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3/5

2018 Ford EcoSport compact SUV review

In what is an incredibly competitive market, Ford has released its latest edition of the EcoSport, but can it compete with the rest of the field? We find out…

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Introduction

After debuting it in 2013, the latest version of the Ford EcoSport is now on the market, and in the time since it was first on sale, the compact SUV market has been flooded with new and interesting options.

Following this update, Ford hasn’t overly improved the looks – which weren’t great to start with – but it has improved the technology and features fitted, putting the EcoSport towards in an intriguing tussle with its competitors.

But can this updated model help Ford move up in the compact SUV world? We take a look at the 2018 EcoSport…

Performance

This latest EcoSport is available with a 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with 138bhp and 123bhp options – with a further 99bhp unit being released later this year. On test, we had the middle 123bhp option and it was paired to a six-speed manual. It drove well and offers more than enough performance on the daily commute. It offers a lot of efficiency and accelerates well. As part of a diverse engine line-up, Ford is also introducing a new 1.5-litre diesel unit that comes in 99bhp and 123bhp guises.

Ride & Handling

Despite the name suggesting sportiness, the EcoSport does lack dynamic feel on the move, but is perfectly comfortable and capable enough for the day-to-day. It feels nimble and smaller than it actually is – which is handy when parking – and makes more than useful when on twistier roads. Like with most other Ford models it rides well enough but there are some elements to the EcoSport’s setup that make it feel unsettled on some surfaces.

Interior & Equipment

Ford always seems to spec its vehicles very well, and the EcoSport is no different. For the Titanium model we drove, it came with electric windows, parking sensors, heated seats and the Sync3 infotainment system displayed on a floating central eight-inch touchscreen. Although it isn’t the smoothest system to use, you can navigate it easily enough and it comes with satellite navigation, DAB radio and smartphone connectivity.

The leather-trimmed multifunctional steering wheel and gear knob are standard and both complement the cloth upholstery found in our test car – although it could be higher-quality for the price we tested it at – a smidge over £22,000.

With the Titanium spec, you also get cruise control, climate control, automatic headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels – as well as a tasteful amount of chrome detailing around the bodywork. LED lights are also fitted to the exterior.

Space isn’t the best, with 356 litres of boot space not the most in its segment. You do get 1,238 litres of storage with the rear seats down, though.

Cost

Prices for the base Zetec model start from £16,845, which when put up against its rivals isn’t too bad at all. Even the Titanium model we tested starts from £19,495 and that isn’t too terrible either when looking for small crossovers.

But with the added extras fitted to our test car, it cost £22,020, which is even more than the top-spec ST-Line model – and that is a bit too pricey. Running costs should be good thanks to the EcoBoost engine under the bonnet, while road tax is also manageable due to the 119g/km CO2 emissions.

Verdict

The Ford EcoSport isn’t particularly dynamic but drives well enough for the daily commute.

Although it shines with its features and accessories on offer – although don’t go for too many otherwise the price will skyrocket. It’s fuel efficiency and emissions are at a good level, meaning lower running costs with the excellent EcoBoost engine. All-round, it’s a good effort from Ford.

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