Ford Ecosport Facelift First Drive

Ford Ecosport Overview

We have had hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs and various other types of cars in our long-term garage. But this is the first time, we get sometime new in its segment. A compact SUV, called as the Ford Ecosport. To be honest, I was keen to drive this car for a long time and we finally got our hands on this SUV. The Ecosport has been the first compact SUV, and since then even Maruti has got into this segment. For information on contact details of Ford car dealers in Hyderabad

Check On Road Price of Ford Ecosport  in Mumbai at Carzprice

Ford Ecosport Design

In terms of design, the EcoSport manages to excel in leveraging the platform’s strength in creating a compact SUV, which still manages to be very aerodynamic. There is enough road presence and purpose to the design. With the wheels out on the extremities of the vehicle, the raised posture and the spare wheel mounted on the hatch door, the EcoSport has that butch stance that we associate with SUVs.

But, it must be remembered that the design also cleverly uses visual cues to elevate itself into SUV territory. Some of the features that help it achieve this include the roof rails, the aggressive oversized bonnet grille, and the wrap-around rear glass that merges with the kink in the C-pillar, the large stalked door mirrors, the high shoulder line and the body-side cladding that visually raises the EcoSport even more than its already high 200mm ground clearance.

Ford Ecosport Comfort

The interior of the EcoSport has Ford’s signature details in many places. The centre stack is particularly familiar. The chunky steering wheel and the centre stack have largely been borrowed from the new Fiesta. The seats are comfy and sport contrast stitched faux leather, with horizontal support squabs. The bug-eyed dials are another novel touch. The trim level that I was driving was the Titanium with the optional additions and the engine was the 1.0-litre EcoBoost with a manual gearbox.

The interior has a certain feel of premiumness in terms of fit and finish quality, but the material quality is only about the same as that of the other vehicles in the sub-Rs.10 lakhs segment. The variant I was driving had six airbags, but I’m guessing that there will be lower trim variants without as many. But the side curtain airbags in the car apparently are the reason why there are no grab handles on the roof for the passengers.

The seat position is nicely raised and you do get a commanding view of the road, but the thick base of the A-pillar does increase the blind spot on either side. The small quarter glass doesn’t manage to offer much in terms of improved visibility. Storage options abound and the rear 60:40 split bench seat can also be folded and flipped forward for increasing the boot space. And because the spare wheel is mounted on the hatch door, the loading height is lower in the boot.

There is enough legroom at the rear. But even though the EcoSport’s overall width is more than the new Fiesta’s, the chunky door design tends to take up some of the lateral space. So, the rear bench will be a squeeze for three adults. The hatch door handle has been neatly integrated into the tail-lamp at the left, with the handle itself looking like a part of the lamp’s combination. The hatch door is hinged on its side to the left. It is said to have been strengthened and tested extensively. But my test vehicle did come up with a few rattles and squeaks towards the end of the test drive.

The rear glass is quite narrow thanks to the design and the need for retaining space for the spare wheel on the hatch. So visibility is a bit restricted. But you do get parking assistance. The EcoSport is also said to be capable of wading through 550mm of water, just right for the flooded streets in our cities during monsoon.

Ford Ecosport Engine

Now known to all, the EcoSport would be available in three engine trims which include 1.5L petrol and diesel engines along with the 1L EcoBoost engine. Since 1.5L is the clear winner in popularity as the Duster and Quanto too have it, we expected our test car to have the same. All hopes went flying by the window as we realized it’s plonked with the 1L EcoBoost engine.

A night earlier to the drive, we were given a comprehensive and detailed explanation about the 1.0L EcoBoost engine and its perks. The company claims that this small engine which can fit on an A4 size paper and can be carried in a small suitcase equals 1.6 L petrol engines in performance. Call me orthodox but then this was difficult for me to believe it as I belong to the old school thought where strength of a vehicle is designated by the “CCs” it displace

The EcoBoost engine breaks all such myths and brings a lot on the table. This one is the smallest engine in its class and Ford’s first three cylinder engine in the country. It produces a power output of 125PS and a peak torque of 170Nm. The company claims that the EcoBoost offers 8% more power than a 1.6L diesel engine and 7% more torque than a 1.6L petrol engine.

To negate the demerits of a conventional 3 cylinder engine, Ford has intentionally unbalanced the pulley and flywheel with counteracting weights to act against the shaking forces of the engine and drive the energy in a less sensitive direction. The engine mounts uses also use the same theme.

All about the EcoBoost engine seems fantastic on paper but then how does it react in real time conditions? This engine is not a fun engine to begin with. The drag in its performance is evident. In the initial rpms, the car just refuses to pull. The pull felt on the engine however decreases as it climbs higher rpms. Till 2500 rpm, it acts a commuter but post that it begins to get more active and responsive. Unlike in the Duster where you get a sweet noise of the turbocharger spooling, in the EcoSport it is more of the three cylinders scream which is not disappointing.

The torque curve becomes a plateau post 1500rpm and it goes all the way till 4500 rpm. These figures are helpful while climbing terrains as well as in traffic conditions as it completely shun the use of gear shifts. The 5 speed manual transmission is very smooth and works seamlessly.

Other than the EcoBoost, there is the 1.5-litre TiVCT 4 cylinder petrol engine which churns out 112 PS power at 6300 rpm and a peak torque of 140Nm at 4400 rpm. Diesel seekers get an option of 1.5-litre TDCi intercooled turbocharged diesel engine. This engine produces a peak power of 91PS at 3750 rpm and a torque of 204Nm between 2000 to 2750 rpm. The TiVCT engine has an optional 6 speed automatic transmission option.

The EcoSport is an Urban offering in the SUV market. It is what a Honda CRV or a Mutsubishi Outlander is in the premium segment. It is not for the hard core off roaders but more for the occasional soft roaders. The tall ground clearance of 200mm is fantastic for Indian road conditions so the moon craters won’t be felt much. It has an approach angle of 25 degrees and a departure angle of 35 degrees. The EcoSport also claims to have an ability to wade through 550mms of water

To sum up the good, bad and ugly of EcoSport, the EcoBoost 1-litre engine is not a fun to drive motor. It gets exhausted on long stretches of roads. The transmission is smooth and the engine scores more on torque than power. It is an ideal configuration for city driving where performance is minimal.

The good rather fantasic bits about EcoSport are its handling and suspension. Ford cars are known for this and the EcoSport does a fab job too. It has no body roll. The reason of this is its aerodynamic design approach.

Suspension setup is capable of taking vigorous bruises on the street. It is inclined on the softer side with sufficient dampening. The only issue faced was during high speed braking where the bite was not sufficient.We did a small off-road stint with it and were mighty impressed with its ground clearance and suspension. We got a real time mileage of 11Kmpl during our test run.

Ford Ecosport Driving

Dynamics and Ford cars go hand in hand. The EcoSport boasts of excellent handling capabilities and it is actually a very fun car to drive around. The steering is very precise and it offers excellent feedback and feel. It is moderately weighed, neither too heavy nor too light while it also gains weight significantly as the vehicle’s speed increases. High speed stability is good on the EcoSport and it is fun around the corners but only upto a certain limit. You can never push an SUV as much as a sedan but the EcoSport does feel car-like to drive. There is some body roll too but not as much as other compact SUVs. It is somewhat comparable to what small cars have.

The ride quality on the Ford EcoSport is also very good and the suspension does an impressive job of ironing out all the potholes and craters that Indian roads have to offer. The SUV comes with MRF tyres which have satisfactory levels of grip if you don’t intend to push the vehicle very hard and the brakes also perform in a positive manner, making the vehicle shed speeds without any sort of unnecessary drama.

Ford Ecosport Safety

To begin with, our press demonstrator was the Brown. The Mars Red colour might appeal to several, but I prefer the Kinetic Blue on the Ecosport. This in my opinion looks more upmarket and carries a hint of sophistication. The variant we drove was the Titanium Option. It comes with keyless entry, push start and stop, artificial leather, in-dash music system with Bluetooth, auxiliary and USB connection, reclining rear seats, 60:40 split, six airbags and ABS. In our long-term report, we share the fuel efficiency, performance and the pros and the niggles that we faced with the Ford Ecosport in our daily running.

Ford Ecosport Price in New Delhi

Ford Ecosport Ex-Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 7,29,461/- (EcoSport 1.5 TIVCT Petrol Ambiente) to 10,71,300/- (EcoSport 1.5 Diesel Platinum Edition). Get best offers for Ford Ecosport from Ford Dealers in New Delhi. Check for Ecosport price in New Delhi at Carzprice

Ford Ecosport Bottomline

The EcoSport has much going for it in terms of design, focused engine tech and features. To push the envelope Ford has loaded in tech like the Microsoft partnered SYNC system into the car’s audio and telecom features. And Ford India is said to be involving local emergency services to utilise the infrastructure if an emergency arises for the car and its occupants. The system auto dials the emergency services if an airbag is deployed or if detects an emergency ignition cut-off.

But apart from all this the most key metric that can enable Ford to make the EcoSport a really attractive proposition to buyers is the car’s overall length.

At 3,999 mm, the EcoSport meets the sub-4-metre lower duties stipulation and that basically means that the price of this compact SUV can be really aggressive (read affordable). The diesel and the EcoBoost engines will, of course, qualify for the lower duty too.

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