The New Ford EcoSport: Launch Review

Launched in SA back in 2013 the Ford EcoSport enjoyed very little competition in the market. Fast forward five years later and the compact SUV market has become a very competitive one.

We got to experience the new refreshed EcoSport at launch right here in KwaZulu-Natal.

The biggest noticeable difference on the exterior of the new EcoSport is its front fascia. It looks bolder  – showing off a trapezoidal grille and redesigned angular headlights. Going towards the rear the design is simple thanks to revised rear tail lights.

Another way to tell it apart from the older model is new 16-inch wheels for the Trend series, and 17-inch wheels for the Titanium whilst the Ambiente model is fitted with 16-inch steel rims with wheel covers.

Image: Ford

The new EcoSport has improved on its interior quality – offering soft-touch leather and more comfier seats for front and rear passengers. As much as there is an improvement the use of plastics is still present – but at least they are of high-quality. The centre console of the new car looks more presentable with fewer buttons which makes it less cluttered. The Trend and Titanium models feature Ford’s latest SYNC®3 infotainment system operated via a 6.5-inch touchscreen on Trend models, whilst the Titanium utilizes the bigger 8-inch touchscreen which features navigation as standard. Both incorporate Bluetooth and Voice Control, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Ambiente model benefits from Ford’s first-generation Sync with Bluetooth and Voice Control, as well as steering wheel audio controls.

Interior space in the EcoSport is adequate for its size. The rear seats can take 3 adults but we’d opt to take that many adults only on short trips. Marketed for mainly small families the little ones would make perfect passengers. The interior 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.

Images: Ford

Standard safety features across the range are Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control (TC), as well as Roll Stability Control (RSC) in the EcoBoost range. Other standard features are steering-mounted audio controls, remote central locking aircon, electric windows, trip computer,  and six airbags.

Since it doesn’t have a rear camera, both the Trend and Titanium come standard with park distance control.

The engine line-up consists of a 1.5-litre TDCi turbodiesel which makes 74kW and 205Nm mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox (only in the Ambiente guise) and the 1.0-litre EcoBoost which develops 92 kW and 170 Nm (available with a 6-speed manual and automatic). We got to drive the latter, and we love the engine. The engine revs very smoothly. When it comes to the question of fuel consumption its a mixed affair. Driving up to the Midlands we saw the consumption pass 9 L/100km. Maybe due to our numerous stop and goes and inclines. Driving back to Durban we saw the figure drop under 6 L/100km. The car performs pretty well on the road. It did pretty well on the gravel route and cruised well on the highway. There is noticeable body roll which is due to the cars top-heavy stance.

The new Ford EcoSport is priced between R267,500 and R346,900 and sees itself competing with the likes of the Renault Duster, Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Creta just to mention a few. Thanks to the EcoSport’s good looks, practicality, standard kit and safety features it looks like it will continue to dominate the segment.

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