2016 Ford Ecosport Diesel Review, Road Test

Ford, Nissan, Toyota penalized for unfair trade practice

The 2016 Ford Ecosport lives up to the mark in providing value to the customer and offers SUV experience at premium hatchback price

Ford was on a roll in the year 2015. Specifically, in the second half of 2015, the company has launched the Aspire and Figo hatch along with this new Ford Ecosport. Ecosport has been the cash cow for the American manufacturer since the day it was launched in the year 2013. The compact SUV, with its unique proposition at that time shook the market and Ford wasn’t able to meet demands.

Today, too, there isn’t any direct competition and hence it does constant numbers around 4000 units per month mark. The new Ecosport here isn’t exactly a facelift, but has titbits to distinguish itself for the future. The Ecosport has the new diesel engine under the hood and many other changes specifically done to make things better and India specific. We spend some quality time with it to tell you how is it like to drive.

Ford Ecosport Price in India:

Ford EcoSport Price (Petrol)
Price
1.5L Ti-VCT Ambiente ₹ 6.68 lakh
1.5L Ti-VCT Trend ₹ 7.4 lakh
1.5L Ti-VCT Titanium ₹ 8.56 lakh
1.5L Ti-VCT (AT) Titanium ₹ 9.61 lakh
1.0L Ecoboost Trend+ ₹ 8.18 lakh
1.0L Ecoboost Titanium+ ₹ 9.45 lakh
Ford EcoSport Price (Diesel)
Price
1.5L TDCi Ambiente ₹ 7.28 lakh
1.5L TDCi Trend ₹ 8 lakh
1.5L TDCi Trend+ ₹ 8.48 lakh
1.5L TDCi Titanium ₹ 9.16 lakh
1.5L TDCi Titanium+ ₹ 9.75 lakh

Design

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Styling wise, not much has changed. Hence the very modern looking SUV remains intact. Spare wheel at the wheel mounted to tail gate remains, and adds to the SUV’s looks. Slopping A-Pillars look great, but block some serious amount of visibility at times and junctions. The side profile is swooping and tall at the same time, which makes it still a stunner in the right color. Front is alien alike as it has a flat look, with a large grille, headlights look futuristic, boxy and are pulled back that now come with very slim and not so bright DRL lights that work in combination with fog lights. Bonnet is quite at the top along with a stubby and raised overall profile and it is a 100% SUV-like in compact dimensions which stand at sub four meters.

Interior

2016 Ford Ecosport Interior India

On the inside once you step in the cabin looks quite modern and futuristic with the colors grey and silver used on the center console and on the steering. Quality is just about OK, it is a bit plastic-ky but does the job. Build quality on the inside and outside is clearly stronger than recent Ford’s and you feel that inside the cabin and outside when it comes to the doors which are really heavy and even passengers immediately notice that. Space in terms of legroom is ample in both rows.

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Width is what is missing and isn’t a good fit for three adults in the rear. Boot space is always decent enough, but not segment leading at 346 litres. Boot sensor button is under the chrome handlebar that is stuck on tail-light. Stalks are the big change in the Ecosport this time. Indicator stalk is now on the right and wiper on the left like the Figo twins which were launched. Previously the car had the European arrangement which was vice versa of what it is right now. The sound from the music system is always been better in the Ecosport and continues the same.

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Features list is pretty much the highlight and the selling point of the Ecosport. The compact SUV comes with DRL lights, push button start, auto-chromatic rear view internal mirror, electric adjustable mirrors, climate control, SYNC system with audio support, Bluetooth, AUX, USB, parking sensors, steering mounted controls. There is a cooled glove box, auto headlights, wipers, MID display, leather wrapped steering, leather and gear knob along with seats and much more. Safety kit includes six airbags on top variant, emergency assist and dual airbags start from the Trend+ variant and ABS+EBD starts from Trend variant.

Performance

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We had the new 1.5 100 PS diesel engine under the hood and that is the reason we are testing the Ecosport again despite minute changes inside out. The motor is carried from the Figo twins and makes way to the Ecosport as well. Wish the Classic was here to witness this engine. A 10 PS increase in power and torque remains the same at 205. What has changed is the power delivery which is more linear and the throttle response has become way more immediate than before. Any gear any RPM, the motor starts pulling urgently towards redline.

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There isn’t much poke below 1500 RPM and after 1700 RPM the motor wakes up and the torque is present till 3500 RPM where the power band ends. The mid-range is really good as a result of the things mentioned above and top-end power remains a sore thing, thanks to the high kerb weight (1200 kgs) and the 16-inch wheels which are overkill for this kind of vehicle. NVH levels are good, however the noise of the engine does filter in around the redline which is normal and not intimidating.

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Clutch is light and the gearbox offers decent shifts, but there aren’t 100% smooth like rivals. Overall, you feel the extra performance for sure, but still its the massive kerb weight of this car which makes the performance dull. For example the Aspire reaches 190 km/hr while the Ecosport struggles to reach 160 km/hr.

Dynamics

2016 Ford Ecosport Test Ride Diesel

One of the first monocoque chassis in the sub compact segment and remains the same with the car. Suspension tuning or tyres and wheel size remain the same. Handling is good, body roll is there, but well controlled. Change of direction is quick, it feels quite agile in corners with good mechanical grip from tyres and Good Year tyres were surprisingly good. It isn’t a playful go-kart feeling Ford but it does the job of putting a healthy smile on the face.

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Where it scores because of the compromise is the ride quality, which is really good. With 200 mm ground clearance and absorbent suspension you can go fast over bad roads and good roads at the same time, which is the real fun in driving this Ford SUV. Brakes are good as the disc and drum setup for front and rear respectively work well enough, but the pedal feel could be a lot REAL as it feels wooden at times and a result ABS kicks way too quickly if you are playing around with the car.

2016 Ford Ecosport Diesel Review Verdict:

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Clearly, the Ford Ecosport continues to rule the segment as there is no direct competition since its launch. This shows that the Ecosport was ahead of its time and with the right styling and the package along with Ford DNA it’s almost intact. We will be getting the facelift in India later this year, most probably and will be watching at the Auto Expo stall first.

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Ford Ecosport does continue to impress buyers and us with its new engine option’s value for money. The VFM product nature stays intact with this new facelift which is more valuable in the middle and lower variants. Top-end pricing is little too much to ask for but if safety is your utmost requirement then even that’s worth a buy.

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Price: Ford EcoSport Titanium+ 1.5L TDCi Rs.10.44 lakhs Ex-showroom Delhi

Pros –

  • Design
  • Safety features and equipment
  • Ride and handling balance
  • Three Engine and two gearbox options

Cons –

  • Interior quality can be better
  • 16-inch tyres are an overkill
  • Mediocre space

2016 Ford Ecosport Diesel HD Image Gallery

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