THE EcoSport is the baby of Ford's SUV family and it has been with us for over six years competing for business in a talented and crowded sector.
It struggled to win fans when it first arrived as it was not really suited to our roads but several major updates and improvements mean that it now looks and drives much better.
The first EcoSports were manufactured in India and eventually Ford moved production to one of its European plants, carried out some major engineering changes and although it is still not perfect it is much improved.
The latest revamp came almost two years ago and the EcoSport now has a sharper sportier look that is favoured by its siblings.
It also now has a decent interior, largely carried over from the best-selling Fiesta.
I have just spent some time with the 1.0-Litre EcoBoost version with start/stop in the top ST-Line trim priced from £20,995.
The three-pot unit is good for 125ps and has a top speed of 111mph with a 0-62mph time of 11 seconds flat.
The throaty unit is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox and it is always willing. Under the tougher new WLTP regulations it has a low fuel consumption figure of 40.9mpg and a high figure of 49.6.I averaged a steady 45mpg over a week of mixed driving which is pretty good.
TheEcoSportprovides a decent drive and the gear change is slick and the steering is nicely weighted. The suspension changes mean that it is now a better match for our roads but there is still some body roll and the ride remains busy over rough surfaces.
The redesigned interior is very familiar as most of it is taken from the Fiesta hatchback and that is not a bad thing.
All the instruments and switchgear are plucked from its sibling and a tablet-style infotainment screen sits on top of the dash. It is easy to find a nice driving position with good visibility and there is room for four adults to travel in comfort.
The ST-Line also offers a generous amount of standard equipment and includes most of the latest safety features.
Standard equipment on this model includesan ST-Line bodystyling kit which really improves the car's looks. It includes dark tarnish 17-inch alloy wheels, an ST-Line unique grille, a large rear spoiler, a contrast painted roof and sports pedals as well as some added ST trim.
You also get partial sensico and dinamica trim on the seats with red stitching, a leather steering wheel, electronic automatic temperature control, power-foldable door mirrors, puddle lighting, Ford Sync 3 Navigation, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rear view camera with parking sensors, ambient lighting and a host of other features.
On the practical front the boot offers 355-litres of luggage space but the tailgate is still an annoying side-opening affair and that is still a bit of a pain.
Standard safety equipment includes ESP with hill launch assist, pre-collision assist, traffic sign recognition and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
You can add an X-Pack for £600 which gives you a B&O premium sound system with 10 speakers, powerfold mirrors, keyless entry and start and privacy glass. If you want larger 18-inch shadow black machined alloys you can have them for another £600.