A pros­per­ous day out with Ford

Ford in Malaysia or­gan­ised a drive with its Fi­esta and EcoSport mod­els which saw par­tic­i­pants learn­ing a few things about the cars and a bit of cul­ture too.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - IMPRESSIONS - By RIZAL JO­HAN rizal@ thes­tar. com. my

IN con­junc­tion with the Year of the Mon­key, Ford in Malaysia in­vited the mo­tor­ing me­dia for a “pros­per­ity” drive in the Klang Val­ley with the Ford Fi­esta hatch and EcoSport compact SUV. This drive how­ever, was not the usual af­fair of sim­ply driv­ing to var­i­ous lo­ca­tions and back.

We got into the cars, con­sist­ing of the Fi­esta 1.0L Eco­Boost, Fi­esta 1.5L Sport, the EcoSport Trend and the high- spec EcoSport Titanium, and drove around, the places we vis­ited made all the dif­fer­ence.

We set off from the new Ford sales and ser­vice cen­tre, SDAC Pe­tal­ing Jaya 2, to the Ori­en­tal Art and Cul­tural As­so­ci­a­tion, off Old Klang Road to learn the art of Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy.

Later, we headed to Xing Zhu Chi­nese Restau­rant at the Cy­berview Re­sort & Spa at Cy­ber­jaya for a sump­tu­ous Dim Sum lunch and fi­nally, we vis­ited an old folks home, My Father’s Home in Da­mansara Per­dana.

We started out with the Ford Fi­esta Sport fea­tur­ing the 1.5- litre twin in­de­pen­dent vari­able camshaft tim­ing ( Ti- VCT) four- cylin­der petrol en­gine which spouts out 112PS at 6,300rpm and 140Nm of torque at 4,400rpm. It is mated to the PowerShift six- speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The Fi­esta is a great car for city driv­ing; small and compact on the out­side yet spa­cious on the in­side.

And it has mod­ern fea­tures such as key­less en­try and push but­ton start, Ford SYNC com­mu­ni­ca­tions and en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem Blue­tooth con­nec­tion, USB and AUX ports; and the very use­ful Rear Park­ing Aid with Park Pi­lot. It’s a zippy car to get around and easy to ma­noeu­vre es­pe­cially through some heavy traf­fic we en­coun­tered on the city streets on the way to The Ori­en­tal Art and Cul­tural As­so­ci­a­tion.

As we were strapped for time, we only man­aged a crash course in Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy and Chi­nese pa­per cut­ting craft.

With the for­mer, we learnt the proper way of hold­ing the brush and how much pres­sure to ap­ply for thicker or finer strokes.

For the lat­ter, we used a sten­cil to out­line the Chi­nese char­ac­ter on a folded pa­per and then cut out the de­sign with a pair of scis­sors. And voila, we cre­ated our very own hand­made Chi­nese New Year dec­o­ra­tion!

It was back in the Fi­esta Sport as we headed out to lunch at Cy­ber­jaya and for com­par­i­son’s sake with the Eco­Boost variant, the Sport en­gine is slightly rougher and nois­ier.

While the Sport is less pow­er­ful com­pared with the Eco­Boost ( the 1.0litre three- cylin­der en­gine out­puts 125PS and 170Nm of torque), the han­dling is still im­pres­sive and it is a fun car to drive around.

Af­ter lunch, we hopped on the EcoSport Titanium and drove from Cy­ber­jaya to Da­mansara Per­dana in Pe­tal­ing Jaya. This has a taller ride height with a ground clear­ance of 200mm com­pared to the Fi­esta and is re­ally spa­cious in­side even though it doesn’t look like it view­ing it from the out­side.

The EcoSport is equipped with the same en­gine as the Fi­esta Sport: the 1.5- litre Ti- VCT four- banger but it’s been tuned slightly dif­fer­ently than the Sport. In this case, the power is slightly down at 110PS and there is a min­i­mal in­crease in torque with 142Nm.

An­other au­di­ble dif­fer­ence be­tween the EcoSport and Fi­esta Sport is the ex­haust note. It pro­duces a deeper and very sat­is­fy­ing growl when you put the metal to the pedal. This is the big­ger car than the Fi­esta but in many re­spects it still feels like you are driv­ing a small car.

It has a good turn­ing ra­dius, ad­e­quate power and re­ally com­fort­able to drive whether on the high­way or city roads.

On top of it, the EcoSport can wade through 550mm of wa­ter so if you are caught in a flash flood, you can drive your way out of it.

As Ford in Malaysia was do­nat­ing sup­plies and gro­ceries to the res­i­dents of the old folks home, what bet­ter way to haul it than in the EcoSport. With the rear seats tum­bled against the front seats, the boot space of­fers up a whop­ping 705 litres.

At My Father’s Home, the old folks were ex­cited by our visit and a few of them even no­ticed the Ford cars and checked them out.

The Fi­esta 1.0L Eco­Boost is priced at RM98,488 and the Fi­esta 1.5L Sport at RM88,388.

The EcoSport Trend costs RM92,988 and the Titanium variant at RM103,988.

All prices are on- the- road with GST ex­clud­ing in­sur­ance.

The Ford Fi­es­tas and Ecos­ports out­side the new show­room at SDAC Pe­tal­ing Jaya 2.

Mem­bers of the me­dia learn­ing the art of Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy dur­ing the re­cent Ford Pros­per­ity Drive.

Matt Mo­ran, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ager, Malaysia & amp; Asia Pa­cific Emerg­ing Mar­kets, Ford Mo­tor Com­pany dis­tribut­ing good­ies to the res­i­dents of My Father’s Home.

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