By Maggie Barry on 2019-05-26 - Experienced car journalist.
ST-Line 1.5 TDCI
THE Ford EcoSport sits perfectly in the parking space at the supermarket car park.
This might seem like a superfluous comment but it is actually quite crucial to the many families who will drive this compact SUV.
Cars have, over the years, been getting bigger and some of them simply don't fit in the spaces any more or they fit so neatly that it is almost impossible to get in or out once you are parked.
The EcoSport, however, is made to fit perfectly. It is also quite a high little car so that it can't get lost, of more precisely you don't find yourself wondering where on earth you parked it.
This is the baby of the Ford SUV range and in the ST-Line which I am driving quite the spoiled little sibling.
It looks lovely with a neat snub nose, lovely 18-inch alloys and an ST-Line front grille. It also sports the ST-Line bodykit for a rather sporty look with roof bars, a jaunty antenna and a large rear body spoiler. In the two-tone version I am driving it comes with a black roof, and privacy glass and Lightning Blue paintwork as extras.
Interestingly after a tussle with the back tailgate I realised that it opened to the side rather than rising up as most do, a feature that I'm not sure is very practical given my earlier comments about supermarket car parks, although it makes sense in low roofed places.
Inside the sporty feeling continues with sports pedals and the ST-Line logo on the door sills.There are also lovely little puddle lights glowing down from the door mirrors.The steering wheel, handbrake and gearstick are all leather trimmed and there is no doubt about it, this car has a very premium feel.
The seats are comfortable with three in the back with two ISOFIX points and then a 356-litre boot. There are cubby holes and storage spaces and a huge plus for me - two easily accessible USB charging points clearly visible at the foot of the centre console. I don't know how many times friends and I have had to share one USB point swapping our phones over as they reached 60 percent.
And it is a good drive too. I was in the 1.5-litre EcoBlue TDCI, a six-speed manual diesel car with sports suspension. I loved the sixth gear - so often small cars only have five and when you drive along the motorway you keep wanting to put it, without success, into sixth. Not so this car.
It is a lovely little mover, nippy and extremely easy to manoeuvre. The 1.5 engine really gives this small SUV a great bit of grunt. It slicks up and down the gears with the greatest of ease and is the ideal companion for taking the kids to school, getting the shopping or carting stuff to the nearest recycling centre as so many of us are forced to do these days.
It comes with Ford's SYNC 3 navigation in an 8" touchscreen with DAB, emergency assistance, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rear view reversing camera as well as sensors.
Ford EcoSport ST-Line 1.5 TDCI
Mechanical: 125ps, 1,498cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving all four wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 112mph
0-62mph: 11.3 seconds
Combined MPG: 58.9
Insurance Group: 11
C02 emissions: 125g/km
Bik rating: 33%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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