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Ford goes up against Nissan Juke and Renault Captur with high-rise Fiesta, but this most expensive diesel version proves less appealing then cheaper EcoBoost variant

What is it?

Ford is keeping its model range for its bold, bluff Ford Ecosport compact SUV simple, with just two petrol engines and one diesel option gracing the launch lineup.

The entry-level model for this high-rise Ford Fiesta is a 111bhp, 1.5-litre petrol which costs £14,995. Above that sits the £15,995 123bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder. If you want a diesel, however, you’ll have to select this variant, which costs an extra £500.

When we assessed the 1.0-litre EcoBoost variant recently, we discovered it offers a decent driving position with good visibility, competitive space for occupants and luggage and adequate handling in a class where driver involvement isn’t high on the list of priorities for prospective buyers.

Decent maneuverability – its 10.65m turning circle is tighter than the Vauxhall Mokka and Nissan Juke, but not the Renault Captur – and compact dimensions give this curiously styled vehicle urban appeal.

What's it like?

The major difference between the petrol and diesel Ecosport is that, with the 1.0 EcoBoost installed, the car at least feels relatively spritely.

By comparison this diesel version has a tepid 0-62mph time of 14.0sec and feels every bit as slow. Ford claims an official kerb weight that’s 34kg more than the petrol too.

This diesel also feels less refined and slower to gather up pace from low speeds, making it less well suited to town driving. The engine is also rather vocal in a manner that’s distinctly less appealing than the characterful thrum of the three-pot unit.

The feel of the electric power assisted steering in this diesel is slightly more weighty than the EcoBoost’s over-light set-up, but that’s about the only area where the oilburning EcoSport eclipses the vivacious little turbocharged petrol variant.

Should I buy one?

Or rather, is this diesel worth the supplementary outlay, which seems modest but could prove anything but in this intensely competitive segment?

True, this is the most economical and, at 120g/km of CO2, the cleanest version on offer. However, on the evidence of our test, the real-world fuel economy gains over the EcoBoost are likely to be smaller than the manufacturer’s claims – driven back-to-back over an identical test route, the diesel returned 45mpg, the EcoBoost a slightly lower 40mpg.

That makes a less compelling case for this variant unless you’re a high-mileage driver who will make sufficient tank fills to recoup the extra cash you pay up front. 

Ford EcoSport 1.5 Duratorq TDCI

Price £16,495; 0-62mph 14.0sec; Top speed 99mph; Economy 61.4mpg; CO2 120g/km; Kerb weight 1384kg; Engine 4cyls, 1498cc, turbocharged diesel; Power 89bhp at 3750rpm; Torque 150lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox 5-speed manual

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catnip 13 August 2014

I've owned a few Fords, and

I've owned a few Fords, and I'm generally a Ford fan, but I really can't take to this model. The Juke sector seems to me to be a very popular, and potentially profitable one, and I think its a shame that Ford haven't put more effort into producing a proper rival for Nissan, Renault and the others, rather than just adapting a so-so model really designed for other, less sophisticated markets.
Factczech 13 August 2014

Rather Disingenuous ....

On the tone of the report it is not hard to see that most folks at Autocar are at times too hard on anything Ford while they heap praises on less popular and at times uglier designs.

To say that the diesel is marginally more frugal is a bit disingenuous, it does not take a genius to work out that at 5 mpg more it would give a substantial range over the ecoboost, on a full tank regardless of high mileage or around town, it could mean fuelling up a day later which is no small issue. At 42 litres tanks this equates to 315 miles for the diesel and 280 mile for the ecoboost that equates to 35 miles longer on the diesel or over 50 km. work that out over the average 3 year lifespan most people keep their car and you save a lot over each year ownership with less maintenance cost .

Matt Burt 15 August 2014

Factczech, Ford's figures

Factczech, Ford's figures claim the difference in mpg between the two variants is about 10mpg. The point I was trying to stress is that during our tests the differences between the indicated fuel economy was half of that, so anyone looking at the figures alone and assuming the diesel is a vastly more economical option could end up being disappointed. Extrapolate your sums using a 10mpg difference and the argument for the diesel would look even more rosy, but it was worth pointing out this might not be the case (depending on driving style). Hopefully your figures also took into account the 4-5p per litre difference between fuel types, which could also be a plus point for the petrol car over 3 years.
erly5 13 August 2014

Should I Buy One?

Seriously? I'm just not getting this one. And I don't understand why I seem to be in the minority. To me it makes the Dacia Duster look sophisticated. This is a Ford from another era and UK and European buyers deserve better than this.
speckyclay 13 August 2014

Indian takeaway

erly5 wrote:

Seriously? I'm just not getting this one. And I don't understand why I seem to be in the minority. To me it makes the Dacia Duster look sophisticated. This is a Ford from another era and UK and European buyers deserve better than this.

Agreed. I understand that it was originally a model designed for the Indian market, and then breathed on with some chrome touches for the UK. They don't even equip this car with a quickclear windscreen...