Meet Ford Ecosport, the small wonder
Amit Chhangani test-drives the Ford Ecosport, which was first showcased in Auto Expo 2012 and will open for bookings next month
Design and appearance
Compared to the images we saw on the Internet, the Ecosport is diminutive in size. Muscular and sporty, the design looks busy when you examine the elements closely and in isolation, but together, the Ecosport is defined by a sense of purpose and cohesiveness — a rarity in cars from lower segments. The Ecosport, we think, grows on you.
Engine and gearbox
The one-litre, three-cylinder Ecoboost engine is a technological marvel. With 125PS of peak power available at 6,000 revolutions, the output specs of the engine belie its size. The 1.0 Ecoboost is a fabulous engine, which loves being revved. It’s got a wee bit of turbo lag, and feels mildly weak at the bottom of the rev range.
It isn’t a deal breaker though as the car has ample torque to keep you trundling around at low speeds. Low speed in-city drivability is well within acceptable limits. A meaty mid-range and no reluctance to rev to the limit will make this engine a drivers’ favourite. An ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 18.9 kmpl substantiates Ford’s focus on frugality. We don’t have any complaints about the five-speed manual transmission which is favourably light, precise and smooth to operate.
Riding on McPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link independent rear set-up with 205/60R16 MRF rubber strapped on, the Ecosport dazzles with its fine balance of ride and handling. Extremely European in the way it rides, it’s rather stiffly sprung, but at the same time very well damped, so it absorbs wavy undulations at speed with aplomb and rides flat and planted.
The Ecosport stays true to Ford’s superior driving DNA. Overall, the Ecosport is a delightful little handling package, which would entice motoring lovers. The ride quality is exceptional at speeds, even on undulating roads. Sharp bumps at slow speeds are a bit of a bother, but well within the boundaries of manageable.
On the inside, the Ecosport offers a wide storage space, well bolstered front seats, a fantastic airconditioner, comfortable backseats with good leg and headroom for two and a neat sounding audio system. What goes against is not-so-great quality of plastics, some panel gaps and a centre console-layout, which may appear confusing for some.
Overall, the Ecosport features an extremely functional cabin. It may not appear overly enticing in the first look, but trust us, coupled with the driving feel of the Ecosport and the comfort it offers, it grows on you. We fell in love with the cabin for its practicality. We also tried using SYNC, the voice-controlled command system.
The system spells convenience for sure, allowing you to make or receive calls without taking your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road. The system also calls emergency services in case it identifies an emergency scenario defined by deployment of airbags or fuel line being cut.
The Ecosport drives like a dream and is powered by a peach of an engine in the guise of the Ecoboost. Great space, the vehicle ticks almost all the boxes on a prospective buyers’ wish list. However, it’s tough to pass the final verdict without knowing the price. The price of the car will be announced in the first week of June.
Sporty exterior design
Built to last interiors
Poor plastic quality in cabin
Rear seat ideal only for two