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 original EcoSport and the facelifted UK models were designed on one continent and is built on another, and neither of those on mainland Europe.

Top 5 Crossovers

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run