The car in our picture is the Ford Ecosport which is basically a small SUV based on the Ford Fiesta. This car was originally built for car buyers outside Europe but itís been on sale in the UK since 2014 and recently received an update in 2018. We think itís fair to say that we werenít too impressed with the Ecosport in its original form. So, in this article see if the recent update has done anything to revise our opinion.
First of all there are some notable styling differences. The front end now looks like Fordís bigger ended SUVs such as the Kuga and the Edge with a bigger grille and headlights than before. Itís an improvement but overall the carís proportions still look a little bit off. One thing they havenít improved is the boot and more specifically how you get into it. It will take you quite a while to figure it out first time around mainly because the mechanism to open it isnít anywhere youíd expect. Instead itís in the form of a small handle tucked inside the rear lights and this then opens the boot sideways. The door itself is really heavy and takes up so much space. Due to the fact the door opens in this way means that if youíre in a multi-storey carpark or simply just parked on the road with other cars behind you then the boot is actually quite useless as you canít actually get into it! However, once you do get into it then the space inside isnít too bad. Ok, itís not class-leading but itís got a good square shape to it, thereís no load-lip and it will fit a couple of your average sized suitcases in with ease.
When you sit in the back youíll find that thereís not that much more legroom than youíd find in a Ford Fiesta so tall passengers with a tall driver in front will find themselves travelling with their knees pushed up in front of them. Itís also the same story across the seats as theyíre actually not that wide so getting three adults in here is going to be pretty snug and is best suited to children. One thing that is quite irritating, considering that this is a family car, is the fact that the doors donít open that wide. Therefore, it makes getting your children in and out of car seats really quite awkward.
The cheapest Ecosport model is the Zetec which is pretty well equipped for an entry-level car. You get alloy wheels, fog lights, electrically powered mirrors and air conditioning as well as digital radio and full smartphone connectivity with Apple or Android phones. If you step up to the Titanium then you get bigger alloys wheels, roof rails a larger touchscreen, sat nav, rear view camera and part leather trim. The sporty choice is the ST and gets you sports suspension a body-kit and a leather steering wheel.
An update to the Ecosportís interior was desperately needed and to be fair things do look a whole lot better in the cabin now. Itís basically a replica of the Ford Fiestaís which in our eyes is no bad thing. The large touchscreen infotainment system is only available on the high spec models but even the entry level system still comes with a six inch screen. The storage isnít too bad as youíll find good sized door bins, a small but useable shaped glovebox and some cup holders by the handbrake. Itís worth noting that the central console armrest isnít available on the entry level model.
The Ecosport comes with a choice of a 1.0 litre 123 break horse power (bhp) petrol engine or a 1.5 litre 99 bhp diesel engine. You can have an automatic gearbox with the petrol engine but not the diesel. The ST trim gives you the option of the more powerful 138 bhp petrol engine.
Although the Fiesta, upon which this car is based, is a lot of fun to drive sadly the Ecosport isnít. Raising the suspension has had a negative impact on the handling and it really does lean into corners. The ST model doesnít help things as this makes the ride particularly harsh and picks up almost every lump and bump in the road. The steering could also do with being a little more direct. Neither of the gearboxes are fantastic though the manual is the better of the two. The automatic really does seem to struggle to find then right gear and just has a sluggish feel to it.
So, the Ecosport isnít that great to drive but is it cheap to run? Sadly, the answer isÖnot really especially if you opt for the petrol engine. Itíll manage a little over 50 miles to the gallon (mpg) regardless of which of the power outputs you go for. The reality is that it wonít actually achieve this figure in the real world. The diesel is certainly more efficient but it does make the Ecosport unbearably sluggish to drive with its 0 - 60mph time of 14 seconds. Out of all of the engines we think that the slightly more powerful 1.0 litre is the one to go for. The less powerful unit just doesnít seem to have enough punch for this type of car and it doesnít exactly fill you with confidence when youíre trying to overtake on motorways.
Overall the Ford Ecosport is way off the pace in too many areas when you compare it to its competitors and it cost too much to excuse the shortcomings. If you want a truly cheap SUV then youíre probably better off in a Dacia Duster. However, if you are after something stylish, modern and efficient then cars like the Renault Captur and SEAT Arona are a far better bet. If this hasnít put you off then we have plenty of used Ford Ecosport cars for sale on DesperateSeller.co.uk.