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