In the desperate search to find something different between one small SUV and another, well done Ford for their New Ecosport: it’s tailgate
Tom Scanlan enjoys the Ford Ecosport ST-Line 1.0 EcoBoost 125PS
This method was, once upon a time, the standard way to open the back door. Then along came those early hatchbacks that lifted their tails horizontally and here we are now, as we have, generally, been for decades.
But apologies if this sounds cynical and world-weary. That would be most unfair to Ford’s little SUV. And the designers would more likely want to point out the new front end whose appearance is reminiscent of the straps on a back-pack, thus, they suggest, giving the car a sporty, outdoor sort of look. All rather subliminal, if you ask me...but of course they wouldn’t mind that.
I drove the EcoSport (pronounced as in ‘echo’) only one day after experiencing SEAT’s Arona, a vehicle that has received a host of favourable reviews. I have to say that, given the choice of the Arona and the EcoSport, each one tried with their company’s 3-cylinder engine, I would have to do a whole lot of research. And a detailed comparison between the relative equipment packages and their pricing, financial deals and treatment that you might get from your local dealership.
So, for now, I admit that I am sitting on the fence because every single car in each sector is so tightly competitive. How about sheer driving pleasure?
I drove two trim levels of the EcoSport, mainly in the busy urban environment of the west London suburbs, and could find very little wrong, or that I would change, in either one.
At one point, while keeping my eyes on the road and wanting to adjust the heating, I inadvertently hit the hazard warning triangle. I had to glance down to switch it off but couldn’t see where it was. In order not to confuse or upset the traffic behind me, I was lucky to be able to pull over into a lay-by and investigate and found that the triangle was hardly visible as far as being lit up was concerned.
There, then, I have just used a whole paragraph for about the only little issue, on just short first impressions, that I had with the EcoSport...
The EcoSport replaces the B-Max, but does not have the wide side opening of that car. (No matter, perhaps, although that was one very good thing about the B-Max.) Prices start at £17,495.
Overall, the new EcoSport also offers a brand-new 1.5 diesel engine claiming increased efficiency in fuel consumption and emissions. Also Ford’s AWD is available for the first time and car-spotters (if there are such people) will note the new design. Available in a good variety of colour options and, in the higher trim levels, roof, window-pillar, mirror and body colour combinations as standard, plus a variety of new wheel designs. The £20,285 ST-Line has unique styling, badging and interior.
New technology includes touchscreens up to eight inches, B&O PLAY sound, Ford’s Sync 3 connectivity, cruise control with an adjustable speed-limiter and rear-view camera.
As ever with Ford, the car was very easy to get into and immediately feel at home; all the main functions, sharp steering (with just a slightly heavy feel when angling away from the straight-ahead position), handling, braking and ride comfort were commendable. Drive was via pleasant six-speed manual gear-change.
Performance was as lively as expected from the successful little 1-litre engine, the one tried being the 125 PS version, rather than the 140 PS, and motorway cruising was relaxed enough with the engine at around 2800 rpm at seventy miles per hour. The zero to sixty-two mph time of 12.3 seconds in this car seems much slower that the car felt. Emissions in the test car are at 119 g/km.
My indicated fuel consumption was 39.7 mpg, with a high percentage of my time in the car being in very slow city traffic...you know what it’s like: that bus in front is just impossible to overtake and stops unbelievably often! The official combined cycle figure is 54.3 mpg. The diesel's is 74.3 mpg.
Here we are, then, with Ford’s latest entry into this sector, the sector that Ford says will provide one in three of all cars by 2020. The ecosport makes for a good-looking, compact SUV.
Car reviewed: Ford Ecosport ST-Line 1.0 EcoBoost 125PS - Base Price On the road £20295 0-62mph 12.7 secs Top speed 112mph Fuel Economy combined 54.3mpg CO2 emissions 119g/km Engine 998cc 3-cylinder EcoBoost EU6 Max Power 125PS@6000rpm Torque 170Nm@1400rpm Transmission 6-speed manual
Youthful and fun
Good choice of engines and spec
Love it or hate it rear hatch
What the others say on YouTube...
No items found, please search again.