|Performance||4.0 of 5.0|
|Comfort||4.0 of 5.0|
|Interior||4.0 of 5.0|
|Exterior||4.0 of 5.0|
Ford is a brand that manufactures TOUGH and fun to drive cars and SUVs. Every car they made have always impressed enthusiasts with the ride and handling including the Ikon, Fiesta, and the Figo, Freestyle, Aspire. Even the XXL sized Endeavour is great to drive while being tough as a nut.
In 2013, the new Ford Ecosport was launched, opening up a brand new segment of under 4m crossover SUVs. With only the Renault Duster to compete with, the Ecosport with its striking looks, a bucket load of features and solid build quality became the new favourite of the SUV crazy Indian buyers. Though being a tall crossover, the Ecosport was surprisingly fun to drive with a near-perfect ride and handling combo and punchy engines. Apart from the regular 1.5L petrol and turbo diesel engines, it also offered a brand new 1.0L Ecoboost turbo petrol engine producing 123hp and 170NM which simply best in class. The general public though preferred the 1.5 TDCi producing 100bhp and 205NM. It was only the 1.5 Ti-VCT petrol that was available with a DCT automatic.
In 2017, the Ecosport received its first facelift with a sporty look, new features, new 1.5L dragon series 3 cyl petrol engine and a new 6-speed Torque converter automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
In 2020, with the kick-in of the BS6 regulations, the Ecoboost engine was withdrawn and apart from the updated engines the Ecosport also received a few feature additions. Despite the better engines and spruced up looks, the Ecosport is now an average seller. The main reason for this is the public misconceptions on Ford’s service and maintenance.
The Ecosport is an impressive family car with unique appeal providing the following features on the top-spec Titanium Sports variant:
Projector headlamps with LED DRLs ( Titanium onwards)
Front fog lamps (Titanium onwards)
Rear wiper, washer and defogger (Trend onwards)
16” Alloy wheels (titanium onwards)
Automatic climate control (Trend onwards)
Electric sunroof (Titanium plus onwards)
Automatic Headlamps (Titanium plus onwards)
Automatic wipers ( Titanium plus onwards)
Electrochromic IRVM (Titanium plus onwards)
Rear armrest (Titanium plus onwards)
Auto folding electric ORVMs (Titanium onwards)
8” Touchscreen system with Navigation
Android auto & Apple carplay
SYNC 3 and Ford Pass connectivity
Reverse camera (Trend onwards)
Smart key with push-button start (titanium onwards)
Leather wrap steering wheel (Titanium onwards)
6 airbags (Titanium plus onwards)
ESC with traction control (titanium AT onwards)
Hill launch assist (titanium AT onwards)
Cruise control (Titanium AT onwards)
Tire pressure monitoring
All these features and characteristics make up the strengths of the Ecosport which are as follows:
The Looks: The Ford Ecosport may be the oldest compact SUV currently, however, the updated top-spec variants still look good with better rough road ability than some of the latest CSUVs. The Ecosport gets aluminium roof rails and 16” alloy wheels from the Titanium variant onwards. The highlight of the Ecosport is the tailgate-mounted spare wheel and it is also the only compact SUV to provide an alloy spare wheel on higher variants. If you are a fan of clean, butch and functional design, then you'll love the Ecosport. The base Ambiente variant gets 15” steel wheels whereas the Trend Variant gets 16” steel rims.
Interior quality & ergonomics: The cabin of the updated Ecosport provides a simplistic but generic dashboard layout and hardy materials. All variants except the base Ambiente come with a dual-tone theme interior with only the Sports variant receiving some Satin orange detailing. Almost all the Buttons and switchgear are located where you would expect them to be with the Touchscreen system mounted centrally on the dash top.
Driver Comfort: The Ecosport, being based on the global Fiesta is not a large car but focusses mainly on the front driver & passenger comfort. The front seats are accommodating with great support. Height adjustable driver seat is available as standard from the Trend variant itself whereas a centre console armrest is available only from the Titanium variant onwards.
Standard features: The Ecosport offers a good number of features as standard across most of its variants. The base Ambiente variant itself gets the following features as standard:
Front and rear power windows
Electric adjustable ORVMs
Central locking with auto-lock and emergency unlock
Front and rear adjustable headrests
Electric Tailgate release
Audio system with Bluetooth
Gear shift indicator
Outside temperate display
Dual airbags & ABS
The Trend Variant adds the following features:
Rear wiper, washer & defogger
Auto climate control
Vanity mirror for passenger
9” touchscreen with 6 speakers
Steering mounted audio controls
Height adjustable driver seat
The special THUNDER EDITION offers the following additional features over the Titanium variant:
Front door scuff plates
60:40 split-folding rear seats
Safety & build quality: The Ecosport is an CSUV that provides a solid number of safety features in its category. Following are the standard safety features across all variants:
Pretensioner seatbelts for front passengers
ABS with EBD
Collapsible steering column
Ford pass connectivity
Rear parking sensors
Central locking with auto-lock & emergency unlock
The Titanium Plus variant offers the following additional features over the standard features which make it one among the safer CSUVs:
Side and curtain airbags
Front fog lamps ( Titanium onwards)
Smart key access ( Titanium onwards)
Reverse camera ( Trend onwards)
ESC with traction control
Hill launch assist
The top-spec Titanium Sports variant offers a few significant additional safety features as well:
SYNC 3 connectivity
Ford My key
ISOFIX child seat mounts
The Ecosport also offers an optional Thunder edition on the Titanium variant which offers ESC, Traction Control and Hill Launch Assist.
Ride & Handling: The Ecosport, being based on the Fiesta is impressive in the Ride & handling department. The Suspension is adequately pliant and absorbent at low speeds and keeps the car planted with good stability at higher speeds. The Power steering even though being an electronic unit is incredibly easy at city speeds while being greatly confidence-inspiring at higher speeds. The speed is so well masked that you have to keep an eye on the Speedometer regularly. It is a perfect Enthusiast car.
Powertrain: The BS6 Ecosport comes with a 1.5L Dragon series 3 cyl petrol engine and the famous 1.5L TDCi 4 cyl turbo diesel engine. The petrol engine produces 122PS Power and 149NM of torque through a standard 5-speed manual transmission. It is strong in the midrange and doesn't feel like a 3 cyl unit. This engine is also available with a 6-speed Torque converter automatic gearbox with paddle shifters which make it even more fun to drive. However only the Titanium and Titanium plus variants get the automatic option. The 1.5L diesel produces a strong 100PS Power & punchy 215NM torque through a 5-speed manual gearbox. It is the more enthusiastic engine with a solid mid-range and can easily keep up with the competition. While there is a significant bit of engine noise, both the engines are well refined. The gearboxes are slick too, complementing the chassis and the engines.
Off-road capability: The Ecosport offers a good 200mm ground clearance and additional safety features such as ESC, TCS, Hill holds control providing great confidence and control even when taken off-road. The Ecosport also boats of 550mm water wading depth.
Maintenance: The new generation Ford cars have proven to be quite very affordable to service and maintain. The spares are cheaper than most Maruti Suzuki cars and new customer service programs to have been opened. We can clearly see Ford tightening up their sleeves when it comes to service by introducing Service Price Promise & Dial-A-Ford doorstep service. https://www.fordservicepricepromise.com/
While the Ecosport has its strong list of positives, it also has a few obvious weaknesses.
Rear seat comfort: Though the rear seat is comfortable with good thigh support, the legroom is limited and the narrow cabin means that seating 3 adult abreast could be a squeeze. Rear AC vents are also missing.
Missing features: Though the Ecosport offers almost all the features required by a compact SUV buyer, few features are missing on the mid-spec Titanium & Titanium plus variants.
The missing features on the Ford Ecosport Titanium Plus variant include:
SYNC 3 connectivity
Android Auto and Apple Carplay instead it gets Android OS.
The missing features on the Ecosport Titanium variant include:
Android auto & Apple carplay
60:40 split-folding rear seats
Conclusion: The Ecosport currently is one of the most popular CSUVs in India and is a favourite among driving enthusiasts. Despite its long list of features and solid engines, the Ecosport still is some way off the sales figures of its rivals. The main reason for this is the shoddy marketing and misconceptions on service costs. Prices for the Petrol manual range starts from Rs.8.2L for the Ambiente and goes up to Rs.11.2L for the Titanium Sports whereas the petrol automatic range starts from Rs.10.66L for the Titanium and goes up to Rs.11.56L for the Titanium plus variant. The diesel range starts from Rs.8.6L for the Ambiente Variant and goes up to Rs.11.7L for the Titanium Sports. (All prices ex-showroom)
At this price, the Ecosport seems like the best value for money option among all Compact SUVs with its good ride and handling balance, strong engines and a good list of features.
When it comes to service, you can see more than a few dealerships improving drastically with stricter norms. Find a good dealer with good customer reviews and experienced personnel and you will be happy for years. As for the Ecosport, it is still an enthusiasts choice strong all-rounder in its segment.