Ford EcoSport S Long Term Review
Car Tested: Ford EcoSport S
Kms Done: 3563 kms
Test Started at: 240 kms
Test Concluded at: 3803 kms
Mileage: 14.5 km/l, 18.7 km/l (best), 11.9 km/l (worst)
The Ford EcoSport S offers enthusiastic buyers a practical and sporty alternative
The options in the compact SUV segment keep increasing time and again, leading to an even bigger confusion for prospective buyers which is actually a good thing. The car that started it all (if you discount the half-hearted Premier Rio), the Ford EcoSport has been on sale for a good 5.5 years now and has gone through multiple updates. The latest is the EcoSport S which is the flagship variant post the facelift of the car. We drove this for a few months and came out impressed with the small yet significant changes making a big difference in our experience with the C-SUV.
It's interesting how botox has really worked with the EcoSport which fails to show its age. The S variant gets the delicious looking 17-inch wheels and as this Ford isn't designed with a ruler in hand (like some of the cars in the segment), it doesn't look boxy. Although sub-4-metre in length, the tail-gate mounted spare wheel ensures the EcoSport doesn't look as small although the way the boot opens is both effort consuming and impractical, the next-gen model needs to ditch this for an upward opening door!
Once inside, you will appreciate the sporty touches like the orange coloured inserts on the dashboard as well as the doors, the sporty steering wheel and the state of the art 8-inch touchscreen infotainment which uses SYNC3 and is super fluid to use. Some highlight features which we saw of use almost every other days was, of course, the sunroof and the 7-colour ambient lighting. Not to forget, the cruise control came in handy on the highway and the comfortable seats ensured we weren't tired although the ride quality on our car wasn't as great due to the big wheels (some more caution over bad roads was ensured).
What really shines on the Ford EcoSport is the engine, the diesel engine is smooth, refined and drivable as turbo lag is well contained. However, I am still not able to wrap my head around the fact that the heavier EcoSport gets lesser torque than the lighter Figo twins, that 10 Nm extra is always welcome considering the same diesel mill powers all of Ford's manufactured in India diesel cars. The oil burner likes to rev too, all the way till 5000 RPM and never feels uneasy which means you have ample grunt in the city, as well as on the highway.
The ride quality on the lower trims is definitely better with higher profile tyres but I don't mind the sacrifice as the handling is really good but there is some slack in the steering on straight-ahead position. The original EcoSport had the best handling but the ride was a bit too stiff. The car remains stable at high speeds and the brakes offer good stopping power too, the tyres are grippy ensuring no screeching when hard braking or cornering hard.
The EcoSport S offers terrific performance, practicality & fuel economy
I am sure many would wonder how does the Ford EcoSport feel in front of the recently launched Mahindra XUV300 and I drove both of them back to back too. The EcoSport just feels more polished and refined and in spite of being the older car here, more aesthetically pleasing. The XUV though offers a whole lot more features and performance while also offering a better ride although the EcoSport is still the best handling car in the segment, the Ford also has the better infotainment system along with miles ahead audio quality.
Compared to the old EcoSport, the new one also offers slightly more room at the rear while the fuel economy we got on our test was impressive with the best being not very far from claimed numbers under idle conditions, and our conditions were far from idle too. With a crazy number of variants on offer and multiple powertrain options, there is an EcoSport for almost every compact SUV buyer but crucially Ford is still missing out on the all-important diesel automatic. But if and when that comes, the EcoSport will not only be the sporty offering in the segment but also a practical choice for those who want the convenience of an automatic, coupled with fun and frugality of a diesel.
* Sporty looks both on the inside and outside
* Punchy performance along with great dynamics
* Great fuel economy and loaded with safety tech
What's Not So Cool
* No diesel automatic
* Ride is a bit stiff with these tyres
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