The EcoSport range is now based around Ford's 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, mainly offered in 125PS guise, but also available in 140PS form in the mid-range 'ST-Line' version. You can now only have manual transmission and front wheel drive. The news that an EcoSport is based on a Ford Fiesta should certainly set you off in a positive frame of mind when it comes to the drive on offer. The issue though, is one of exactly what would happen to a Fiesta if you gave it a relatively lofty 190mm ride height, 136kgs of extra weight and a chunky high-riding body. After all, even Ford's chassis engineers aren't miracle workers, something which is fairly evident from the driving experience served up by this car.
To be fair, the Blue Oval brand has much improved it, tweaking the springs, dampers and steering of this revised model in order to make it better suit European roads. And there have been some wins as part of that process. The consistent and well-weighted steering for example, is way better than before. Plus the brakes are impressive, the shift change of the 6-speed manual gearbox is slick and highway cruising is pretty refined.
Ultimately though, what could be achieved here was rather limited by the high, boxy shape, a big contributing factor to the way the car feels uncomfortable with fast cornering or sudden directional changes at speed. It also rides quite stiffly on its firm suspension. Still, it's nothing you couldn't live with and most likely buyers won't want to drive on their door handles anyway.