Ford has finally given the all-new EcoSport mini SUV its UK launch at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The blue oval is official car supplier at the Games, and has sent move than 1100 vehicles to Scotland to support the event. It’s not just the athletes that are breaking records though: the EcoSport itself has set a new global benchmark.
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In offering a 1.0-litre EcoBoost variant, the Nissan Juke-rivalling EcoSport is the world’s smallest-engined SUV ever sold.
Not that the EcoSport, Ford’s first-ever global SUV, is down on power: the 1.0-litre boasts 125hp, 13hp more than the 1.5-litre alternative petrol engine. It also does 53.3mpg, instead of the 1.5’s 44.8mpg, and emits 125g/km CO2.
Ford says the EcoSport is well-equipped with tech options, including Ford SYNC with AppLink that allows smartphone apps to be voice-controlled: this includes popular ones such as Spotify, says Ford.
Pity about the four-star Euro NCAP crash test score, then: while all world regions have their own crash test regimes, few are as rigorous as Euro NCAP, it seems.
Ford EcoSport: plugging a small SUV gap
Although the EcoSport is a new car to Brits, it is not an all-new name. The previous generation was launched in Brazil back in 2003, and over 770,000 have since been sold. The new one has been developed as a One Ford world car, to help meet increasing EU demand for SUVs.
Ford says that between 2013-2018, European demand for SUVs will increase 22%… and demand for small SUVs such as the EcoSport will rocket 90%!
The arrival of the EcoSport in the UK has been extended a little through logistics. It is built in India and the boat takes a month to travel across the world to the UK. With 500 dealers to stock up, it’s taken Ford four months to ensure the British network has enough EcoSport in the system to successfully launch the model.
But the fact it’s so neatly coincided with the Commonwealth Games has enabled Ford to launch it with a fanfare. We just hope the time between us first-driving it for MSN Cars back in December 2013 and UK dealers now getting their stocks has enabled Ford to improve some of the bits we were less impressed with. Three stars is hardly medal-winning.