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Ford EcoSport Titanium 2019 review

Nedahl Stelio
Family reviewer

26 Oct 2018 • 13 min read

Small SUVs are for those families who want some of the height of an SUV, but don’t want all the bulk that comes with it. However there are a fair few that fall short when it comes to delivering enough space for families.

The Ford EcoSport is one of those small SUVs that has more space than its looks would suggest, so it works out to be practical for a growing family. Plus, it's had quite the facelift for 2019, throwing off its old features and bringing in a sleeker, sportier, more modern looking SUV.

It’s in competition with the likes of Mazda’s CX-3, Honda’s HR-V and Toyota’s C-HR. I was in the EcoSport Titanium which is the top of the range and comes in under $30,000. I drove it for a whole seven days, here’s how it did with my two little monkeys. Er, children.

How does it drive?

I was pleasantly surprised in the EcoSport as the engine sounds quite small - but this little 1.0-litre, three cylinder 'EcoBoost' petrol engine is like the little engine that could.

Yes, it could get up hills, no problem. Yes, it could overtake other cars if they weren’t speeding. Yes, it could get around suburbia and do the school run with ease.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves though, it's not the most powerful car zooming along the road, but if most of your day is spent going from work to childcare and Little Athletics, you’ll be fine. If you want more power, you’ll look at a different car.

This little 1.0-litre, three cylinder 'EcoBoost' petrol engine is like the little engine that could. (image credit: Dean McCartney) This little 1.0-litre, three cylinder 'EcoBoost' petrol engine is like the little engine that could. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

For everyday living, nothing super fancy or speedy, this is good. It only comes in 2WD however, so you won’t get that extra all-wheel drive traction on the road.

It has a reverse parking camera so parking was fine, and the small turning circle of 10.7 made doing U-turns easy. The steering was evenly weighted and nothing felt heavy or like hard work.

What does it look like?

The first thing to note is that they’ve removed the spare tyre off the back of the boot. It sat there passively, like the car was starring in a '90s soft drink commercial, ready to bounce along the beachside to a daggy advertising jingle.

No more. The exterior now looks fresh and clean, with a much less boxy shape and tapered lines up towards the back which gives it a sporty, modern feel.

  • The exterior now looks fresh and clean, with a much less boxy shape and tapered lines up towards the back. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The exterior now looks fresh and clean, with a much less boxy shape and tapered lines up towards the back. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • The first thing to note is that they’ve removed the spare tyre off the back of the boot. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The first thing to note is that they’ve removed the spare tyre off the back of the boot. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

Inside has improved as well. In the top spec Titanium you’ll find leather seats which aren’t the highest quality but still look good and if you’ve got sticky-fingered kids, easier to keep clean than fabric. There’s also a leather wrapped steering wheel and a power sunroof - pretty good for this price bracket.

You can tell they've budgeted on materials for the dash and doors which still look quite hard and plasticky, but they’ve softened the finishings around the gear stick, and the centre console is nicely designed. Overall, while it’s certainly not luxurious, you feel quite okay in this new Ford EcoSport.

In the top spec Titanium you’ll find leather seats which aren’t the highest quality but still look good and if you’ve got sticky-fingered kids. (image credit: Dean McCartney) In the top spec Titanium you’ll find leather seats which aren’t the highest quality but still look good and if you’ve got sticky-fingered kids. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

How spacious is it?

For a small SUV it has a fair amount of interior space compared to others in this category, and Ford has worked hard to keep that in the 2019 model. There is ample space in the front, and it feels more like a medium SUV than a small one.

Both me and my 185cm husband had enough leg and head room - even with the sunroof he fit in perfectly fine - and we didn’t feel cramped or like we were sticking our heads together, as you do in some other smaller cars.

The kids were also comfortable in the back. They’re only five and seven so their little legs could fit easily behind both me and my husband’s driving position. At 161cm, I had enough space to fit behind my husband’s driving position with about 12cm to spare. If you’re taller than me (and most people are), it will be tight but you will fit.

  • For a small SUV it has a fair amount of interior space compared to others in this category. (image credit: Dean McCartney) For a small SUV it has a fair amount of interior space compared to others in this category. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • The kids could fit easily behind both me and my husband’s driving position. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The kids could fit easily behind both me and my husband’s driving position. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

But the boot is the hero (apart from the boot door, but we’ll get to that in the “how easy is it for every day” section). Space for a small SUV is great and you will fit a pram in the boot with no trouble, which is something other small SUVs can struggle with depending on your pram.

I also fit two suitcases in here, one on top of the other. And if you put all the seats down, Ford says you can fit in a washing machine. Note, I did not attempt this in my week of testing!

How easy is it to use everyday?

Let’s start with the good bits: two cupholders in the front, two in the back and a bottle holder in each door. There are also some sneaky bits of storage in the front which is handy for your phone and there’s also a space for the front passenger’s phone. Things like that are helpful when you’re in the car every day and you do notice them.

The boot door opens sideways however, which is the same as the 2018 model, and even without the spare tyre on it, it’s still a little heavy.

On a practical level, it also takes up more space to open the door, so if you’ve reversed into a park against a wall at the shopping centre, you most likely will not be able to open it up when you return with the groceries. Or if someone parks very close behind you, again you’ll have trouble opening it.

It also opens the 'wrong' way for Australia and you have to walk across the car when you want to open the boot when parked on the kerb. So even though it’s a nice thought and a bit of a novelty, it’s not the most practical of features.

What’s the tech like?

There’s an 8.0-inch touchscreen in the EcoSport Titanium. Plug your phone into the USB port and you’ll connect with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, depending on your phone. It gives you instant access to main apps like Spotify and Maps, and also utilises voice control so you can make calls and send texts without ever picking up your phone. It’s great that you can get this technology in cars at this price point - it’s the same tech mostly across the board now, even with some of the more expensive cars.

There’s an 8.0-inch touchscreen that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (image credit: Dean McCartney) There’s an 8.0-inch touchscreen that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

How safe is it?

What does it cost to own?


The Wrap

The EcoSport Titanium is a surprisingly good package for a family, and has almost everything you need at a really decent price point. There’s more interior space than expected in this category, and enough boot space for a pram, plus this new model looks much swankier than last year’s version.

I gave it a family rating of 7.5 because I think it’s good value, but missing some of the latest safety tech. My children also gave it a 7.5, they loved the colour and had a very comfortable travelling week.

Likes

Interior space
Exterior design
Boot space

Dislikes

Some safety features missing

Scores

Nedahl:

3.8

The Kids:

3.8

$28,990

Based on new car retail price