Performance – While the older EcoSport used to come with 3 engines – 2 petrol and 1 diesel, the newer car comes with only 2 engine options. The diesel engine is the same 1.5-litre, TDCI, 4-cylinder unit producing 100 PS of power and 205 Nm of torque, mated to the same 5-speed manual gearbox. NVH levels on this engine are good but some clatter does filter inside the cabin. Power delivery is punchy and the EcoSport never really feels underpowered, even on the highways. Turbo lag isn’t very bothersome too. Gear shifts are still very notchy though and even the lever feels heavy, but the clutch is very light. On the fuel efficiency front, you can expect 16-18 km/l.
The Dragon petrol engine offers very good driveability, diesel engine is good fun too
However, it is the new petrol engine that got us more interested in the new Ford EcoSport. This is an all-new 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder, Dragon series engine that replaces the older Sigma and EcoBoost engines. The Dragon engine produces 123 PS at 6500 RPM and 150 Nm at 400 RPM. While the power figure is similar to the EcoBoost engine, torque has gone down by 20 Nm but that isn’t a concern because the EcoBoost unit was turbocharged and this one is naturally aspirated. The engine is extremely refined despite being a 3-cylinder unit and feels very responsive to throttle inputs. The manual gearbox engined model reaches from 0 to 100 km/hr in 10.91 seconds as per our VBOX tests. Power delivery is linear all the way to the redline and this engine actually makes the car fun to drive.
The petrol engine gets two transmission options – 5-speed manual and 6-speed automatic. Do note that this AT is a torque converter unit while the older AT used to be a DCT. However, the gearbox has been matched very nicely to the engine and gear shifts are pretty smooth. It feels even more responsive in Sport mode. There are no manual shift buttons on the gear lever this time but what you do get are steering-mounted paddle-shifters. Fuel efficiency from the petrol engine isn’t that high, you can expect 9-11 km/l under regular driving. However, when I was giving it the beans, the display showed an average of just 4.5 km/l. Overall, the EcoSport scores high on the mechanical front with two very strong engines.
Driving Dynamics – The Ford EcoSport has always had a fun-to-drive nature and the new car doesn’t miss out on the fun factor. The steering continues to feel light enough at city speeds while it weighs up nicely on the highways. It also offers a good amount of feedback. The suspension has been softened a bit which makes the ride a lot more better, though it is still a bit on the stiffer side. The new low-profile tyres on the top variants also add to the stiff ride while lower variants with higher profile tyres may make the ride feel a bit more softer. Grip from the new tyres is very good and braking performance on the EcoSport is also well-suited to the weight and size of the car.