What is it?
We’ve already sampled the 2018 model in Portugal, but now we’re putting it under the microscope on home turf for the first time.
Ford will no doubt expect to see the Ecosport's popularity increase. SUV sales in Europe continue to grow, and the manufacturer predicts that one in every three new cars sold by 2020 will come from this segment, with compact models accounting for a generous portion of that figure.
Rival firms haven’t been lazy when it comes to launching their own contenders, either, which only makes the Ecosport’s job of standing out even tougher.
Ford is keen to point out that the revised Ecosport features 2300 new parts, although the basic layout remains largely the same.
For the suspension, that means independent MacPherson struts up front with a torsion beam at the rear. However, Ford says that it has now tuned the Ecosport’s chassis specifically with European drivers in mind.
A familiar engine line-up is also present. Kicking things off is the 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol, which is available in both 123bhp and 138bhp guises, while a 98bhp 1.5-litre TDCI is the sole diesel offering. A four-wheel-drive 1.5-litre Ecoblue diesel model will join the range mid-year.
The most noticeable change, however, is the revised exterior. Where the original Ecosport looked overly cutesy and cartoonish, this new model looks far more purposeful. The trapezoidal grille has been enlarged, while angular foglight housings help complete a front three-quarter profile that Ford claims was inspired by rucksack straps. Supposedly these hint at the Ecosport’s “adventurous character”. Make of that what you will.