Ford Eco Sport ST-Line gets down the road

Hugh Maguire road tests this 'nice compact' Ford SUV

Ford Eco Sport ST-Line gets down the road

July is upon us and so some buyers will be considering a 192 model new car. Maybe a small SUV?

SUV’s are outselling saloons and hatchbacks as buyers seem to have fallen in love with their higher driving positions and perceived versatility when in fact many offer no more space than an equivalent hatchback.

Nevertheless the popularity of SUVs continues unabated.

The EcoSport is available in 1.5 diesel or 1.0 litre Ecoboost petrol, with either 2 or 4 wheel drive and a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed auto.

This week's road test is of the EcoSport ST-Line, 1.0T Ecoboost petrol.

So has it any street cred?

The EcoSport looks rather like shrunken version of the Kuga, and thats a good thing as it means the little EcoSport has beefy good looks despite its compact dimensions.

The new model is offered in 12 lovely colours such as the Lightening Blue on my test car.

What’s it like inside?

The new interior is in line with the latest new Fords such as the Fiesta.

The dash is dominated by an 8” touchscreen with Android and Apple Car Play, there is also partial leather upholstery as standard and ambient lighting with a choice of seven different colours.

Standard kit includes 17” 5 Spoke alloys, body styling kit with rear roof spoiler, contrast colour roof and door mirrors, Sports suspension, ST-Line steering wheel, Sports pedals, and ST Line Scuff plates.

My only gripe was that despite good door pockets storage space for the usual items we all carry such as a mobile, keys etc was limited.

Even the centre box between the front seats is very small.

Overall its a nice interior let down only by some hard touch plastics in places.

Accommodation is reasonable, and it will sit four but it will be a bit of a cosy experience.

The load area is accessed via a swinging (rather than rising up) door which is hinged the left.

The electric button to open it is cleverly disguised within the right rear tail light.

The load area is quite small really but on a par with rivals who offer a car in this class. It has a split floor which offers bit more storage space.

What is under the bonnet?

My test car was powered by the 1.0 litre 125PS Eco boost petrol. Performance is good with well chosen gear ratios making the best of the 125 PS available.

I liked the way it gets down the road and over some 700km it burned just 6.6 litres of petrol per 100km. Road tax is €200.00 for the year.

What’s it like to drive?

The EcoSport is certainly well sorted when it comes to the handling department as despite its height it manages to get around the twisty stuff without too much body roll.

It rides and handles pretty well but it's not a car you will get into and go for a drive just for the hell of it.

Refinement is good with wind, road and tyre noise well suppressed.

Whats the verdict?

The latests EcoSport is a good improvement over its predecessor with better standard kit, better quality and a fresh new look.

Prices for this model start at €24,776 entry price for EcoSport is €23,525.

A nice options list allows buyers to personalise their ECOSport too.

Overall then a nice compact SUV thats not short on space or style.