2018 Ford EcoSport SES AWD – Bottom Line Review

(Contributing Editor: Tomasz Paluch)

Economy (En.) = derived from the Greek words “οικος” (En. “family”) + “νεμομαι” (En. “management”) and pertains to the management of household resources.

The omicron + iota dipthong is in “oikos” pronounced as a long English letter ē vowel.

Fuel Economy = management of fuel resources, in most cases, petroleum. The letter “e” in “economy” is similarly pronounced as a long letter ē vowel.

Roadblazing.com now investigates the mystery of Ford ignoring proper Greek pronunction, emphasizing that it’s new 2018 EcoSport entry in the cute ute foray should be pronounced with a short letter “ê” as in the echo made by a voice in a deep cave.

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WHAT: All-new to North America 2018 Ford EcoSport 2.0L SES AWD  sub-compact sports activity vehicle, built on the B2E platform, shared with Mk. 6 Fiesta (Mk. 7 available only outside the U.S.). EcoSport is assembled in 6 countries since the 2013 MY.

Standard Power: 999 cc, turbocharged, direct injection 2 x Ti-VCT DOHC 12V I-3 cylinder gasoline engine = 123 hp/ 123 lb-ft  @ 3500 rpm + 6-speed planetary automatic transaxle;

Optional Power: 1591 cc, direct injected, 2 x Ti-VCT DOHC 16V I-4 gas engine = 166 hp/ 149 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm + 6-speed planetary automatic transaxle;

Optional Drivetrain (available only w/ 2.0L): PTU to viscous multi-clutch differential all-wheel drive.

WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: It’s larger bro Ford Escape, shrunken in the cotton cycle, splaying un-clad wheel arches further to the corners in a stubby stance.

2018 Ford EcoSport SES 4WD: Contains more active lifestyle versatility than the outgoing Fiesta city hatchback it is based on.

A-pillars form butressed valleys along deep raked hood, with flared headlights, reminiscent of Transit Connect;  Glass fills between A-pillar and sail panel;  Door mounted wing oversized mirrors; Octagonal Ford dark honeycomb grille with truck dual horizontal bars,  Lower dark gray cladding throughout, except at naturally bulging wheel arches;  Prominent upper and lower door creases;  Sharp rising belt-line;  Upright swing-gate;  U-dipping rear backlight; Flared wrap around split tail-lamps;  Lower swing gate bevel mimics lift-gate;  Lower rear fascia reflectors w/ integrate reverse lamps.

WHY: Purveyor of truck forays into cute utes.

WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since Spring 2018

WHERE: Ford new vehicle dealers

WHERE MADE: Chennai, India

WHERE TO: Front-wheel biased all-wheel drive, electronically transmits up to 50% of torque rear-wards;  side-to-side ABS torque vectoring;  Downhill brake control; +1 Sized right for narrow urban quarters maneuvers;  7.8″-inches ground clearance matched in segment only by Jeep Renegade; Able to traverse a grassy gulley; -1 No AWD lock.


Optional 2.0L I-4 lugs 300 lbs. > front-drive 1.0L I-3; Add slow throttle reaction to arrive at flirtation with notions of urban zip, while saddled with eons of motorway meandering;  6-speed planetary automatic = smoother than Ford DCT; Steering wheel dorsal shift paddles generate more commotion than locomotion, bouncing off the upshift wall at 5000 rpm;

Smooth rider, despite concrete slab motorway jounce resulting from the extra suspension travel + soft springing; Body control and grip find early limits; Slow to react steering demonstrates heft but filters road feel; Initial 4-wheel disc brake bite impresses, not so the weaker reaction at the end of pedal travel.

HOW FAR: 26 combined miles per gallon; 406 miles highway range.

HOW BIG/ LITTLE: Considerable usable space per small footprint

√ EcoSport wheelbase = 1.0″ < Jeep Renegade, 0.8″ < Chevrolet Trax , 3.2″ < Hyundai Kona

+1: 36.7″-inches Row 2 legroom = 2.1″> Kona, 1.6″ > Renegade; 0.9″ > Trax;

HOW USEFUL: Tall load aperture; 60/40% split incline fold 2nd Row seatbacks; Low load floor adjusts to 2nd Row seat incline fold;  Center console storage management + deep armrest bin; +1 Supportive front seat bolstering & lumbar contour; +1 Outward visibility from low cowl, oversized wing mirrors, narrow side pillars, tall tailgate window; 1 Sparse front & rear door pocket storage; 1 No cockpit swing-gate release switch; Tow Rating: 2000 lbs.

+1 Cargo space (max.) = 43% > Toyota C-HR, 3% > Chevrolet Trax; ≈ Jeep Renegade

2018 Ford EcoSport SES 4WD: Among segment leaders with 50 cubic feet expanded cargo space.

 HOW SAFE: 8 airbags; Rear camera w/ predictive grid; Audible rear park assist; Blind Spot Warning; Post collision S.O.S. alert; -1 Dim headlights -1 Lacks extensive driver assist suite.

2018 Ford EcoSport SES 4WD: Blind Spot Indicator

 HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY: Heated, leather trimmed cloth sport front bucket seats, 6-way power  driver’s; 4 power windows = front full express; Height adjustable front pax seat; Heated, tilt & telescoping, cross-stitched leather wrapped steering wheel; Automatic climate control;   Easy access left lower dashboard dimmer & rotary light switch; +1 Wind & road noise isolation; -1 Dis-used safety belt buckle B+C-pillar rattle; -1 Non-tilting, 2nd Row seats, -1 Constrictive 2nd Row knee space;

Cool Gizmo(s): Split compartment glove-box + passenger-side dash shelf;

Details Done Right: Soft dashtop, door arm & hand area inserts; Burnt orange dash, door & console accents; Blue-green night switch illumination;  Variable color cabin door, foot-well and console ambient illumination; Sun-wash resistant gauge binnacle;

2018 Ford EcoSport SES 4WD: Front passenger entry; Dual pocket glovebox + mid-dashboard shelf

 Nearly Non-Descript: -1 Hard plastic pillars; Scuff prone cargo area dark hard plastics; Add-on, non-distinctive sub-horizontal steering wheel spoke cruise control switches; Driver’s door window switches located too far forward

HOW “APP” -LICABLE: Dash-top 8.0″-inch Sync3 3-pane capacitive touch LCD infotainment screen; +1 Large icons; +1 Extensive voice commands; Voice learning hands-free communications; 7-speaker, 240 W w/ streaming audio & HD radio; Mobile powered Android Auto/ Apple Car Play application & navigation overlays;  Pandora mirror application;

2018 Ford EcoSport SES 4WD: Versatile and accurate Sync3 on-board voice command GPS turn-by-turn direction Navigation

Subscription based: Sirius XM radio (90 day free trial);  Sirius TravelLink traffic, weather, sports scores, movie listings, fuel prices, ski conditions apps (5 years);  WiFi hotspot;

2018 Ford EcoSport SES 4WD: 5-year Sirius XM TravelLink app suite subscription available

USB x 2, 12V x 1; 110V 2nd Row outlet +1 Segregated front center console device nook;

HOW MUCH: $26,740 = 2018 Ford EcoSport 2.0L SES AWD

WHAT’S MISSING: 2nd Row USB port

ANY COMPETITION:  Chevrolet Trax: +1 fold-flat Row 2 seatbacks, 2nd Row side air bags; Honda HR-V: +1 Dual fold Row 2 seating & cargo space;  Jeep Renegade: +1 Offroad creds, versatile T-top roof; Hyundai Kona: +1 Car-like ride, handling, fuel economy;  Kia Soul: +1 Hi-po turbo engine, cargo space; Mazda CX-3: +1 Cabin finish; handling; Toyota C-HR: +1 Funky looks

BOTTOM LINE: 1/3rd of a Ford Expedition Max

An automotive enthusiast since an orange toy VW Beetle ended up in his playpen and following him everywhere, George Straton has been chief editor at ChicagoNow.com/Drive-He-Said automotive lifestyle blog since 2010. In 2017 George established Roadblazing.com, dedicated to accurate automotive reviews, news and road trip stories. George is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Phoenix Automotive Press Association. George also happens to be an attorney and Loyola University of Chicago Ramblers fan. Present ride: 2022 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD Hatchback.


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