New Ford EcoS­port: a mini ur­ban war­rior

Public Sector Manager - - Car Reviews -

Since its first launch back in 2013, Ford's EcoS­port went on to cre­ate a new niche, that of the mini sport-util­ity ve­hi­cle (SUV). Com­ing in at a time when SUVs were just be­gin­ning to make a huge im­pact on ve­hi­cle sales glob­ally, this seg­ment quickly gained ground lo­cally too.

While the size of a typ­i­cal SUV was still a bit pro­hib­i­tive given its cum­ber­some stance and di­men­sions, the EcoS­port gained the at­ten­tion of many young and trendy small fam­i­lies who wanted the per­son­al­ity of a go-any­where, do-any­thing type of ve­hi­cle without hav­ing to fork out wads of hard­earned cash at the fuel pumps.

The tiny di­men­sions of the EcoS­port, with the “off-road” look spare wheel hang­ing out at the rear, ap­pealed to the out­doorsy folks and the in­tro­duc­tion of the one-litre, three-cylin­der en­gine was an ab­so­lute blast. Ex­cel­lent per­for­mance from a fru­gal en­gine meant it pressed many peo­ple's but­tons in all the right places.The high ground clear­ance, a com­mand­ing view of the road ahead, per­ceived greater space and the ma­cho image of a tiny SUV was an un­beat­able com­bi­na­tion. It could be said that Ford may have of­fi­cially started the mini-SUV seg­ment and sales charts were set alight mak­ing the EcoBoost one of the best-sell­ers in the seg­ment.

Since then, the com­pe­ti­tion grew rest­less and a slew of new mod­els to com­pete with the EcoBoost were launched by ri­val man­u­fac­tur­ers. Th­ese in­cluded the Honda BR-V, Toy­ota Rush, Jeep Renegade, Opel Mokka, Renault Duster and Mazda CX-3, among oth­ers.

Seg­ment leader

So, to con­tinue be­ing the seg­ment leader, Ford un­veiled a new EcoS­port that is even more prac­ti­cal, re­fined, safe and that com­fort­able, while of­fer­ing an ex­cep­tional level of stan­dard fea­tures that once again con­trib­ute to this model's un­ri­valled value for money. And let's be hon­est, it still re­mains one of the cutest de­signs, re­tain­ing much of the pre­vi­ous model's

shape. So, ex­ter­nally, it fol­lows a rather evo­lu­tion­ary progress rather than a rev­o­lu­tion­ary one.

The 1.5 TDCi Am­bi­ente is the en­try point into the EcoS­port range, but it boasts an ap­pre­cia­bly high and very com­pet­i­tive level of stan­dard equip­ment. On the safety front, the spec­i­fi­ca­tion in­cludes Elec­tronic Sta­bil­ity Con­trol, six airbags, ISOFIX child seat mount­ing points, rear park­ing sen­sors and man­u­ally ac­ti­vated ‘home safe' head­lamps.

Elec­tric win­dows are pro­vided all round, along with re­mote cen­tral lock­ing, a perime­ter alarm and power side mir­rors. A six-speaker Ford au­dio sys­tem is pro­vided, linked to SYNC® with Blue­tooth and voice ac­ti­va­tion, plus steer­ing wheel au­dio con­trols.The in­stru­ment clus­ter also in­cor­po­rates a trip com­puter.

Award-win­ning en­gine

The Trend se­ries in­tro­duces the mul­ti­ple award-win­ning 1.0 EcoBoost en­gine, with the choice of a six-speed man­ual or au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. Over and above all the of­fer­ings of the Am­bi­ente se­ries, this model gains Hill Launch As­sist and Roll Sta­bil­ity Con­trol, black roof rails, front and rear fog lamps, LED day­time run­ning lamps and sporty gun­metal grey and 16-inch al­loy wheels.

In­te­rior ap­point­ments are also stepped up a notch and in ad­di­tion to SYNC®3, there is a 6.5-inch colour touch­screen, Blue­tooth and voice con­trol, as well as two USB ports with charg­ing and mul­ti­me­dia func­tion­al­ity. Safety ad­di­tions in­clude a driver's knee airbag, pow­ered child door locks, a Thatcham alarm with dou­ble dead­lock­ing and an ex­tra 12-volt power point at the rear.

In line with its range-top­ping sta­tus, the EcoS­port Ti­ta­nium is ex­cep­tion­ally well-ap­pointed. Ex­ter­nally it is dis­tin­guished by strik­ing 17-inch al­loy wheels, sil­ver roof rails, LED day­time run­ning lights, plus au­to­matic head­light ac­ti­va­tion, ‘home safe' light­ing and rain-sens­ing wipers.

Ac­cess to the cabin is by means of a re­mote key and key­less push-but­ton start, with the added con­ve­nience of global re­mo­te­op­er­ated open­ing and clos­ing of the win­dows.The driver and pas­sen­gers are cos­seted in lux­u­ri­ous leather seats with leather trim also used on the steer­ing wheel.The cabin am­bi­ence can be ad­justed to suit the oc­cu­pants' moods, with up­mar­ket in­te­rior LED light­ing.

Driv­ing con­ve­nience is en­hanced through the pro­vi­sion of an au­todim­ming rearview mir­ror, elec­tronic cli­mate con­trol, cruise con­trol with ad­justable speed lim­iter, the fully fea­tured SYNC®3 with nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem in­cor­po­rat­ing a large eight­inch full-colour touch­screen, and a Ford au­dio sys­tem with seven high­end speak­ers.

With fuel prices in­creas­ing ev­ery month, many folks would be look­ing at down­siz­ing. If you hap­pen to be look­ing for an af­ford­able, trendy ve­hi­cle with an ac­tive life­style image, make a turn at your lo­cal Ford deal­er­ship.

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