Now one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world, Ford, is ready to introduce its mini-SUV entry into Britain with the all-new EcoSport.
The Ford EcoSport is already available to order now in the UK, with the first models arriving to dealerships in May 2014.
Pricing for the Ford EcoSport ranges from £14,995 to £16,495. The EcoSport is already firmly established in certain markets around the globe and Ford believes it can play an important role in boosting sales across Europe. But how does this family car option stack up next to its rivals?
Here’s our extensive guide on what the Ford EcoSport has to offer Britain’s car buyers.
One of the most appealing aspects of the new mini-SUVs which have hit the market over the last few years is their design. Cars like the Juke, Vauxhall Mokka, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur all boast bold, muscular-looking body designs which can easily catch the eye.
Certainly with its own design the EcoSport stands out next to all of the other cars in the current Ford line-up. Its broad front grille, raised suspension and slim headlights give the EcoSport a distinct, tall and imposing appearance. Measure it, however, and the EcoSport is not much bigger than a typical supermini.
This is largely because the Ford EcoSport uses the same wheelbase as the Ford Fiesta, the UK market’s current best selling new car. The fact alone that the EcoSport shares key components with such a popular car is sure to work in its favour and attract customers.
Ford has previously utilised the Fiesta’s wheelbase successfully for its B-MAX mini-MPV and the Transit Courier commercial vehicle.
The Ford EcoSport represents one of the more practical offerings for the compact SUV market. Few rivals can match the Ford in terms of ride comfort and cabin space.
Depending on the exact rear seating configurations the boot capacity of the Ford EcoSport ranges between 310 litres or 375 litres. This is determined by whether you have the seats at a ‘normal’ angle or tilt them backwards or further forwards. Interestingly the boot capacity can exceed key rivals like the Nissan Juke and Peugeot 2008.
With the rear seats folded flat the loading space increases to as much as 1,238 litres. There’s plenty of legroom at the back for adults and there are several useful storage compartments within the cabin. This includes a chilled glovebox and a drawer under the front passenger seat.
There are three engine choices available for Ford EcoSport customers in the UK. Included is a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel unit with 90bhp which returns 61.4mpg combined and emits 120g/km of CO2.
Alongside this diesel engine are two petrol units, including a 1.5-litre Duratec unit with 110bhp and a 1.0-litre Ecoboost with 123bhp. Fuel economy figures are at 44.8mpg and 53.3mpg respectively. CO2 emissions are recorded at 149g/km for the 1.5 engine and 125g/km for the Ecoboost.
The Ecoboost engine is also the most powerful and quickest for the EcoSport, allowing it to cover the zero to 62mph sprint in 12.7 seconds and reach up to 112mph. The Ecoboost is also the only engine in the EcoSport range that features stop-start engine technology, which saves fuel and cuts emissions when the car is idle in traffic.
With any engine the EcoSport utilises front-wheel drive. A five-speed manual gearbox is also standard but when picking the 1.5-litre petrol unit a six-speed Powershift automatic gearbox is available optionally.
In the UK market there is one trim level available for the Ford EcoSport, called ‘Titanium’.
From £15,995, however, the EcoSport Titanium is also available with the ‘X Pack’ which adds extra kit and can be included with all engine options.
Even without the X Pack the Ford EcoSport is already well equipped, featuring 16-inch alloy wheels, climate control, radio/CD player and full electric windows.
Whichever engine you choose with your EcoSport, including the X Pack will add an extra £1,000 to the car’s total price.
In return for paying this extra amount you get bigger 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as full leather trim, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers and cruise control.
Our choice of engines in the Ford EcoSport range is the 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol engine. While the 1.5-litre diesel option technically offers cleaner and more efficient running, the EcoBoost almost matches it in this regard.
The Ecoboost also delivers the most versatile and enjoyable driving experience for the EcoSport, offering a generous amount of torque to use. The 1.0-litre Ecoboost has already received special endorsements by winning the International Engine of the Year accolade twice, in 2012 and 2013.
The Ecoboost has proven it can blend performance and efficiency very well by featuring in the latest Fiesta and Focus plus other Ford models.
Since the car is already well equipped as standard the optional X Pack does not feel essential.
However, it’s still worth considering if you have the extra cash to spend and fancy adding some extra quality and comforts to your car.
Initial plans from Ford are to sell a restricted number of 4,000 EcoSport models in the UK during 2014, due to a restriction of availability from production factories. This restriction, however, is expected to ease off once Ford’s plan to increase production is completed.