Ford EcoSport Petrol Review
Here at MotorBeam, we have reviewed each and every engine of the Ford EcoSport but many requested us to post a review of the 1.5-litre engined EcoSport which is paired to a manual gearbox. The Ford EcoSport is available in a wide range of options but the Ti-VCT powered variants are naturally in demand as they come at mouth watering prices. Ford has currently stopped taking bookings of select variants (mostly EcoBoost and diesel powered models) but people can still go ahead and book the 1.5-litre petrol engined variants (mostly Ambiente and Trend, which we will refer to as lower variants in this post). We took a quick spin in the EcoSport 1.5-litre petrol to find out if the base variants make much sense?
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To the layman’s eyes, there isn’t much to differentiate the lower variants from the higher variants from the outside. The Ambiente and Trend variants lack chrome lining on the grille and chrome surrounds on the foglight housing (there are no fog lights on offer).
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No roof rails on the lower variants either, something which you can definitely do without (unless you want to put a roof rack).
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The biggest difference is the lack of alloy wheels. The steel wheels are 15-inchers bolted on to 195/65 tyres instead of 205/60 tyres bolted on 16-inch alloy wheels. However the smaller wheels don’t spoil the presence of the EcoSport.
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The interiors are the same across the range but the difference lies in the equipment levels. The lower variants get lesser equipment but Ford has offered an audio system (with Bluetooth, AUX and USB connectivity) on all the variants.
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The colour scheme on the doors is slightly different (lighter shade).
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Notice the steering mounted audio controls which are offered on all variants except the base Ambiente.
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The screen on the top of the centre console isn’t present on the lower variants. Notice the placements of buttons on the audio system is very different too. USB port placed right in between the buttons, while unlock switch is placed on the top of the audio system, instead of below it.
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No airbags on the lower variants. EcoSport badge placed on the left side of the dashboard looks abrupt. Quality levels feel the same as the top variants.
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Manual AC on the lower variants. Notice the black finish on the gear knob instead of silver found on Titanium variants.
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The space inside the cabin is generous for four adults. The seats are supportive but the light fabric won’t work well in our dusty conditions.
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The instrument cluster lacks silver surrounds. The 1.5-litre petrol engine produces 112 PS of power at 6300 RPM and 140 Nm of torque at 4400 RPM, coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission. NVH levels are excellent and the engine is barely audible at idle. This motor offers linear performance and moves the heavy EcoSport with ease. However the engine doesn’t offer tarmac scorching performance and doesn’t offer instant response like the EcoBoost motor, specially in the mid-range. At high revs, the Ti-VCT engine is quite audible and feels a bit strained near the redline. However for city driving, the engine has more than enough pep, while out on the highways, you will have to work the gearbox a bit to get going swiftly. The 5-speed gearbox offers slick shifts with short throws. The clutch is light but feels a bit spongy when you disengage it. Expect a mileage of 9-10 km/l in the city and 11-12 km/l on the highway.
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So does buying the 1.5-litre petrol engined EcoSport make much sense? YES, it does. The engine offers decent performance and if your running isn’t much, you can give the diesel model a skip. If you are not much into driving and want a car just to commute, you can give the EcoBoost engine a miss (EcoBoost is by far the best powertrain on the EcoSport). The top-end variants offer as much value as the lower variants, since you get a plethora of features in the Titanium trim. However if you are on a tight budget, getting the lower variants makes a lot of sense too. On the exterior front, there is little to distinguish from higher variants while on the inside, you still get basic equipment like power windows, power steering, audio system, AC, etc. Thus the lower variants of the Ford EcoSport make for a great alternative for hatchback buyers, who can spend slightly more to get a compact SUV which is more practical for our roads.