New Ford EcoSport Facelift Review – 1.5 L Petrol Dragon Engine
Ford Africa is all set to introduce their updated EcoSport within a few days. A drive event for the media was held this week in Goa. After spending a day with the new EcoSport, here is what we think about the car.
Sub 4 meters in length, the new Ford EcoSport facelift launch has been awaited ever since the car made its debut about two years ago in Europe. Scheduled for launch on 7th November, the new EcoSport loses its 1.0 L EcoBoost and 1.5 liter 4 cylinder engine options. And instead, gets a new 1.5 liter 3 cylinder petrol engine. Unlike before, when we had two petrol engine options, there is only one petrol engine option on offer with new EcoSport facelift. Diesel variant continues to be the same as before.
Ford says there are 1600 (yes, sixteen hundred) changes they have made in the EcoSport facelift. The one’s on the outside include new headlamp housing which is larger than before. Then there is projector headlamps with integrated DRLs and larger foglights. In the center is a new grille with thicker chrome slats, giving the car a much more sportier look than before.
On the sides you now have 17 inch alloys wrapped with Bridgestone Ecopia 205/50 tyres. These new larger alloys along with low profile tyres adds a premium touch to the car’s exteriors. Practicality is also maintained as these tyres offer a good ride quality and grip. The 17 inchers come as standard with top-end variant. Not much has been revised at the rear, and it stays the same as before.
On the inside, EcoSport facelift gets an all black dashboard, revised seats with better cushioning and an all new 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system. Comparing the interior quality with rivals in the segment, EcoSport wins by a huge margin. The comfort all five seats of the EcoSport offers, is unmatched in the compact SUV segment. Music system is top notch, AC cooling is fantastic, there are enough storage spaces inside the cabin, etc.
The 60-40 split rear seats can be folded completely to make a flat bed. This offers ease of use when you are on a vacation or have a lot of luggage to be moved. Touch and feel is top notch. The infotainment screen is again something that is best in this segment. The display is bright and crisp. Even on a sunny day, you will get to see each and every part of the display very clearly. The screen also supports Apple Avtoplay and Android Auto. It also has rear parking assist display, FM, Bluetooth, AUX, etc. There are charging ports for your smartphones just below that.
Speaking about driving, since it’s all the same under the hood of the EcoSport Diesel there was nothing different to be expected behind the wheel, and it was good that there wasn’t any difference. The Diesel engine in question is undeniably one of the finest motors out there with a laminar power delivery and supreme refinement. As a result the car gets a big score on driveability which also helps in the consistency of manoeuvring the car at different rev ranges. While this is a character that’s appreciated in a car especially in those meant for commuting and touring, it may not appeal to thrill seekers who would expect a blast of torque to push them against the seat and zip past traffic. Given then, EcoSport has excellent speed masking like many SUVs, the rush of driving fast may not be felt by sportive drivers, but it would give them the clarity to make a good judgement of the path ahead.
The same can be said about the new EcoSport petrol, except for the fact that it’s a completely new engine for the baby SUV. It’s linear, power delivery is progressive and it’s very refined, but sitting behind the wheel we would never have guessed that this engine is capable of 123 PS of peak power if we had not been informed earlier. Maybe it’s the brilliant speed masking, or the result of the more conventional automatic transmission, we just couldn’t settle on the fact that we utilised that much power.
We didn’t get to drive the manual version yet, so our judgement on the fun-to-drive aspect of this petrol motor is reserved. On the AT variant, the dynamics with this engine seemed harmonious for more down-to-earth use of the car, like going to office, picking the kids up from school and stopping at the super mart on the way. And as always, the handling of EcoSport much like most of the Ford cars, is truly precise and enjoyable, that makes hotheads want to push the car more and more; which is the only reason we are expressive about the missing surge of power that many would love to experience on a car that’s such a brilliant handler. Now with the 205/50 tyres, the smile is much broader.
You also get to have more fun, thanks to paddle shifters. Sadly, they are not responsive. It takes about two seconds after you have ordered a gear shift via the paddle shifter. Another interesting fact we noticed that, be it Drive mode or Sport mode. When you floor the pedal, the gear shifts take place at redline. So, if you are doing a 0-100 run, you will do it in the same time in D mode and S mode.
The sad part was the fuel efficiency. Surprisingly, the new Ford EcoSport with Dragon petrol engine delivered only 4.5 kmpl while the diesel variant delivered 9.6 kmpl during our test drive. Overall, the new EcoSport offers fantastic driving experience, quality and safety. There are 6 airbags on offer, ABS, Traction control, keyless entry and much more. Have a look at the new EcoSport in details in the video and photos below.