Into a relatively new segment of compact crossover utility vehicles Ford last year inserted a not at all new vehicle -- or, at least, one not new in other parts of the world.
The Ecosport compact crossover that Ford introduced to North America in 2018 has been on sale in places like South America since 2013, but despite its age, the company behind the blue oval thought it would be well-suited to going up against newer designs in the class from manufacturers like Honda (HR-V), Nissan (Qashqai and Kicks), Toyota (C-HR) and Hyundai (Kona).
Only the Chevrolet Trax can rival the Ecosport’s longevity thus far, having been introduced here the same year the Ecosport arrived in its initial markets.
For 2019, its second year on the market in Canada, the Ecosport carries over unchanged.
Ford wins the prize for the most ungainly looking vehicle in its class, with Ecosport’s 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. In our opinion, the Ecosport looks less modern than its competitors but seems competitive in most other respects.
In its 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. Choose and you instead get 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.
Either way, power flows through a six-speed automatic transmission.
Entry-level S trim comes with manually adjusted cloth seats, six-speaker stereo, Sync infotainment with 4.2-inch display, trip computer, cruise control, 16-inch aluminum wheels, two USB charging ports, power windows, automatic headlights, blind spot side mirrors, capless fuel filler and a rear wiper/washer.
SE trim gains 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.
In the SES, buyers benefit from 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.
Finally, Titanium sweetens the deal with 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.