New Ford EcoSport Titanium S 2016 review

Top-spec Ford EcoSport Titanium S is well equipped, but is a little underwhelming behind the wheel

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

High price aside, the Titanium S is Ford’s best attempt yet at making an EcoSport that will really tempt buyers. It’s well equipped and reasonably practical, while the EcoBoost engine is an eager performer. But the black exterior trim can’t distract from its awkward looks, disappointing quality and underwhelming driving experience. A Citroen C4 Cactus is still a better-rounded package, while cars like the Mazda CX-3 justify their higher price tag with a much more rewarding drive.

Everyone wants a slice of the compact crossover market. It’s a sector that’s now inundated with great models to cater for buyers looking for stylish looks and a jacked-up driving position, but that’s small enough to make it easy to drive in town. 

Despite having all the necessary credentials, the Ford EcoSport struggled to make much of an impact. Last year, however, Ford lopped off the rear-mounted spare wheel in an effort to improve practicality and boost its aesthetic appeal. And now it’s added a dose of performance by adding a new Titanium S trim and powerful three-cylinder engine to the range.

The engine is lifted from the Fiesta Red and Black Edition models. It’s got 138bhp and 180Nm of torque, so it feels pretty punchy and makes a characteristic three-cylinder thrum when you rev it. It doesn’t feel as lively as it does in the Fiesta (0-62mph takes 11.8 seconds) but it’s quick enough for most and encourages you to drive more enthusiastically than you might in other EcoSport variants.

Best crossovers

The Titanium S has been treated to a 10mm lower ride height and tweaked sports suspension in a bid to improve the driving experience. The steering feels a bit more precise, but the ride is too firm and can feel quite unsettled at higher speeds and on bumpier roads. A Mazda CX-3 might be more expensive, but it's far more enjoyable and comfortable to drive. There’s a noticeable amount of wind noise around the door mirrors, and you do notice the EcoSport’s extra height in the corners. 

Ford says the EcoSport will do 52.3mpg, while CO2 emissions of 125g/km mean you’ll pay £110 in road tax. That’s not too too bad, but a Peugeot 2008 PureTech 130 puts out only 110g/km – slashing annual VED costs to just £20.

From the outside, the EcoSport still looks slightly awkward, but Ford has added some style with black wheels and a black roof. The interior is lifted pretty much unchanged from the Fiesta, though Titanium S cars have plenty of piano black trim on the centre console and door handles. Our car was fitted with Sony DAB radio and navigation, too, though it’s starting to show its age against more modern rivals like the Renault Captur.

Best 4x4s and SUVs

Passenger space is pretty good, with enough room in the back for two tall passengers, while the boot is a decent 333 litres. While that’s not as good as a Peugeot 2008, it’s actually roomier than Ford’s apparently bigger Focus. It’s accessed by an awkward side-hinged tailgate, though, which is heavy to open and difficult to use in tight spaces. 

At £17,595, this top-spec Titanium S doesn’t come cheap. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, Sony DAB radio, part-leather seats, keyless go, climate control and cruise control, however, with auto lights and wipers and privacy glass included, too. It’s disappointing that our car’s distinctive Mars Red paint job, useful parking sensors and reversing camera, sat-nav and Winter Pack took the price to more than £19,000, though.

Most Popular

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp
Tesla Model S facelift - front
Tesla Model S

New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp

Range-topping version of the Tesla Model S officially unveiled, with a sprint time of 0-60mph in less than two seconds
10 Jun 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle
Volkswagen T7 Multivan - front
Volkswagen Caravelle

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle

The Volkswagen T7 Multivan MPV switches to the MQB platform and adds plug-in hybrid technology
10 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 Jun 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Car group tests

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300

The capable Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport goes up against its new Cupra Leon 300 sibling in this hot hatch battle
12 Jun 2021
New 2021 Lexus NX arrives with firm’s first plug-in hybrid drivetrain
Lexus NX - front action
Lexus NX SUV

New 2021 Lexus NX arrives with firm’s first plug-in hybrid drivetrain

The new Lexus NX 350h features a standard hybrid set-up, while the NX 450h+ gets a plug-in hybrid powertrain capable of 40 miles of pure electric powe…
12 Jun 2021
LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini
LEC MINI Electric
MINI

LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini

The conversion sees the Mini’s A-Series engine replaced with a dinky electric motor and a 20kWh battery for a range of 70 miles in the city
10 Jun 2021
Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features
Audi S5
Audi

Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features

Almost every car in Audi’s line-up has received a tweak, with major updates including Amazon Alexa integration and a Sonos stereo
11 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
'GM taking over Honda would be a disaster'
Honda opinion
Opinion

'GM taking over Honda would be a disaster'

Mike Rutherford is worried about Honda's future, despite its recent motorsport success
6 Jun 2021
Mustang Mach-E: your next company car?
A red Ford Mustang Mach-E parked
Advertisement Feature

Mustang Mach-E: your next company car?

Thinking of getting a new company car? Here’s why you should consider putting the Mustang Mach-E on your shortlist
11 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition 2021 review
Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition - front
Volkswagen T-Cross

New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition 2021 review

The small Volkswagen T-Cross SUV turns on the style in new Black Edition trim
11 Jun 2021