The updated Ford EcoSport compact SUV will go on sale this October, priced from £14,245.
Customers can now specify the Fiesta-based EcoSport without its boot-mounted spare wheel, while interior options now include leather trim and new chrome details. EcoSport models ordered without the spare wheel now get a tyre mobility kit instead.
Ford also says it has improved the car’s handling and ride comfort, with revisions made to its springs, dampers, ESC and steering systems.
The options list now includes a winter pack, which adds a heated windscreen and mirrors, as well as heated front seats and extra ventilation for rear passengers. The car’s ride height has also been dropped by 10mm, which Ford says has improved handling.
Improvements have also been made to the EcoSport’s 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine, which now offers more power at 94bhp, and returns a claimed 64.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 115g/km. Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol, which delivers 123bhp, is unchanged, as is the 1.5-litre Ti-VCT petrol. All EcoSport engines now meet Euro 6 emissions standards.
Ford has been looking to update the slow-selling EcoSport in the face of mounting criticism over the car’s poor mechanical refinement. Autocar’s Matt Saunders called the old EcoSport the worst model in the Blue Oval’s current line-up, saying it was “below the class standard in just about every area.”
The decision to refresh the EcoSport is aimed at keeping the car competitive against rivals that include the Renault Captur and Vauxhall Mokka - both of which hold 3.5-star Autocar road test ratings to the EcoSport’s 3 stars. The Renault Captur has a price tag of £14,295, while the Mokka currently retails for £16,474.
Official figures show that Ford sold 2786 units of the EcoSport in the UK in 2014, with a further 4100 examples being sold so far this year. Meanwhile, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that Vauxhall sold 33,857 units of the Mokka in this country in 2014, while 20,466 examples of the Renault Captur were sold during the same period.
According to industry analysts IHS, Ford is predicted to sell 20,239 examples of the EcoSport in Europe in 2015. The car is produced in India, at Ford's Chennai plant.
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