Driving the Ford EcoSport with 1.0L EcoBoost compact SUV in India
Ford India is all set to introduce their new car, a compact SUV, EcoSport within a few weeks. A drive event for the media was held last week in Goa, and it is still on, as Ford India has not only invited national and international automotive media, but also technology media. Here is what we think of the new EcoSport.
Sub 4 meters in length, the new Ford EcoSport is the most awaited car in India this year. Expected to be launched by mid-June, the car will be offered in a choice of 10 trims, respective prices of which are yet to be revealed. A total of three engine options will be on offer 1.0L petrol EcoBoost, 1.5L petrol, and 1.5L diesel. These have been divided into four trims and a total of 10 trims are on offer. Details of which can be found be found here.
Driving: At the media drive, only the 1.0L EcoBoost option was available. This three cylinder engine is not all out impressive, but will surely not disappoint. It does not have an impressive pickup speed, but once it starts moving, it’s very smooth. EcoSport easily reaches speeds of up to 70-80 kmph, while still in the second gear. The third gear is the one that impressed us, once you are in the third gear, you can easily handle most of highway traffic. Third gear shows how the engine and transmission of this car has been tuned for Indian traffic. Gear changing is effortless and smooth. It was the mileage that worried us a bit. Ford claimed this one delivers ARAI certified 18.7 kmpl. We drove the car for 140 kms and managed to clock an average of 7.5 kmpl, according to the in-car display. But considering the terrain, not so efficient driving style, and leaving the car on while photographing it, you can expect the car to deliver a better mileage when you drive.
Interiors: Interiors are comfortable and practical for seating upto 5 adults (comfortable for 4). Dashboard design matches the aggressive exterior. For rear seats, legroom is decent, but will get cramped if the person in the front seat is a good six feet tall. Front seats feature the usual manual levers for adjustments, while the rear seats come with three pre-defined settings for reclining your back.¬†Another important aspect of EcoSport’s interior, is the smart utilization of cabin space. There are as many as 9 spots created for cup/bottle holders. The rear are completely foldable, and offers extra boot space if required.
Exteriors: Exterior design of a car is one of the most important aspects, which draws buyers. EcoSport is something that will make heads turn. We experienced this while we were¬†maneuvering¬†through Goa traffic. The design is futuristic and in no way looks outdated or anything that is currently on offer in the Indian market. The body lines are not only there to make the car look aggressive, but they are there to make the car more aerodynamic. If you compare the height of EcoSport with other hatchbacks (in the video and images below, you can see the car standing next to Hyundai i10, Volkswagen Polo and Ford Endeavour).
SYNC: Ford EcoSport will be offered with¬†SYNC system, which has been developed along with Microsoft. The infotainment system ensures that it integrates both phone and car with direct access to phone book, test messages and music which are all voice activated thus permitting total concentration of driver with hands on the steering wheel at all times.
One of the important features of the SYNC, Emergency Assist, which is offered free of cost (for the entire life of EcoSport), proved life saving at the media drive, when one of the journalists crashed the car. What this feature does, is that in the event of accident, is calls¬†emergency no 108 (the nationwide emergency number) via the users SYNC’d device. After placing the call, the system will also tell them your location, and help will be on it’s way. In the case where journalist crashed the EcoSport, ambulance with medical help arrived in a matter of 5 minutes.¬†Prior to going ahead with emergency calling, the Sync system offers a 10 second period for drivers or passengers to cancel the call. If this is not resorted to, the system places the emergency call.
Ford EcoSport has a 200mm ground clearance. It has a spare wheel mounted on its hatch door and comes with an aggressive bonnet grille, wrap around rear glass and large door mirrors. A trapezoidal grille is a distinctive characteristic of Ford design DNA. A large rear window that wraps onto the sides is seen with oblique tail lamps.
To be available in four trim options, the base version will be called Ambiente while there will also be Trend, Titanium and Titanium Optional. EcoSport will be offered in four variants and eight color options and will come in at an aggressive pricing that will compete with not only Renault Duster and Maruti Suzuki Ertiga but will also compete with premium hatchbacks and compact sedans such as the Hyundai i20, Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai Verna and the recently launched Honda Amaze.
EcoSport will be produced from the company plant in Chennai, India. It will even be exported to other 50 countries exporting the vehicle to Europe later this year. Production will be high volume while high local content will aid its competitive pricing. For complete information on the new EcoSport, you can scroll through the media release, which is attached at the bottom of the page, after you can scan through the hi-res image gallery and videos on next page.
Dimensions:¬†3999 mm X 1765 mm X 1708 mm (L X W X H)
Wheelbase: 2520 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity: 52 liters
Tyres: 205/60/16 tubeless
Mileage: 1.0L EcoBoost- 18.9 kmpl, 1.5L petrol MT – 15.8 kmpl, 1.5L petrol AT – 15.6 kmpl, 1.5L diesel MT – 22.7 kmpl
Brakes: Disc (front), Drum (rear)
Boot: 346 liters, 705 liters (with rear seats folded)
Turning radius: 5.325 meters
1.5L Petrol Ti-VCT¬†Manual Transmission
Ambiente: INR 5.59 lakh
Trend : INR¬†6.49 lakh
Titanium: INR¬†7.5 lakh
1.5L Petrol Ti-VCT¬†Automatic Transmission
Titanium: INR¬†8.45 lakh
1.0L EcoBoost Petrol Manual Transmission
Titanium: INR¬†7.90 lakh
Titanium (O): INR¬†8.28 lakh
1.5L Diesel¬†TDCI¬†Manual Transmission
Ambiente: INR¬†6.69 lakh
Trend: INR¬†7.6 lakh
Titanium: INR¬†8.61 lakh
Titanium (O): INR¬†8.99 lakh