The compact crossover field has expanded rapidly in the last few years and it's fair to say the segment's sales will get a serious boost with the arrival of the Ford Ecosport, the latest utility model from a brand that knows a thing or two about this popular vehicle type.
While the Ecosport is new to Canada, the current generation has been on sale elsewhere in the world since the 2013 model year, so it's far from a new design, but don't expect that to matter to the legions of Ford loyalists who will like this little vehicle just fine.
At first glance, Ecosport is an ungainly little thing, its narrow body standing tall and sporting styling cues we'd call a mish-mash of the brand's current design language and that of its last-generation cars.
Available in S, SE, SES and Titanium trims, the Ecosport starts out with a 1.0L turbocharged three-cylinder engine that makes 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque, which comes exclusively with a front-wheel drivetrain. If you want AWD, it comes matched with a 2.0L four-cylinder good for 167 hp and 149 lb-ft, a combo that's optional in S, SE and Titanium trims and standard in SES.
Both engine/driveline packages use a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Ecosport goes up against a large field that includes established models like the Honda HR-V and Chevrolet Trax and more recent entrants like the Hyundai Kona. In our opinion, the Ecosport looks less modern, but seems competitive in most other respects.
S trim features include cloth seats with four-way manual adjustments, six-speaker stereo, Sync infotainment with 4.2-inch display, adjustable cargo shelf, trip computer, cruise control, 16-inch aluminum wheels, two USB charging ports, power windows, automatic headlights, blind sport side mirrors, capless fuel filler and a rear wiper/washer.
SE models gain a six-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, automatic climate control, satellite radio, Sync 3 infotainment with a 6.5-inch display, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift lever, sunroof, chrome interior door handles, passive keyless entry, body-colour exterior door handles and side mirror caps, silver painted grille, LED signature lighting, fog lights and backup sensors.
SES trim gets a sport-tuned suspension, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, partial leather seating with orange copper striping, seven-speaker stereo, 17-inch wheels, Sync 3 with 8.0-inch display, navigation, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 110-volt power outlet, blind spot monitor and rain-sensing wipers.
Titanium adds perforated leather seating, nine-speaker stereo with subwoofer, sliding front centre armrest, heated steering wheel, ambient lighting, heated side mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer.
Ford's fuel consumption estimates for the Ecosport are 8.6/8.1 L/100 km (city/highway) for the 1.0L/FWD powertrain combo, and 10.2/8.0 with the 2.0L and AWD.