Car Blog India team was in Goa on 8th May 2013 to test the Ford EcoSport, the much awaited compact SUV which is one of the most promising car launches of 2013 in India. We took it on a drive for around 170 Km from morning to afternoon and drove it across the congested city roads as well as beautiful and curvy Ghats of Goa. We also drove EcoSport on the inclines and curves which the Ghats have to offer and in this article, we share with you our test drive experience of Ford EcoSport and details features and specifications review along with a video of the same.
In this review, we bring you a detailed review of 2013 Ford EcoSport India road test, its driving dynamics including ride comfort, handling, steering response, interior features, exterior styling. We also talk in detail about its interiors, seating comfort, cabin space, boot space, engine options, performance, mileage, variants and trim levels. We also discuss the pricing and availability along with the pros and cons of the EcoSport. Lets get started with a video below, it’s a 17 minute detailed video for all practical aspects in which we drive the 1 litre petrol version.
Test Drive Review Video With Features Details
Exteriors and Styling
Ford is using its new Kinetic language in almost all its cars now be it Fiesta or any other global model. The EcoSport which has debuted in Brazil, China and India follows the same design language which is fairly appealing when it comes to aesthetics. To give EcoSport a really attractive look, Ford has kept the grille quite large and has used a small horizontal slat over the grille to put the logo. The front fascia looks appealing with use of black and chrome styling on the grille on the bumper as well as in the fog lamp housing and body cladding at the bottom all over the car. In a way, it is a 3-tone exterior styling with Black-Chrome and Body Colour.
The headlamps with sleek design signify its sharp character and clever looks, the EcoSport does look very smart from the front with ample masculinity in its character. The side of the car has impressive body lines running from the top of front wheel arches and merging right into the rear tail lamp cluster. The sloping of the roof in a gentle way gives it the requires styling as well as good aerodynamic efficiency with a very low COD (coefficient of drag measured to denote aerodynamic efficiency). From side, it looks very sporty with the Aluminum finished roof rails further adding to it.
The rear is also nicely worked on with a spare wheel mounted on the boot gate giving it the much needed oomph factor- on the one hand it appeals to the youth, on the other hand, the placement and styling has been kept classy to appeal to a mature buyer alike. The sharp tail lamps, like the sharp headlamps, also signify sharpness and sleek character of the car. The tail gate handle has been included in the tail lamp cluster very intelligently and look seamless. It offers easy loading and unloading access with all the back door opening with a vertical hinge. But it would have been more convenient if the boot door opened towards the left hand side of the door since India is a left-hand drive country. The rear-windshield with the side wrapping quarter glasses also deserve a mention, they look nicely integrated into the car.
The above picture captures the smaller sibling Ford Figo and the elder brother Endeavour in the same frame as the EcoSport to give you a fair perspective of the dimensions of the Ford EcoSport which are 3999 mm in length, 1708 mm in height and 1765 mm in width. The ground clearance is an impressive 200 mm.
Interiors Space, Boot Space And Comfort
It would not be wrong to say that the EcoSport is a Driver’s car and has been driver centric in terms of Interiors. The front row is the place you would want to be inside an EcoSport with all the features available at your fingertips. Starting with the seating comfort, the EcoSport front seats are bucket seats finished in nice leather upholstery on the top end Titanium variants. It offers good leg-space at both front and rear seats. There are two rows of seats in with two seats on the front and a 3 seats at rear. The driver side seat is height adjustable and steering wheel is tilt adjustable making it very easy to adjust to perfect driving posture.
Further adding to the drive comfort are arm rest on the driver seat and adjustable lumbar support (lower back support) on the driver seat of EcoSport. The seating position in commanding and gives a good view of the road. The passenger seat is also in bucket-seat styling with good creature comforts.
The rear seats don’t have arm-rest and are more of flattish in the middle for comfortable seating of 3rd passenger in the middle on the rear seat. The seat cushioning and under thigh support is good on all 5 seats. The width on the rear seats feel slightly on the lower side for comfort of 5 passengers, but it is manageable.
There is plenty of leg-room, head room and airy feeling in the cabin with large glass windows. The interior colour theme is sporty silver and grey inspired from the global Fiesta. In fact the steering wheel, dashboard, instrument cluster and central console also look very similar to Fiesta only, which is not a disadvantage in any way as it is well worked out.
There are plenty of cubby holes and storage spaces all around the cabin. The fit and finish on the interiors, door trims and the instrument panel is good quality. Another point where EcoSport scores great is its noise insulation, there is hardly any external noise, except for the exhaust note of the engine, which is audible inside the car. It makes the car feel really calm even at the speed north of 100 KMPH.
The automatic climate control air-conditioning system is also a solid performer and does cool the cabin really fast, although the blower is very noisy at its maximum speed settings, which can be easily hushed up by reducing the blower speed.
Talking of the boot space, there is plenty of room in the luggage compartment with a wide opening boot door for easy loading and unloading. Also the boot door handle is nicely doubled up as a part of tail-lamp cluster which is very neat.
The rear seat on the EcoSport is a 60:40 split seat and you can fold them one or both at a time when the luggage needs are higher. With both seats folded, it frees up more than 700 liters of boot space which is more than enough for urban commuting needs.
All in all, EcoSport interiors are a pleasant space to be in. One downside though is that if you are a big fan of light-coloured beige interiors, you do not get any such options on the EcoSport.
Ride Comfort, Handling And Steering
Ford EcoSport does excellent in the area of ride and handling department with a specially tuned suspension by Ford especially tuned for Indian road conditions. While the suspension has good amount of travel for ride comfort on not-so-perfect Indian roads, it is not too soft at the same time to keep the handling on the sportier side. It does a great balance between the ride comfort and handling with specially designed suspension dampeners which make it corner like a charm event at 120 KMPH and still maintain decent ride comfort over Indian roads with its pot-holes and irregularities.
The large 16 inch alloy wheels with wide section offer good grip and keep the car planted on the road when cornering at high speeds or maneuvering on rough and loose road surfaces. Large wheels not only add to the look, but also are very functional in absorbing small imperfections of the road surface.
The steering weight of the EcoSport is also very well worked on with the EPAS technology (read more about EPAS here), which makes the steering work very sharp and precise by correcting any unwanted steering inputs by winds or road surface. The steering provides good feedback and is well weighted with neither too light and nor too heavy. We love the way the EcoSport steering feels, its is just like its sedan sibling Fiesta.
Engine, Performance and Mileage
1.0 EcoBoost Petrol Engine
Ford EcoSport in India is offered in 3 engine options with two powertrains. The 1.0 EcoBoost Petrol engine which is mated to a 5 speed manual transmission. The EcoBoost engine produces a peak power of 122 BHP and peak torque of 170 Nm. The rated mileage as per ARAI is 18.9 KMPL. We drove this model in our drive review and the engine is fairly impressive. It is a 3 cylinder turbocharged unit with very sporty engine sound and rev-happy unit with no-noticeable turbo lag. It revs well and in a linear way, the power delivery does not give a punch, but it does pull well in a rev-band between 2000 to 6000 RPM.
1.5 TiVTC Petrol Engine
The 1.5 TiVCT Motor is the same which is used in the Fiesta and the transmission options are also same including a 5 speed manual and a 6 speed dual-clutch automatic. This engine produces a peak power of 110 BHP and a peak torque of 140 Nm. Its rated fuel economy is 15.9 KMPL for manual and 15.8 KMPL for the automatic model. We have driven a Fiesta with same engine and it does fairly well there but the mid level punch is not too much.
1.5 TDCI Diesel Engine
The 1.5 TDCI motor is very impressive engine and does have an impressive 204 Nm of peak torque and a peak power of 89 BHP. This engine has a lot of mid end torque and punch t deliver which makes it apt for high speed highway driving. There is slight turbo-lag initially but beyond that, the engine works great. It also deliver a mileage of 22.7 KMPL which is a fairly impressive number with the kind of performance that this engine deliver on the EcoSport. This engine is mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox, there is no automatic version on the EcoSport Diesel.
Ford EcoSport is priced between Rs. 5.59 Lakhs to Rs. 9.0 Lakhs. Detailed Ford EcoSport price list here.
Features And Equipment
Talking of features and equipment list, it is quite loaded and comes with many creature comforts and modern features like Microsoft Sync. Some of the key features which you get on the fully loaded models include:
- ORVMs with integrated turn indicators
- Electrically adjustable ORVMs
- Push Button Start
- Keyless Entry
- Automatic climate control
- Cooled Glove box to cool the drinks on the go
- Lots of cubby holes and storage spaces
- Driver seat height adjust
- Driver Lumbar support
- Leather seats with black colour and red stitches
- Driver side arm rest
- Sporty 3 spoke steering wheel
- Retractable sunglass holder in the roof
- Sun-visors with vanity mirrors
- Premium silver and black instrument cluster and central console
- Digital multi-information display in instrument cluster with mileage computer
- Driver information system
- Steering mounted audio controls
- Car Multimedia system with voice command feature
- Multimedia audio system with 4 speaker and Microsoft-Ford Sync technology with Bluetooth Pairing with multiple phones, music streaming from phone, phone book sync and phone dialing features included
- USB and Aux-Input, CD, Radio audio support
- 12 Volt power socket at both front and rear seats
- Rear seats with good cushioning and storage spaces
- Split seats at rear
- Adjustable head restrains at front and rear
- Rear parcel tray
- Flat folding rear seats
- Large boot space
- 6 Airbags for Safety
- ABS with EBD
- EPS for safety
- High strength steel fame
- High sound insulation for quiet cabin
- Rear windshield with defogger, washer and wiper
- Sporty spoiler at rear with high mounted stop lamp
- Rear Parking Assist sensors system
- Speed sensing door locks for safety
There are lot more features. We will share the brochure soon.
Variants And Trim Levels
2013 Ford EcoSport in India launches with 10 variants in June 2013. Out of these, 4 are diesel variants with 1.5 litre engine, and 6 are petrol variants out of which 2 are the 1 litre EcoBoost powered variants and rest 4 are 1.5 Litre petrol engine variants. Detailed Variant List is as follows:
EcoSport Diesel 1.5 Litre Engine
- 1.5 Diesel Ambiente MT
- 1.5 Diesel Trend MT
- 1.5 Diesel Titanium MT
- 1.5 Diesel Titanium (O) MT
EcoSport Petrol 1.5 Litre Engine
- 1.5 Petrol Ambiente MT
- 1.5 Petrol Trend MT
- 1.5 Petrol Titanium MT
- 1.5 Petrol Titanium AT (Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission version)
EcoSport Petrol 1.0 Litre EcoBoost Engine
- 1.0 Petrol Titanium MT
- 1.0 Petrol Titanium (O) MT
Pricing And Availability
The prices will be announced in June 2013 with the deliveries expected to start around June end of early July 2013. The price of the base petrol variant is expected to be close to Rs. 6.5 Lakhs ex-showroom as per our estimate with the top end variants expected around Rs. 10 Lakhs. The base diesel variant should start close to Rs. 7.5 Lakhs with the top end going up till around Rs. 10.5 Lakhs.
For price information and latest updates, you can visit our page – Ford EcoSport India Launch Updates
Car Blog India’s Take On Ford EcoSport
What we like?
- Attractive looks
- Good build and overall quality
- Lots of features and gadgetry
- Loaded with safety
- Handling and suspension
- Steering feedback
- Powerful AC
- Compact and easy to drive
- No body roll
- Ride Comfort
- Low NVH and Noise insulation
What could have been better?
- Rear seat not too comfortable for 3 passengers
- Rear boot gate opening could have been on the left side for Indian conditions
- No colour options on interiors (light colour theme)
- A 4×4 option will be great
In totality, Ford EcoSport does impress with a lot to offer with variety of engine options, trim levels and features to choose from. It rides well, handles wonderfully, does great as an urban commuter and a choice for aspirational buyers who are looking forward to a sporty car in an affordable range. With right pricing and placement, we see a potential winner in the Ford EcoSport.