Ford EcoSport Diesel Review
Car Tested: 2013 Ford EcoSport TDCi (Titanium Option)
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 10.66 lakhs
The diesel engine of the Ford EcoSport has splendid drivability and offers peppy performance.
The Ford EcoSport is powered by one of the best three-cylinder petrol engines in the world, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost, which develops as much power as a 1.6-litre unit and sips fuel like a miser. While the engine is fantastic, we are not quite sure if it will be able to change the diesel love of Indian buyers. The diesel-powered EcoSport is undoubtedly going to be the volume spinner. When we factored that the diesel motor produces 34 PS less than the 1.0-litre EcoBoost, we were quite skeptical about its performance. However a drive around the roads of Mumbai was quick to put to rest our worries. How does the diesel EcoSport perform? Read on to find out.
The styling of the diesel-powered EcoSport is identical to its petrol siblings. You however do get the TDCi badge on the bottom right of the hatch door which is the only differentiator on the outside. If you strain hard, you can hear the diesel clatter, but only on the outside as the EcoSport has really fantastic NVH levels inside the cabin. The EcoSport looks stunning and we love the aggressive styling and attention to detail, which immediately draws a crowd. The Mars Red colour does boost the aggressiveness of the design and brings some eye candy from bystanders alike.
The interiors too are similar to its petrol counterpart. You get a cabin which is lifted from the Fiesta and quality levels are average at best. The interiors do look good and the seats are comfortable with terrific all round support. The driving position is spot on and there is no dearth of equipment in the vehicle. You sit in a commanding position and everything falls in your hands neatly. Even the rear seat offers good legroom although the narrow bench makes the EcoSport a strict 4-seater. The boot is not really big but has more than enough space for urban duties.
Powering the Ford EcoSport diesel is the same tried and tested oil burner from the Fiesta, the car on which the EcoSport is based on (B-car platform). This 1.5-litre engine produces 91 PS of peak power at 3750 RPM and 200 Nm of peak torque between 2000-2750 RPM. There is not much turbo lag from this motor and response is quite instant with good drivability being the biggest positive of this powerplant. In-gear acceleration is good too and you simply don’t feel there are just 90 odd horses under the hood. However this motor does tend to get out of breath on the highways, reaching 120 km/hr doesn’t take long but post that, the lack of ponies is quite apparent. You do have to work the gearbox on the highways for quick overtakes. Most people will not complain though as the EcoSport diesel has more than enough juice to perform exceptionally in the city and decently on the highways.
The EcoSport’s diesel mill redlines at 5050 RPM and is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox which offers short throws and crisp shifts. You don’t have to work the transmission much as tractability in the city is very good. The diesel EcoSport is not as fast as the EcoBoost version when you consider outright acceleration but it’s decent quick, nudging past 100 km/hr in less than 14 seconds, with a top speed of around 170 km/hr. The diesel engined EcoSport’s mileage is rated at an exceptional 22.7 km/l by ARAI, which easily out numbers its key rivals. Expect 15 km/l in crowded city conditions, stretching up to 18 km/l on the highways. The clutch is light and progressive and the diesel EcoSport is as effortless to drive as its petrol siblings.
When we drove the EcoSport petrol, we were not happy with the way the vehicle behaved under braking. We are happy to report the diesel powered EcoSport has very little of those traits. The diesel engine is slightly heavier and thus Ford has stiffened the suspension a bit. The EcoSport doesn’t dive forward under braking although the tyres are still not up to the mark and the steering is quite light. The light steering is a boon in crowded conditions but could do with more feel and feedback at high speeds. Being stiffer, the EcoSport diesel does get unsettled a bit over really bad roads, transferring quite a bit to the inside. However ride quality is good on decent roads and the EcoSport remains well composed at high speeds too.
The diesel-powered Ford EcoSport has pleasantly surprised us with its peppy performance. Although we had our doubts looking at the spec sheet, but the way this motor delivers performance is truly applaud worthy. It is sure not going to put the tarmac on fire but then it will never let you down either with crisp performance and excellent mileage. The EcoSport diesel is easily the pick of the EcoSport range and has been priced very well, making it the easy choice in its segment.
Further Reading –
Ford EcoSport EcoBoost Review
Ford EcoSport 1.5 Petrol AT Review
Ford EcoSport Video Review
Renault Duster vs Ford EcoSport
Ford EcoSport vs Fiat Avventura
Renault Duster vs Ford EcoSport vs Nissan Terrano
Maruti S-Cross vs Ford EcoSport vs Renault Duster