Ford EcoSport is the latest addition to the ever growing compact SUV segement. The EcoSport with five seat configuration competes mainly with the Renault Duster in the entry-level Sub segment. The all-new car is a global model that is manufactured at the Ford’s Chennai facility and is on sale in Europe, China and few Latin American countries.
The face is familiar; it hasn’t changed much from the concept, and for that we’ve got to give Ford a pat on the back. It is also recognisably a Ford, and follows the Kinetic design philosophy that the company has been putting onto showroom floors for a few years now. The hexagonal grille with loads of chrome dominates the front look so much so that the sleek contemporary headlamps go unnoticed at first.
The EcoSport does not look as appeal from the side view – the rear overhang is comically short, and the sight of a tailgate-mounted spare wheel is not something we see these days. The alloy-wheels on the top-end model are really nice and we hope these are offered as an option for lower trims at dealer level.
The rear is dominated by the spare wheel, and on either side of the wheel are the tail-lamps, as always. The spare wheel gets a cover for some markets, but for India it will remain on display. The tail-lamps are one of the best-designed features of the EcoSport: the upper half of the left tail-lamp on the tailgate houses a part of the tail-lamp, while the right side houses the handle for the tailgate. It is so neatly integrated that at first glance it is completely unnoticeable.
Overall design of the EcoSport is very appealing – it is aggressive, SUV like and modern with lot of chrome, which will get thumbs up from Indian customers.
The interiors of the EcoSport are similar to that of the Fiesta sedan. There’s the same layout of buttons, a very similar instrument cluster, the electric mirror adjustment is mounted on the driver’s door, and the climate control dials are the same. The interior theme is all-black with silver inserts just like seen in most other Ford cars.
The front two seats have ample room, but the rear bench is slightly cramped for three adult passengers. Ford has intentionally omitted the rear-arm rest to maximize the space. There are nine bottle / cup-holders, two charging sockets, along with cooled glovebox that make this crossover a great option for long journeys. The boot with all seats up is just about sufficient at 340 litres.
The driver’s seat has height adjustment, an armrest and lumbar support, though all adjustments are manual.Everything is within easy reach, and the stalks behind the wheel are electronic like BMW controls are – they don’t physically change position, but operate in the same way that mechanical stalks do. The indicator stalk has the ‘lane change’ feature where the indicator blinks thrice before shutting off.
The top-end Titanium variant of the EcoSport comes with ABS/EBD and six airbags. Although the entry-level compromise on safety a bit, lots of variants come with ABS as standard, which is a nice thing.
The sub-four metre compact crossover is available with two petrol engines and one diesel mill. The former comprises a 1.5-litre mill and the award winning 123PS and 170Nm of torque 1.0-litre Ecoboost mill. The diesel is a 1.5-litre oil burner that produces 89PS and 204 Nm of torque and has been sourced from the Fiesta sedan. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic (petrol only).
The Ford EcoSport was one of the most highly anticipated vehicles of 2013 and with the cutthroat pricing it will set new benchmark for the industry.