Talking about the Ecosport without the Ecoboost engine felt like going to a McDonalds and ordering only fries. Ford has fixed this with the relaunch of the 1-litre turbocharged petrol. This is an internationally acclaimed engine winning multiple engine of the year awards over the years at major awards internationally. It hopes that keener driving enthusiast will rush to Ford dealerships and buy one.
Since it is a sportier and more youthful version of the Ecosport, it looks slightly different from other versions of the car. Ford is offering a new sunroof and HID headlamps as part of the kit on the ‘S’ version. The car also gets blackened out headlamps on the front. There’s even more shades of black across on the car too. The front grille, roof, fog lamp surrounds and roof rails have dropped of the silvery bits now and get all black instead to give it a more prominent sporty look. A new alloy wheel design also graces the cars exterior and makes it look sharp.
The highlight is the big 8-inch touchscreen system which uses Ford’s brilliant SYNC3 command systems. The screen is by far the best when it comes to ease of usage and legibility and you can simply go through the menus and sub-menus without any fuss. The new addition on this ‘S’ version is the new tyre pressuring monitor, a thoughtful touch. Ford have worked hard to brighten up the cabin with a dash of orange on the centre console and the seat fabric as well. The sunroof is the big talking point of the car as well, making it one of the few compact SUV that offers this feature in India.
Engine, performance and gearbox
The 1-litre Ecoboost makes 125bhp and comes with three cylinders. However, the engine is very good for sheer refinement. Start it off from cold and there’s no vibration. Rev it hard and still the cabin remains nice and quiet for the most part. This engine is a rev happy motor and feels very flexible as well. Useable power starts coming in from around 1,400-1,500 rpm and goes all the way to its redline of 6,000rpm. Power delivery is punchy too without any flat spots making it an enjoyable car to drive. The six-speed manual gearbox is a crisp and slick unit. The short throws are enjoyable to engage and the sporty nature makes it a joy to operate as well. The clutch also has a nice and progressive feel to it.
Ride and handling
If you call yourself a keen driver you will truly enjoy the communicative steering wheel on the Ecoboost. It is communicative and very direct. This car handles with very adroitly. The low profile tyres offer good grip, something you will appreciate when you push this car hard into corners. There is minimal body roll as well and always under control. The ride has a slightly stiff edge to it and this translates into supreme confidence inspiring high speed stability. Slow speed rides though can sometimes be a bit bouncy on a badly patched up road.
Anyone who calls himself a keen driver and looking for a compact SUV should simply go ahead and buy this Ecosport. It gritty performance and sublime handling promises to make you smile everytime you take it out for a spin. The driving dynamics should more than compensate for the high sticker price as well.