Ford Ecosport Overview
Ageing is not a term we would normally associate with the Ford EcoSport. The compact SUV was designed to be quirky enough to remain interesting (read relevant) even five years after it was originally launched. However, in keeping with recent car trends and Ford’s ambition of all its cars having a common signature look, here it is. The pictures you see here point to not just a nip-and-tuck cosmetic procedure but a major rejuvenation surgery. And it’s not just the outside. The interior has received a makeover as well, with new and interesting features thrown into the mix. Is it enough to claw back market space from the Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Honda WRV, Tata Nexon and the new Renault Captur? We think so. Check for Ford car dealers in India @ fordPrice.in
Ford Ecosport Exteriors
Even in its new avatar, the little SUV continues to be quintessentially EcoSport. Changes to the design are most noticeable at the front. The sleek headlamps have been shown the door. In its place are big, chunky units that make the EcoSport look angry. If you pick the top-spec Titanium or Titanium+ variant you get halogen projectors and a sweet daytime-running lamp setup too. Then there’s the new grille, which gets some neat hexagonal detailing. Of course, the hood has been resculpted to accommodate the new nose. Tying all of these elements together is the redesigned bumper. The prominent faux skid plate finished in dull silver adds another dollop of muscle
In profile, there’s not much new. There’s no change to the sheet metal here, so it continues to sport a fuss-free, likeable design. The only noticeable difference is the new set of 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 205-section rubber. The large rims and the low profile tyres give it a sporty stance. The rear gets a redesigned cover for the spare wheel, but we’d be happier showing off the fifth alloy. The rear bumper has been worked upon as well, but the changes are of the blink-and-miss variety. The EcoSport looks every bit the compact SUV it should. The formula isn’t drastically different. But this works just fine. Why fix something that isn’t broken, right?
Ford Ecosport Interiors
The biggest highlight inside is the new 8-inch touchscreen. It gets a crisp resolution and bright colours, and touch sensitivity is excellent which makes using it on the go a breeze. The EcoSport now gets Ford’s SYNC 3 that brings with it Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The revised centre console houses two USB slots apart from the controls for air-conditioning. As has been the case with Fords, climate control does an excellent job of cooling the cabin quickly. The revised clocks and steering mounted controls look classier and make for a richer feel from behind the wheel. The driver now gets a full-sized, fixed arm rest that also has a really deep cubby hole underneath. The rear seat gets a folding arm rest with cup holders as well.
Interiors are all-black like before, and look sporty. Beige interiors would have made for a roomier feel, but their lighter shade tends to look old and dirty very quickly, making the black theme the better bet here. We were hoping Ford would equip the EcoSport with a sunroof this time but it has chosen not to, which is a bit of a disappointment. Exterior dimensions or the wheelbase haven’t changed which means interior space is the same. Sitting behind taller drivers thus continues to be a squeeze and boot space is the same at 352 litres too. Flip the second row down and you can liberate over 1100 litres of space though.
Ford Ecosport Engine & Performance
Headlining the refreshed EcoSport is Ford’s new, 1.5-litre, three-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine. It replaces the older 1.5-litre petrol engine and offers 123PS and 150Nm and comes mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. We drove the latter, which is a torque converter unit. Its refinement is the new engine’s biggest highlight and Ford tells us a lot of hard work has gone into eliminating the typical gruffness associated with three-cylinder engines.
Being naturally aspirated the engine is quick to respond to throttle inputs. The gearbox isn’t as quick as a twin clutch unit but feels adept at handling transmission duties. It makes light of city driving and gear changes are effected in a smooth, seamless manner. The EcoSport also gets paddle shifters, a segment first. The paddles work well though there is a slight delay before the gearbox shifts a gear when using the paddles. Claimed efficiency for the new petrol engine stands at 17kmpl.
We also drove the diesel version briefly which is has not received any changes. The engine is the same 1.5-litre, four-cylinder unit as before offering 100PS and comes mated to a five-speed manual gearbox only. It feels as refined and the gearbox offers precise shifts, though the clutch still feels slightly heavy.
Ford Ecosport Ride & Handling
Ford has tweaked the suspension slightly to improve ride quality and the difference was noticeable. I remember the EcoSport feeling crashy through potholes, but the refreshed version did a better job of soaking them up. The Titanium and Titanium+ petrol versions get bigger, 17-inch wheels now while lower variants use 16-inch wheels just like before, for aesthetics as well as better handling. The steering setup is slightly different and isn’t as sharp as before. Ford tells us the response has been dulled slightly basis customer feedback, and the effect is a more linear feel when turning into corners. Feedback from the steering is as good as before though, with lots of communication. On the whole, the EcoSport continues with Ford’s tradition of making cars that handle well.
Ford Ecosport Safety Features
The top-of the line EcoSport Titanium+ gets six airbags while all the other variants make do with two. This variant also gets projector headlamps with automatic on/off system. Rain sensing wipers is another addition. While all variants come with ABS, the top variant and automatic Trend+ variant get electronic brake force distribution, electronic stability control, traction control and hill climb assist.
The Titanium+ variant also gets 17-inch wheels paired with low profile 205/50 R17 Ecopia rubber from Bridgestone. The low rolling resistance tyres work well, displaying good amount of grip in dry conditions and keeping noise levels at a minimum at high speeds. Even during our braking tests, they displayed minimal drama, helping the vehicle track true and shed speed quickly.
Ford Ecosport Ex-Showroom Price in Ahmedabad ranges from 7,14,384/- (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 Ahmedabad
Ford Ecosport Conclussion
The Ford EcoSport was feeling dated as a package, especially in the company of newer competitors like the Maruti Vitara Brezza and Tata Nexon. Its styling was getting long in the tooth and the feature list wasn’t up to date either. The refreshed version takes care of all that and feels a lot more competent and modern. The new 1.5-litre petrol engine feels nice, and the automatic gearbox should make driving in city traffic more convenient. The suspension setup offers a better balance now, making the EcoSport even more likeable as an urban SUV.
Its facelift is a much needed shot in the arm for the EcoSport, and Ford is clearly aiming at winning back its crown in the compact SUV segment. The 2018 EcoSport will get launched in the coming weeks and when launched, we expect it to be priced in the same region as its current version to put up a serious fight to its competitors.