Ford’s dainty SUV has arrived. The EcoSport even comes equipped with a tailgate-mounted spare-wheel, like a real off-roader.

Think of it as a Fiesta on steroids – it uses the same basic architecture and promises spaces for five adults.

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Ford was careful not to mention anything too off-roady in their marketing copy. They did say that the newcomer is the right tool for “city streets and adventurous pursuits”. And that it is as comfortable wading through flooded areas, as it would be entertaining the driver with its infotainment systems.

There are three engines on offer, but of course the most noise is being made about the lauded 1-litre EcoBoost mill. It kicks out 92kW and 170Nm, but will return consumption in the region of 5.7l/100km.

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You can also have a 1.5-litre petrol derivative, with an output of 82kW and 138Nm. And there’s a 1.5-litre diesel, with 66kW and 205Nm on tap. The 1.5-litre petrol Titanium model has a six-speed automatic transmission, the rest of them feature a five-speed manual gearbox.

Ford is always generous with the standard gear. It’s no different here. You get the SYNC system, with voice command. No less than 20 storage spaces – and with the seats folded flat, there’s even space to stow a washing machine. The only item on the options list is metallic paint, for R750 extra.

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Pricing starts at R199 000 for the 1.5 Ambiente. The 1-litre EcoBoost Trend is R224 000. And the 1.5 TDCi Trend is R229 000. For the EcoBoost Titanium, you’ll pay R244 000. And the diesel Titanium goes for R249 000.

We’ll be giving our assessment and video review soon. Stay tuned.