The latest infotainment system is a massive improvement over the old EcoSport, but although its interior has been revised, it still can’t hold a candle to what you get in most alternatives
The Ford EcoSport interior feels well built but it doesn’t have the interesting design you’ll find in the similarly priced Citroen C3 Aircross.
The top half of the Ford’s dashboard is constructed from soft, expensive-feeling plastics that are much nicer than the hard materials used in the Citroen and Hyundai Kona. Unfortunately, the rest of the Ford EcoSport interior has the same hard plastics that you’ll find in those cars.
The infotainment options are pretty decent, though. You can choose from a 6.5-inch or an eight-inch touchscreen and both have sharp graphics that help the Ford EcoSport look pretty modern inside.
You get more conventional buttons in the EcoSport than the C3 Aircross, but that’s a good thing – the Ecosport’s chunky ventilation and stereo knobs are easier to use on the move than the Citroen’s touchscreen controls.
Even entry-level Zetec cars feel nice inside. They have fabric seats, plus a gear knob and a steering wheel that’s trimmed in leather.
EcoSport Titanium versions get half-leather seats, a front centre armrest and mood light with a selectable range of colours, but ST-Line models are the nicest. Choose one of them and you get suede-effect upholstery that feels expensive, a sporty steering wheel and lots of racy red stitching.
Want the EcoSport to live up to the second half of its name? Pick an ST Line car and you get a chunkier steering wheel and some bright red stitching dotted about the cabin
Entry-level Zetec cars only get a 6.5-inch infotainment screen rather than the 8.0-inch screen that‘s fitted to Ford EcoSport Titanium and ST-Line models. Aside from this though, the two systems are identical. Their graphics are clear and crisp and it’s easy to punch in a postcode and add diversions to your route.
Unfortunately, following directions isn’t as straightforward because the system often tells you about turn offs a bit too late, and sometimes demands you make left and right-hand turns that don’t exist. The eight-inch screen’s size makes it easier to follow, but doesn’t fully solve the problem.
On the upside, both systems use the same intuitive ‘pinch’ and ‘swipe’ hand gestures you use when using a smartphone. And they come equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay so it’s easy to make calls and use your phone’s navigation simply by plugging it into one of the car’s two USB ports.
It’s easy to play music that way too, and the Ford EcoSport’s six-speaker stereo is pretty decent. If you’re a big music fan though, you’ll want an ST-Line model with the optional, £300 B&O stereo. It has 10 speakers and a 675W output that can deliver an assault of noise that’ll shame the sound systems fitted to cars costing three times the price.