The Ford EcoSport is distinctive enough to provide something different in the compact SUV marketplace, especially with the ST-Line Edition. Perhaps the most distinctive area of the EcoSport ST-Line is that dominant, all black front grille which sets up the EcoSport beautifully, especially when combined with the Black headlight bezels, HID xenon headlights, cool daytime LEDs and front fogs.
The EcoSport on test offers up what Ford say is a sports inspired style. What this means is that you get unique ST-Line bumpers and side skirts, optional 18″ 5-spoke black machined alloy wheels, ST-Line exterior branding plus contrasting roof, rear spoiler and door mirrors. Ford have created an SUV that gives a fantastic first impression.
Settle into the ST-Line and the sporting theme continues with unmissable Front door threshold plates with the ST-Line logo, sports pedals and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. This is a great place to spend your time.
Dominating the dashboard is the 8″ touchscreen giving you Ford SYNC 3 which allows control of everything from phone calls and text messaging to music and satellite navigation through simple voice commands. Continuing to impress, there’s also includes electronic automatic temperature control, blind spot information system, cruise control and a rear view camera with parking distance sensors. Impressive stuff.
The EcoSport sports (ahem) Ford’s 123bhp version of their excellent 3-cylinder turbocharged power plant with up to 148ft/lb torque meaning that you can leave the engine in fourth or fifth when in town, keeping the revs above 1500 or so and the Ford will potter along for as long as you need it to. A light clutch and steering and compact City Car dimensions add up to a vehicle that is incredibly easy to manoeuvre in town and that’s before you consider the benefit of a SUV driving position and associated improved site lines.
On Dual carriageway and motorways you set the simple to use cruise control to 70mph and begin to appreciate the build quality of the plastics, leather and switches around you and admire the stress free ride quality that the Sports Suspension setup of the ST-Line delivers whilst still giving hints of the fun to come once twisting country roads hove into view.
Out into the countryside and the EcoSport takes on a different flavour as the opportunity to stir the slick 6-speed gearbox through it’s ratios and enjoy the turbocharged three-cylinder engine under the bonnet presents itself. Slowing down for the bends gives the brakes a chance to shine whilst shifting up nearer the top of the rev range and stirring the ‘box shows what a fantastic job Ford’s engineers have once again completed with the engine and drivetrain. There’s also steering that offers up decent feel for the front end of the car and means that this SUV will go where you point it safely and without any surprises.
There’s room for five adults, a stylish exterior and technologically advanced interior. A superb yet economical engine, up to 356 litres of packing space when in five seat mode and loaded up to the parcel shelf and plenty of practical cubby holes and drink holders for driver and passengers there can be no doubt that Ford have given us exactly what they set out to do. It’s fun when you want it to be and sensible when you don’t and with a starting price of £17,850 for the ZETEC that’s an excellent result.
And did I mention you also get Ford’s brilliant Quickclear heated windscreen?
Where will you go?