Ford EcoSport puts high-end tech in a tiny SUV

Impressive gadgetry in a small package

SUVs are big, and in particular, the small ones seems to be making the most noise. When we tested Ford's 2017 Escape earlier in the year, we were blasted with statistic after statistic that made evident just how enormous the SUV market was. Here at the LA Auto Show, Ford's wasting little time in giving those hungry SUV buyers yet another (albeit bantam) option: EcoSport.

Driving away

The EcoSport, which will hit North American dealer lots in early 2018, isn't yet priced. What is certain, however, is that this will become one of the most attainable new cars with loads of new tech onboard. Despite being small and almost certainly priced at entry-level, Ford's offering an optional 675-watt B&O Play premium sound system, HD Radio, SiriusXM, and even a dual FM antenna "that boosts the range and clarity of FM signals."

Believe it or not, Intelligent 4WD is also an option (standard on the 2.0-liter engine), and the mini-ute is engineered for handsfree enjoyment when it comes to infotainment. There's a floating 8-inch high-resolution display that houses SYNC 3 as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. To boot, drivers have the ability to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle from almost anywhere using available SYNC Connect with FordPass.

Open up!

You'll also get a pair of fast-charging USB ports and a 12-volt power outlet; there's an available 110-volt outlet positioned behind the center console and another 12-volt outlet allow rear-seat passengers to stay plugged in, too.

Interior of the Ford EcoSport

Our guess is that Ford is positioning this for use by urban dwellers – the young folk who want things like CarPlay, but can't justify a full-size sedan. It's downright tiny for a four-door vehicle, but that back seat is more likely to be seen folded down (to increase cargo space) than folded up (toting humans). 

Seating in the Ford EcoSport

Unfortunately, the automaker isn't ready to talk price, but it'll probably be along the lines of the Fiat 500 and Smart Fortwo. The Escape is pretty tight as-is, so the only reasonable market here are those who want as little car as possible for commuting, but would jump at the chance to get a wee bit more space and technological elegance at the same relative price point. As for the electric version? Yeah, we're wondering as well. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Darren Murph has roamed the consumer electronics landscape for a decade, earning a Guinness World Record as the planet’s most prolific professional blogger along the way. His work has been featured in Popular Science, Engadget, BGR, Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom owner’s magazine, Oprah.com, Gadling, and Thrillist, and he has appeared on ABC, PBS, CTV and NBC. He is presently dabbling in quantum physics in a bid to construct the 30-hour day, and is also TechRadar's Global Editor-in-Chief.