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Facelifted compact SUV now looks part

Ford has improved its EcoSport compact SUV by giving it a stylish makeover including new technology. Picture: Ford

Ford has improved its EcoSport compact SUV by giving it a stylish makeover including new technology. Picture: Ford

Ford

In what is becoming an increasingly-competitive market, Ford has given its EcoSport compact-SUV a makeover. Can this new model win over the masses? Will Rimell gets behind the wheel to find out.

Latest Ford EcoSport's styling now has similarities to the large Edge SUV. Picture: FordLatest Ford EcoSport's styling now has similarities to the large Edge SUV. Picture: Ford

Ford’s take on the compact SUV, the EcoSport has been in UK since 2013 and now been given a facelift.

It’s not the prettiest little SUV but offers a comfortable ride and comes with a premium feel associated with more recent Fords, including a lot of leather, and an array of the latest tech and safety equipment.

It’s gained a new front grille, longer bonnet and sharper headlights for more appeal. It is offered in 12 bold colours with personalisation options including contrasting roof paint and rear roof spoiler.

The updated tech’s centrepiece is an easy-to-use floating central eight-inch touchscreen (6.5in on entry Zetec) – the car’s command hub.

Floating Ford Sync 3 eight-inch touchscreen is an easy-to-use command centre. Picture: FordFloating Ford Sync 3 eight-inch touchscreen is an easy-to-use command centre. Picture: Ford

Under the bonnet

A 125PS 1.5-litre turbo diesel is now joining the 100PS version and there are also three versions of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder turbo petrol petrol engine – 125 and 140PS and, now being added, a 100PS unit.

Side-hinged back door reveals a practical boot. Picture: FordSide-hinged back door reveals a practical boot. Picture: Ford

How it drives

The EcoSport is not a fast car, nor that exciting despite the ‘sport’ tag, but it handles well and is comfortable, especially with heated seats and climate control.

The 125PS EcoBoost engine is fantastic for a 1.0-litre, no surprise given its 10 International Engine of the Year awards. It offers great efficiency and a decent kick to get you going.

The EcoSport is bigger than it feels but a reversing camera helps with parking.

Looks and image

Ford has improved on the older styling – it now has similarities to the large Edge SUV, now looking like a smaller SUV, rather than a modified KA+.

But optional 18in alloy wheels make the ride far too hard.

Space and comfort

Ford delivers an array of luxuries to make the car as comfortable as possible. Switches dominate the door and centre console, offering a load of features including optional climate control, heated seats and parking sensors.

The floating Ford Sync 3 display, an eight-inch touchscreen, controls everything from the ambient lighting – which there is a lot of, even in the cup-holders – to the sat nav, which is optional on Zetec, and is incredibly easy to use.

A standard leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear lever add that extra level of luxury, which gives the car a premium feel.

Equipment

Zetec includes 6.5in touchscreen, LED lights, chrome front grille and heated front windscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Titanium’s gains include cruise control, climate control, eight-inch touchscreen, auto lights and 17in alloys.

Top-spec ST-Line gets sports bumpers and side skirts, black-finish roof rails, painted roof and door mirrors, flat-bottomed steering wheel and stainless steel sports pedals.

Final say

For a medium-sized family looking for something fuel efficient, with plenty of cubby holes and a premium feel, Ford’s compact-SUV ticks the boxes.

SPEC AND TECH

Price: Ford EcoSport Titanium 1.0 EcoBoost 125PS, £19,945 (range £17,295 to £23,450)

Engine: 999cc, 125PS, three-cylinder turbo petrol with sex-speed manual gearbox

Performance: 0-62mph, 11 seconds; top speed 111mph

MPG: 53.3mpg combined

CO2 emissions: 119g/km

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