The EcoSport, was one of the first contenders in the now booming Crossover/SUV category. It may have been around for a long time, about 10 years now, but it's consistent sales figures prove that it certainly has the right recipe.

The boxy, square shape may look a touch dated alongside many far more streamlined competitors, but this creates a very spacious interior as well as a large luggage area at the back.

Speaking of the back, the distinctive spare wheel mounted on the outside of the side-hinged rear door is a distinctive, and very practical feature. No spare under the boot floor means a lot more load space.

The Active is powered by the tried and trusted 3 cylinder turbo EcoBoost engine that provides 91kW and 170Nm to the front wheels through a conventional 6 speed automatic transmission. This engine has also been around for a while now but is still highly competitive in its class. It's buzzy and peppy as expected from a motor of this type. The transmission is smooth and overall performance suits the car. Overtaking ability is in the good range.

The interior and instrumentation are showing their age a bit, a good example is the infotainment screen that looks like it was dropped on the top of the dashboard as an afterthought. However, Fords Sync # connectivity is still class leading providing Android Auto seamlessly for navigation etc.

Now, what makes the Active model different to the Trend version that it's based on? Black detailing around the front, Black cladding around the wheel-arches and along the bottom of the body, black roof cladding and very special 17" alloy wheels on the outside. If you are really bold, then choose the Sunset Yellow colour (it looks gold to me) with contrasting black roof.

On the inside, leather trim with Active logo embossed on the front seats plus the addition of Ford Pass connectivity. This gives many functions through your cell phone including remote starting and service functions among many others. It's interesting that Ford have added this very up-to-date functionality to an "old" model but it proves how the market has developed.

Another feature that I appreciate is the forward collision warning and brake mitigation as an added emergency safety function.

The EcoSport Active is priced at R393 600, including a 4 year/ 60 000km service plan.

Alan Rosenmeyer:    MotorMatters: