Ford EcoSport Diesel: Long-Term Review of New Premium Compact SUV
- Published On: 26 June 2019
- 6 min read
Ford EcoSport competes in the sub-4-meter compact SUV segment and it won’t be wrong to say that this vehicle has the most SUV-ish stance among all other rivals. It is the tallest too and the only one to offer a boot mounted spare wheel which further increases the brutish design.
Introduction: The EcoSport is Ford’s premium compact SUV offering in India and continues to find a lot of buyers each month. Averaging over 3000 units on a monthly basis, we decided to find out what makes it a perfect purchase for those looking at an urban SUV that can also handle off-beat destinations every now and then. This is the diesel model in the Titanium trim and already had 18000km on the odometer when it came to us in April.
We have driven the car for over 7000km in a span of about 85 days and this includes daily commute runs to work, weekend trips to the malls and multiple out of Delhi drives to destinations like Chail, Kasauli and the Chambal valley. It has impressed a lot of colleagues which means we literally have to hide the key fob, away from preying eyes. Jokes apart, in spite of retaining the same design for the past six years, minor tweaks on the way have ensured the EcoSport continues to look fresh and appealing. This competes in the sub 4m compact SUV segment and it won’t be wrong to say that this vehicle has the most SUVish stance among all other rivals. It is the tallest too and the only one to offer a boot mounted spare wheel which further increases the brutish design.
Design: Over the past few months, we have also notice how well the Ecosport is built. Close any of the doors and you get a reassuring thud. Panel gaps are consistent too. Step inside and you are instantly hugged by the seats which offer the best bolstering among all other sub 4m compact SUVs. While the cabin design might not be the funkiest of the lot, we love the touch reception and audio quality of the interface. The SYNC3 also offers unbeatable connectivity including updating its apps via Wi-Fi. And you have as many as four charging outlets in here!
While space up front is generous, the second row isn’t the best for large adults. Cars like the Nexon fare better in this regard and we have noticed the lack of space on multiple occasions, especially when driving with four others on board. But this shortcoming is made up by the spacious boot. Not having the spare wheel in here does help.
One of the USPs of the EcoSport is the way it drives. First, NVH or noise, vibration and harshness levels are surprisingly very good and help cut away external noises and the diesel engine clatter. Second, dynamically, this SUV has been rewarding us with a good drive. The steering, slightly heavy for city use, weighs up nicely as speeds rise and we have had our share of grinning moments during the trips to Himachal and back.
However, the downside here is the ride quality. The 17-inch wheels have low profile tyres and you need to be careful with bad roads. Even undulations on highways result in a not so good ‘thud’ on the inside. Likewise, if you take the car off the road, like we did at multiple occasions and as seen on this page, you need to be very careful so as not to damage the thin side profile.
Engine: The diesel Ecosport comes with a 1.5-litre unit that is good for 100 PS of power and 205 Nm of torque. This has far better performance than the unit this car was initially launched with. Turbo lag is very well controlled and post 1500rpm, there is a linear flow of torque which is quite handy at city speeds. The gearbox has good throws though the clutch is definitely on the heavier side. This does spoil city runs to an extent. Pedal to metal, the Ecosport will not give you the same rush as say a Nexon or a XUV300 but it will keep you happy with great economy figures.
Conclusion: Spending a few months with a car makes you realize its hidden traits and the reason for its flop or success. In this case, we have no doubt now why customers continue to swear by the vehicle. Even the after sales support is good with regular servicing costs being one of the lowest in the segment. Ford also allows customers to see the service cost online irrespective of the city they are from or the model they own. This transparency infuses more confidence in the buyer’s mind.
In the end, would we recommend this car? If you are okay with the limited 2nd row space and the hard ride due to the 17-inch wheels, why not?