The ‘world car’ is not a novel concept. If you’re in the business of producing sports cars or luxury cars, making a single model and selling it in as many worldwide markets as possible is standard practice.
It’s only in the mass car market where things are different. And differences between cars of the same size across different regions, to reflect our differing tastes, would be an ever-continuing theme but for the inconvenience to car manufacturers of a near-£1 billion bill every time they develop an all-new car.
But attempting to turn a profit by developing and making three different models for three different regions, each of which costs less than, say, one Audi, has put the kibosh on it.
The ‘One Ford’ mission, then, has given us this: the EcoSport. It’s a ‘me, too’ entrant into the small SUV/crossover market, because no car maker should be without one, here or anywhere else.
Ford hasn’t had a baby crossover or SUV in Europe before, but it’s no stranger to importing 4x4s from outside of the Continent.
The Explorer, introduced in 1998 and at first with a 4.0-litre petrol engine only, showed how marked the differences were between European and US tastes.
Although there hasn’t been a European EcoSport before, this car is the second-generation one. The original, built from 2004 until 2012, is also based on a Fiesta and is one of Brazil’s best-selling Fords.
So, the EcoSport was designed on one continent and is built on another, and neither of those is Europe. So how does it fare here? Let’s find out.