2016 Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Titanium | Full Review



The compact SUV segment is one of the hottest segment at the moment in India with every major manufacturer wanting to have a lion's share. It was Ford who created this segment in India with EcoSport in 2013. In 2016, Ford has given the EcoSport some cosmetic and some technical upgrades which we will be talking about in this review.

Competition Check



At the moment the EcoSport has two mighty competitors in the form of the recently launched Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Mahindra TUV300. All the three cars are competitively priced with each other.

We disregarded Nissan Terrano, Renault Duster and Hyundai Creta from comparison due to vast differences in the dimensions and prices compared to EcoSport, TUV300 and Vitara Brezza. 

The EcoSport trumps the Vitara Brezza in terms of engine, interior space. While the TUV300 trumps the EcoSport in interior space and seating capacity. All three cars have unique selling points and address diffferent needs of the consumers.


Exteriors - 4 / 5
The all new Ford EcoSport now comes with daytime running lights (non-LED) and headlamps with Lightguide which further enhances its looks. Other than these there are no significant changes in the external appearance.



On standalone basis, the EcoSport looks are more like a city hatchback than rugged SUV which makes it suitable for both city commute and weekend adventure. The spare wheel on the tail-gate gives it a distinct appearance.


A high shoulder line and a huge octagon-shaped grille on the front bumper dominate the looks. 


The 16-inch alloy wheels look decent too. The EcoSport has a ground clearance of 200mm which is the highest among its rivals Brezza and TUV300


The looks and stance are more aggressive as compared to Vitara Brezza but less rugged than the TUV300. Overall, the EcoSport is well proportioned and looks pleasing to the eyes.


Interiors - 4 / 5
The interior is combination of beige coloured roof, black leather upholstery, grey dashboard with silver accents. 


The red-coloured stitching on the black leather gives the interiors a very sporty look. The quality of materials used are decent, neither too premium nor too cheap. 


The dashboard design is bit aggressive and looks a little overdone. Nonetheless, the interior design is better than that in TUV300 and Vitara Brezza.


The center console of the dashboard contains too many buttons to play with causing a bit of an inconvenience and makes it difficult to reach the frequently used buttons. The A/C vents are aggressively designed and adds to the sporty look of the interiors.


Ford EcoSport has a bootspace of 346 litres which is more than that of Vitara Brezza (328 litres) but less than that of TUV300 (384 litres). 


Inside the EcoSport you can find plenty of small storage spaces which come in handy for long journeys for which these compact SUVs are meant for. Also the arm rest at the driver's seat make long journeys more pleasant.



The detailing inside the Ford EcoSport is really appreciable, you can find a vanity mirror with a light bulb, storage space for your sunglasses and a 12V charging socket besides the rear seats.


The rear seats can be folded in various combinations (as you can see in the above images) for carrying extra luggage. Also the rear seats' reclining angle can be adjusted but in only two setting. For a long journey a more laid back angle can be set while for city commute a more upright angle can be set.


Engine & Performance - 3.5/5

The new EcoSport is powered by the same 1.5-litre diesel engine which can be found in the old EcoSport. The 1,498 cc engine produces as maximum power of 100 PS @ 3,750 rpm and maximum torque of 205 Nm @ 1,750 - 3,250 rpm. Compared to the old EcoSport, the 1.5-litre diesel now produces roughly 9 PS of more power while the maximum torque remains the same.


On paper this engine is more powerful than the engine in Vitara Brezza (81.5 PS) and TUV300 (83.6 PS).

On road, the EcoSport can cruise well above 130 kmph with decent amount of load. With three adults inside we were pleasantly cruising at speeds of 150 kmph with potential to go beyond this speed. The car has good cornering etiquettes at high speeds. We were not really fond of pushing this car to its limit like we did with the Fiat Avventura powered by Abarth since that is not the purpose for which you buy an EcoSport.

You buy vehicles like EcoSport to give yourself a flexibility of owning a car that caters to your daily commute in city as well as occasional weekend outing with friends and family - for this purpose the EcoSport is powerful enough to crunch those long miles within short time with a comfortable ride.


The 5-speed manual gearbox is not the smoothest of all and is really very notchy making gear shifting in bumper traffic a pain. The brakes are also not as sharp as you would like them to be.

The EcoSport is a bit bouncy and wobbly compared to the Aspire or the Figo hatchback. It loves to jump lanes with the slightest of bumps at high speeds although the ride quality is really good.

During our testing the EcoSport returned a fuel economy between 12.59 kmpl (worst) to 14.07 kmpl (best). The testing was done in varied road conditions and driving styles. A more sober driving style and better roads can push this figure a little higher.


Comfort, Convenience & Ride Quality - 4/5

Comfort levels in the EcoSport are pretty high. We clocked over 500 kms on the EcoSport and could barely find any major shortcomings for comfort and ride quality.

 

The front bucket seats have good support to sides which holds your body firmly and gives you added comfort on long drives. Arm rest for the driver is an added bonus. The rear seats are comfortable too but a center arm rest with cupholders is sorely missed. The is plenty of headroom and legroom both at the front and at the back even for a 6-ft tall person.

 

Arm rests on all 4-doors are well designed and provide great comfort during long journeys. These are small things but are especially useful when you are out on a holiday with your friends and family.




A smart keyless entry and exit along with a Start/Stop button makes life a little easy for the driver. One need never remove the key from his/her pocket to lock/unlock or start/stop the car. Rear parking sensor come as standard.


A decent 200mm ground clearance enables you to confidently maneuver the EcoSport on rough terrains and tackle difficult/broken/pothole-ridden with ease. The suspension is appreciable and provides excellent ride quality on rough roads.


Safety - 5/5

The Titanium variant of the new EcoSport comes loaded with modern safety features. It comes with ABS + EBD, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Hill Launch Assist (HLA).

The Titanium variants comes equipped with driver, passenger and two curtain airbags providing safety to all passengers inside.



Verdict

With the recent cut in prices for the EcoSport, it has become a more attractive investment. Still it is marginally expensive compared to Vitara Brezza and TUV300 but it terms of quality, interiors and power it is better than the others.


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About Vivek Manjarekar

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1 comments:

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