The Ford EcoSport isn't what you would call a new car. It's been around since 2012, and it's soldiering on its eighth year with no all-new model on the horizon. At the rate things are going, the current EcoSport could reach ten years without a redesign.

That's because Ford recently updated the subcompact crossover. It still looks the same as before, but they did add a new variant. Dubbed the Active, it serves as the new top-spec model and caters to, well, the active lifestyle crowd. So what makes this EcoSport version unique? It's all about the cladding.

Ford EcoSport gets another update, adds Active variant image

The current EcoSport features a fair bit of cladding on its body, but the Active version gets thicker plastic panels. The effect is a wider-looking body than the Titanium variant. Ford then gave the small crossover unique 17-inch alloy wheels with a two-tone finish, which takes some inspiration from larger SUVs in the range. Think of this then as a new Black Edition model.

But unlike most visual upgrade packages, the EcoSport Active sees some suspension changes as well. With the outdoorsy-types in mind, Ford added more ground clearance to make it better suited for light off-road driving or dirt roads. The EcoSport Active also has re-tuned steering and even a limited-slip differential. That said, it is still front-wheel-drive, but the upgrades made to the car are for optimizing grip on low-traction surfaces.

Ford EcoSport gets another update, adds Active variant image

Inside, the EcoSport Active gets a few unique design touches to separate it from the rest of the range. The seats are trimmed in what Ford calls Eco Leather, which is likely means it uses recycled materials for the synthetic leather. There are also “A” badges stitched on the backrests to match the Active badges outside. To make clean-up easier, the EcoSport Active has a rubber-lined cargo area as well. Other features include cruise control, an eight-inch touchscreen, traction and stability control, and seven airbags.

Under the hood is the familiar 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. Power figures are the same as before, meaning it puts out 125 PS and 170 Nm of torque. For now, the Active only has one transmission option, and it's a six-speed manual.

Ford EcoSport gets another update, adds Active variant image

The odds of the Active version coming to the Philippines are slim since it's primarily for the European market. However, it shows that Ford believes the EcoSport can hang around a few more years before it's either replaced by an all-new model or succeeded by the Puma. Either way, Ford needs a small crossover if they want to continue their road to recovery. After ditching sedans, they need a strong crossover and SUV range to continue being the top American automaker in the world.