In a country where car buyers are obsessed with
engine capacity and sporty performance, the freshly designed new Ford EcoSport
with a brand new 1.5 litre petrol engine mated to a six-speed automatic
transmission is bound to attract a lot of new buyers. We check out the new Titanium
+ variant of the EcoSport from Ford India. Incidentally, the new Ford EcoSport
comes with close to 1600 new parts.
The new Ford EcoSport has been smartly overhauled
from the front. The compact SUV now comes with a bold and chunky trapezoidal
grille which has been moved up and the blue oval logo of the company sits right
at the centre of this grille. Earlier the logo used to sit right on the tip
of the bonnet. From the makers of the iconic Mustang you can always expect a
smart job and the new Ford EcoSport is a testimony to that.
The new Ford EcoSport has a new set of headlamps
with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs). The headlamp has projector lenses with
the traditional halogen bulbs inside. Maybe down the line, we can expect that
to be replaced by the more modern Xenon bulbs. The headlamps are bigger than what
was in the outgoing model. The fog lamps too have become bold and big, Apart
from the refreshed front, the rest of the vehicle remains same in terms of its
Ford India has not tinkered with the rear looks of
the vehicle. Many customers may have given a thumbs up to the spare wheel
mounted on the tail gate. The antenna has also been mounted at the rear of the
vehicle from its earlier position which was in front. Knowing how people like
stealing small things from a parked vehicle, one can easily unscrew it and put
it in the vehicle. Once it is unscrewed, you can also put your car cover on it
with great ease. For the Titanium + top end petrol variant that we drove, the
company is now offering smart 17 inches alloy wheels. This means better control
and a more aggressive stance.
1.5 litre Ti-VCT 3 cylinder (1497cc)
121.27hp @ 6500 rpm
150Nm @ 4500 rpm
L x W x H
3998 mm X 1765 mm X 1647 mm
Fuel tank volume
Front: Ventilated disc brakes
Rear: Drum brakes
205/50 R17 (alloy)
352 litres (expandable
up to 1178 litres)
To be announced
The interiors have been revamped big time in this
new Ford EcoSport. The moment you step in, you will be surprised by its chic
element. The black leather-stitched seats with its white lining make the car
look upmarket. The seats, both in the front and rear have become a lot more
comfortable with great under thigh support as well as lumbar support. The
steering wheel is a lot softer to feel and very sporty in its looks. The
plastics and other materials used inside are of good quality.
There are oodles of storage spaces in the car. The
rear seat now comes with an arm rest that also has space for mugs and small bottles. There
are 25 smart stowage spaces. There is space in the glove
compartment, space just above that to keep your mobile phone etc, space under the co-passenger seat in front,
space inside the front arm rest, space on the door panels with surprisingly
deep cavities to store a lot of things, and last but not least, a very
ingenious boot space. Ford India calls it adjustable cargo management.
The boot space offers an adjustable floorboard which
can be mounted on two designated slots which enables you to split the boot into
different compartments to store things like your laptop or a briefcase loaded
with your valuables when you step out of the vehicle for some work. The
floorboard is tough enough to endure all kinds of heavy baggage. The boot space
is around 352 litres and once the rear seats are folded it can increase to 1178
The moment you are seated in the driver’s seat in
the Titanium + variant of the new Ford EcoSport, you are kind of impressed by
the smart, revamped dashboard. Now we have an 8 inch floating touch screen and
a smart instrument cluster. The analog speedometer, tachometer and a couple of
other dials had brightly lit needle tips that gave the panel an upmarket feel.
I was a tad disappointed with the TFT screen in the instrument cluster where
the digital information looked a bit hazy.
As for the 8 inch touch screen, it is very upmarket,
I was impressed by the user-centric interior design of the cabin, especially
with the placement of the knobs, controls and the 8 inch screen. The
touchscreen, I felt was placed so perfectly to the driver’s line of sight.
The centrally located media bin can easily
accommodate a big sized smart phone and one can also make use of the two
illuminated USB ports.
The new Sync 3 infotainment
system in the car allows one to control not just the entertainment but even the
aircon, the connected smartphone, all with voice commands. The system is also
compatible to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Rain sensing wipers and
automatic headlamps make up the other exciting features of the all new Ford
EcoSport. The vehicle also comes with
reverse parking camera. The moment the car starts the reverse parking camera is
activated and you get to see the rear view on the 8-inch screen which switches off as
the car goes beyond the 15kmph speed. This is a fascinating safety element,
besides of course features like the six air bags, ABS, Traction Control, etc.
The all-new Ford EcoSport has
got a new petrol engine. It’s a 1.5 litre Ti-VCT engine which is smaller,
lighter and more efficient than the previous generation. The 3-cylinder engine
produces 121.27hp and a peak torque of 150Nom. The performance is similar to
the Ford 1 litre EcoBoost turbocharged engine. Obviously the company felt that
a 1 litre tag is not going down too well with customers and hence has put that
engine on hold.
This new 1.5 litre engine is
not turbocharged and is mated to an all-new six-speed automatic transmission.
Now that is where all the excitement comes in. With the key fob tucked away,
you can start the engine with the press of a button. There is a “D” mode as
well as an “S” mode in the vehicle and also paddle shifters, a segment first. In
the D mode, I felt the engine was very sluggish on the take, especially when I
tried pushing it. But I guess the mode is perfect for those looking for more
fuel efficiency. But in the S mode, the vehicle is an entirely different beast.
The engine calibration is at its best here as the power delivery gets so linear
and powerful as we step on the accelerator. More importantly, the engine sounds
so purposeful that you feel its punchy character. Automatic gear changes are
unfortunately not reflected on the tiny TFT screen in the instrument cluster.
It’s only when you start using the paddle shifters that you get to see the gear
positions on the tiny screen.
The winding roads, the long
straight stretches and even those odd patches of rugged land did not upset the
vehicle. The steering is light initially but as the vehicle gathers speed, you
can feel it getting a lot more purposeful. The suspension is a fine balance
between the stiff and pliant, which means that even on uneven and rugged
surfaces you do not get tossed around like a ship in a storm. Body roll, is
minimal and controlled. As for ride and handling, the vehicle comes out as a
perfect embodiment of good engineering.
The Titanium + petrol Ford EcoSport compact SUV
offers a perfect blend of practicality and performance. As for the comfort and
ride qualities, it’s at par with some of the cars in the higher segments. The
new automatic transmission delivers a brilliant performance as the engine is
more than willing to slip into an aggressive mode as you shift the gear from D
to S. Paddle shifts allows you to thrash the car around a bit. .
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