Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Restyling Brings Baby SUV Bang Up to Date

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Restyling Brings Baby SUV Bang Up to Date

Article excerpt

LIKE most of the other major manufacturers Ford are investing heavily in the booming small SUV/Crossover segment.

The latest version of their popular EcoSport is evidence of the efforts Ford are putting into getting a share of this lucrative market as their baby SUV has had a comprehensive makeover and upgrade.

Out test car this week was a very distinctive EcoSport ST-Line in smart black and 'Tiger Eye' orange, which came packed with tech and safety aids.

Now the EcoSport has been criticised by motoring journalists in the past, who suspected it had been 'cobbled together' to get a share of that booming supermini SUV market, so Ford have bitten the bullet and addressed the issues raised against it.

In 2015 they gave the EcoSport a boost by removing that ungainly spare wheel, overhauling the suspension and upping the equipment list. Now, three years on and Ford has given the EcoSport another major restyle, plus moved production to Romania.

The 2018 updates include exterior styling to match the Kuga and Edge, an interior to match the excellent new Fiesta and new trim levels with increased personalisation options.

And it has to be said the 2018 version is a lot better for the changes with improved handling, ride, noise levels, equipment lists and styling.

The light and responsive steering is almost as good as the latest Fiesta, on which the EcoSport is based, and engine choices now include Ford's three-cylinder 1.0 EcoBoost with either 123bhp (our car) or 138bhp plus a 1.5 diesel with either 99bhp or 123bhp The more powerful diesel is only available with AWD (a first for the EcoSport), while a six-speed manual is standard - only the 123bhp petrol is offered with a sixspeed auto.

Our excellent 123bhp 3-cylinder engine can get the EcoSport to hit 0 to 62 in 12.7 seconds and go on to a top speed of 111 while returning up to a shade over 61mpg.

The new ST-line trim adds sports suspension, a body kit, 17-inch special alloys, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, part-leather seats and ST scuff plates which help it to stand out - especially in the striking two colour finish of our test car. …

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