Ford unveils refreshed EcoSport

It looks much friendlier
by Andrew Guerrero | Nov 15, 2016

Ford has been busy not only in keeping its little EcoSport competitive, but also to prepare it for the US market where it will face a lot of serious competition. The American carmaker has just unveiled the new EcoSport in LA, but this was not just any normal reveal—it was done through Snapchat. This of course is a big hint at the young and tech-savvy demographic Ford is targeting.

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In the US it’s considered an all-new model since this also marks the introduction of the nameplate in that market, but for the rest of the world this is a preview of the refreshed EcoSport. The most noticeable exterior upgrade is the cute-ute’s face, which is now more closely aligned to the carmaker’s other new crossovers and SUVs.

It features a new high-mounted two-bar hexagonal grille, which now proudly displays the brand’s blue oval badge. This is flanked by reshaped dual-chamber headlights which feature DRLs and signature LED lighting. Below it are sleek foglight and indicator units.

A cleaner lower bumper design which now features body colored sections replace the older model’s more complex contours. The rest of the body is pretty much untouched, but it does get some subtle detail tweaks to improve aero or reduce wind noise. At the back the most noticeable change is the reshaped rear bumper which is now slightly more substantial.

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The spare-tire-free fifth door like the one in the photos was already introduced in Europe last year, where it gets a tire repair kit. The external spare tire may still continue to be offered in other markets, not unless there’s a regional demand for the version without it.

Its interior has been completely redesigned for a more upscale look. Gone are the old Fiesta-sourced bits. The dashboard features a new instrument cluster which includes an analog temp gauge and a larger screen. New features include the SYNC 3 infotainment system, a tablet-like free-standing eight-inch touchscreen, and the available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity systems.

Audiophiles will be delighted to learn the top-spec Titanium trim features a 675-watt premium B&O PLAY audio system with 10 speakers that include woofers, tweeters and a subwoofer.

Two gasoline powerplants will be offered in the US: a 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost for FWD variants, and a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four for those who opt for 4WD. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine options, availability of 4WD, and list of standard features may vary between markets.

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Production of the US-spec EcoSport will begin in late 2017. No official word yet regarding its global launch schedule.

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PHOTO: Ford Motor Company
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