It wasn't that long ago when Chinese manufacturers were coming up with competitors for cars from the West. These days, we're seeing a bit of a role reversal with Ford about to roll out what looks like a rival for the Geely Okavango.
Ford's upcoming model is called the Equator; at least that's what it says on the tailgate. We already have a good view of its exterior and interior, hinting that it might not be long before Ford makes its debut official.
In some ways, the body reminds us of the sizable Geely. There's the blunt nose at the front and an upright tailgate at the rear. The upright glass area bucks the trend of steeply raked windshields and high window sills. Ground clearance appears decent, although it doesn't seem as high as an Everest. Also, the long rear doors hint at easy access to the third-row seats.
Inside, there's a massive screen that houses both the digital instrument cluster and infotainment system. The high-mounted center console houses the electronic gear selector and parking brake. It also looks like it has a drive mode selector, as hinted by the dial near the armrest. It seems that the MPV-Crossover will have three variants. Three wheels options are also available, along with two grille designs and even a panoramic sunroof.
Unknown at the moment is the range of engines. It might use a 1.5-liter turbocharged mill from the Ford Focus. The Equator might also come with a boosted 1.5-liter from Changan since they are Ford's partner over in China. If so, the transmission could be a dual-clutch transmission or a six-speed automatic.
Various reports are saying that the Equator might be launched sometime this year. So far, the only rival we can think of is the aforementioned Geely Okavango. Should Ford bring it to the Philippines, it might give the Okavango, and in some ways, the Toyota Innova, something to worry about.