins, B-car vehicle line director, Ford of Europe. “It will also present customers with a fantastic small car choice that will also include the B-MAX compact multi-activity vehicle as well as new Fiesta.”
The car will go on sale within the next 18 months.