Review: Ford EcoSport (2014)
Practical, spacious Fiesta based small SUV. Impressive 1.0 EcoBoost engine. Good quality ride. Low lip to rear load area.
Tailgate opens wrong way for right hand drive. Handling not up to usual Ford standards. Spare wheel on rear door optional from September 2015.
Ford EcoSport (2014): At A Glance
- New prices start from £17,595, brokers can source from £16,250
- Contract hire deals from £186.14 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 9–11
- On average it achieves 77% of the official MPG figure
With small SUVs becoming ever more popular it's no surprise to see Ford getting in on the act with the new EcoSport. A rival to the likes of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, the EcoSport is based on the Fiesta and is the same length, yet it's impressively spacious inside with plenty of storage, practical seats and a raised driving position.
The EcoSport name isn't actually new – a first generation model, based on the Fusion, was launched in Brazil in 2003 and this all-new car was designed and engineered in Brazil with models for the UK being built in India. Only two-wheel drive models will be sold here with a straightforward engine line-up of a 1.5-litre petrol, a 1.5 TDCi diesel and the three-cylinder 1.0 EcoBoost engine which offers the most sprightly performance.
It's fair to say it's not Ford's most adventurous design, but it does look good from the front with a strong mini-SUV look. We're far less convinced by the rear though. That spare wheel stuck on the back is reminiscent of an old Toyota RAV4 and looks dated. It also means the EcoSport has a side hinged tailgate door which is awkward to open in tight spaces. Hardly ideal for a car designed for urban use.
It's better inside with a good quality interior and a neat layout that follows the Fiesta. There's an impressive amount of stowage and it's practical too with rear seats that fold and flip up along with a good sized boot and only a small boot lip. Rear passenger space is generous too with good leg and headroom, even for those six foot plus.
The other area where the EcoSport impresses is equipment. All UK models are Titanium trim and come with plenty of kit including 16-inch alloys, climate control, keyless entry and start, a multifunction steering wheel and electric windows all round. For another £1000 you can add the Titanium X pack which includes leather seats, cruise control and 17-inch alloys.
What does a Ford EcoSport (2014) cost?
Ford EcoSport (2014): What's It Like Inside?
The interior of the EcoSport is impressively spacious for a car that is only four metres long. Even with the front seats slid all the way back, you can still sit relatively comfortably in the back with good legroom and plenty of head room too. And as a family car the EcoSport is also usefully practical.
The rear doors open wide so getting in and out is easy while the rear seats flip up and fold forward to increase the overall boot space.
That said we don't think the side hinged tailgate is a great piece of design. It seems very old fashioned now (think Daihatsu Terios and Suzuki Jimny) and with that big spare wheel on the back looks ugly too.
Considering the EcoSport is designed for urban driving it's hardy ideal to have a tailgate that requires several feet to open. If you're in a multi storey or tight supermarket car park it will be a pain and equally so if you've managed to park in a small parallel space.
On the plus side there's plenty of storage, which includes large door pockets that can carry a 1.5-litre bottle along with a good sized glovebox and a tray under the passenger seat. Touches like the 12v sockets in the back - ideal for kids who want to charge their iPhones - add to the practical feel.
The fact that the EcoSport is built in India rather than Europe may concern some, but quality doesn't seem to be an issue. The interior follows the same design as the Fiesta and feels as well built, with good fit and finish. As the EcoSport only comes in Titanium trim there's a high specification with a gloss black finish on the air vents and around the stereo plus a multi-function leather steering wheel. Extras like hill hold assist are also included.
Ford's voice-activated SYNC system is also available as a £250 option and includes a new AppLink function. This lets you transfer certain apps from your phone onto the in-car system. At the moment there are only a handful of apps, but it does include Spotify, so if you're a subscriber you can listen to music on the move. More apps will be launched over time.
Child seats that fit a Ford EcoSport (2014)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Ford EcoSport (2014) like to drive?
On the road the EcoSport is comfortable and easy to drive with forgiving suspension and good all round visibility. That said the bonnet does drop away quickly so it's not that easy to gauge where the front of the car is. Rear parking sensors are a £200 option and with that big spare wheel plonked on the back we'd say they're a worthwhile investment.
Given the reputation Ford has for handling, the EcoSport isn't up to the usual high standards we've come to expect. The steering lacks feel and there's not as much front end grip as you'd expect. True, few cars in the small SUV class are especially good to drive, but of all the mainstream manufacturers Ford has always lead the way in handling so maybe the expectation is higher.
It certainly doesn't give you the confidence in corners of other Ford models and although body roll is kept well in check, there's not the agility or sharpness of a Fiesta. However, it's good on the motorway with little wind or road noise and a relaxed nature. Here the impressively forgiving ride really shines through.
The engine line-up is simple: there's an entry-level 1.5-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine with 112PS, a 1.5 TDCi diesel with 90PS and the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol. The 1.5 Ti-VCT isn't great on paper with relatively high CO2 emissions of 149g/km; however, it is the only model available with an automatic gearbox instead of the five-speed manual that's standard on all models.
The standard manual is a good gearbox with positive changes but the actual gear lever is situated quite low down for what is a car with a raised driving position. It would benefit from being moved up the central console. That aside the driving position is good with plenty of adjustment in the seat and both reach and height movement in the steering column.
If most of your driving is in town or over short distances then the 1.0 EcoBoost is your best choice. The three-cylinder engine with 125PS is sprightly enough at low speeds thanks to its turbocharger, but it does lack in-gear pulling power and with a full load on board you will have to work both the engine and the gearbox to get meaningful performance.
It's reasonably quiet though unless you really push the revs up and economy is admirable at 53.3mpg according to the official figures. Going for the TDCi diesel will cost another £500 which is a very reasonable increase compared to the usual diesel premium.
It may have less power with a modest 90PS but it has more torque with 205Nm so on motorways and dual carriageways it's more effortless. The 1.5 TDCi isn't the quietest though and there's noticeable clatter when it's under stress - the EcoSport would benefit from more engine soundproofing to help the overall refinement. Economy is good though at 61.1mpg.
|1.0T EcoBoost 100||53 mpg||11.9 s||127 g/km|
|1.0T EcoBoost 125||46–53 mpg||11.0–12.7 s||119–134 g/km|
|1.0T EcoBoost 140||53 mpg||11.8 s||119 g/km|
|1.5||45 mpg||13.3 s||149 g/km|
|1.5 PowerShift||45 mpg||14.1 s||149 g/km|
|1.5 TDCi||61–64 mpg||14.0 s||115–120 g/km|
|1.5 TDCi 100||67 mpg||13.6–14.0 s||107 g/km|
|1.5 TDCi 125||59–64 mpg||10.7–11.3 s||116–119 g/km|
|1.5 TDCi 90||61 mpg||14.0 s||120 g/km|
|1.5 TDCi 95||64 mpg||14.0 s||115 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Ford EcoSport (2014)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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