The Ecosport is another great product from Ford after the Figo and it has good space on the inside. The quality is decent and the flexibility that the SUV offers on space is terrific.
Ed’s take: The interior styling of the Ecosport is similar to that of the Fiesta, with a cockpit like design. Interiors are spacious, be the front or the rear row.
Ford has designed the Ecosport as a vehicle for technology lovers, and hence the company has made the instrument panel like an aircraft cockpit. It gets several features like number pad, and climate control. The instrument binnacle is also easy to read. Ford is the first manufacturer to introduce SYNC in a car. This is a feature with with, you do not just have phone connectivity, but also voice command control and create customised applications for the car, just like the smart phones in the market.
The space on offer is good and the front seats are well designed with good back and adjustable lumbar, though they lack that extra thigh support that we were so used to on the Fiesta. The rear seats can be reclined too, and have three stages of adjustment. The seats have a 60:40 split and even one seat can be folded if there is a need for one to be folded only. The boot is well spaced, but not sufficient for luggage of five people.
Ed’s take: The Terrano’s interior get an upgrade in quality and even the fit and finish of most of the materials is good. However, there is some plastic which will remind you of the Duster.
The interiors of the Terrano have revamped if you are thinking to compare it to the Duster. The instrument panel skeleton is the same, but a major revival has happened. The musix system, the air-con vents and even the steering wheel has been replaced on the Terrano. The quality of the replaced bits is better, however the other parts have the same styling. The Terrano is also available with the option of six-inch touchscreen infotainment system and also steering mounted audio controls too.
The interior quality is a lot similar to the Duster, and when you are seated behind you do not feel much of a difference between the Renault and Nissan badge even existing. The seats are large and comfortable. The Terrano has spacious interiors and even the seats are comfortable for long journeys. There is space for four people and even the boot is large for a weekend getaway.
Ford seems to have a winner in its hand with the Ecosport, the diesel will definitely be the choice for many, as petrol is still expensive and the Ecoboost isn’t as efficient as diesel.
Ford believes this engine can change the concept of petrol cars in India, as it is as powerful as a 1.6-litre petrol and more efficient too. This is a three-cylinder mill that churns 122bhp of power and 170Nm of torque. This engine weighs about 97kgs, and is about 18kgs lighter than 1.5-litre. There is no feel of turbo lag, and the engine pulls without any hesitation even when heaved into a higher cog. Get behind the steering wheel, and you realise that this isn’t a1.0-litre engine by any means. The turbocharger helps to change this thought and the Ecosport is definitely good to drive in city and also on open road.
It doesn’t idle like a three-pot mill and there is no vibration or screaming that can indicate the size of the engine. The power delivery is linear and the turbo spools from about 1600-1700rpm, and remains flat almost up to 4300rpm. Another good thing about this engine is the NVH.
The 1.5-litre petrol engine on Fiesta produces 108bhp at 6045rpm and 140Nm at 4500rpm. The NVH level of this engine is low. Since the engine has been tuned for better economy, one cannot expect a stonker of a performer. In the manual version, the engine feels a bit languorous and makes you work hard to extract performance.
The five-speed box does feel a bit rubbery, but that’s about it. The shifts on it are positive and the throws are short. The automatic on the other hand has the dual-clutch six-speed box makes things easier as downshifting is taken care by the intelligent box. Simply put, there are two clutches, one operates the odd gears and the other engages the even lot. This reduces the change time and so the shifts are smooth and not lethargic unlike the conventional boxes. Drive it in D mode and the transmission shifts considering the best fuel economy, whereas the L mode is similar to the sport mode, where the box doesn’t upshift until the engine redlines. Of course there are a few downsides of this box, as it does not have Tiptronic or comes with flappy paddle shifters.
The 1.5-litre diesel engine produces 89bhp of power at 3750rpm and 204Nm at 2000rpm. This engine has decent NVH levels. It has good initial torque with a strong mid-range. However, the engine feels sluggish at low rpms. The turbo lag does exist. However, once in the power band, the engine is fantastic to drive. The power produced by the diesel engine is excellent and it does a tidy job, as even the clutch is light and easy to drive in city traffic.
Manual Transmission: The five-speed manual that comes mated to this engine is wee bit rubbery, but that’s about it. The shifts are almost positive, while the throws remain short.
Ed’s take:The Terrano comes with three engine variants, one is a petrol and other two are diesels. The pick of the lot is the 1.5-litre diesel with 108bhp.
1.5-litre diesel, 108bhp:
This engine comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission. This engine has the typical diesel clatter and it is wee bit louder than one’s liking. However, Nissan has worked on the insulation and there isn’t much intrusion of sound into the cabin. The power delivery is fairly linear, however there is some amount of turbo lag present in it. The Terrano’s power is decent and it does a good job when it comes performance and even fuel efficiency. The sixth gear is tall and it makes it easy to cruise on the highway. The six speed manual transmission feels rubbery to shift.
1.5-litre diesel, 83bhp:
The 83bhp 1.5-litre diesel comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission. This is the same engine block, with a detuned engine. However the power delivery is linear and one doesn’t feel much of a turbo lag. It is this oil burner that is perfect for city driving. You do not even have to downshift most of the times to overtake or even potter around in city conditions. The five-speed box is also more slick than the six-speed that feels a bit rubbery. The shifts are also a lot more smooth and short.
1.6-litre petrol, 102bhp:
The 1.6-litre petrol produces about 102bhp of power and has low NVH like any other petrol engine. Most of the power is developed in higher rpm, however the engine feels to be tuned for better fuel economy. The petrol motor needs some extra pushing to extract some good performance out of it. The engine is extremely quiet, however one needs to downshift to overtake.
Ford vehicles are known for their driving dynamics, be it the Fiesta, Figo or even the old Classic and the Ikon. The same DNA has been trickled down on the Ecosport as well. The ride of this compact SUV is well sorted as it irons out all the bumps and rough surfaces without any jittery feeling for the occpuants. The suspension does a good job of adsorbing the bumps even on bad roads and uneven surfaces.
The handling is good for a vehicle with 200mm of ground clearance and yet it feels planted on the road, as if stuck like glue. There is no body roll, and Ecosport drives like a sedan. It doesn’t feel heavy and big to drive like SUVs, which makes it easy to drive in urban conditions. Driving around winding roads is fun and even the feedback from the steering wheel is good. The short turning radius and light steering makes it convenient to park.
Ed’s take:The 83bhp has a softer rear and the focus is more towards better ride, however the 108bhp is more fun to drive with a stiffer set-up for the springs.
The handling of the Terrano is good and the good thing is there isn’t much body roll despite the ground clearance of 205mm. The 83bhp has a softer rear and it can be felt while taking corners. The steering response is a bit vague and it isn’t as light as other Nissan’s are. We do miss that.
The ride on the Terrano is sorted and pliant. The underpinnings of the Terrano do a good job of ironing out most of the road bumps and shocks. The ride is good even when you drive on bad roads. The steering feedback is vague and doesn’t feel like Nissan, which is generally extremely light to use.