Ford EcoSport Hits Dealers With Big Lease Incentives in Tow
To put it mildly, the TTAC crew has been less than enthusiastic about the 2018 Ford EcoSport ever since Ford Motor Company announced the overseas subcompact crossover would come to America, filling a gap at the bottom of Ford’s utility lineup. Having not driven one, we’ll hold off on any assumptions about the model’s abilities or quality.
But it’s interesting to note, as EcoSports arrive on dealer lots across the U.S., that Ford’s giving the model a helping hand right out of the gate.
Retailing for $19,995 (minus a $995 delivery fee) in base, front-wheel drive S trim, the EcoSport can be had for less when you factor in $2,750 in customer cash. As CNET first noted yesterday, the incentive is available across the model line — S, SE, Titanium, and top-flight SES — but only for lease customers. There’s also $500 offered to cash buyers.
Is Dearborn nervous about the EcoSport’s reception, or is this just the cost of doing business in the increasingly crowded crossover market? Certainly, the EcoSport faces stiff competition, even though the subcompact class isn’t where the hottest rivalries (or profits) lie.
Facing off against the EcoSport are the Toyota C-HR, which saw its best sales month to date in December, the top-selling Honda HR-V (which posted a 16.5 percent year-over-year sales drop last month), the slow-selling Mazda CX-3 (which reached a 2017 monthly high in December), and the second-best-selling Chevrolet Trax. Also joining the fray is the new-for-2018 Hyundai Kona and the upcoming Nissan Kicks. While subcompact volume pales in comparison to the compact class, few automakers seem willing to leave the segment for rivals to plunder.
The EcoSport arrives with the smallest engine available in a mainstream, non-hybrid vehicle — a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder. Powering the front wheels only, it generates 123 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission on offer, and customers can upgrade to all-wheel drive and a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter (167 hp, 149 lb-ft) for an extra $1,500.
Four-wheel traction and the 2.0-liter comes standard on the SES model, which retails for $27,735 after delivery. At that price point, of course, your options aren’t just relegated to subcompacts.
[Image: Ford Motor Company]
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