The reason that the Ford EcoSport sell so well in India is because it is an SUV – a preferred car type of most Indians (a pseudo SUV some might say and we will give it to them, but the fact remains). It came with every little feature (huge ground clearance, efficient engines, well-equipped cabin, safety features etc.) that you would expect in an SUV at this price point. What worked more in the favour of Ford was that it could price the car attractively which was somewhat due to the tax-benefit that it got because of the car’s sub-four length.
So, the EcoSport had everything until now, what it did not have is a rival in the sub-four meter SUV segment (Yes, Quanto was a sort of rival too but not worthy enough. Mahindra thought so, we believe), but not anymore. Mahindra has designed the TUV300 from the ground up (unlike the Quanto which was a chopped Xylo) and has put it directly against the EcoSport.
Let’s compare the cars and find out if the TUV300 stands a chance against the EcoSport.
Mahindra TUV300 Vs Ford EcoSport (Design and Exteriors)
What’s common among both these cars is that they bear the sort of looks that would divide the audience. The EcoSport has a gaping grill up front along with high set headlamps and if you compare that with the TUV300’s face (which gets everything squarish - from the fog lamps to the grille scoops), the former looks well-executed. You might prefer the latter if you are into butch styling or like the Cherokee (from which it looks inspired somewhat). We find the TUV300’s face a bit too bulky largely because of the plain looking bumper, the headlights though, do impart it some character.
The TUV300 is interesting to look at from the rear quarter, back and sides, there's this geometric theme going on which works in its favour. While the EcoSport looks more pleasing regardless of the angle you look at it. Every little form and shape works more harmoniously in its case. The wheels in case of the TUV300 are pushed right till the end and help the wheelbase which is 160mm more than the EcoSport. The ground clearance of 200mm provide EcoSport the capability to go anywhere without scratching its belly.
TUV300 makes use of the frame-on-ladder construction unlike the EcoSport which uses a more modern, monocoque construction. This makes the TUV300 significantly (300kg) heavier and marginally less fuel efficient.
Take a note that TUV300 is wider and taller than the EcoSport and end up looking much bigger and as a result has more road presence too.
Mahindra TUV300 Vs Ford EcoSport (Interior and Features)
What’s best (when compared with other Mahindra cars) about the TUV300 is the kind of textured plastics that are used for interiors and the functionality they offer. The sense of space that it offers is impressive, you get third row of jump seats that means that it can accommodate 7 passengers unlike the EcoSport which can only accommodate 5, which is indeed impressive, since it’s a sub-four meter car.
The EcoSport offers you a voice command system which should not be confused with the voice messaging system that the TUV300 offers for alerting the driver. The TUV300 offers Blue Sense technology that lets you access real-time information (trip details, about the car using an application on your phone and also lets you control music system, air conditioner etc. There is plenty of space in both these cars to keep knick-knacks and 12v power sockets are present in the front as well as the rear rows. The glove box on the EcoSport is cooled while the TUV300 does not offer this feature even with the top variant.
Features like steering mounted controls, air-conditioning, infotainment system with USB, Bluetooth and Aux-in support are present on both the cars. What EcoSport definitely offers you, and the TUV300 only to some extent manages to offer, is a sense of premiumness. The cabin of EcoSport and the quality of control switches, air-conditioning vents etc. definitely feel more premium in comparison.
Mahindra TUV300 Vs Ford EcoSport (Engine, Transmission and Mileage)
Ford offers three engine choices (1.5 litre petrol / 1.5 litre diesel / 1 litre petrol) while the TUV300 offers only one engine choice (1.5 litre diesel). The diesel unit on the EcoSport is marginally more powerful but develops less torque than the TUV300.
The unit on EcoSport is transversely mounted and sends power to the front wheels. While in case of TUV300, the engine is longitudinally mounted and sends power to the rear wheels. The diesel on EcoSport is much more efficient and offers about 4kmpl more mileage than its counterpart. While you would expect TUV300 to be more fuel efficient due the micro-hybrid technology it employs but it isn’t solely due to the higher kerb weight.
TUV300 offers the segment first AMT gearbox which is available with the top two variants (T6 and T8), while the EcoSport uses a CVT that’s available with the 1.5 litre petrol engine.
Mahindra TUV300 Vs Ford EcoSport (Safety)
Safety is one area where the EcoSport is significantly ahead of the TUV300. While the TUV300 offers two airbags, the EcoSport offers 6 (with the AMT variant). ABS comes coupled with EBD on the EcoSport while you get ABS on the middle variants of the EcoSport.
The Automatic variant of EcoSport (Titanium) also offers EBA (Electronic Brake-force Assist), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), Traction Control and Hill Assist system.
Reverse parking sensors, seat belts for all passengers, disc brakes on front wheels and drum brakes at the rear, engine immobilizer etc. are present on both the car. Some of the features though are present on the top or middle variants only.
The TUV300 is an entry-level SUV that would do anything that you throw at it. It’s an overall nice package considering the price point at which it is being offered. The Ford’s EcoSport offers you much wider range of engines though.
It’s hard to reason if you should prefer one or the other, based on what it has to offer at any price point. You should also perhaps factor in your prior experience (if you have any) with the brand or any of their cars and how you perceive them.
The TUV300 from Mahindra deserves appreciation for they have managed to pull off an SUV that looks much bigger than the EcoSport in the sub-four meter segment. However, we feel that the EcoSport is an overall better car and wins this competition if only by a small margin.
Watch comprehensive video review of the EcoSport below