New Ford EcoSport SUV debuts new engines and stylish ST-Line trim

Staff writer

Compact SUVs are big, big business for manufacturers – but Ford's previous EcoSport was never more than an also-ran in the segment. Now Ford's launched a new model, aiming to compete with rivals such as the Kia Stonic, SEAT Arona and Citroen C3 Aircross.

The facelift brings with it an upgrade to Ford's new corporate grille, as shared with the Kuga and Edge SUVs. Round the back, little has changed, but Ford offers more exterior personalisation options than before.

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A range of new colours feature, plus the option of a contrasting roof. Those after a sporty touch can now spec ST-Line trim, which lowers the suspension and adds unique bumpers front and rear.

Alloy wheels are available in new designs, in 17- and 18-inch sizes, but if you want a spare wheel, it's mounted on the boot – good for rugged style, less so for rearward visibility.

The interior is night and day compared with the outgoing model. Gone is the titchy monochrome infotainment screen and stack of confusing buttons, replaced instead by a more minimalist look and floating touchscreen.

Top-spec models feature Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system supported by an eight-inch touchscreen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay feature for phone connectivity, while music nuts can choose a Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Buyers can choose from four updated engines. Two 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrols are available, with either 123bhp or 138bhp, as well as two 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesels, producing 99bhp or 123bhp. An optional automatic gearbox is available with the lower-powered petrol.

For the first time, you can also spec an EcoSport with all-wheel drive – though only when paired to the higher-powered diesel engine.

The new EcoSport is on sale now.