Wanderlusters were made for the subcompact SUV (or maybe that’s the other way around?) Nonetheless, if you want to stay on the road and see the world as much as possible, you need something that can haul you and all your cargo there without taking 17 MPG or less to do so. You don’t need the off-roading capability of a Ford Bronco, but you definitely need more tow capacity than a car is willing to offer, so where does that leave you? Well, we believe it leaves you driving off the dealership lot in a brand-new 2022 Ford EcoSport.
Your ideal vacation spot doesn’t really matter when you’re driving an EcoSport. Whether you’re tent camping in Colorado or you’re bar hopping in a big city, this model offers the perfect traveling features at a low price tag. It is a well-rounded subcompact model that can accommodate many different types of travelers. When you choose the new EcoSport, you’ve got space, fuel efficiency, towing capacity, and technology, all wrapped into one convenient package. What else could you ask for in a travel-friendly SUV?
#3. Impressive Capability Despite Subcompact Classification
We’re not going to lie to you here; you probably won’t go off-roading or racing in the EcoSport, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the power you need when you need it. In fact, the 2022 Ford EcoSport comes with Intelligent 4WD. What does this mean for you? It means that you don’t even have to guess or determine when to kick it into 4WD. Instead, the EcoSport does it for you. When road conditions unexpectedly go awry or an abrupt rainstorm occurs, Intelligent 4WD kicks in and saves the day with automatic handling adjustments.
The EcoSport comes with only one standard engine option, and that’s the 2.0-liter I-4 engine. It pumps out up to 166 hp and 149 lb-ft of torque ratings, leading to impressive acceleration when needed. This is especially helpful when you’re traveling uphill, as this smaller engine will not hold you back or slow you down on the incline. We also love that the EcoSport includes Hill Start Assist, which is also helpful during uphill travels. When you have to stop in the middle of an incline or park on a hill, Hill Start Assist will hold you in place until you can switch your foot from the gas to the brake.
Let’s not forget about that 2,000-pound maximum towing capacity. Sure, you’re not going to be able to haul cattle or a houseboat with this model; however, you can certainly pull a fishing boat and even a small pontoon with your new EcoSport. It also provides enough towing power to handle cargo trailers and even an ATV/UTV trailer for off-roading events, cookouts, or camping trips. Keep in mind that finding this towing capacity rating on a subcompact SUV is a rare occurrence, giving you a great opportunity to balance capability, space, and fuel efficiency.
#2. Tons of Interior Space and Technology Features
This subcompact SUV offers more cargo space than some midsize SUVs do. When you’ve got all the seats down, you can store up to 50 cubic feet of cargo items. When the seats are all up, you can still haul 20.9 cubic feet. For comparison, the midsize 2022 Jeep Wrangler can only haul roughly 13 cubic feet of cargo behind its rear seats. The EcoSport also offers 60/40 seating which allows you to customize your passenger-to-cargo ratio with ease. You can seat as many as three people and haul extra cargo, or haul four passengers and still use some extra cargo space for longer items.
The best way to save space in a small model like this is by staying organized, but that’s easier said than done. That’s why Ford has added a few standard and available cargo management options to help you stay organized on the road. The Cargo Management System comes standard on the SE trim and above and offers an adjustable rear load floor, along with an adjustable shelf. This allows you to adjust your cargo space to accommodate specific items. While this next one isn’t standard, you can add Ford’s Cargo Management Package to the EcoSport for even more cargo features. These include a cargo net, cargo organizers, and more.
Now, how about loading and unloading your EcoSport? This model includes the controversial Rear Swing Gate rather than the common SUV hatch, but wait, hear us out. While many people prefer the hatch over the traditional swing gate, there are some benefits to using the swing gate instead. First off, the swing gate is easier to shut if you’re short. Conversely, it’s also easier for taller people to unload cargo using a swing gate. The gate’s handle is also hidden so that you don’t compromise style for convenience.
FordPass Connect is standard on the EcoSport, which is definitely a plus to have when you’re away from home. It allows you to start your vehicle remotely, lock your doors via your smartphone app (just in case you forget or worry that you forgot), check your vehicle’s stats, and much more. Get reminders for service visits and even schedule your service appointments without having to make a phone call or even visit the servicing center’s website. In addition to these standard FordPass Connect technologies, you can add other features to your FordPass Connect suite for an additional cost, such as an LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on the 2022 EcoSport, so you can enjoy your favorite podcasts and playlists at any time. SiriusXM Radio and Built-In Navigation are also available to purchase. Got an Alexa at home? You can also access it via the EcoSport. Whether you forgot to turn off your lights, or you want to play a nice relaxing song on repeat for your cat, you can connect to your Alexa and use voice commands directly from the driver’s seat.
#1. Great Safety Technologies to Keep Your Travels Safe and Sound
If you’re going to be traveling a lot, you want a vehicle that offers great safety features without breaking your bank to get them. This is yet another reason we recommend the EcoSport to travelers. Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Safety Suite is standard across all 2022 EcoSport models and includes some of the most important safety assist features you can ask for, Blind Spot Monitoring and Cross-Traffic Alert. When you’re driving on a multi-lane road, Blind Spot Monitoring can quite literally monitor your blind spots, letting you know when it’s not safe to switch lanes. Similarly, Cross-Traffic Alert can monitor the road or aisle behind you. When you’re backing out from a parking space or driveway, it kicks in and lets you know if it’s safe to exit the space or not.
The EcoSport also comes with optional Rear Parking Sensors that work with your rear backup camera to monitor you while you’re in reverse. If you get close to an object, you’ll start to hear a beeping sound. As you get closer to the object that you likely don’t want to hit, the beeping will speed up. These sensors can even detect items that are not visible from your camera.
Our favorite EcoSport technology is the Voice-Activated Touchscreen Navigation feature. This technology keeps your eyes on the road while also ensuring you don’t wander off into unknown territories. You can simply state a location or input your address (pre-driving), and this system will route you via the quickest and most convenient route. In addition to offering specific instructions, this Voice-Activated Navigation system will recommend nearby hotspots, such as gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops, and more!
Unconventional, But Worth It
It might seem a little unconventional to opt for a vehicle like the EcoSport as your travel and adventure vehicle, but that’s part of what makes it the perfect choice. It doesn’t sacrifice any everyday comforts to make room for specialty off-road features, and it offers excellent amounts of space and gas mileage. Plus, the technology incorporated, from safety to infotainment, will give you comfort and excitement throughout your travels.