The Ford Ecosport is a key player in the compact SUV space, selling over 45,000 units since launch in 2013, and Ford has gifted it with key updates to maintain the status quo. This is important considering the busyness of the segment and the maturity the Ecosport’s competitors.
The front-end design is dominated by a large trapezoidal grille and angular headlights, incorporating LED daytime running lights on the Trend and on the range-topping Titanium models. At the bottom of the Ecosport’s friendly face are angular fog light housings which complete a front three-quarter profile that Ford says was inspired by the straps of a rucksack and designed to reflect an adventurous character of the Ecosport.
The proverbial sculpture’s knife did not end on the front and the EcoSport’s rear bumper and tail light designs have also been revised. To add more individualisation to the Ecosport, customers can choose from seven bold exterior colours across the three model lines, comprising Ambiente, Trend and Titanium.
To finish off the exterior updates, new alloy wheel designs are offered in Gunmetal grey five-spoke 16-inch versions on the Trend series, or 17-inch rims on the Titanium. The entry-level Ambiente model is fitted with 16-inch steel rims with wheel covers.
The Ecosport has a decent interior that appears to be built to last but, that is not necessarily an easy sell to customers who lean towards soft-touch materials which are found on European rivals. Ford has taken that into consideration and the Ecosport has improved a lot inside. The updated Ecosport gains easier to use controls and soft-touch materials, along with an entirely new instrument cluster and centre console ergonomically designed for easy operation with fewer buttons.
One of the biggest selling points of the Ford Ecosport is the clever use of space and comfort for occupants in a seemingly small space. Ford improves on that even more with new seat designs including leather on the Titanium versions. The interior also features a host of smart storage solutions, including a new height adjustable boot floor that can be raised to provide concealed storage, or lowered to increase luggage capacity to 334 litres.
A new centre console features a built-in folding, sliding armrest, (Titanium models) with an integrated storage compartment that is ideal for tablet computers or snacks. Consumers will also enjoy the practicality of under-seat storage underneath the passenger seat (Titanium models). Power windows are provided all-round, enhancing comfort and convenience for all occupants.
Technology, entertainment and safety
Ford’s SYNC®3 communications and entertainment system is fitted as standard on the Trend and Titanium models, and incorporates Bluetooth and Voice Control. SYNC®3 is supported by the new colour touchscreen, which can be operated with pinch and swipe gestures. A 6.5-inch screen is fitted on the Trend models, while the Titanium features an 8-inch version as well as embedded turn-by-turn navigation. On the lower end, the EcoSport Ambiente benefits from Ford’s first-generation SYNC® with Bluetooth and Voice Control, as well as steering wheel audio controls.
Buyers in the segment are becoming much more sophisticated and the EcoSport for the first time provides Cruise Control with Adjustable Speed Limiter on the Titanium derivative that helps drivers keep within speed limits, while rear parking sensors are provided on all models to make parking manoeuvres safer. This is particularly handy for parents trying to keep peace in the cabin and also drive safely. Drivers who live in hilly areas and who opt for the 1.0 EcoBoost-powered model will gain Hill Launch Assist (HLA) that makes pulling off on steep inclines easier.
South Africans can experience tough driving conditions with changing weather conditions and to mitigate this, in the top-spec EcoSport Titanium, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, Electronic Automatic Temperature Control are offered as standard.
Safety has been taken extremely seriously in the Ecosport and six airbags are fitted as standard on the EcoSport Ambiente, comprising dual front, side and curtain airbags, while the Trend and Titanium models are additionally equipped with a driver’s knee airbag.
Sad as it may sound, crime is a factor in South Africa and Ford has stepped up to make things safer for drivers. The new EcoSport is more secure and is fitted with a standard perimeter alarm, remote central locking and new anti-theft door locks. The Trend and Titanium models benefit from a Thatcham alarm with double dead-locking.
Two engines are offered with the updated Ford Ecosport, the petrol 1.0 litre EcoBoost and the diesel 1.5-litre TDCi. The 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine produces 92kW of power and 170Nm of torque and has a claimed fuel consumptions of 5.4l/100 km. The 1.5 litre TDCi turbodiesel engine produces 74kW of power and 205Nm of torque. The claimed fuel consumption is 4.6l/100 km.
We drove the 1.0 at launch in Durban. We were thoroughly impressed by the power delivery of this engine. Take off is simple and quick. Power is retained on the highways and overtaking is simple with the occasional shift down in hilly parts. We noticed this more approaching Howick leg of the launch route. The Ecosport is a comfortable drive and offers reduced levels of noise in the cabin. Apart from the practicality that the Ecosport offers in city driving conditions due to its narrow frame, customers can look forward to to many memorable comfortable road trips in the Ford Ecosport.
EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Ambiente 5MT R264,500
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6MT R287,500
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6AT R300,700
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6MT R327,800
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6AT R339,900
All models come standard with Ford Protect, which comprises of a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A four-year/60 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals.
Leave a comment