Crossovers

Ford's compact EcoSport crossover will start at $19,995

Its starting price is *very* competitive, since a six-speed automatic is standard.

Ford

The Ford Escape is a good crossover, but in order to compete against the likes of subcompacts such as the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V, Ford needed to go smaller, which is where the EcoSport comes in.

The EcoSport -- which is pronounced "echo sport" rather than "eco sport" -- will go on sale in early 2018, but Ford already has its configurator live on its website. A base 2018 EcoSport S will set you back $19,995 before taxes, destination and all that good stuff.

It doesn't have the freshest exterior styling on the block, but the price is oh so right.

Ford

Standard equipment on the EcoSport S includes a six-speed automatic, a backup camera, Bluetooth and a 4.2-inch infotainment system. The base engine is a diminutive 1.0-liter turbocharged I3, good for 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but you can get all-wheel drive for $1,500 -- but it also bumps you up to a 167-horsepower, 2.0-liter I4. $1,500 isn't bad for an engine upgrade.

It's a solidly competitive base price. Sure, you can squeak in underneath with a Honda HR-V or a Jeep Renegade, but those come with manual transmissions -- if you want to ditch the clutch, you'll end up paying more than the EcoSport's starting price.

The next trim up is the $22,905 EcoSport SE. This one adds a sunroof, automatic climate control, heated front seats and rear parking sensors. It also includes Ford's excellent Sync 3 infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A heated steering wheel is part of the $395 Cold Weather Package, and if you want navigation, it'll set you back $1,295, but it also adds an 8.0-inch touchsreen.

Near the top of the EcoSport lineup is the $25,740 Titanium. Things get a little fancier here, thanks to leather seating, navigation and 17-inch alloy wheels. At the tippy-top of the lineup is the $26,740 EcoSport SES. AWD and the 2.0-liter I4 are standard on the SES, as are a sportier suspension, blind spot monitoring and dark exterior trim pieces.

If you want to get down with the smallness, you'll have to exercise some patience, because the EcoSport won't reach dealers until early 2018. But if you're cool with waiting, the EcoSport looks pretty darn promising.