I hated the EcoSport when the last model came out in 2012.
Neil Lyndon drives the Latest 2018 Ford EcoSport Titanium
Ford promoted it at that time as one of their “world cars” (made in Brazil, China, India and Russia for sale everywhere). This only went to prove, to my mind, that something which is devised for everybody has little chance of pleasing anybody.
Slow, ponderous, a rolly-polly pig to drive – it was hard to find anything good to say about that car. It even lacked a twist of plastic as a coat-hangar on the grab-handles in the back, which seemed like the meanest act of bean-counter’s penny-pinching we had ever seen in the creation of cars.
Among the first things I checked, therefore, when the new EcoSport arrived for a week’s loan, was whether Ford have repaired that omission. Pettyfogging carpers of the world will be relieved to know that, indeed, there is a coat-hangar on the rear grab handles. Now we’ll have to find something else to gripe about.
We won’t have to go far. The rear door is completely ridiculous. Every subcompact crossover SUV in the whole of known creation has a hatchback with a door that lifts up vertically, right? So when you go to open the back of the EcoSport, you naturally look for the release button in the usual places – under the housing for the lights that illuminate the number plate or recessed into the bottom of the door itself. You can waste five minutes of your life that will never come back before you will start fiddling with the strip of faux chrome on the right side of the door, above the rear lights. There you find the button. Then you open the heavy and cumbersome door which is hinged to the left side.
What is the point of this? What is the benefit? The most obvious consequence of this arrangement is that, if you park in a crowded car-park or reverse too close to a wall, you won’t be able to get into the loadspace. Perfect.
However, once you have stilled your inner Victor Meldrew and got behind the wheel of the new EcoSport, you find that it’s now rather a nice little car. Ford have tackled most of the defects of the 2012 car and put them right.
The suspension layout remains essentially the same as before with a MacPherson strut front axle and a torsion-beam rear. Ford have, however, extensively rejigged the springs, dampers, steering and ESP so that the ride has been smoothed, the handling tightened and the road-holding stiffened.
We borrowed an EcoSPort 1.0-litre turbocharged version whose three-cylinder engine puts out 124 bhp, with performance just about brisk enough to dispel memories of this car’s leaden predecessor. However, the claimed fuel economy of 54.3mpg was almost 20% more optimistic than the 44.1 mpg we actually realised so, if you put these two considerations together, you realise that the EcoSport doesn’t live up to its name in either department – being neither outstandingly eco nor especially sporty.
The body is much the same as it was though spruced up with LED daytime running lights and Ford’s now trademark Aston Martin grille. Bumpers front and rear have been revised, the palette of paint colours extended and wheels enlarged to 17” or 18”.
Appreciably softer, more comfortable and supportive seats, simpler switchgear and impeccable infotainment system with large central touchscreen all give the interior a major boost. The leather steering wheel is standard.
This all adds up to a far more appealing proposition than the one Ford put out six years ago but whether it adds up to a package worth an eyebrow-raising £19945 is another question. For our test car, that figure was inflated to almost £22000 by a short list of extras.
No matter what they did to improve the EcoSport, I don’t think I could ever like it that much.
Car reviewed: New Ford EcoSport Titanium 1.0 EcoBoost – On the road price as tested £21,940 – without options £19,945 0-62mph 12.7 secs Top speed 111mph Fuel Economy combined 54.3mpg CO2 emissions 119g/km Engine 998cc EcoBoost 3-cylinder EU6 Max Power [email protected] Torque [email protected] Transmission 6-speed manual
A lot better than before
Pretty well equipped
Great range of colours available
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New and Used Ford EcoSport for sale at eBay Motors
End on: Monday, 1st Apr, 2019 at: 10:23pm