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Ford facelifts the EcoSport... again. Image by Ford.

Ford facelifts the EcoSport... again
Second round of changes for the Ford EcoSport B-segment crossover in four years on sale
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What's all this about?

Well, this is awkward. Here's Ford, facelifting the EcoSport B-segment crossover. Again.

What do you mean, 'again'?

Being generous, the EcoSport has been on sale for just four years now (although, in reality, it launched so late in 2013 that it's been more like three years in the UK) and it was already the recipient of some urgent changes in 2015. If ever you needed a sign that a manufacturer did not get the product 'right first time', two hefty facelifts in the space of four years is like a big, flashing neon billboard reading 'THIS WAS A TERRIBLE CLUNKER', complete with a massive arrow pointing squarely at the EcoSport.

OK, so what's happened to it this time around?

It has benefited from a lot of stuff from the all-new seventh-generation Ford Fiesta. And this is a very good thing, we can tell you. Outside, the styling gets another set of tweaks, with the EcoSport's bonnet now boasting a central bulge and a pair of washer jets hidden behind its trailing edge. The two-piece grille of the preceding car makes way for a single, larger item, while new headlamp clusters complete with LED daytime running lights and a set of front fogs in angular units pushed out to the edges of the bumper complete the new face. Although we can't for the life of us work out the bit of bumf that says the front three-quarter view was supposedly inspired by 'the straps of a rucksack and is designed to reflect an adventurous character'.

Erm... no, me neither. Anything else externally?

Yes, 12 body colours - including funky names like Lightning Blue, Ruby Red and Tiger Eye (it's orange) - can be specified, and there's the option to have the roof in a contrast colour. New designs of 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels in a variety of finishes are also offered.

How about within?

A fascia lifted from the Fiesta improves the ambience no end. The seats have been revised to maximise occupant comfort and the roster of technology that's been added in - either as standard or on the options list - is simply huge. So (deep breath)... there's ambient lighting, a height-adjustable boot floor that liberates the maximum 334 litres of cargo capacity, SYNC 3 infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support on either a 6.5- or 8.0-inch touchscreen (base models get a 4.2-inch colour display instead), B&O Play 10-speaker surround sound, cruise control with adjustable speed limiter, a rear-view camera, auto lights and wipers, a heated steering wheel, Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (Ford's name for dual-zone climate control), a 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster and power-folding, heated door mirrors. Ford's also upped the safety quotient by adding a Blind Spot Information System and Roll Stability Control to the roster, as well as more airbags in the cabin (side and curtain bags making an appearance).

That's a lot of stuff. Any mechanical changes?

Again, borrowing heavily from the new Fiesta family, there's the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine, here in a 125hp/300Nm output and coupled, for the first time, to Ford's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive technology. You can have the same engine with front-wheel drive, or also detuned slightly to 100hp (also FWD). Don't like diesels? Then there's the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol, rated at 100-, 125- or 140hp. Every one of these engines is mated to a six-speed manual as standard, with only the 125hp EcoBoost optionally available with a six-speed automatic plus paddle shifts on the steering column. The 4WD EcoSport, by the way, does 62.8mpg and 119g/km CO2, so that's not too shabby at all.

And is that it for now?

Nope, we're also getting an ST-Line EcoSport as a range-topper. It includes different bumpers and side skirts, black-finish roof rails and headlight bezels, 17-inch Dark Tarnish alloy wheels, ST-Line badging and extended painted roof/door mirrors as standard, plus an ST-Line leather-trimmed, flat-bottomed steering wheel, partial leather seats featuring Miko-Dinamica inserts and red stitching, a leather handbrake lever and gearknob, ST-Line branded scuff plates and stainless steel sports pedals.

Matt Robinson - 5 Sep 2017

2017 Ford EcoSport. Image by Ford.2017 Ford EcoSport. Image by Ford.2017 Ford EcoSport. Image by Ford.2017 Ford EcoSport. Image by Ford.2017 Ford EcoSport. Image by Ford.    - Ford road tests
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