Ford have brought a new addition to to the growing mini SUV market, the new Ford EcoSport. This is an Indian-built compact sport utility vehicle broadly based on the Fiesta. It arrives in April, and is apparently pronounced with a soft E, like Echo Sport, rather than the hard E of EcoBoost! The Ecosport has actually been on sale in Brazil and India for nearly a year, but it is only just being imported to Europe. The reason for the delay, Ford claims, is that it has been re-engineering the car to accommodate European tastes. Engineers have beefed up crash protection and made substantial changes to the chassis in an effort to improve ride comfort, handling and refinement plus the interior quality has also been upgraded.
It is powered by a choice of several engines either Fordís award winning three cylinder 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine or a conventional 1.5 litre petrol or a frugal 1.5 litre four cylinder unit.
Whichever engine you choose there is no doubt any will be kind to your wallet. The mini SUV is capable of returning 53.3mpg and going on to a top speed of 112mph. The EcoSport range is front-wheel drive only and there's no wheel-scrabble-limiting traction control option, as there is with rivals such as the Fiat Panda Trekking and the Peugeot 2008.
The Ford ĎEcoSportí rides a little higher than a Fiesta offering drivers a nice view of the road, it is surprisingly spacious with enough room for four adults to travel very comfortably and will also appeal to a growing family. The interior is quite similar to the Fiesta and the Focus will all controls and display familiar to existing Ford owners.†
Standard equipment is generous
Standard equipment is quite generous, specification on the Titanium model includes keyless ignition, alloy wheels, air conditioning, audio and a high standard upholstery. If you want to spend a little more you can add leather trim, rain sensing wipers, cruise control and Fordís feature rich multimedia system complete with mobile phone connectivity.
Reports suggest the new EcoSport is best suited to relaxed urban driving and drives much like any small Ford. Its fair to say this new mini SUV will meet its rivals head on and will be a success. †The new Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium is priced from £15,995 on the road.
By Geraldine Ashton Green
Fri, 07 Feb 2014