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1.2-Litre TSI vs 1.0-Litre EcoBoost – Turbocharged Battle!


EcoSport SUV vs Polo GT

Shootout – Ford EcoSport EcoBoost vs Volkswagen Polo 1.2 GT TSI

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 9.33 lakhs (Polo GT TSI), Rs. 9.35 lakhs (Ford EcoSport EcoBoost Titanium)

Both these petrol cars bring turbocharged power to the masses.

Almost every diesel car sold in India uses a turbocharger. But a turbocharged diesel engine and a turbocharged petrol motor are quite different. Naturally if you are a petrol head, a turbocharged petrol engine under your car’s hood is going to excite you. The first affordable turbocharged petrol car in India was the Skoda Octavia vRS which was launched early last decade (1.8-litre engine produced 150 BHP of power). Now in 2013, we have two more affordable turbocharged petrol cars to choose from – the Ford EcoSport EcoBoost and the Volkswagen Polo 1.2 GT TSI. Both these cars are very different, after all one is a compact SUV while the other is a hatchback. However both are priced very similarly, which tempted us to put them head-to-head in a turbocharged battle.

Ford EcoBoost vs Volkswagen TSI

Ford cars are known to be very fun to drive while Volkswagen is not far behind either. The EcoSport is definitely fun although the steering is not as crisp and handling could have been better, with a stiffer suspension. Naturally the taller stance and heavier weight show in the way the EcoSport doesn’t outrun the Polo GT in corners but remember, we are only comparing engines and not dynamics. The Polo GT also comes with ESP which makes cornering even more surefooted and the EcoSport lacks this feature on the EcoBoost version (the 1.5-litre Automatic gets ESP).

TSI vs EcoBoost Engines

Even engine wise, the only thing common between the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and Ford EcoSport EcoBoost is that a turbocharger is used by both of them. The Polo GT TSI displaces 1197cc from its 4-cylinder engine, producing 105 PS of power at 5000 RPM and 175 Nm of torque between 1500-4000 RPM. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine in the Ford EcoSport uses a 999cc, 3-cylinder engine to develop 125 PS of power at 4200 RPM and 170 Nm of torque between 1400-4500 RPM. On paper the EcoSport looks like a stronger candidate as far as performance goes but weaker if you consider NVH levels.

Ford EcoSport vs Volkswagen Polo

However on the road, the EcoSport surprises you by offering fantabulous NVH levels. Vibrations are very low although at certain points of the power band (top-end mostly), the 3-pot architecture does make its presence felt. Ford engineers have created a master piece with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost motor and that is the reason this engine has won the international engine of the year award twice in a row. Even with lesser displacement, the EcoBoost engine belts out 20 PS more power which gives it a 0-100 km/hr time of 10.8 seconds. The Polo GT TSI on the other hand is absolutely vibe free and reaches 100 km/hr from standstill in 9.7 seconds. The EcoSport weighs 119 kgs more which results in it being slower. Both cars have a top speed of 190 km/hr. Even with more power, the EcoSport deliveries higher mileage (18.9 km/l for the EcoSport 1.0 vs 17.2 km/l for the Polo TSI as per ARAI).

Ford vs Volkswagen

The EcoSport has some turbolag and starts to pull strongly post 2000 RPM. The Polo feels more eager at low end of the rev range and feels more drivable in the city. However the Polo simply can’t match the high revving character of the EcoBoost engine. It’s around 5000 RPM power starts to sharply trail off in the Polo (redline at just 6000 RPM) but the EcoSport continues to solider on till its 6800 RPM redline. To the Polo GT TSI’s credit is a 7-speed DSG unit which shifts cogs quicker than you can manually do using the 5-speed box on the EcoSport. However the real fun of driving is changing gears yourself and that is where the EcoSport brings more smiles. The clutch is light and the gearshift is slick. In the Polo, things are a bit artificial with not much driver involvement. Had there been paddle shifts, we would have had a different stance. The Polo does get a Sport mode along with tip-tronic function.

Polo GT TSI vs Ford EcoSport

So which is the better engine of the two. Both engines are fantastic but the EcoBoost has out vote. It’s more fun to drive, is slightly more vocal, redlines at a higher RPM and feels fast and engaging too. The Polo might be the faster car here but it simply doesn’t excite you as much as the EcoBoost powered EcoSport does. Now only if Ford plonks in the award winning A4 sized EcoBoost power plant into ligher cars like the Figo, then it will be game, set, match and go!

The 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine in the Ford EcoSport offers more fun and performance while the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI is faster due to its lighter weight and DSG gearbox.

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{ 26 comments… add one }

  • karan June 27, 2013, 5:28 pm

    Faisal, there is a manual gearbox version of polo GT called Polo SR or RS. Which i saw in Volkswagon’s Gurgaon showroom 2 weeks ago. It has the same 1.2 TSI engine, but it also had very small side skirts. Its in white color and its exactly one lakh cheaper that polo gt. I am not joking, you can call the showroom right now and see it yourself. Its near MG road metro station.

    Reply
    • Mohit Soni June 27, 2013, 5:36 pm

      Karan, its the 3 cylinder petrol engine with a manual gearbox and body kit, the GT TSI and SR is completely different !

      Reply
      • karan June 27, 2013, 5:49 pm

        What? that idiot sales executive told me its the same engine as in Polo GT…Well thats a bummer.

        Reply
        • Mohit Soni June 27, 2013, 11:27 pm

          Did you see GT badge on the Grill and TSI badging on the D pillar? did the boot lid had polo badge or GT and TSI badge? did you open the hood up?

          OR may be it could be GT is being sold out via dealership with a Body kit! check engine bay for 3 or 4 cylinder for last conformation :P

          Reply
  • vinay June 27, 2013, 7:10 pm

    ecoboost engine in fiesta would be a blast. European fiesta with ecoboost engine(125bhp) 0-100 in 9.4secs. Even ecoboost engine has a tuning box from racechip.de which upgrade the bhp to 148bhp and torque to 252nm with overboost function. Do INDIAN ecoboost in ecosport have overboost function just like european ecoboost???????????

    Reply
  • Pravin June 27, 2013, 8:06 pm

    I own a TJet…. so if you had tested the T-Jet vs Ecoboost… it wouldve been more apt and fun… wouldve wondered which one wouldve bested the other :-)

    Reply
  • Ben June 28, 2013, 9:24 am

    Worlds two best turbocharged petrol engines:
    1) 1.0 L ecoboost engine
    2) 0.9 L twin air engine

    Reply
  • sandy June 28, 2013, 9:49 am

    “Jahaan Meri Ye Nazar Thi…
    Meri Jaan Tuzhe Khabar Thi!”
    Great Job! I did played a lot of permutation n combination thought on these power trains, and so did you. I had be wowing TSI from the day Polo was launched and beaten red n blue by its competitors, and thought always came to mind “why didn’t they bring low powered TSI if they were worried about cost?”. And now when they finally brought the TSI but they missed the proper timing, as a result – the Polo with other competitors are ready to be beaten red n blue by EcoBoost.
    And now, I’m hearing a lot about VW’s 1.0 liter 110 bhp turbo petrol which will be debuting in their Taigun mini SUV. Hope this time VW make its entry in proper time.

    Reply
  • Devan June 28, 2013, 11:03 am

    Faisal, I hope you didn’t forget about another turbo petrol car under 10 lakhs, the Linea T-Jet? Actually if someone puts points to each and every characters of these three cars, it will be great to see who is the winner. I think the T-Jet Dynamic may be a serious competition (if the reviewer is able to get over the “Fiat” negative mindset) to these two cars.

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan June 28, 2013, 12:00 pm

      Devan, not forgotten about it but that’s a different engine, although turbocharged, it’s 1.4-litre unit and the Linea is not a sub 4-metre car.

      Reply
      • Kedar June 28, 2013, 4:03 pm

        I would love to see a shootout inbetween

        Linea Tjet, Ford Ecosport Ecoboost, Polo GT TSi.

        Though Linea is over 4m but the base variant of Linea is cheaper than Ecosport and Polo GT TSi. So a comparo would worth to do. What say Faisal?

        Reply
        • Kedar June 28, 2013, 4:08 pm

          FIAT Linea Active Tjet

          Price 7,77,100
          Max Power 112 @ 5000
          Max Torque 207 @ 2200

          Ford Ecosport Titanium Ecoboost

          Price 8,02,808

          Max Power 123 @ 6000
          Max Torque 170 @ 1400

          VW Polo GT TSi

          Price: 8,09,848

          Max Power: 103 @ 5000
          Max Torque: 175 @ 1500

          Linea Tjet is least expensive and has got more power than others.

          Reply
        • Faisal Khan July 1, 2013, 12:54 am

          Kedar, good idea but Linea in a different territory actually.

          Reply
          • Kedar July 1, 2013, 11:43 am

            Can you please explain :-) I would like to hear it from you

  • HARI June 28, 2013, 8:57 pm

    Faisal,What do you think on the Reliability & Long Term Life & ‘Maintenance’ of Ecoboost ?,Can you help me Select between its Di & Ecob ?,I commute 50-60 kms daily,I want Ecoboost,But I doubt on its Long Term Maintenance.

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan June 28, 2013, 9:51 pm

      Hari, I think the EcoBoost engine is very reliable. Ford is powering many of its cars with this engine including the Mondeo, Fiesta and Focus. Ford is currently importing the engine from Germany for the Indian EcoSport.

      Reply
      • HARI June 30, 2013, 6:41 pm

        Thanks dude :),But help me pic a choice, 50-60 kms daily – EcB or Di ?

        Reply
  • Radhakrishnan July 1, 2013, 11:21 am

    I usually commute an average of 750 kms a month withing the city , with occasional Long trips (once in 3 months). Which one should I go for Faizal? Heard some test dive reports that the ecoboost needs some frequent change of gears in the city,hence this question. We are a family of 4. I have shortlisted Hyundai i20 automatic & diesel, polo GT TSi and Ecosprt Ecoboost and diesel. Pls guide me choose the right one for my requirements.

    Reply
  • Moli July 6, 2013, 3:00 am

    How will the EcoBoost perform in the Himalayas? Worried about the mileage.

    Reply
  • bharath July 12, 2013, 4:20 pm

    If you can compare with T-jet it would have been better.

    T-jet is much cheaper than both the Polo and Ecosport and is more reilable and cheaper to maintain.

    Pls have a shootout of 3 cars.

    Reply
  • dr anurag bansal July 31, 2013, 11:42 pm

    Dear Mr Faisal Khan,kindly mention,is ecoboost engine is all-aluminium alloy construction..

    Reply
  • shashi kant srivastava December 5, 2013, 2:41 pm

    Dear Faisal kindly put some light on Ritz vxi, its performance. Is it good to buy.

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan December 5, 2013, 8:31 pm

      Yes it’s good but Grand i10 a better package overall.

      Reply

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