Ford Ecosport Expert Review

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Introduction

Ford Ecosport
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Since its debut in 2013, the EcoSport has written a phenomenal success story for Ford India. The contemporary design paired with the appeal of an SUV, wide range of engine options and the plethora of features on-board makes the baby SUV quite a catch. The American automaker has recently given the EcoSport a nip-and-tuck, and we can expect a major facelift to make its way to India before the end of 2017. What are the EcoSport’s hits and misses? Read on -

Pros
  • Contemporary styling turns a lot of heads. Among the best looking SUVs in its class.
  • Punchy 1.5-litre diesel engine is offers a healthy blend of performance and efficiency
  • Optional dual-clutch automatic (petrol) is smooth and quick.
  • Feature-packed. 17-inch alloy wheels, touchscreen audio system, automatic climate control etc.
Cons
  • Stiff ride quality makes it thud over potholes
  • Narrow cabin makes it best-suited for four occupants at best. Bootspace (362-litres) is strictly average as well.

Stand Out Features

  • The 1.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine is refined and fun to drive.

    The 1.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine is refined and fun to drive.

  • Safety. Only one in its class to feature six airbags.

    Safety. Only one in its class to feature six airbags.

CarDekho Verdict

If you need a sporty, practical and feature loaded offering that gives you the predictability and ease of use of a hatchback, along with the look and ground clearance of an SUV, the EcoSport is a great option.

"The EcoSport is a stylish and well-rounded product and gives you a lot of bang for your buck."

The EcoSport is a stylish and well-rounded product and gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Exterior

While Ford technically classifies this as an SUV, there’s no denying that the EcoSport looks more like a hatchback with a tail-mounted spare wheel. It’s not intimidating or too muscular, but looks sporty and youthful.

While SUVs traditionally come with boxy and burly designs, the EcoSport is curvy and effeminate. Its appeal is gender neutral.

At the front, the first thing that grabs your attention is the grille. It occupies most of the fascia’s real estate, but gets smart touches of chrome to prevent it from looking gaudy, though some may find the grille’s size a bit too large.

The front end is quite bulbous and the slim headlamps look quite small. However, when merged with the sharp lines of the bonnet, they add a much needed touch of aggression.

The fog lamps sit relatively high up above the front bumper lip, which itself is finished in black to add a rough touch and slim down the car’s face.

Move over to the side and you notice how tall the bonnet line happens to be. The EcoSport gets flared wheel arches and well-designed alloy wheels.

The use of lines has also been smart. The bonnet shut-line merges into the front window, while the shoulder line cuts right through the door handles.These elements help impart some character to the side profile.

Bits like the silver roof rails, door mounted wing-mirrors and window-line kink add a sporty touch to the side, but we have to admit, the radio aerial is a bit too large.

At the rear, the massive spare wheel is mounted at the centre of the tail-gate, which adds the all-important ‘SUV touch’ to the design.

Wraparound tail lights adorn the rear with the rear door handle integrated into the right cluster. The high-mounted stop light is integrated just above the rear windshield.

Exterior Comparison

Ford EcoSport Hyundai Creta Renault Duster Maruti Vitara Brezza
Length (mm) 3999 4270 4315 3995
Width (mm) 1765 1780 1822 1790
Height (mm) 1708 1630 1695 1640
Ground Clearance (mm) 200 190 205 198
Wheel Base (mm) 2520 2590 2673 2500
Kerb Weight (kg) - - - 1170
 

Boot Space Comparison

Renault Duster Hyundai Creta Ford EcoSport Maruti Vitara Brezza
Volume 475-litres 400-litres 346-litres 328-litres

Interior

The interior gets a sporty and modern, but functional layout. The black/grey/silver palette is easy on the eyes and we’re glad Ford chose it over the more popular beige.

The compact SUV comes with the look of a utility vehicle, but getting in and out of it is easy and doesn’t need much effort. A plus point for senior citizens.

Legroom at the front is adequate as is the the head room and shoulder room. The leather draped seats are also comfortable and offer good support, though people with larger frames may find them snug. The rear seat space is par-for-the-course and we were hoping for more. Fitting three adults here will be a squeeze.

The centre console is the highlight of the dashboard with a cellphone like layout to navigate through. The infotainment display itself is housed at the far end of the dashboard and we found it to be a size too small.

The steering gets a nice touch of silver to break the dark monotony and we appreciate this classy touch. You also get integrated controls to manage features like the telephony, infotainment and voice commands.

The instrument cluster is sporty and gets analogue dials for the speedometer and tachometer. The fuel gauge sits in the middle with an MID above it.

The overall interior quality is what imparts a premium ambience. There’s no signs of cost cutting and everything feels well-built. There are cars that are more expensive which don’t offer the same feel good factor.

Performance

Diesel:

The EcoSport comes with a capable diesel engine that was uptuned after the introduction of the Ford Figo Aspire. In its current state of tune, it plates up 105PS of power and 205Nm of torque. The engine gives the EcoSport a strong power-to-weight ratio and while it offers good low-end torque delivery for the city, it also has enough muscle to excel on the highway too. The 5-speed manual gearbox has a medium throw and while it’s not fidgety to use, we do wish it was a little more sure-slotting.

Performance Comparison (Diesel)

Maruti Vitara Brezza Renault Duster Hyundai Creta Ford EcoSport
Power 88.5bhp@4000rpm 108.45bhp@4000rpm 126.2bhp@4000rpm 98.59bhp@3750rpm
Torque (Nm) 200Nm@1750rpm 245Nm@1750rpm 259.9Nm@1900-2750rpm 205Nm@1750-3250rpm
Engine Displacement (cc) 1248 1461 1582 1498
Transmission Manual Manual Automatic Manual
Top Speed (kmph) 172 kmph 168 Kmph 165 Kmph 182 Kmph
0-100 Acceleration (sec) 12.36 Seconds 12.5 Seconds 12.5 Seconds 13.5 Seconds
Kerb Weight (kg) 1195kg - - -
Fuel Efficiency (ARAI) 24.3kmpl 19.72kmpl 17.01kmpl 22.77kmpl
Power Weight Ratio 74.05857740585773 bhp/ton - - -
 

Petrol:

The EcoSport comes with the option of two petrol engines - a 1.5-litre unit that produces 112PS of power and 140Nm of torque, along with the globally acclaimed 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo-petrol mill that makes 125PS and 170Nm. While the 1.5 petrol can be had with a 5-speed manual gearbox and a 6-speed dual-clutch autobox, the EcoBoost, like the diesel, only gets a manual transmission.

Performance Comparison (Petrol)

Renault Duster Ford EcoSport Hyundai Creta
Power 102.53bhp@5750rpm 123.24bhp@6000rpm 121.3bhp@6400rpm
Torque (Nm) 148Nm@3750rpm 170Nm@1400-4500rpm 151Nm@4850rpm
Engine Displacement (cc) 1598 999 1591
Transmission Manual Manual Manual
Top Speed (kmph) 160 Kmph 180 Kmph 165 Kmph
0-100 Acceleration (sec) 11.5 Seconds 11 Seconds 10.5 Seconds
Kerb Weight (kg) - - -
Fuel Efficiency (ARAI) 13.06kmpl 18.88kmpl 15.29kmpl
Power Weight Ratio - - -

Ride and Handling:

The EcoSport behaves a lot like a hatchback. Its 200mm ground clearance does result in a little body roll, but the suspension setup is on the stiffer side, which improves stability. The steering is precise and encourages spirited driving with a well-tuned chassis supporting any sharp inputs from the driver. The ride quality is good over most roads, but the slightly stiff suspension means the EcoSport won’t pummel through broken roads like say, the Renault Duster.

Safety

This is an aspect where the EcoSport scores well. Dual airbags come as standard across the range, while ABS is offered on all, but the base ‘Ambiente’ variant. You also get speed sensing auto door locks and the top end variant gets 6 airbags. Ford also offers the emergency assist feature, which automatically calls up the emergency services in the event of an accident. The automatic gets added tech like EBA, ESC, traction control and hill-launch assist.

Safety Comparison

Ford EcoSport Hyundai Creta Renault Duster Maruti Vitara Brezza
Airbags righticonClose righticonClose righticonClose righticonClose
ABS righticonClose righticonClose righticonClose righticonClose
EBD righticonClose righticonClose righticonClose righticonClose

Variants

  • Diesel
  • Petrol
Variants Features Price
1.5 TDCi Ambiente Driver and passenger airbags, Body coloured bumpers, Power adjustable ORVM, 7.92 Lakh*
1.5 TDCi Trend [ In adition to 1.5 TDCi Ambiente ] Steering mounted controls, Rear power windows, ABS with EBD, [ Variant 1.5 TDCi Ambiente price ] + 69,300 =  8.61 Lakh*
1.5 TDCi Trend Plus [ In adition to 1.5 TDCi Trend ] Auto AC, Front fog lamps, Multi info display, [ Variant 1.5 TDCi Trend price ] + 39,600 =  9.01 Lakh*
1.5 TDCi Titanium [ In adition to 1.5 TDCi Trend Plus ] Push button start, Cooled glove box, Leather wrapped steering, [ Variant 1.5 TDCi Trend Plus price ] + 75,300 =  9.76 Lakh*
1.5 TDCi Titanium Plus [ In adition to 1.5 TDCi Titanium ] Auto headlamps, Rain sensing wipers, Leather seats, [ Variant 1.5 TDCi Titanium price ] + 24,000 =  10.0 Lakh*
Variants Features Price
1.5 Ti VCT MT Ambiente Audio System with Aux, Air Conditioner, Central Locking, 7.21 Lakh*
1.5 Ti VCT MT Trend [ In adition to 1.5 Ti VCT MT Ambiente ] Rear Window Defogger, Anti-Lock Braking System, Power Window Rear, [ Variant 1.5 Ti VCT MT Ambiente price ] + 73,300 =  7.95 Lakh*
1.5 Ti VCT MT Titanium [ In adition to 1.5 Ti VCT MT Trend ] Dual Airbags, Rear Parking Sensors, Voice Control, [ Variant 1.5 Ti VCT MT Trend price ] + 1,13,200 =  9.08 Lakh*
1.5 Ti VCT AT Titanium [ In adition to 1.5 Ti VCT MT Titanium ] Side and Curtain Airbags, Automatic Transmission, EBA, ESC, TCS, HLA, [ Variant 1.5 Ti VCT MT Titanium price ] + 87,900 =  9.96 Lakh*

The manual EcoSport is offered in 5 variants while the automatic is only available in the Titanium grade. While the base variant does get essentials like dual airbags, central locking and a radio, we recommend opting for nothing below the Trend as you get ABS, along with a few additional convenience features. The top-end Titanium+ variant gets 6 airbags (as does the Titanium AT), along with features like rain-sensing wipers, auto-headlamps and DRLs, but if it’s out of your budget, the Titanium is a value-for-money variant, with most, if not all the features the EcoSport has to offer.

Ford EcoSport similar cars to compare & consider  
*Ex-showroom price

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