The Ford EcoSport is truly one of the most anticipated launches of the year after the Honda Amaze of course. But we won't take the credit away from Ford for they had showcased a car that exemplifies what the Indian customer needs. The sub-4 metre SUV-styled 5-seater first made its appearance at the Auto Expo in Delhi in 2012 and a year and a half has gone by for the car to come to its final destination.
Ford's marketing activities around the EcoSport have already got the customers attention but we feel that the customer has been given too much time to think and re-think, don't you? We drove the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine EcoSport has and we can understand your urge to know more about the diesel one. But it'll have to wait. Give us some time.
Ford continues its Kinetic design philosophy which it has continued giving to the Fiesta, the Figo and now the EcoSport. The lower grille dominates the front with chrome that surrounds it. The headlamps on either side of the narrow upper grille truly look good on this sub-4 car. But the best part of the EcoSport are the tail-lamps, which look truly amazing and the though we feel the badging at the rear is a bit too much, it's amazing the way it looks. We hoped it wouldn't turn out to be the same rear-end that made its way into the new Fiesta and looking at this, we now know that the designers have taken some of the criticism very seriously.
The interiors are on the same page as those in the current Fiesta. The seats are comfortable and the red stitching on the black leather seats add a bit of premiumness to the EcoSport. The EcoSport comes well equipped with standard features like climate control; 16" alloy wheels, steering-mounted controls, six airbags and of course SYNC multimedia system which makes the controlling of the the audio system, phone and other features very simple.
Sadly we only had the choice of the 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine and so we had to do with what was offered. The award-winning three-pot engine which goes into the EcoSport develops 123bhp and 170Nm torque. Dip the clutch and press the Start/Stop button and the EcoSport idles to a refined vroom of the engine. You doubt whether this 999cc engine will be able to pull this 1360 kg sub-4 SUV. However, once past 1800rpm mark, the engine revs happily and displays good power delivery. On the flipside though, higher the rpms and more audible the engine revs become. The 1-litre EcoBoost engine makes the EcoSport a practical cruiser than a fun-to-drive car. Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, the EcoSport does sprint when you want it to and that makes it a good proposition.
When you are in an SUV you really do not care about what is there on the road - potholes, dogs and even rickshawallahs and in this aspect the EcoSport does not disappoint. Fords have always been great handlers, the Ikon, the Mondeo, the Figo are examples of this tradition and the EcoSport is no exception. The car stays absolutely pinned to the tarmac even at a close corner and with the 200mm ground clearance you don't think twice before rolling over potholes. However, we felt that the EcoSport was a little stiff when it went through potholes, but we'll have to get the car for a longer time to erase that doubt from our minds.
In conclusion, the EcoSport lacks in one aspect, space. It can accommodate only four people and the fifth passenger has to be stuffed inside. The SUV is priced at ₹ 5.86 Lakh to Rs 9.41 Lakh and that is quite a bit if you ask me, but at the end of the day you cannot forget that the Ecosport has a lot to offer in that price band.