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Finding the Silver Lining in the Ford EcoSport

ford_2018-ecosport

 

So, I was asked to share my thoughts on the 2018 Ford EcoSport, the enduring subcompact that is finally being introduced to the U.S. after fifteen years of gaining popularity in other countries.

Let me begin by saying that I wanted to offer a thoughtful endorsement. I really wanted to. But I’m afraid that my opinion might suffer from some built-in biases that prevent me from offering a truly objective look.

At the risk of exposing myself as an environmentally-insensitive jerk, I’m just going to come right out and say it: as the father of a 12-year old who has (thus far) managed to avoid the purchase of a bland family-friendly crossover, I’m unlikely to make such a purchase anytime soon. And I’m equally as unlikely to make a transition towards something more eco-friendly (especially a subcompact) unless changes in either legislation or automotive engineering force my hand.

The simple truth is that I’m one of those fossils who, with a very clear conscience, drove muscle cars through the mile-high gas prices of the recession years. In hindsight, the only remorse I felt in jumping from Charger to Charger is that I only rocked a ballsy V6 each time, instead of springing for the Hemi. And in terms of safety and versatility, well, I have no concerns transporting a young child in a rear-wheel drive vehicle during the winter, nor was I unable to put its cavernous trunk to use.

My point is this: there’s no shame in recognizing that today’s drivers come with a wide-range of philosophies, from a variety of walks of life, and each one is looking for something different in their next vehicle. Perhaps this rests at the heart of my dislike of crossovers, with there being too many similarities between offerings. Aesthetically, the majority follow the same design cues; and in terms of technology, most use a kitchen sink mentality to appease the widest-range of potential passengers.

But now, with an eye on sustainability, automakers are taking aggressive steps towards making their offerings more environmentally-friendly without sacrificing efficiency, power or versatility. Whether or not this results in a crossover or SUV that I’d personally be willing to purchase remains to be seen, but I suppose time will tell.

In the meantime, enjoy this video which highlights many of the EcoSport’s worthwhile attributes.

While it may not be my automotive ‘cup of tea’, the anticipation over it’s U.S. release certainly indicates that my opinion isn’t universal.

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