CarsDirect reports that Ford lowered the price of the entry-level 2020 EcoSport S trim, taking $420 off the $20,485 price. That resets the MSRP to $19,995, the same as it was in 2019; after a $1,095 destination charge, the subcompact crossover runs $21,090. Sticker prices for SE and Titanium don't change, the former at $24,545 after destination, the latter, $27,360.
The CarsDirect report said the automaker sent a letter to dealers citing "competitive pricing action" for the change. The outlet suggests Ford could be trying to reach more buyers searching for vehicles below $20,000, with competitors like the Nissan Kicks and Hyundai Kona already under that number, and more products like the 2020 Hyundai Venue and 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer coming to expand the under-$20K bracket. And though Ford is still selling quite a few affordable small cars that remain on its lots, other brands are picking up buyers that Ford might have hoped to convert to its small crossovers.
The EcoSport hasn't sold as well as Ford hoped since the carmaker imported the tiny goer from Europe in 2018. The numbers took a healthy 19.1% turn upward last year, with dealers finding homes for 64,708 units in the U.S,, compared to 54,348 in 2018. That kept the EcoSport ahead of the Kicks (58,193), which doesn't offer all-wheel drive, and the Toyota C-HR (48,930), which does. But the sales figure lags the Hyundai Kona (73,326), and falls way behind the more expensive Honda HR-V (99,104), Buick Encore (102,402), and Chevrolet Trax (116,816).
CarsDirect mentions the EcoSport's lack of driver safety features like autonomous emergency braking, which can't be optioned on any model. In fact, out of Ford's Co-Pilot 360 arsenal, the EcoSport comes only with the Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert. The Nissan Kicks comes with automatic emergency braking front and rear, blind spot warning, cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and high-beam assist.
A more potent powertrain would probably have a larger effect on the EcoSport's fortunes. The entry-level 1.0-liter three-cylinder puts out 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque, and the optional 2.0-liter produces 166 hp and 149 lb-ft. Even in a segment not known for alacrity, the "anemic" epithet has dogged even the 2.0-liter. That could be partly due to the EcoSport's weight, at 3,021 pounds for the 1.0-liter, 3,300 pounds for the 2.0-liter. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder in the Nissan Kicks makes less power and torque than the EcoSport's 1.0-liter, but the Kicks weighs 400 pounds less.
The current, second-gen EcoSport is eight years old now, so a new generation with an improved drivetrain shouldn't be far off.