From the edge of the hanging on the rear door of the reserve to the wall remained a good half a meter, and not because it was necessary to open the trunk. Remembering the reserve, the driver did not dare to rely either on the voice of the parking sensor, nor on the image from the camera, in which the edge of the wheel is completely invisible. Although the camera, it seems, in order to appear on the updated car.
Among the parked cars of journalists and organizers, the updated EcoSport is easily confused with the larger Kuga host. The younger still has a tall, slightly curved body and more modest dimensions, but the stylistics now exactly corresponds to the older model, and the headlamps are decorated with boomerangs of daylight LEDs.
Base halogen is slightly simpler than floodlights of more expensive trim levels, and xenon are only available as an option, but the shape of the optics and the location are copied exactly as the higher position of the radiator grille. EcoSport definitely began to look more solid, and with the “aluminum” pseudo-protection of the lower air intake and a thorough unpainted body kit of bumpers and thresholds it seems in some ways even brutal than the older Kuga.
Growing up outside, EcoSport has become even more mature inside, and it seems to be the most serious transformation, which fundamentally changes the attitude to the compact crossover. Instead of a toy and cute interior with a console and fixtures from Fiesta, assembled from glossy, soft plastic, the car now has a very elegant, restrained and pleasant to the touch interior with a gripping, complex steering wheel, a separate “tablet” media system and discreet lacquered inserts.
The seats are very comfortable, the right elbow rests on the courtesy of the armrest, and the devices and the “tablet” are greeted with cool graphics. The choice is offered by three media systems with screens ranging from 4.2 to 8 inches, and all are touchscreen with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Finally, there are normal cruise control washers and a range of high-power USB outlets, including one on the top edge of the windshield to connect the recorder or radar detector. Original, but no more than the handle of opening the fifth door, hidden in the right lantern and stylized as a section of the reverse lamp. The convenience of the wicket is still in doubt, but now there is at least a full-fledged rigid shelf instead of a shabby rag luggage trunk that looked very poor in the face of classmates.
There was an indicator of the level of the washer fluid and the system “EasyFuel” without a gas tank plug, but more relevant would be the handles above the doors and the hard floor of the trunk, which is set to the level of the lower edge of the compartment and allows you to organize an almost flat surface when folding the rear seats.
Load and boot into a high EcoSport is not so easy – a 20-centimeter clearance makes a little more effort, but it gives enough confidence when driving on bumpy primers. If you believe the company’s representatives, the geometry of the body and the ability to surmount the ford, EcoSport is hardly inferior to the large VW Touareg of the previous generation, but more in this car is impressive the equanimity with which the small crossover goes along the road with large stones and serious bends.
Work on improving the noise insulation of wheel arches and engine compartment, as well as adjusting the silent blocks of the suspension with the simultaneous modernization of some body elements helped to significantly reduce the noise background in the cabin, making the driver feel close to the cars of a higher class. It is thanks to this that EcoSport seems more passable, although in fact it is simply boldly thrown into the gullies, forgetting about the short strokes of the suspension and hoping for small angles of entry, the intelligence of the all-wheel drive and the thrust of the engine.
The layout for power units is now simpler and in many respects more fair: with the all-wheel drive transmission only the older two-liter engine with a capacity of 148 hp is offered. and only complete with a 6-step hydromechanical automatic transmission. And this is exactly what the previous version lacked so much, where the choice was between a front-wheel drive with a motor of 1.6 with a robotic transmission or full with a 2-liter engine and a MCP.
Two liters and “automatic” – a completely versatile combination for off-road and asphalt. According to the figures, the two-liter EcoSport is far from being a sports car, but it has reliable traction and allows quite confidently overtake on the highway, though without any excitement.
But the junior motor is a surprise. Firstly, the place of the 122-horsepower 1.6-liter engine, with which the crossover seemed frankly boring, took a three-cylinder 1.5-liter engine with almost the same power of 123 hp. Secondly, in addition to “mechanics”, he joins with the same manual and not robotic transmission.
But the main thing is that even in such a combination this power unit is perceived more alive. It will only take a little getting used to the character of the three-cylinder engine, which is weak at low revs, but rotates well at high speeds. And let the story with the replacement of the localized motor of 1.6 liters per imported 1.5 liters seems strange, but the fact is that it turned out to be at least more interesting, and the capricious “robot” resigned.
The new engine does not make EcoSport any faster, and judging by the announced figures, it accelerates very mediocrely. But for a ride at a moderate pace with a few overtaking even a one and a half liter motor is enough, and a modern 6-speed automatic transmission makes thrust control simple and conscious. Both power units are completely undemanding to the skill of the driver, as it does not require special skills and the entire EcoSport with its understandable handling, modest rolls and comfortable steering, well filtering road irregularities.
A few years ago, Ford was one of the last to enter the promising segment, where it could not compete fully with Renault Duster, Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Opel Mokka. The last in the market for a long time no, had time to leave and return Juke is too expensive, and the French crossover is sold in homeopathic doses. Leaders of the market have become Hyundai Creta and Renault Captur, which will be very difficult to compete with.