New(er), improved Ford Ecosport: has Ford fixed it? | CAR Magazine

New(er), improved Ford Ecosport: has Ford fixed it?

Published: 13 July 2015

► Revisions for Ford’s compact crossover
► Improved interior, retuned suspension
► On sale October 2015 from £14,245

In its current guise, the Ford Ecosport is one of those cars brimming with on-paper promise: Fiesta-based chassis, characterful Ecoboost engines and bang-on-trend B-segment crossover packaging.

We’re not covninced that’s translated into a great end product, though. When we first drove the Ecoboost at its international launch in 2014 (you can read our original review here), we were disappointed by the low-rent interior plastics, dated-before-its-time infotainment system, awkward tailgate, thirst for petrol and, worst of all for a Ford, wallowy handling. It was the same story when we drove it on British roads more recently: click here for the Ford Ecosport 1.0 Ecoboost UK road test.

(Potentially) good news for crossover-keen Blue Oval fans, though: Ford has hurried through a patch of updates and announced a ‘significantly enhanced’ Ecosport will reach showrooms in October 2015.

What’s changed on the 2015 Ford Ecosport?

Some spit and polish has been applied to the interior, in the form of extra chrome trim, extra black bits to break up the previous car’s monotonous grey and a 4-inch colour display in the centre of the dash. The seats can be partially wrapped in leather if you pick a Titanium trim model.

There’s some extra equipment available, mostly centred around heat: a new ‘Winter Pack’ brings a heated windscreen, heated mirrors, heated front seats and extra heating vents for rear passengers. Privacy glass is now an option for all trims and sat-nav and a reversing camera are on the way.

There’s a change on the outside, too: you don’t have to have that Suzuki Jimny-aping boot-mounted spare wheel any more if you don’t want it. There’s a delete option, exchanging it for a ‘tyre mobility kit.’ The side-hinged tailgate itself has had a minor redesign to make it a little easier to access the boot when the door’s partially opened.

What about the way it drives?

Ford’s development team at the company’s Lommel test centre in Belgium has been working to a brief to make the Ecosport ‘more fun to drive on European roads’ and has come up with a revised suspension setup.

The springs and dampers have been adjusted, the ride height has been lowered by 10mm and the rear torsion beam is now stiffer, to curb some of the original Ecosport’s penchant for body roll. On the electronics front, the stability control system and power steering have had a retune too, again with European roads in mind (a product of the current ‘One Ford’ scheme, the Ecosport is a car built for markets on various continents around the world).

Power’s up on the 1.5 TDCi diesel by around 5bhp to 93bhp in total and all engines are meet the latest Euro6 emissions regs. You won’t be able to hear them so easily, either: extra sound deadening in the doors and dash and tighter pedal seals are said to have cut cabin noise.

How much?

Available to order now, Ford Ecosport Take II prices start at £14,245. Value was always the least of the Ecosport’s problems and that’s still the case, with plenty of standard kit for the money. We’ll find out if it can now also offer improved driving dynamics and interior quality soon: watch this space for a road test.

By James Taylor

Former features editor for CAR, occasional racer