It’s not all bad news here, but Ford of Europe’s usual high dynamic standards have been missed, ignored or simply not applied during the specification and tuning of the running chassis and steering.
After its engine, the car’s rough, thumping, underdamped ride is the most disappointing part of its driving experience. Crossover buyers can be imposed upon to accept a slight compromise on body control and wheel control in return for driving a larger and more capable car than a normal hatchback. But the segment has moved on with the Seat Arona proving that crossovers can handle almost as well as a hatchback.
But the best exponents of the art make the compromise so small that it’s hardly noticeable. The Ecosport’s tendency to fidget and jostle its way down a B-road is more than noticeable. It’s inexcusable, really, when the likes of the Renault Captur and Vauxhall Mokka are deftly tuned.
When the road flattens enough to finally let the Ecosport’s body settle and a corner presents, the car tackles it in a fairly stout, level fashion and with acceptable steering authority and a reasonable balance of grip. But roadholding at its upper limit is quite poor.
Even with such little performance to use, you can soon take the car up to a commitment level that its ESP system won’t permit on the road. An averagely fast sweep through a bend has the electronics interfering before the apex and, in the wet particularly, the car’s adhesion to the road feels quite tenuous.