Ford’s long standing compact SUV has won our hearts and many accolades over the years from us and other motoring journalists and not without reason. This well executed compact SUV is surprisingly driver friendly in a segment not known to offer too many sporty handling cars. While Ford has given it updates over the year, this driver focussed nature hasn’t changed. We chose the popular 1.5-litre engine once Ford India gave us a choice. This is the most popular choice with buyers as well since it is a nice mix of power, refinement, drivability as well we fuel economy. Most buyers claim economy figures in excess of 19kpl in the city and we tend to agree. Colleagues who drove the Ecosport couldn’t stop raving about the responsiveness of the diesel engine. The fact that it starts pulling from a relatively low, 1,500rpm made some of them believe they were actually driving a petrol and that I had played a cruel joke with them. One of our colleagues using the car even called me from the fuel pump and asked which fuel to fill. He was simply flabbergasted when told it’s a diesel. The refinement levels were as good if not better than a petrol he said.
The highlight so far has been the sharp looking infotainment system. It is by far the best touch screen on any car below Rs 20 lakh. The Ford Sync 3 system not only looks good is as easy to operate as an Apple iPad. The menus, sub-menus are all clearly marked and the screen is a silky smooth unit to operate. The stereo belts out good quality music as well with clear bass. Among the many other features on offer, my personal favourite is the tyre pressure monitor which gives very accurate readings and negates the need to step out of the car each time you think the tyres are under inflated.
While everyone on our team is simply delighted with the sharp steering and crisp gearbox we will also give in criticism where it is due. The clutch on our example is very heavy and after a long day behind the wheel can hurt your left foot. This is a note that everyone who drove the car logged in our logbook. Colleagues who took the car on the highway though were simply left impressed by the high speed stability of the car, more so considering its height and weight.
Photography By: Mohd Nasir