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Rediff.com  » Business » EcoSport: Though a facelist, the exterior & interior feel fresh

EcoSport: Though a facelist, the exterior & interior feel fresh

December 27, 2017 17:44 IST

Considering how cheap Ford cars are to maintain these days, the EcoSport is definitely recommended for someone who doesn't prefer a Maruti or a Tata for that matter.

Launched back in 2013, the Ford EcoSport kickstarted the compact sub-4-metre SUV segment in India and turned out to be a success for the American automaker.

 

Over the years, the compact SUV had lost some of its sheen due to the intense competition from Maruti and other carmakers.

However, Ford has finally launched the facelifted version of the EcoSport. A facelift doesn't mean it only gets a new face, there's more.

The Ford EcoSport facelift gets a new and wider grille with chrome embellishments.

The sleek headlamps have been traded in for new bigger units which come with projectors and LED DRLs (on the Titanium and Titanium+ trims) that make the vehicle look aggressive.

There's a redesigned bumper which houses the revised fog lamps.

The bonnet too has undergone minor changes to suit the new face.

Nothing much has changed on the side and rear profile of the car, except for the new 17-inch alloy wheels on the Titanium+ and 16-inch wheels on the Titanium and Trend+ variants.

The lower Trend and Ambiente trims get smaller 15-inch wheels.

The revised detailing on the rear bumper completes the overall changes to the car.

Step inside the faceliftedFord EcoSport and you'll notice a new dashboard that looks more upmarket.

You get a new 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel, new instrument console with MID display and an 8-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity (on the Titanium and Titanium+ trims). The Trend and Trend+ trims get a smaller 6.5-inch touchscreen unit.

The touchscreen, simply put, is by far the best system in this segment.

Responses are smooth and the system is very intuitive to use.

Quality levels of the materials used in the cabin are commendable but the instrument cluster looks too basic, especially for a car that costs over Rs 10 lakh.

Also, the AC vents on the centre console are set too low.

The seats get softer cushioning and are more comfortable and supportive. While headroom and shoulder room at the rear is generous, knee room is still cramped.

The older Ford EcoSport used to come with 3 engine options - 2 petrol and 1 diesel but the new one gets only 2 engines - 1 petrol and 1 diesel.

The diesel is the same 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder unit producing 100 PS and 205 Nm and mated to the same 5-speed manual gearbox.

The motor has a good punch and never feels underpowered, even on the highways.

Turbo lag is present but isn't bothersome. Though the gear lever feels heavy the clutch is light.

NVH levels are good but there is the diesel clatter that filters inside the cabin especially at high speeds.

ARAI certified fuel-efficiency is 23 km/l but in the real-world, you can expect around 16-18 km/l.

Now, to the sole petrol motor. Ford has replaced the 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder engine with a new 3-cylinder, 1.5-litre unit.

Called the Dragon series, this motor is naturally-aspirated and churns out 123 PS and 150 Nm.

Refinement levels are stupendous considering that this is a 3-cylinder mill.

The powertrain comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard but you also have an optional 6-speed automatic with steering-mounted paddle-shifters.

Power delivery in the manual variant is delivered in a linear manner all the way till the redline.

The manual gearbox also makes the engine feel peppy. On a light foot, you can expect around 9-11 km/l from the new petrol motor.

The updated compact SUV retains its very fun-to-drive nature and that's a good thing.

Steering is light in city commutes and weighs up well on the highways.

In comparison to the older car, the suspension is slightly softer and the ride is comfortable.

Tyres offer great levels of grip and braking performance is just right.

Ford is offering dual front airbags and ABS with EBD as standard across the range of the new EcoSport and in case, you opt for the Titanium+ trim you get 4 additional airbags, cruise control, ISOFIX seat mounts and rear parking sensors.

The AT variant also gets Hill Start Assist. Coming to Ford's after-sales service, the reach across the country is good and moreover, Ford cars, these days are cheaper to own and maintain.

Ford has put a lot of new things in the new EcoSport even though this is just a facelift.

The exterior and interior feel fresh. The diesel variant, in particular, is sporty, and makes sense for someone looking for a fun car.

Not to take away the petrol and the automatic, they are there to make that city traffic commutes convenient and they do it rather well.

Considering how cheap Ford cars are to maintain these days, the EcoSport is definitely recommended for someone who doesn't prefer a Maruti or a Tata for that matter.

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