If you’ve never heard of an EcoSpot, that’s because it’s a recently invented term by Ford, to be used when referring to tight parking spaces where only the most-compact SUVs can fit.
The North American automaker wants customers to consider those stressful moments when they’re circling the block trying to figure our whether or not they can squeeze into a curbside gap or between two cars, while other drivers honk from behind.
While nothing short of a marketing ploy to make the EcoSport crossover look good (or at least, more useful), we certainly can’t ignore the fact that population centers continue to get denser and finding a good parallel parking space has become more challenging than before.
In fact, according to a 2017 report from INRIX, drivers in New York City spend no fewer than 107 hours every year (on average) searching for a parking spot. Meanwhile, people in LA and San Francisco need 85 hours and 83 hours respectively for the same task. As for the nationwide average, that would be 17 hours a year.
With only 161.3 inches (4,097 mm) in length, the Ford EcoSport is considerably shorter than something like a Buick Encore or even the Fiat 500X. It’s also 8.5 inches (21.6 cm) shorter than a Mini Countryman, 7 inches (17.7 cm) shorter than a Mazda CX-3 and 6 inches (15 cm) shorter than a Chevy Trax.
Is that enough so as to make a significant difference when trying to squeeze into a tight parking spot? It could, but generally speaking you’re just as likely to struggle with an EcoSport as you are with a Kia Soul or a Trax or a CX-3 if the street you’re on is sufficiently crowded.