Ford EcoSport 1.0

EcoBoost Titanium S

Ford EcoSport, front
Ford EcoSport, front
Ford EcoSport, side
Ford EcoSport, side
Ford EcoSport, interior
Ford EcoSport, rear
Ford EcoSport, interior

I'M not sure which clever marketing department came up with the smart idea of labelling engines with fancy titles, but it has certainly paid off.

We have the likes of the Suzuki Boosterjet, Fiat's MultiJet, Ingenium from Jaguar and Land Rover and possibly the finest of them all, Ford's award-winning EcoBoost engine.

The reason this particular powertrain is so clever and has received so many plaudits is all in the performance and economy.

Downsizing an engine's capacity would normally mean compensating on power, but Ford has added turbochargers to its EcoBoost engines and that means, in theory, the three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost powertrain can deliver an impressive 140ps which is very similar to an older and heavier 1.6-litre petrol engine.

And that power translates into very impressive performance in a number of Ford's models, including the very practical compact SUV EcoSport.

Admittedly the initial four-door model got off to quite a bad start here in the UK where it was heavily criticised for its looks and handling. But that was then and this is now.

Long gone is the rea-mounted spare wheel which really dated the EcoSport and the interior has certainly moved upmarket too.

The ride height has been lowered slightly which improves the car's ride and there have also been improvements to the car's electronic stability control and powered steering to improve the all-round dynamics.

This car, in range-topping Titanium S trim, was priced at £17,595 (£19,310 with options fitted) and could accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 11.8 seconds before maxing out at 115mph.

According to official figures, it can deliver fuel economy of 52.3mpg with carbon emissions of 125g/km.

The EcoSport is a good looking vehicle with its sporty, athletic stance, complimented by 17-inch black alloys, a painted black contrast roof and mirror housings, rear privacy glass, LED signature lights, silver scuff plates, silver roof rails, a chrome finished grille and front fog lights.

Inside, the cabin can easily accommodate four adults (five at a push) with ample leg, head and shoulder space.

Technology is plentiful and include a Sony navigation with DAB digital radio (£400 extra), rear parking sensors (£210), a rear view camera (£250), air con, automatic lights and wipers, Ford SYNC which enables you to connect to all modern multi-media devices on the move and plenty more besides.

Thia version also featured a Winter Pack costing £230 which added heated front seats, a quick-clear heated windscreen and heated exterior mirrors.

Despite ditching the spare from the back of the car, the latest EcoSport still has a side-hinged rear door which opens really wide and is very handy when loading bulky items. That said; it can be an issue when reversed back against a wall as it needs extra rear space to open.

The vehicle shares many of its platforms with the highly-successful Fiesta and that is very apparent when it comes to handling and performance.

The power from the compact engine is most impressive and the car makes light work of maintaining high motorway speeds, overtaking at short notice and climbing steep hills. In addition, the five-seed transmission is both smooth and responsive.

In towns the high-seated driving position is very practical and comfort levels for all occupants are good. You will feel the odd bump now and again, but other than that the ride is fine.

I also liked the small infotainment screen which was about the same size as a smartphone, but delivered all the information that was needed. On the downside, the awkwardly angled and shiny Sony console produced some irritating glare issues.

FAST FACTS

Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium S

Price:£17,595

Mechanical:140ps, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:115mph

0-62mph:11.8 seconds

Combined MPG:52.3

Insurance Group: 11

C02 emissions:125g/km

Bik rating:22%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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