- Sharp looks
- Plenty of tech
- Good value for money
- Comfortable and practical
It struggled to win fans when it first arrived as it wasn't really suited to our roads, but several major updates and improvements mean that it now looks and drives much better.
The first EcoSport models were manufactured in India and eventually Ford moved production to one of its European plants, carried out some major engineering changes and, although it's still not perfect, it's much improved.
The latest revamp came almost two years ago, and the EcoSport now has a sharper, sportier look that is favoured by its siblings.
It also now has a decent interior, largely carried over from the best-selling Fiesta.
I've just spent some time with the 1.0-Litre EcoBoost version with start/stop in the top ST-Line trim.
The 3-cylinder unit is good for 123bhp and has a top speed of 111mph with a 0 to 62mph time of 11 seconds flat.
The throaty unit is linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox, and it's always willing. Under the tougher new WLTP regulations, it has a low fuel consumption figure of 40.9mpg and a high figure of 49.6mpg. I averaged a steady 45mpg over a week of mixed driving, which is pretty good.
The EcoSport ST-Line provides a decent drive, the gear change is slick, and the steering is nicely weighted.
The suspension changes mean that it's now a better match for our roads, but there's still some body roll and the ride remains busy over rough surfaces.
Design and Practicality
The redesigned interior is very familiar, as most of it is taken from the Fiesta hatchback, and that's not a bad thing.
All the instruments and switchgear are plucked from its sibling, and a tablet-style infotainment screen sits on top of the dash. It's easy to find a nice driving position with good visibility, and there's room for four adults to travel in comfort.
On the practicality front, the boot offers 355 litres of luggage space, but the tailgate is still an annoying side-opening affair and that's still a bit of a pain.
Equipment and Technology
The ST-Line also offers a generous amount of standard equipment and includes most of the latest safety features.
Standard equipment on this model includes an ST-Line bodystyling kit, which really improves the car’s looks. It includes dark tarnish 17-inch alloy wheels, an ST-Line unique grille, a large rear spoiler, a contrast painted roof and sports pedals as well as some added ST trim.
You also get partial sensico and dinamica trim on the seats with red stitching, a leather steering wheel, electronic automatic temperature control, power-foldable door mirrors, puddle lighting, Ford Sync 3 Navigation, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rearview camera with parking sensors, ambient lighting, and a host of other features.
Standard safety equipment includes ESP with hill launch assist, pre-collision assist, traffic sign recognition and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
You can add an X-Pack, which gives you a B&O premium sound system with 10 speakers, powerfold mirrors, keyless entry and start and privacy glass. You can also have larger 18-inch shadow black machined alloys, too.
The EcoSport is now better value for money, and it's no surprise that we are now seeing more of them on the road. In sport ST-Line trim, it enhances the driving experience whilst maintaining its good level of practicality. If you're looking for a small SUV that's fun to drive and not too cumbersome, the EcoSport is certainly worth considering.