Posts

Ford Ecosport

Ford Ecosport ‘take two’ to cost from £14,245

Ford EcosportThe significantly revised Ford Ecosport is now available to order in dealers, with prices starting from £14,245.

The rushed overhaul of Ford’s Nissan Juke-rivalling compact SUV is aimed at improving the Ecosport’s poor reception by motoring reviews and customers alike.

Sales have been weak, despite this being a booming sector, and reviewers have slated the car which, in launch guise, fell well below Ford’s usual high standards.

The firm has thus launched a major overhaul of the Ecosport barely a year after its UK launch. Changes include:

  • Revised diesel and petrol engines
  • Uprated suspension (stiffer rear torsion bar, revised springs and dampers)
  • 10mm lower ride height
  • Bespoke European tune for steering and ESC
  • Thicker sound deadening
  • Tighter sound sealing
  • Revised engine and gearbox matching
  • Improved side-hinged tailgate access
  • Uprated interior plastics
  • Ford SYNC infotainment display standardised
  • Availability of Sat nav
  • Standard part-leather seats for Titanium models

Ford has also removed the much-criticised tailgate-mounted spare wheel that gave the Ecosport a dated appearance and, without a rear-view camera, made it hard to park.

Ironically, a rear-view camera will at last be optional later this year.

Joe Bakaj, vice president of product development at Ford of Europe said: “The team at Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium have further enhanced the driving dynamics to make the new Ecosport even more fun to drive on European roads.”

Question is, why wasn’t all this done from the start?

MORE on MR

Ford Ecosport (2014) review

Launch Pad: 2014 Ford Ecosport

Ford launches new Ecosport on Facebook

Ford Ecosport Geneva 2015

Ford reveals ‘significant’ revisions for below-par Ecosport

Ford Ecosport Geneva 2015Ford has conceded its Ecosport mini SUV was not good enough at launch with a big set of revisions revealed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Read more

World’s smallest-engined SUV UK launch at Commonwealth Games

Ford_EcoSportFord has finally given the all-new EcoSport mini SUV its UK launch at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Read more

Ford Ecosport 2014 review

Ford EcoSport (2014) review

Ford Ecosport 2014  review

  • New entry into the burgeoning compact SUV segment – still want that Fiesta?
  • Range limited to one model, three engines; comfortable, but not fine to drive
  • £14,995 – £17,495 | On sale May 2014
  • CJ Hubbard | December 2013

    Car buyers are bored with MPVs – and who can blame them. These slabby boxes have become the badges of people who have given up, submitting themselves to a life of taxi duty for the children, in fear that an ordinary set of wheels doesn’t offer the practicality all those extra curricular activities require.

    This boredom is being exacerbated by the shiny new compact SUV crossover segment, which has exploded over the last 12 months and is only set to keep on expanding. These cars feature fresh styling – well, how else would you describe the Nissan Juke? – project a much more interesting ‘lifestyle choice’ kind of image, and give you a higher seating position. It’s gotten to the point now where even a very good compact people carrier is struggling to attract buyers. Take the Ford B-Max, for example.

    But does that really mean Ford can get away with offering a half-baked compact SUV in its stead? Ahead of the launch there was certainly a suspicion this new EcoSport would prove exactly that…

    What is the 2014 Ford EcoSport like to drive?

    Half-baked? A little unfair, as it’s taken Ford two years to introduce the EcoSport into Europe. But there is no escaping the reality that this is a Brazilian market vehicle, never originally intended for global sale. The ‘One Ford’ world car programme and the need to plug that compact SUV gap has brought it to our shores.

    The EcoSport is based on the same platform as the latest Fiesta, and is, in fact, only 4cm longer than that car, discounting the gloriously retrograde tailgate-mounted spare wheel. Unfortunately, you’d be hard pressed to tell from the driving experience, which seems to be channelling the behaviour of SUVs from an era similar to the external boot furniture.

    While the designers have done their best with the chunky visuals, that this is a tall, narrow vehicle is obvious on the outside and very much apparent from behind the wheel. Body roll is excessive to the point of being comical, while the electric power steering system must be the least precise of any Ford offered in the UK for a decade. The two combined means you won’t be going anywhere quickly, ever.

    Which is fine by the engines, it seems. The shining beacon of hope here is the 125hp 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol, which is spirited but suffers from even worse steering than the 90hp 1.5-litre turbodiesel. Which is torquey, but slow – as in 0-62mph in 14.0 seconds slow. Still, we found both surprisingly refined, and blessed with beautifully weighted gearchange actions.

    Shame you only get the five cogs to play with. If you want six you’ll have to opt for the automatic version of the 112hp 1.5-litre non-turbo petrol – an engine that wasn’t available for us to try. The EcoSport is front-wheel drive only in the UK, so genuine green laners need not apply.

    So, does the Ford EcoSport have any redeeming features at all?

    There are no two ways about it: the EcoSport is a disappointing car to drive, especially for a Ford. The interior is going to raise a few eyebrows as well – the test cars were pre-production, and thus (just about) forgivably nasty; but even the showroom spec static demo model felt low rent inside. And that’s before you’ve considered the pretty, pretty cabin finishes available in the likes of the Peugeot 2008 and – perhaps unexpectedly – the Vauxhall Mokka.

    However, it is roomy. The packaging is impressive, actually, with loads of headroom (a weakness of some rivals, including that 2008), and enough rear legroom for adults to tolerate for a while. The rear seat back adjusts to balance comfort against boot space (nominally 333 litres; 310-375 litres with that variation; up to 1,238 litres if you’re travelling two-up), which is further helped by having the spare wheel on the outside. Shame that the side-hinged tailgate will make access a pain in a crowded car park, and opens on the wrong side for the UK.

    If the roly-poly soft suspension slows you down through the corners, it should also keep you comfortable – the ride quality is reassuringly supple, and will likely dismiss tattered British tarmac with ease. The EcoSport is a snoozy cruiser, then – if quite a high-tech one, thanks to the increased smartphone integration of a new Applink system for Ford SYNC, which grants you voice control over specially adapted versions of popular services, including Spotify.

    That said, the EcoSport has only received four Euro NCAP stars for safety, which is unusual for a modern mainstream car. Pedestrian impact and child passenger protection are its downfall, though Ford has also opted to not fit a speed limiter or rear seat belt reminders; electronic stability control and seven airbags are standard.

    MR VERDICT: 2014 FORD ECOSPORT

    The EcoSport will initially be available in Titanium specification only in the UK, since available right hand production is limited to 4,000 cars in 2014. This means you get plenty of standard kit, but few options – including a £1,000 X Pack with leather seats and 17-inch instead of 16-inch alloy wheels. On this basis the pricing compares well to both the opposition and an equivalent Fiesta.

    For all of the compromises in its driving experience and interior finish, the EcoSport is unlikely to struggle to sell – the mere presence of a Ford badge in a sector that still lacks a stand-out star will be enough for many, and anyone who values comfort over velocity is sure to be pleased.

    MR_3_star

     
     
     

    Rivals

    • Nissan Juke, from £13,195
    • Peugeot 2008, from £12,995
    • Renault Captur, from £12,495
    • Vauxhall Mokka, from £15,999
    • Fiat 500L, from £14,995

    Specification

    Engine 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol, 1.5-litre non-turbo petrol, 1.5-litre turbodiesel

    Gearbox five-speed manual, front wheel drive (six-speed auto optional on 1.5 petrol)

    Price from £14,995

    Power 90-125hp

    Torque 103-151lb ft

    0-62mph 12.7-14.1 seconds

    Top speed 99-112mph

    MPG 44.8-61.4mpg

    CO2 120-149g/km

    Launch Pad: Ford EcoSport

    Ford Ecosport 1

    Today’s launch is for the Ford EcoSport – which, to the amusement of just about everybody in the press conference last night, is apparently pronounced EchoSport.

    Read more

    Ford launches EcoSport on Facebook

    Ford-EcoSport

    Ford has launched the new EcoSport in Europe in a unique way – by offering 500 cars for Ford fans to reserve via Facebook. Read more