Ford EcoSport SES
Beats 9 hours in a 737
By Ron Amadon
On The Road in Pa. – Just saw on the news how some airlines are jamming more mini micro seats into their jets by reducing the size of the onboard outhouse.
Just what you wanted to hear after booking passage from South Florida to the Pacific Northwest.
That story came to mind after a 9 hour trek through Maryland and Pennsylvania in Ford’s subcompact crossover, the EcoSport.
All during that drive the leather and cloth upholstered buckets were very comfortable with nary an inflight adjustment through York, Harrisburg, and points west and then return to Mary-land. Manual lumbar support was a nice touch.
Kudos to Ford for a clean, modern and properly laid out dash design as well SYNC3 which was housed in an 8”inch screen just above the center console.
SYNC3 is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and is easy to become friends with.
One tip. Audio buffs would do well to opt for the optional B&O PLAY Premium Audio System by HARMAN.
In the SES there are two USB ports and two 12-volt power points.
But while those up front should be comfortable, the rear seats offer scant knee and leg room for adults. They really are just for children.
EcoSport offers 50 cubic feet of storage with those seats folded and 21 cubic feet with them in the upright and locked position. Both measurements are on the generous side for this size vehicle.
Consumers can choose between a 1.0-liter, 3 cylinder turbo with 123 horsepower or a 2.0-liter, 166 horsepower I-4 with 149 lb-ft of torque which was on board in the test car. You want that one.
Max horsepower is extracted at 6,500 rpm with max torque kicking in at 4,500 rpm. 0-60 in about ten seconds and a top speed of 117 mph with the weight of the EcoSport, at 3,300 pounds, one factor.
Fuel economy was not all that great dropping to 19 mpg when the six-speed automatic and the 2.0 liter were pushed during a romp on twisty roads.
Things improved during the long trip for an overall week long average of 26 mpg. EPA rates the EcoSport at 27 city, 29 highway for a combined 28 mpg.
Just 13.6 gallons of unleaded regular fills the tank which is satisfying when you pay the bill, but shortens the range between pit stops.
Handling and ride were fine with noise levels well under control on the interstates except when rpm limits were neared. Overall, noise levels were better than some rivals by my ears.
EcoSport suffered from poor visibility to the right and left rear due to the design of the roof pillar. So the Blind Spot Detection was a welcome addition.
Part of my testing of cars upon arrival is to see how many of day-to-day functions can be achieved without checking any manuals. How to open the rear door on the EcoSport was a challenge.
There was no remote open button on the dash or key fob or tucked in next to the license plate light. So on to the book.
The button that unlocks the door is under a chrome strip next to the right tail light. One would get accustomed to this but it is a rather unique placement. This is not a hatch, but a door that opens right to left, not nice if it is raining and a design that would make loading difficult in certain parking situations.
Safety features include a review camera and a post-crash alert system which we hope you never need.
Front and 4-wheel drive are available with the test model offering the latter, the only model where it is available. Attention Minnesota and Montana!
The Fiesta based EcoSport rides on a 99 inch wheelbase and is 161 inches long. It is comparable size wise to the Kia Soul and the Hyundai Kona which are an inch or three longer.
People ask about these things, so we will tell you the exterior is Canyon Ridge Metallic.
There are four trim models with SES and Titanium holding down the top spots.
Prices start at five bucks under $20,000 for the base S model with the 1.0-liter engine. The SES starts at $26,880. No price was given for the test car but with some extras and transportation one can edge closer to the $30K mark.
Down the road it will be interesting to see if this made in India subcompact crossover becomes one of the many electric powered vehicles the Blue Oval will offer.
If that is the case, let’s hope the addition of an electric motor or two gives this buggy the added power that it really needs while improving economy.