We’ve always been a used car kind of family. Not just Mikey and I, but even as a kid my family drove used cars. They were always great, but never had that “new car” smell or feel (except once when we leased a Pathfinder and then gave it back – it’s a funny story, but it was about a week of fun for us kids, pretending we were hardcore with our off-roading vehicle on the “mean” streets of Walnut Creek). 😉 (On that note, did you know that only 5% of SUVs actually ever leave a paved road?) As adults, Mikey and I have used cars others bought for us, used cars we found online, and cars from friends for cheap deals. We’ve had to put some work into most the cars, but they’ve all held up pretty well during the times we’ve owned them.
ahh…memories in this Corolla!
Along with the vehicle, I was able to try two fitness classes with a friend, using the car to get us around – perfect timing with summer coming to a close and spirit of change and recommitment in the air that fall always brings! I wanted to share about my experience both with the car and the fun classes – as a trainer, it’s very rare that I ever take a fitness class myself because I tend to workout where I train my clients, so it was a very fun-filled week before handing the car back. The EcoSport ended up being the perfect car in terms of functionality, capability and flexibility to support an active lifestyle and here’s why.
Please note: all opinions are my own! I was given the car free of charge for the week but I’m sharing my honest thoughts, as usual.
First impressions: So fun! I actually really liked being up being higher in this crossover-SUV but still having the small length of a car to navigate and park. After driving our Subaru, which is actually kind of low in terms of clearance, it was funny how much space I gave myself to park the EcoSport when it fit so easily everywhere. This was great for parking on our street which is pretty busy, as well as around town at the gym and fitness boutique studios, which are always crowded meaning street parking is a must to find. I’ve never used a back-up camera before and have been kind of intimidated by the idea of them when I see them in other cars, but it was actually super handy and useful, especially since the length of the car was new to me. You can really trust those cameras!
So while it is a smaller vehicle, the amount of storage in the back is great. I easily fit Abi’s stroller and groceries in the back, and there are multiple ways to drop the back shelf down for a customizable cargo area.
Abi checking out our new ride for the week…
Fun Features: How about the colors?! The color I received, Canyon Ridge, grew on me over the week – it kind of makes me think of good earth tones I’d see hiking – and was so easy to spot in a parking lot. I’m surprised how much I enjoyed this aspect of the color of the EcoSport I got – I never realized how much our Subaru blends in to other cars. I also noticed a ton of other cars in this color – must a recent thing? Made me smile when I saw another similar car! I also really enjoyed the customizable colors in the inside while driving at night – ice blue and orange were favorites of mine, and Mikey and I played with the colors while out for a date night.
(We saw “Crazy, Rich Asians” – such a good romantic comedy! Mikey even really enjoyed it!)
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(Click through on the Instagram post above to see those interior nighttime car lights… and some footage of me loving “90’s on 9” in the car) 😉 You can also see one of my favorite spots to stash my “Go Raw” cracker snacks – love exploring cars with new places for snack stashes!)
One of my other favorite features was using the navigation system – so much better than using your phone (which is now illegal most places) or GoogleMaps because the screen is easily visible while driving. I mapped out going to a team event from work, a few fitness class locations around the city, and even a new-to-me grocery store – worked great!
Even more than the navigation system, I found the blind spot information system extremely helpful. Even though I still remember “SMOG” (signal/mirror/over the shoulder/go!) from Driver’s Ed in California as a 15 year old, I loved that an orange dot would appear and blink in the mirror whenever a car was in my blindspot. I got used to seeing it there while driving on the highway and it was really helpful – one of my favorite features for sure.
Having not driven new cars, I also loved the feature of syncing my phone to the car via bluetooth. I LOVED that when I got in, it would recognize my phone even if it was in the backseat and begin playing my podcast where it left off. This always made me extremely happy as I love listening to podcasts in the car – it’s kind of “my time!”
So…How’d It Drive? The EcoSport handled really well on the city streets and in the rain, and while I wanted to hit the mountains while I had the car to test it out on gravel roads and in the snow (yep – we’ve had some in the city and it’s snowing in the mountains!), it wasn’t in the cards for us time-wise. But I can totally see how it would be great with safe vehicle control thanks to AdvanceTrac, and with it’s clearance and storage for outdoor adventures. The seats fold down fold easily to stow bikes or outdoor equipment, and I had plenty of space for my bootcamp gear and yoga mats that Ford Canada provided for my class!
Great for a car seat too and with good leg room – we tested that in the back while driving under the Calgary Tower with the moonroof open! Nice views. 😉 And when the ski hills are open, it shows ski conditions – how cool is that? We’d totally use that feature! And movie features? In our past lives, when we went to movies a few times a month, this would be great – we’d still use it for date nights like we did this week, too!
I turned on the inside orange lights for my first fitness class – trying out OrangeTheory Fitness (I thought the color scheme worked out nicely).
Showing up to class in style 😉
Can you tell I’m excited? Great touch to write people’s names on the board before class!
I’d heard so much about these classes, so getting the chance to try it out was super fun, and even more fun because my friend Jacque came along! We got there early for an intro to describe how the class operates (blocks of time on the treadmills to blocks of time using weights for compound movements, sometimes on the rower – every class is different) and I was super impressed with the descriptions as well as the instructor’s guidance. Letitia in Marda Loop knows her stuff, and even asked me about where I’m at postpartum – I SO appreciated that and she was familiar with prolapse.
I really loved being pushed by someone else, and the class atmosphere was motivating but not intimidating or competitive, even with our heart rates and stats on the screens. As for Jacque and I, it’s safe to say we both haven’t sprinted like that in a looong time – my abs were so sore from the sprints from the first half of the class! I covered 5 km – thanks to my pessary – and haven’t run like that in ages since being postpartum, which felt like a real victory. I of course also loved the weights section of the class too.
Feeling like a million bucks after class!
We took the EcoSport to church, through the rain to get groceries, and also to a climbing gym! We love Bolder Climbing Community and had a fun time climbing with other mamas, dads and tots!
Moms & babes!
Get yer climb on, Abs!
Mama getting her climb on!
All in all, it was a full, fun week with the Ford EcoSport and I was sad to say goodbye! The skies finally opened up on the day I returned it and Abi and I hit a local playground to help ease ourselves into driving our usual car again… Would be fun to own a crossover SUV one day – I’m pretty sold on their functionality, compact build, and fun features. Maybe in the future – who knows?
Thanks to Ford Canada for a great week – for the car, experience and even the yoga mats to help kick our fall off to a great start!
Have you ever driven a crossover SUV? Heard of the EcoSport? A friend of mine has one and says she loves it!
Live well & be well,