Ford EcoSport: Put That Thing in Sport

When Ford decided to combine their economically efficient EcoBoost engine with a fresh sporty design, they ended up with the stylishly New Ford EcoSport.

Ford EcoSport 1.0l Titanium 6 Speed Automatic
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes 

While you might think that it's pronounced like "E-co" Sport like the EcoBoost engine that it has, but it is actually pronounced like "Echo" Sport. 

Interesting Factoid:

When the launch of this model of the subcompact crossover SUV was done in 2016 by Ford and DJ Khaled, the American hip hop artist wrote the hashtag as #EchoSport on Snapchat which only meant Ford had told him that it was pronounced Echo and not Eco.

This was the first time the North American market was introduced to the EcoSport with production starting last year.

The EcoSport which not many know has been around since 2003 with production mainly in Brazil up until 2012. 

In 2013 the second generation Ford EcoSport which made its way to our shores has sold over 45000 units in South Africa.

Now we are taking a look at the all new EcoSport which was launched in June 2018 with a Trend and Titanium 1.0l EcoBoost Engine models and November 2018 saw the introduction of the Ambiente 1.5l petrol and 1.5l TDci Diesel engine models.

My review of the top of the range 1.0l EcoBoost Titanium 6 Speed Automatic in Blue Lightning:

This model and the Trend are available in 5 colours, while the Ambiente comes in 4 different colours.

The latest generation EcoSport has many improvements and new features, some say between 1600, and 2000 changes have been made from the 2013 model that we have been used to here in South Africa.

The Exterior

At the front of the vehicle, the chromed grille at first glance some might see a beefed up new Fiesta or depending on the angle more of the Everest or even the previous model Kuga. It doesn't matter which way you look at it the large grille gives it a whole new character to the previous model, which I certainly like.

The bigger halogen headlamps which are accompanied by LED daytime running lights gives a much better ride as more of the road is lit up and you are more visible to other cars on the road with the daytime running lights.

The DRL headlamps and chromed grille are only available in the Trend and the Titanium versions.

The previous model if you can remember had the rounded fog lamps whereas this model has more of a triangular styled fog lamp with the indicator moving down next to the fog lamp.

The fog lamps are also only available on the Trend and Titanium models.

With the new changes to the grille, the hood has a more distinctive ridge closer to the middle and the front lip is straighter, which gives the overall look a more sportier appearance.

The mirrors are relatively the same but the Titanium model now has power folding mirrors making it easier to get in to tighter parking spaces. The Trend and Titanium models are heated whilst Ambiente is non-heated, and the Ambiente and Trend are fitted with manual folding mirrors.

The cool new feature on the Titanium model is the puddle lamps which illuminates the area beside the vehicle so you can get out or in without stepping into something that you shouldn't really be stepping into. I love it because I definitely don't want to get my shoes dirty.

The Ambiente comes standard with 16" steel wheels with a styled cover, the Trend with 16" alloy wheels and Titanium has stylish 17" alloy wheels. The Trend and Titanium also have standard locking wheel nuts.

The Trend and Titanium models have the colour coded door handle and mirrors with the silver roof rack coming standard on the Titanium.

We noticed that the aerial has now become a bit shorter, with the little bee-sting aerial that we all love, and moved to the rear of the vehicle.

All models have a 16" steel spare wheel with locking wheel nuts. The Trend and Titanium have the spare wheel cover which is also body coloured.

The swing-gate takes a bit of getting used to. Firstly because you don't realize that there is a button underneath the chrome handle to open the door. Secondly for me because I prefer to reverse into parking spaces and this door opens out as opposed to up which we are usually used to on most of the other crossover SUVs.

The reason why the door opens out is simply because we have the spare wheel on the door which helps to free up some space in the boot.

Luggage Space

Inside the boot there is a height adjustable boot floor which can support up to 300kg and a capacity of 333l, and the back seats can also be folded down to add up to 800 more litres.

Performance

Under the hood we have 1.0l turbo petrol EcoBoost engine which has won 11 International Engine and Powertrain of the Year Awards since its launch in 2012. It delivers 92kW of Power with 170Nm of Torque. The EcoBoost engine is available in 6 Speed Manual and Automatic.

As mentioned the Ambiente is available in the 1.5l petrol and turbodiesel engines and both are 5 Speed manual gearboxes.

The fuel consumption on the EcoBoost is estimated at 5.4l/100km in the manual and 6.3l/100km in the Automatic. While the 1.5l petrol we are looking at 6.4l/100km and the diesel at 4.6l/100km. All models have a 52l fuel tank.

The Interior

Inside the EcoSport from back seat: the stylish seats in the Titanium model are leather but it must be noted that it is a combination of leather and high-quality durable materials.

The rear seating is very comfortable even for a tallish 1.7m guy like me, with plenty leg room even with the drivers seat pulled right back. What is nice about sitting behind the driver is you have a 12v socket located in the back right passenger door which could essentially charge your phone or tablet on a long journey.

Storage compartments / cup holders on both sides for the backseat passengers and a place to keep your magazines/ books on the back of the driver and front passenger seats.

The back seats are also equipped with ISO fix to keep your car seats safe and secure and the bigger car seats for toddlers also fit in very comfortably with the child getting a great view of their surroundings as the back seats are slightly raised.

The most fun you will have in any car is always in the drivers seat.

The Ford EcoSport makes it even easier to enjoy your ride with the latest technology throughout the drivers cabin.

As we enter we see the driver and front passenger have the chrome scuff with the EcoSport logo, which not only looks but also assists with not damaging the side sill.

The Titanium has many new features and one of them is keyless start with a simple push of the engine start/stop button we are ready to drive.

The gearbox in the Titanium is a 6 speed automatic, and we have the option of a sport mode as well.

There are a few options to choose from to be displayed on the manual dimming TFT screen behind the steering wheel, as well as a handy favourites overview.

Everything can be handle from your steering wheel for easy convenience including receiving calls, adjusting audio, setting the cruise control speed, and there's a cool voice control button for those who prefer to give voice commands. The paddle shift option can be used while in Sport mode.

The headlamps can be manual adjusted for the perfect leveling, and you can choose to have the headlamps automatically come on or manually put them on and run your LED DLRs on all the time. There are front fog lamps and a rear fog lamp on the Titanium and Trend models.

The keyless start, automatic headlamps and a handy new feature is the rain sensing wipers are all only available on the Titanium.

There is a nice centre console with armrest and storage (and a bit more extra underneath for maybe a stash of snacks or a tablet) and two cup holders. Additional storage in the cabin are the cooled glove compartment as well as an extra little secret compartment under the passengers seat to store other valuables.

Safety

Safety is important and the EcoSport has a full 5 star ANCAP safety rating and with seven airbags you will feel protected from every side.

While driving at night I was quit  impressed because even when the driver behind you shines their bright headlamps on you it's not a distraction as the electrochromic rear view mirrors darkens to adjust to the light. Once again this feature is only available in the Titanium.

Features

There is a sunglass holder and illuminated vanity mirrors in the Trend and Titanium models and the air conditioner on the Titanium allow you to set the perfect cabin temperature.

There are two USB ports which are good to have with a family like ours who are always on the road and need to charge our phones constantly.

A 12v power socket means we could essentially charge two phones and use one USB for audio or charge three devices.

The standard Ford audio in the EcoSport is phenomenal with seven speakers in the Titanium model: two on each front door, one on the rear doors and one on the dashboard.

One of the best features of the EcoSport for me is the Ford SYNC 3 with a 8" colour touchscreen. The touchscreen offers an integrated satellite navigation which auto-dims at night, a rear park assist function, and easy access to your Apple or Android smartphone.

The SYNC 3 can be easily synced to your phone via Bluetooth which syncs all your phone contacts and text messages. For a more integrated hands-free feel you can simple plug your phone into the USB and use Apple Car Play or Android Auto to access some of your smartphones apps which include popular apps like WhatsApp and Telegram.

Competitors

Price Range as at 3 June 2019
Renault Duster R 255 900 - R 340 900
Haval H2 R 259 900 - R 319 900
Mazda CX-3 R 302 400 - R 408 200
Honda HR-V R 362 000 - R 428 300
Toyota CH-R R 346 200 - R 434 800
Hyundai Creta R 354 900 - R 438 900
Peugeot 2008 R 291 900 - R 358 900
Jeep Renegade R 396 900 - R 535 900
Fiat 500X Cross R 358 900 - R 381 900
Suzuki Vitara R 284 900 - R 379 900
Nissan Qashqai R 351 900 - R 460 900

 

Watch our In Depth Review:

 

Verdict

My family and I have enjoyed our drive in the Ford EcoSport and although there were some things that we had to get used to, overall with the cool features like the SYNC 3, LED DRLs, Puddle lamps, and the safety features, we were really impressed.

The deciding factor is always price and the starting price is R 258 200 for the 1.5l Petrol Ambiente model while the 1.0 EcoBoost Automatic Titanium Model which we drove is priced at R 352 800, which is very competitive for the Crossover SUV market.

Overall we give the Ford EcoSport:

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ / 10 

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Ziyaad Plaatjes is the Co-Founder of iloveza.com.

He is a Bachelor of Commerce Honours graduate and has been running businesses since the age of 13. Ziyaad is a registered Financial Advisor, but has taken on many roles in various industries over the years. With his entrepreneurial skills and vast knowledge he assists individuals and businesses to grow and achieve their goals.  

Find him at: Instagram: @ziyaad_86 / @ilovezacom Twitter: @ziyaad86 / @ilovezacom Facebook: iloveza.com  LinkedIn: Ziyaad Plaatjes / iloveza.com YouTube: iloveza.com  SoundCloud: iloveza.com E-mail: ziyaad@iloveza.com

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