In-depth reviews

Ford EcoSport review - Engines, performance and drive

The EcoSport isn't Ford's finest moment, with a compromised ride and little dynamic polish

The EcoSport should be the best driver’s car in the crossover market. After all, under the skin it features the mechanicals from the Ford Fiesta, which is one of the most entertaining superminis ever produced. Somehow, though, the DNA got lost in translation, and the first EcoSports were really quite dire from behind the wheel.

Ford responded to widespread criticism of these cars, and upgraded European-spec models with revised suspension. The results are still a bit mixed, though. The EcoSport has the Fiesta’s nicely weighted steering, but the ride quality remains lacklustre and the body still rolls quite a bit.

Even on ST-Line models, which come with specially tweaked sports suspension, there’s still plenty of body roll and the ride remains busy, softly wallowing around even on roads that aren’t all that bumpy or undulating.

To make matters worse, the chassis is upset by even small bumps, and due to the short wheelbase, the EcoSport seems to lumber down the road rather than float over it. This would be disappointing from any manufacturer's product, but it’s especially so from Ford, with its reputation for producing thrilling drivers’ cars. 

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed 

The 1.0-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder has always been a lovely engine, but in the EcoSport it feels a little bit flat. Again, the extra weight compared to the Fiesta means it’s also just too thirsty when you drive it with the vigour you need to keep the crossover ticking along.

If you opt for the 123bhp variant you'll see a 11.0 second sprint time from 0-62mph, with a largely irrelevant 111mph maximum.

The 138bhp version is only available with the sportier ST-Line models. On the plus side, it’s decently refined and economical, but with a 0-62mph time of 10.2 seconds, it still doesn't feel quick enough. The overall result is that it's nowhere near as rewarding as it is when fitted to the Fiesta. However, seeing as the more powerful car is only around £400 more expensive it's might be worthwhile to stump up the extra cash if you can.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 EcoBoost 125 ST-Line Design 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,950

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 EcoBoost 125 ST-Line Design 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,950

Fastest

  • Name
    1.0 EcoBoost 140 ST-Line 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,450

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