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Interiors – The EcoSport might be compact on the outside, but it has generous interior space and getting in and out is easy thanks to its tall height. The vehicle is based on the Fiesta platform and thus the interiors too are very Fiesta like, albeit with some changes. The dashboard of the Ford EcoSport is quite big and has dual tone treatment of black and grey, with silver inserts around the AC vents and door handles. A blue display screen (it is red on the Fiesta) is placed on top of the center console which carries various vehicle data like audio system display and vehicle settings (speed alarm, etc). It also doubles up as a display for the rear parking sensors, showing a graphical view of the obstacle behind. The 3-spoke steering wheel too gets silver inserts and has audio controls with 5 buttons (next track, previous track, volume up and down and Sync speak button). Ford has ditched voice controls from the Fiesta and instead used SYNC in the EcoSport.
The instrument cluster is similar to the Fiesta with black background and white dials but now uses green backlit instead of red. The twin pod cluster gets the silver treatment too. It has blue needles for the speedometer and tachometer, which are clearly visible at all times of the day. The console has a multi-information display which shows a real time fuel efficiency graph which varies based on throttle inputs (the trip computer is operated using the left stalk). Other information displayed includes average fuel consumption, distance to empty and one trip needle (most cars offer 2 trip meters but even the Duster has 1 trip meter). The top end Titanium + variants are offered with a push button start placed on the left side of the steering wheel. Other variants use a key which is inserted in the usual position (below the right indicator stalk).
Climate control is offered on top variants and the AC chills really quickly and is simply fantastic like the Figo. Ford is introducing SYNC in the EcoSport, which is a voice control and connectivity system for mobile phones and music players (paried via Bluetooth). This system works quite efficiently and is made in collaboration with Microsoft. You can browse through your USB device or mobile phone for music and with the touch of a button on the steering wheel, you can give voice commands, by which you can make calls, read text messages, send text messages (only preset ones), change songs (can search songs on a USB device). However you can’t operate the AC using voice controls like in the Fiesta.
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The SYNC system is a step up over the Fiesta’s voice command system and is more intelligent thereby easily understanding your tone and dialect (it has increased voice recognition capabilities). The Ford EcoSport also debuts SYNC emergency assistance, which dials 108 handsfree in case an airbag is deployed or the fuel pump shut off is activated. One can cancel the call manually within 10 seconds of an accident. This service is offered free for the whole life of the vehicle. You also have a number pad on the center console to dial manually and the buttons are excessive and confusing.
The top-end model gets keyless entry and the car automatically unlocks if you have the key on you. Ford has offered 2 charging ports in the EcoSport, one placed in the centre console and the other placed on the right side edge of the rear seat. Quality levels inside the car are good with no panel gaps visible. However the level of fit leaves a lot to be desired from. The panels appear to be thinner and you can simply push things (like the door pad or the instrument cluster or even the fog lamps) and it moves quite a lot, feeling as if they would come off. The biggest eye sore is the not matching pad placed right in front of the gear lever, which looks like an after thought. Ford says it is aware about the issue and is working on resolving it. However production has already commenced and we hope that part is not carried onto the final model.
Even though the EcoSport is based on the Fiesta, there is good amount of interior room. The wheelbase has been extended and the cabin feels comfortable for four passengers (the vehicle isn’t too wide and the foot well is fairly large at the centre so three healthy passengers at the rear are a tight fit). The front seats are extremely supportive and offer excellent back support, thanks to the bucket like seats with wings on the side giving tremendous lateral support. Ford has hit the sweet spot with the seats, all of them offer good thigh support and are soft in the centre and firm at the sides. The driver seat also gets height adjustment and lumbar adjustment along with a steering wheel which is adjustable in both tilt and telescopic manner. The rear seat offers good legroom, thanks to the scooped out front seat back and deep footwell. Headroom is ample even for tall passengers and as you can see below, with the front seat adjusted to my driving position, there is good amount of legroom for a six foot plus passenger at the rear. The rear seat can be reclined in two phases for improved comfort. The driver gets a small arm rest but Ford should have also offered arm rests for front and rear seat passengers.
The Ford EcoSport has quite a lot of stowage places (20 of them). The front doors can hold two bottles each (a 1.5-litre and a 500 ml one) while the centre area (next to the hand brake) can hold another two. The glove box can hold six cans and has two sections for increased space. It also has an AC duct to keep your drinks chilled. Then there are card holders below the AC switches, a small toll receipt holder below the right most AC vent and a tray below the front passenger seat. You can even keep papers or files on the upper part of the dashboard which is scooped out. The sun visors are slightly small and the co-passenger one gets a manually activated light. There is a sunglasses holder in the top centre, right next to the front cabin lights (there are two of them). At the rear, there is a bottle holder in the centre, which is too small to hold a big bottle. There is a bottler holder on each rear door, which can easily hold a 1-litre bottle. There are 4-speakers inside the EcoSport and audio quality is truly phenomenal for a stock setup. Rear seat passengers share a common cabin light with the boot, which is placed in a way it illuminates both the rear seat and the boot.
The doors are quite heavy and sometimes require an effort to close. The silver door handles on the inside look kind of out of place to us. The boot door has an hydraulic connection, which either keeps the door closed completely or opened completely. The inside of the boot door is scooped for extra space. Ford has used high strength steel and ultra high tensile boron steel on the EcoSport, this helps in safety while at the same time keeps weight in check. Six airbags are offered on the top-end Titanium + variants, while the Titanium variants comes with two airbags. Due to six airbags, there are no grab handles for passengers. The EcoSport also comes with follow me home headlights, which remain on for 30 seconds after your lock the vehicle at night.
The Ford EcoSport has a very un-SUV like boot, which is quite small at just 346-litres. The rear tyres create a hump inside the boot, thereby limiting space even further. However the rear seats can be folded in 60:40 ratio which increases boot volume significantly. The rear seats stand right against the front seat back, offering a big flat storage area. There is a parcel shelf where you can keep small things but it will hamper the driver’s rear visibility. Front visibility is quite strong, the rear view mirrors are big and have convex and concave markings as well. The inside rear view mirror also offers good rear view visibility. The window between the C and D-pillar is extremely small which tells you the EcoSport is not really a big car.
Overall the interiors of the Ford EcoSport are a mixed bag, while quality is not the best and boot space is less, the EcoSport offers very good space and comfort, along with generous storage bins.
Head over to the next page to read about the performance of the Ford EcoSport.