- Good driving experience
- Four-wheel drive availability
- Range of equipment to choose from
- Stiffer ride than rivals
- Engines could be punchier
- Rear space is limited
What's the Ford EcoSport like?
Ford's smallest SUV – the EcoSport – has a wide range of abilities, and it's good fun to drive despite fairly lowly power in some models.
And like the majority of other models in the class, almost all come with front-wheel drive (FWD), not four-wheel drive (4WD).
There's just one exception, and that's the EcoBlue TDCI 125bhp diesel. It's capable of decent off-road performance where all the others would flounder.
Of course, the EcoSport is up against some very stiff competition from the likes of the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and SEAT Arona, but I've found that it matches them in almost every way.
There was a major update in 2017 with a revised front end and extra tech to bring it more up to date.
The 1.5-litre diesel is available in both 100 and 125bhp power outputs, and the 100bhp reaches 60mph from rest in 12.3 seconds while rated at an excellent 68mpg.
But the 125bhp FWD is still capable of 62mpg, and it brings the sprint down to a much more sprightly 10.4 seconds.
Petrol engines are all Ford EcoBoost 1.0-litre turbos. The lowest output has 100bhp and this gets to 60mph in 11.5 seconds while rated at 53mpg.
Next up is a 125bhp version that has almost the same economy but reaches the benchmark in 10.6 seconds. And the quickest, with 140bhp, is the only model to break the 10.0 seconds to 60mph barrier, covering it in 9.9 seconds with economy of 51mpg.
All apart from the 4WD drive the front wheels through a standard slick changing 6-speed gearbox, but an automatic is available on some models.
One of the reasons many people buy an SUV is the usually high level of comfort.
But some EcoSport models have stiffened sports suspension with bigger wheels and tyres, and in these, the ride is compromised somewhat.
Generally, they all drive beautifully in just about every way. The engines aren't the most powerful, but they suit the car, and pull well in the low to mid-range once on the move.
They're also smooth and quiet, dropping down to under 1,500rpm and pulling away again without a murmur of complaint, in the way that the vast majority of engines seem to do these days.
The roadholding and handling are very good, and certainly ahead of some of the competition, with strong grip and good balance, plus excellently tactile and informative steering.
Zetec spec includes a good range of kit such as electronic stability control, alarm, excellent seat and column adjustment, air conditioning, loads of airbags and other built-in safety, and audio remote control. Further up the range you get parking sensors, sat nav, cruise control, part leather seats, and heated mirrors.
The EcoSport is a great all-rounder, and the 4WD option adds to its capabilities for those who regularly see serious winter conditions or tow a trailer.
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Find your Ford EcoSport your way with CarStore
The Ford EcoSport is a compact SUV that offers a good amount of equipment and an engaging driving experience. Unlike most of its competitors, you can buy an EcoSport with four-wheel drive, allowing you to enjoy your adventures to their fullest.