Urban Sportstar : Ford Eco SportPosted On: August 1, 2013 By : AutoLife Team
“WE TEST DRIVE THE HIGHEST VARIANT OF THE 1.0L ECOBOOST POWERED FORD ECOSPORT AND FIND OUT ON HOW IT NOT ONLY MAINTAINS A STRONG STANCE IN ITS SEGMENT BUT EASILY TOWERS ACROSS OTHER SIMILARLY PRICED SEGMENTS AS WELL.”
Everybody loves a winner. Don’t we all? Of course, most of our politicians are an exception to this statement as every other winner usually turns out to be the same old incumbent corrupt loser. Now let’s not drift away into the dirty facade of politics and rather stick to the much more exciting world of motoring. With soaring fuel prices and global warming, efficiency is now the way to go in the automobile industry. But fuel efficiency is usually the last thing on your mind when you have a SUV on the top of your list. However, Ford’s all new compact crossover SUV EcoSport begs to differ and is here to change this trend. So are we actually looking at a winner in this one of the most anticipated vehicle of 2013?
Ford has given the car an edgy look with their kinetic design language and maintained most of the aspects as first seen in their concept vehicle unveiled at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo. The EcoSport looks great all around especially with the huge mouthed muscle car like Ford grille up front and the smooth flowing car like aerodynamic silhouette towards the rear. Special attention to details in the design can be seen as in the chrome housing around the fog lights, wrap around rear window, stylish alloy wheels, bumper integrated reverse lights and the tailgate handle hidden in the tail-light. The roof rails along with the tail gate mounted spare wheel and the high clearance complete the SUV facade.
Overall, there is possibly very little to not like in the exterior styling of the Ford EcoSport.
With the smart keyless entry system in the top Titanium+ variant that we test drove, getting into the EcoSport is a quick affair. The doors automatically unlock at just a press of the small black button in the door handle without having to take the remote out of your pockets. Inside, the cabin is as good as the exterior and the dashboard design will easily hit the right chord with consumers with its stylish and futuristic layout. Talking about features, the highest variant comes loaded with pretty much everything that you’d seek in a premium vehicle. Ford’s award winning Microsoft SYNC technology, an integrated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system, seamlessly connects your Bluetooth and USB devices so you can make and receive calls, play your favourite songs, or have your text messages read out to you. Just say the voice commands and the SYNC does the rest. Controls and knobs are ergonomically placed while seats are soft enough for comfort and firm enough for longer journeys. The quality of material is good and fit and finish is definitely the best in segment.
As far as cabin space goes, there’s enough legroom and headroom for most, but the passengers sit very closely to each other due to the narrow cabin space inside. The Ford EcoSport has 20 practical storage spaces, including a laptop compartment below the front passenger seat and a cooled glove box that can store up to six beverage cans. Boot space though at just 346 litres, can be extended to 705 litres with the 60:40 rear seats folded down.
Regardless of where your adventures take you, the Ford EcoSport is more than equipped to ensure that your safety is never compromised. With Reverse Park Assist, Antilock Brake System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, front passenger and side curtain Airbags, the EcoSport offers complete protection. About half of the urban SUV’s body structure is made up of high-strength steel and ultra-high-strength steel, such as boron steel, making the Ford EcoSport’s frame strong and yet lightweight too. Advanced safety technologies such as Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Hill Launch Assist are also available, but in the automatic transmission variant only.
The SYNC system also incorporates an intelligent Emergency Assistance program that automatically connects your paired phone to an allotted emergency number during a crash and sends over a voice message and GPS co-ordinates to a fixed emergency operator number (108). GO Ford is currently working with Telephone operators to activate this service in Nepal.
The main highlight of the EcoSport is its new “2012 International Engine of the Year” EcoBoost engine. The Ford EcoSport is also available with another 1.5-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel fuel-efficient engine. Anyways, the top-end Titanium variant of the Ford EcoSport we drove featured the revolutionary 1 litre three-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine. Wait, don’t be let down by the small displacement. Though using 20% less fuel than a traditional 1.6 litre petrol engine, this turbocharged engine is actually capable of delivering power like a 1.6 litre motor, with 123 bhp of power and 170 nm of torque.
Thumb the starter button and the refined three cylinder motor starts spinning immediately. In spite of the engine being turbocharged, there is hardly any noticeable turbo lag in the lower RPM’s. The EcoSport feels very easy to drive in the everyday urban setting thanks to the smooth electric power-assisted steering coupled with the SUV like towering view and compact dimensions. The light clutch and the short throw gearbox is another joy. Use that slick shifting 5-speed manual gearbox correctly and you will be rewarded with a satisfying forward thrust. The EcoSport’s suspensions has been set up on the stiffer side and thus inspires the driver to speed up around the highway corners with minimum body roll. The cabin is extremely quiet at high speeds, thanks to meticulous efforts to reduce noise, vibration and harshness. Add to this the spot on braking system and very effective climate control system, and the occupants easily feel safe and comfortable in the Ford EcoSport.
Though it does well to absorb our kind of bumpy sections on the road, the ride quality does take a beating over rough and broken roads. But should you ever have to venture off the road, the front-wheel drive EcoSport is capable enough with 200mm of ground clearance, an approach angle of 25 degrees, departure angle of 35 degrees and 550mm of standing water wading capacity. The only thing missing here is a 4×4 drivetrain like in the Brazilian version. Sure most of would hardly go on to truly exploit its 4WD capabilities, but would it have been great to at least have it offered as an option for those who could make use of it?
The EcoSport boasts of class-leading fuel efficiency with the revolutionary 1.0L EcoBoost claiming to deliver 18.9 kmpl, 1.5L TDCi at 22.7 kmpl and the 1.5L Ti-VCT at 15.8 kmpl.
You are literally spoilt for choices with the EcoSport offered in 10 variants across 4 trims, 3 engine options and 7 colours. So we are pretty sure that the EcoSport will not only set a new benchmark in its segment, but with its massive appeal will stand as a strong alternative for similarly priced cars in other segment as well. It’s a stunning urban compact SUV with an exciting value-for-money proposition and Ford clearly has a winner here.
So the concern now isn’t really whether the Ford EcoSport will sell or not! With waiting periods extending as long as nine months in India itself, the question now is how long will prospective customers in Nepal have to wait?
Fuel Type: Diesel | Petrol
89 Bhp @ 3750 rpm (Diesel)
123 Bhp @ 6000 rpm (EcoBoost)
110 Bhp @ 6300 rpm (Petrol)
204 Nm @ 2000-2750 rpm (Diesel)
170 Nm @ 1400-4500 rpm (EcoBoost)
140 Nm @ 4400 rpm (Petrol)
Transmission: 5 Speed Manual | 6 Speed PowerShift Automatic
Drive Type: FWD
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
Length: 3999 mm
Width: 1765 mm
Height: 1708 mm
Wheelbase: 2520 mm
Ground Clearance: 200 mm
Tyre Size: 195/65 R15 | 205/60 R16
Suspension Front: Independent MacPherson Strut
Suspension Rear: Semi-Independent Twist Beam
Brakes Front: Ventilated Discs
Brakes Rear: Drums
1268 kg (Petrol)
Fuel Tank: 52 L
Mars Red, Chill, Moondust Silver, Kinetic Blue, Sea Grey, Panther Black, Diamond White
Ford EcoSport Ambiente (Diesel) : NRs.34,50,000/-
Ford EcoSport Trend (Diesel) : NRs.36,90,000/-
Ford EcoSport Titanium (Diesel) : NRs.40,90,000/-
Ford EcoSport Titanium+ (Diesel) : NRs.42,90,000/-
Ford EcoSport Titanium (EcoBoost) : NRs.37,90,000/-
Ford EcoSport Titanium+ (EcoBoost): NRs.39,90,000/-
Ford EcoSport Ambiente (Petrol) : NRs.28,50,000/-
Ford EcoSport Trend (Petrol) : NRs.30,90,000/-
Ford EcoSport Titanium (Petrol) : NRs.35,90,000/-
Ford EcoSport Titanium AT (Petrol): NRs.39,90,000/-
Daihatsu Terios, Geely LC Cross, Kia Soul, Mahindra Quanto, Premier Rio
GO Automobiles Pvt. Ltd
Thapathali, Kathmandu, Nepal
Ph No: 4244254 | 4257001