Ford’s fun-sized EcoSport SUV made its debut way back in 2014, as SUVs began their seemingly unstoppable rise in popularity. Its latest incarnation of the EcoSport features a number of revisions and updates that have ensured it’s kept up to date and competitive with its rivals in the still-burgeoning small SUV market.
The latest iteration of the Ford EcoSport has gone under the knife in order for it to bear more of a resemblance to its bigger SUV siblings. The redesigned nose gives it a similar look to Ford’s Kuga and Edge models. The rest of the exterior changes have succeeded in giving the EcoSport a pleasingly tough, compact look, with high ground clearance and chunky arch-filling alloy wheels giving it a purposeful stance on the road.
Another big plus is that the EcoSport is based on the critically-lauded Ford Fiesta, which is no bad thing in our book.
The EcoSport is based on the critically-lauded Ford Fiesta, which is no bad thing in our book.
What’s it like to drive?
The EcoSport’s elevated ‘command’ style driving position gives you a better view out than you’d get from a Fiesta. Sadly, you won’t get all the benefits of the Fiesta’s spirited driving experience. The EcoSport’s grippy tyres allow you to safely channel your inner Lewis Hamilton thanks to it cornering surprisingly well at speed – but there’s a fair amount of lean due to its height, which is standard behaviour for all SUVs.
Light steering and controls make for a good town and city car, and its petrol and diesel engines provide solid performance and refinement when you’re on the motorway.
Light steering and controls make for a good town and city car.
The latest EcoSport’s interior is a definite step-up from previous versions. Considering it’s a narrow car, there’s enough head and legroom for both you and your passengers, and you’ll all get a good view out due to that elevated driving position.
Seats are comfortable, with manual lumbar support adjustment for the front seats as standard across the range. The front and rear pillars are quite thick, but thanks to large door mirrors and a standard reversing camera, any parking and backing-up manoeuvres shouldn’t present much of a problem. Cabin quality is good, with pleasingly soft-touch materials on top of the dashboard and on the door armrests.
The EcoSport features Ford's SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system, which offers all models an eight-inch screen that controls DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. Titanium and ST-line models also feature a built-in sat-nav, with the screen taking on display duties for the rear-view camera.
Boot space isn’t class-leading – the SEAT Arona trumps it there. There’s still plenty of room for a long weekend away with a sizeable picnic to top it off. There’s a flat floor with a minimal load lip, so getting stuff into the boot is less of a task, and even more space is available when you drop the 60:40 split-folding rear seats.
The only downside is that the side-opening rear door can make access difficult if other cars are parked close behind. Thankfully, the previous version’s large rear-door mounted spare wheel is absent from the latest model.
Running costs and reliability
The EcoSport faces some strong competition – especially from the Volkswagen T-Roc – though it still has a few aces up its sleeve when it comes to value. Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are good for its class, and its Fiesta underpinnings mean it won’t cost you that much to insure, while maintenance and parts should be cheap and easily available.
What we love
We’re big fans of the EcoSport’s looks. It’s got a great stance and offers all the compact dimensions of a Fiesta with the addition of more space and that fantastic, elevated driving position. It’s perfect for young families who want the practicalities of an SUV without the big size – or the big price.
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What else to consider? Ford EcoSport alternatives
Town and country drivers
If you’re after a Ford Fiesta with higher ground clearance and more interior space, then look no further than the Ford EcoSport. It’s practical, compact and good-looking. It’s also safe, with the latest versions featuring automatic emergency braking (AEB).
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