Ford Ecosport Overview
Ford literally created the sub-compact SUV segment with the EcoSport and the vehicle soon turned out to be a runaway success to the point that some variants had 9 months of waiting period. Other companies soon realised the potential of the segment and quickly launched new products. Soon, the Ford EcoSport lost its bite as competitors came up with new and improved features. The EcoSport itself got some minor updates but they weren’t enough to arrest its declining market share. Although a bit late, the new Ford EcoSport is here and while it is based on the same platform as the older model, it does have design and critical mechanical changes too. We got a chance this week to drive the new Ford EcoSport in Goa and found out if it is strong enough to cause worry for competitors in the segment it created. Ford Ecosport in Tryaldrive
Ford Ecosport Exterior & Style
Let’s start with the exterior design changes in the car. The EcoSport S looks more aggressive than the regular EcoSport thanks to the blacked-out elements it has received throughout the car. The front headlamps are now HID units and get a blacked-out treatment which goes along nicely with the new paint scheme that the EcoSport S gets. The fog lamp encasing, the lower lip and the front grille have received similar treatment too. At the back, the tail lamps have been given the smoked treatment and the spoiler has been blacked out as well. The same has been done to the roof as well which gets a gloss black finish and so does the rear spoiler. There is an ‘S’ badging at the back but the best way to recognise the car would be by the new 17-inch alloy wheels – the biggest wheel size amongst all EcoSport variants – and the design of which is simply fantastic. And of course, there is the inclusion of an electrically-operated sunroof in this variant – something that a lot of people have wished for in earlier versions of the EcoSport.
Ford Ecosport Interior & Space
The interior of the Ford EcoSport was in dire need of a makeover and thankfully, Ford has done just that. The EcoSport now gets an all-black interior theme and there’s a new 8-inch touchscreen display at the centre of the dashboard. The instrument cluster has also been revamped and it now gets a central display surrounded by gloss black inserts. The steering wheel is also new and it houses paddle shifters for changing gears with the automatic transmission. For comfort, seats at both the front and the rear now get softer cushioning. Boot space remains as is with all the seats up at 346-litres. Ford has, however, made some design changes in the boot that now houses a small compartment that can hold a laptop. The seats also fold flat now liberating 1178-litres of boot space.
In order to keep up with the competition, Ford had to give the EcoSport new equipment and it starts with the large 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The touchscreen is bright and responsive, and gets the third generation version of Ford’s SYNC interface which is easy to operate. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a part of the package now and you get 2 USB ports and a 12V socket at the front. The instrument cluster has also been redesigned. It could have been better in terms of styling though. Nevertheless, it does the work the way it’s supposed to and offers detailed info, which includes a display for the tyre pressure monitoring system.
Ford Ecosport Engine & Transmission
Now one of the strong points of the EcoSport has been its performance, both in terms of powertrain as well as handling. The new model keeps that spirit going, fortunately. The highlight here is the all-new 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol engine that develops about 120 hp and 150 Nm of torque. Unlike the EcoBoost engine, this unit is naturally-aspirated so there is no lag now and driving in stop-go traffic is much easier.
Out on the highway, the engine performs in an impressive manner with a generous amount of torque that kicks in from as low as 1500 rpm and one can ride the wave till about 5,500 rpm, after which power starts to taper. The sound from the engine is a bit odd, maybe because it’s a three-cylinder unit but after some time I started to like it and wanted more of it to hit my eardrums. The engine has enough power to keep cruising at triple digits all day and overtaking is always quick. The only weak link in the package is the six-speed automatic transmission, which is tuned more for fuel-efficiency. Coupled with paddle-shifters the gearbox shifts at a decent pace but doesn’t extract the full performance of the brilliant petrol motor. Sports Mode calibration is done nicely and one can instantly feel the eagerness in the throttle but even when shifting manually in Sports mode, the gearbox doesn’t let you hold on to a gear at high rpm and upshifts automatically. For a vehicle of the EcoSport’s capabilities, this is a bit of a letdown.
There’s also a 1.5 litre diesel engine on offer that develops 100 hp and 205 Nm of torque and is the same unit that powered the older EcoSport too. The only transmission option available here is a five-speed manual transmission. Performance is similar to the previous EcoSport and there’s plenty torque available in each gear right from 1,500 rpm to about 4,000 rpm. For those looking at clocking higher distances, this engine offers a good balance between power and fuel-efficiency.
Ford Ecosport Driving Dynamics
The power delivery is smooth and linear all the way up to the redline and feels punchy and progressive as well. It is refined, so much so, that if you don’t tell the driver that it is a 999cc three-cylinder engine, chances are they won’t be able to make that out. Another aspect that they won’t be able to make out is that the engine has a turbocharger in it as it does not kick in the way one would usually expect it to. It does not serve a wallop of power in one go once you reach a particular RPM which would lie so higher up in the RPM range that below it, the engine just feels out of breath. In the case of the Ford EcoSport, the turbo is said to have been tuned to kick in early in the RPM range and it is a smooth transition to a linearly increasing torque delivery.
The gearbox that comes with it does take a little effort when you want to upshift or downshift quickly, but that is also something that some people may like. It slots in crisply and there’s no head-bobbing whatsoever. Accompanying the drivetrain is the suspension setup which is a bit on the stiffer side. While this makes for a great high-speed driving experience, it does make for bumpy rides through bad patches of road. The EcoSport S also gets lower profile (205/50) radial tyres which provide great feedback and are also not very loud at high speeds.
Ford Ecosport Safety & Security
Safety has been given its due importance in the new Ford EcoSport as front dual airbags with ABS and EBD are standard across the range. Top variants come with six airbags, traction control and Hill Assist Control in addition.In terms of equipment, the EcoSport now understands when to switch on/off its wipers and headlamps. Not offering sunroof and rear air-con vents can be considered a missed opportunity. Ford has added keyless entry system in the EcoSport’s top variant. It senses the car’s keys in your pocket and unlocks the door as you grab the handle. While exiting, just tap the door handle and the EcoSport will lock itself.
Ford Ecosport Ex-Showroom Price in Bangalore ranges from 7,31,431/- (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 Bangalore. Check for Ecosport price in Bangalore at Carzprice
Ford Ecosport Conclusion
Overall, the Ford EcoSport has been known for being an option which is meant for those looking for a car with a great driving experience. The EcoSport S aims to build upon that and it comes with all the right tools to be the rightful holder of that title. Not only does it get an impressive drivetrain it also brings along with itself a host of features and styling elements which make it stand out. So, if you are in the market looking for a compact SUV with a peppy driving performance, the Ford EcoSport should be right there at the top of your list.