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Ford makes quick changes to EcoSport. Image by Ford.

Ford makes quick changes to EcoSport
Geneva show sees new exterior, interior and drivetrain for Ford EcoSport SUV.
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What's all this about?

Ford has updated its B-segment SUV-crossover-thing, the EcoSport.

Updated the EcoSport? You mean, the car that's been on sale about a year?

Umm, yes. And there are echoes here of the Escort MkV, a dreadful car when launched in 1990 that was quickly reinvigorated by the Blue Oval in 1992. The EcoSport is nothing like as bad as the MkV, but it does seem like Ford has been stung by the lukewarm reception the SUV got from critics at launch.

What has been done to the EcoSport?

One of the big changes is getting rid of one of the EcoSport's big problems - the rear-mounted spare wheel. An archaic piece of car design, Ford has seen sense and you can now delete it from the EcoSport, although you'll have to make do with a tyre mobility kit instead. Deleting the carbuncle on the boot means a revised tailgate design - said to be easier to partially open in confined spaces - with a fresh EcoSport badge drafted in for all models.

How about within?

Changes amount to a smattering of chrome for the redesigned instrument cluster and on the window switches, repositioning of the handbrake for ease of access, a four-inch colour display in the dashboard, partial leather seats on Titanium models and an optional Winter Pack, which lobs in heated seats, mirrors and windscreen, plus extra back-seat ducting to keep rear passengers comfortable. Additional equipment coming later this year will include satnav and a rear-view camera, while there's more sound-deadening in the doors and dash, as well as tighter seals round the pedals, in order to ramp up the EcoSport's refinement.

Have the engines changed at all?

The 1.5-litre Duratorq gets an extra 5hp, to stand at 96hp all-in, while both EcoBoost and TDCi models are claimed to have more torque thanks to 'reduced gearbox torque truncation'. The engines are up to EU6.1 emissions standards too, but the bigger revisions come in terms of the chassis, as Ford has added an upgraded rear twist beam, new spring and damper rates, a 10mm drop in ride height and Electronic Stability Control and power steering systems that have been recalibrated to improve to EcoSport's on-road manners.

So what's the snazzy blue EcoSport in the pictures all about?

That's the EcoSport S, displayed on Ford's Geneva Motor Show stand and said to offer 'an insight into the upgrades and equipment for a model that will be available to order towards the end of this year'. The EcoSport S is finished in Deep Impact Blue, has a unique design of 17-inch alloy, while both the door mirrors and the roof are finished in black - the latter of which comes without roof rails. A rear 'diffuser' and privacy glass will also be offered.

Matt Robinson - 6 Mar 2015

2015 Ford EcoSport S. Image by Ford.2015 Ford EcoSport S. Image by Ford.      - Ford road tests
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