The Ford EcoSport 'Storm' was shown at Sao Paulo Auto Show and has been getting a lot of attention in the media thanks to its small size and great design. This is Ford's smallest crossover that no doubt is trying to emulate some of the success of the Buick Encore.
Of course you should never draw conclusions from concept models without having a drive (and sadly it isn't coming to North American markets), but nevertheless, there are good reasons to be excited about the EcoSport.
The EcoSport, as mentioned, is Ford's smallest crossover. Specifically, it is 157 inches long, making it 14 inches shorter than the new Ford Focus hatchback. It's also quite tall at fourteen inches shorter than the Range Rover Evoque. This creates a rather 'square' profile but that's no bad thing when it's so well designed. This is a vehicle that looks sturdy, sleek and rounded and that is topped off by some fantastic paint jobs, LED fog lights and big black grill up front. It also has a spacious interior despite being little and nippy.
The EcoSport will be selling for about $17,000 (based on the South African price) if you go for the cheapest model but will range up to $22,000. The 'Beauty' concept that was also showcased comes with 18-inch wheels and a great interior. That makes it a rather tempting offer and especially when you consider the fuel efficiency (it ranges between 27mpg to 53mpg).
Two engines are available: a 1.5 liter gas engine or a 1.0 liter diesel. It is front-wheel drive as standard, but four-wheel drive is an option.
Would You Get One?
When you combine these specifications and measurements, the result is a vehicle that's compact, comfortable and versatile – which increasingly is what a lot of people want from their cars. The Buick Encore's success probably wasn't a fluke and that's what Ford are betting on with this new model.
So why should you be interested in a small CUV? Let alone the EcoSport Storm?
The answer is that it solves many problems that we face today on a regular basis. The small size of the EcoSport means you can easily find your way around busy towns and cities, while the fuel economy will also be very appealing for anyone who has to stop and start regularly. If you've ever struggled to find a parking spot, then you'll probably benefit from this.
As a front or all-wheel drive vehicle you also get more versatility. The car has high-profile tires at 15-16 inches normally – and this gives the body 8.2 inches of ground clearance. What this means in real world terms, is that you can easily mount curbs so there's no worry you'll scrape your front bumper on the way to top up your gas.
Likewise, this ground clearance coupled with the four wheel drive means that you'll be able to handle potholes with aplomb. What's more, the car isn't going to break the bank and you'll actually get a very luxurious interior for your money.
Small CUV's FTW
Sure, a one or one point five liter engine isn't going to blow away any real motorhead and the cutesy look likewise isn't going to stop anyone from buying a Lamborghini. Clearly though, that's not who these smaller CUVs are aimed at. Actually the 'compact' feeling of a crossover like this is something that can be appealing to the right audience, but moreover these are practical vehicles that won't let you down and that can more than handle the challenges of modern living – of which there are many. That this new model also comes with a great interior, design and paint job is just the icing on the cake.
Let's just hope that it's as good as it looks!