Ford Ecosport Review & First Drive

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.Request a test driv efor Ford Ecosport in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

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Ford Ecosport Design & Style

The Ford EcoSport facelift is more than just a customary update. The front fascia features a single unit of a big hexagonal grille that is flanked with horizontal slats and the Ford logo band in the center. The settings in the section are given a generous quantity of chrome embellishment. Among the changes, the new EcoSport gets projector headlamps with DRLs and fog lamps, thereby, completing the front face. The car rides on 17-inch alloy wheels for the top models while the lower ones get 15-inch units.

Ford Ecosport Cabin & 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. 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 Engine & Gearbox

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.Check for Ford Ecosport in 

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

With the facelift, Ford also got a chance to fiddle with the suspension. While it has not been thoroughly reworked, the EcoSport now gets different bushes which has changed the ride and handling characteristics of the SUV significantly. While the suspension still feels sporty, it goes over bumps and speed breakers in a much more composed manner than before. The changes have also made the cabin a lot more quieter than before. The only thing that affects the SUV are sharp bumps like level changes and rumble strips. Ford seems to have further insulated the cabin as very little road and engine noise makes its way into the cabin. It is barely noticeable at city speeds and makes the EcoSport more comfortable.

Steering feel is excellent and befits the Ford badge. It complements the sporty suspension setup around corners too. Although it is fairly well controlled, there is still some body roll that comes from the tall boy stance and the short wheelbase. All of these combined together still keeps the sporty edge that we’ve come to love over the years. The Bridgestone Ecopia 205/50 R17, in our opinion, could do with a little more grip as we know that this chassis can handle more.

Ford Ecosport Safety & Security

Ford offers two safety airbags for the driver and front passenger and ABS with EBD (electronic brake-force distribution) as standard across all the variants. Other standard features include a seat belt warning system and child seat anchor point. The fully-loaded Titanium Plus gets six airbags, Brake Assist, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), Hill Hold Control and Traction Control System. It even gets rear parking sensors and a camera.

Ford Ecosport Cost in Chennai

Ford Ecosport Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 7,29,841/- (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 Chennai. Check Ecosport price in Chennai at Carzprice

Ford Ecosport Conclusion

The Ford EcoSport has been doing well in the domestic market for a long time now. The company has done a really good job at producing the perfect package in the subcompact SUV segment. The limited number of flaws from the previous generation has been rectified with the addition of a high-tech interior.The Ford EcoSport on-road price is one of the best in the segment, even lesser than the Maruti Vitara Brezza. Keeping the price competitive has been one of the key features behind the immense success.

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