Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost review

12 Dec, 2013 12:30pm Paul Bond

We test three-cylinder EcoBoost engine in new Ford EcoSport SUV

Verdict

3
The Ford EcoSport gives the brand a vital foothold in the booming small SUV sector. It does feel compromised in places, but there are plans to constantly evolve and improve it to make it more competitive. It’s well equipped and decent to drive, but the 1.0 EcoBoost version is not the most refined or economical choice.

We drove the new Ford EcoSport diesel recently and were underwhelmed by Ford’s new baby SUV. Can the award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine help improve on our initial verdict on this Nissan Juke rival?

On paper, it definitely seems like the pick of the three engines in the line-up. It has by far the most power (123bhp) and only slightly less torque (170Nm) than the 1.5-litre TDCi.

In town that extra performance soon makes its presence felt. The turbo improves throttle response at lower revs, and it feels more eager off the line, with the 0-62mph sprint taking just 12.7 seconds, rather than the sluggish 14 seconds recorded by the diesel.

Combine that extra flexibility with the weighty steering, a precise five-speed manual gearbox and well-judged ride and the EcoSport will engage keen drivers more than the majority of cars in this class.

However, some of the handling magic that makes the Fiesta so good has definitely been lost. The soft-edged suspension allows you to tackle speed bumps with ease, but there’s plenty of body roll, too.

On the motorway and when accelerating hard, the loud thrum of the EcoBoost unit is fairly intrusive, and you can feel vibrations coming through the pedals and steering wheel. It’s no worse than the Fiat Panda TwinAir, but it is noisier than a 0.9TCe equipped Renault Captur, and the lack of refinement can become tiring.

Despite being heavily reworked for European buyers, the cabin materials are hard and scratchy, and although final production cars will get smarter gloss black trim for the centre console, the dashboard is pretty old-fashioned.

Buyers have just two trim levels to choose from and both come with good specification, with all cars getting 16-inch alloys, silver roof rails, a multi-function wheel and SYNC Bluetooth and voice control.

Titanium X models cost an additional £1,000 but benefit from a full leather interior, bigger wheels, auto lights and wipers and cruise control – so a fully kitted EcoSport with the 1.0-litre engine costs £16,995.

The ungainly spare wheel cover makes parking tricky, and if you don’t leave at least a metre of space behind you then opening the swing-door to access the boot is almost impossible – something we can see being a real irritation when parallel parking or reversing into tight multi-storey spaces.

Disqus - noscript

To sum it up: the interior is not competitive, the suspension is questionable and the award winning engine does not deliver its promised economy-for which it won the award.

So by all accounts this car has a terrible interior that would have been lamentable 10 years ago . Question to Ford Why ? Who was it made the decision to launch with this rubbish interior hard plastics bad fit people will compare and say No and it will have poor reliability too Not Good Mr Ford Amazing that,s why Ford of Europe are having a hard time ,Mondeo so out of the game Focus not selling as well as it should . And did i hear they want to produce a luxury brand , which is simply lots of leather and gadgets on existing poor models . Hey You guys in America wakey wakey smell the coffee it wont work. I rember the Scorpio a dreaful disaaarster oh and Edsel

Very nice small SUV plenty of flair and good engines.

So as well as being pretty rubbish on fuel the 1.0 ecoboost engine is also noisy and vibrates at speed. Another stellar performance from the multi award winning 'engine of the year'.

Flair? good engines? Still wearing those rose tinted specs of yours Miguel?!

Indeed! It is interesting to read how motoring journalists are now beginning to realise how "thrum" is not a good thing at all. It is possible to get real life impressive economy within reach of the official figures and with a decently refined power unit but it means splashing out for a diesel. The best of these are actually a tad more refined than the equivalent petrol at motorway speeds but they are not a cheapskate thing.

Am I the only one who thinks this car looks unacceptably vile?

No. Far from unique amongst SUV's though.

I'd agree to a point. While I'd never get a supermini SUV because these manufacturers are charging a premium for added bulk and inefficiency (on a number of levels), I don't think they're all bad.

The Mokka is bland but inoffensive, the Captur isn't too bad and neither is the 2008. But I'll certainly agree with you that there are a fair few munters...

Key specs

  • Car tested: Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium
  • Price: £15,995
  • Engine: 1.0-litre 3cyl turbo petrol
  • Power: 123bhp
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 12.7 seconds
  • Top speed: 112mph
  • Economy: 53.3mpg
  • CO2: 125g/km
  • Equipment: 16-inch alloys, Bluetooth, SYNC with AppLink, multi-function leather steering wheel, keyless entry and start, front fog lights
  • On sale: Now

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