Ford Unveils New EcoSport Subcompact SUV


Just this weekend my wife asked about the word ‘nomenclature.’ I explained it by giving the example of Ford’s naming strategy, or nomenclature, for its line of SUVs.

There’s the Excursion, Expedition, Explorer, Edge, and Escape.

Ford likes the letter ‘E’ for its SUVs, with the one exception being the Flex, which could be classified more as a wagon than an SUV. It should be no surprise, then, that Ford’s newest SUV, unveiled over the weekend via Snapchat, will conform to that nomenclature and carry the name EcoSport.

Yes, Ford chose a social network rather than a major auto show to unveil the vehicle to the public, much like it did in 2010 with the new Explorer on Facebook.

The EcoSport is a small SUV model that has been available in countries outside the U.S. since 2003. Ford made the call to bring the little ute stateside because subcompact SUVs have suddenly become huge business in the U.S.

Small SUVs are already the largest segment of the automotive market, and other automakers already sell similar models. Those include the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, and Jeep Renegade.

The new EcoSport, which will go on sale sometime in 2018, is a huge departure as far as Ford SUVs go. Its base engine will be a turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder motor that’s also used in Ford’s small cars. That should give you an idea of just how diminutive this subcompact really is. A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine will also be available.

The EcoSport will take a page from Honda’s old playbook and use a tailgate that swings out to the side rather than up. Ford says it provides easier access to the cargo area, but the design was long a thorn in the side for Honda drivers.

Speaking of design, the EcoSport brings one of the most unfortunate looks in modern vehicle history. Its top-heavy awkward look is punctuated by clunky A-pillars that extend up from fenders, and a face framed by triangular headlights and an Escape-inspired grille.

Prices for the new EcoSport haven’t been announced yet.

Would a subcompact SUV fit your lifestyle?


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