The original sub-4m SUV benchmark Ford EcoSport throws tough challenge to the Tata Nexon with exciting features and powerful engines in its new version
Ford has been present in the Indian market for quite long time and the most popular best-selling product from the American auto manufacturer is the EcoSport. Despite being a bestseller for the brand earlier, it has lost significant amount of sales volume due to the tough challenge from Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. However, with a thorough facelift, Ford is looking to change all that and bring back the past success.
With new global design and a fresh pack of features, the upgraded EcoSport is promising indeed. Considering the expanding popularity in the subcompact segment, the upcoming SUV has a very good chance to become a top-selling model again but it has to make do with an equally brand new challenger from Tata Motors.
Tata Nexon is the recent entrant from the homegrown auto major. The subcompact SUV was displayed in its concept form at the 2014 New Delhi Auto Expo and the later the production model was displayed at the 2016 version of the biennial automotive event before launching the model and it has added up fierce competition in the subcompact space.
The compact SUV throws challenge to the rivals like the Ford EcoSport and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza especially. The Nexon comes incorporating the IMPACT design language that has been applied in the other contemporary cars from the brand – Tiago, Tigor and Hexa. As the two compact SUVs lock horns, here we take a close look at the spec-sheet based comparison between these two models:
The new EcoSport comes with a matured design language keeping the existing overall silhouette intact as the exterior bears influences of the latest Kuga and Edge. The compact package is underlined by enlarged trapezoidal radiator grille with dual slats and black plastic mesh pattern, Edge-inspired fog lamps, revised headlamp unit with sleeker LED Daytime Running Lights and projector lamps, reworked bumpers at front and rear and a new tail lamp design.
The sides are kept almost similar and the styling inspiration derived from the larger Edge has been influential for its sharper and modern look. The signature tail-mounted spare wheel continues while there will be a new set of alloy wheels as well unlike the US-spec model. All the prominent changes make the new EcoSport a proper facelift and it now appears more edgy.
Tata Nexon comes with a very exciting design and it is based on a new platform. It’s contemporary, stylish and practical also. While designing this compact SUV, Tata engineers used inputs from Land Rover engineers. This is why this car uses inspiration from the Range Rover Evoque. Incorporating IMPACT design language, the Tata Nexon appears with large projector lamps with integrated LED daytime running lights. The smiling pattern front grille gets black mesh and chrome it blends perfectly with the headlights.
Front bumper appears chunky and muscular with large horizontally slated air intake and the fog lamp housings are highlighted with the sleek white ceramic trims. A skid plate is there as well enhancing the compact SUV’s tough stance further. Moving to the side profile, Tata Nexon catches attention very easily with its exclusive design elements.
It sports a white ceramic trim at the bottom of the glass area. Interestingly, this design element was visible at the concept model and the automaker claims that it wanted to give the buyers a feel of exclusivity by retaining the same feature in the production model as well, while major number of cars come shedding the exciting design parts from their respective concept forms. Apart from that, the Nexon also gets sporty alloy wheels, turn indicator integrated ORVMs, blackened glass area, sharp character line integrated masculine stance and a nicely curved roofline. Also there will be black plastic cladding at the lower side profile and doors.
Rear profile of the Tata Nexon boasts a roof spoiler, roof mounted shark fin antenna, compact taillights and a white ceramic trim joining the taillights. The bumper too comes chunky looking and there is a skid plate as well. Overall, the compact SUV appears very masculine and bold looking from every angle.
Both the cars appear reflecting masculine tone and pretty attractive styling, the Tata Nexon gets a very flowing look thanks to its IMPACT design language, while the slightly boxy look is visible in Ford EcoSport that makes it an authentic SUV by styling.
New Ford EcoSport vs Tata Nexon – Dimension
The new Ford EcoSport won’t have any big difference in terms of proportions. It measures 3,999 mm in length, 1,765 mm in width, 1,708 mm in height and it has a wheelbase of 2,520 mm. The unladen ground clearance of 200 mm ensures the car can take on rough roads easily. It has a boot space capacity of 346-litre and there is a 52-litre capacity fuel tank as well. The SUV arrives with a turning radius of 5.3 metre.
|New Ford EcoSport Turning Radius||Tata Nexon Turning Radius|
|5.3 metres||5.1 metres|
Dimensionally, the Tata Nexon sits within the sub-four metre compact rule. It comes measuring 3,994 mm in length, 1,811 mm in width, 1,607 mm in height and it has a wheelbase of 2,498 mm. This compact SUV offers 350-litre of boot storage capacity that can be expanded up to 690-litre by folding the rear seats. Also, it has class leading ground clearance of 209 mm, which means the SUV is capable of running on the rough roads and tackle the regular potholes of the Indian roads easily.
|New Ford EcoSport||Tata Nexon|
|Length – 3,999 mm||3,994 mm|
|Width – 1,765 mm||1,811 mm|
|Height – 1,708 mm||1,607 mm|
|Wheelbase – 2,520 mm||2,498 mm|
|Ground Clearance – 200 mm||209 mm|
|Boot Space – 346 litres||350 litres (690 litres)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity – 52 litres||44 litres|
Therefore, the Ford EcoSport is clearly 5 mm longer and 101 mm taller than the Tata Nexon. Being 46 mm wider than the Ford EcoSport, the Tata Nexon offers its occupants a spacious feel. Thanks to 22 mm of extra wheelbase, the American compact SUV offers more leg space to the occupants compared to its homegrown rival in the segment. On the other hand, the Nexon offers marginally greater room for luggage with the rear seats unfolded.
New Ford EcoSport vs Tata Nexon – Interior
On the inside, the facelifted EcoSport gains a new dashboard with improved centre console having less buttons. There is also a revised instrument, fast-charging USB ports, two 12-volt power outlets and a 110-volt outlet and new rectangular AC vents, newly designed multi-spoke steering wheel with mounted controls, high-positioned latest SYNC3 infotainment system with a new colour display allowing for navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone integration.
More features are added to the equipment list including TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) for better safety and mileage, reversing camera, additional safety technologies, etc. Ford introduces Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity courtesy of the new Microsoft’s SYNC3 infotainment. It also gets rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamps and electro chromic mirror among others.
Tata Nexon dons a very attractive styling inside the cabin. Interestingly, the similarity with the Tata Hexa is very much visible inside the cabin of the Nexon compact SUV. It gets a multi-function three-spoke steering wheel with silver accents. The instrument cluster gets an interesting look and there are two analog dials along with a digital MID at the centre.
The Harman developed dashtop 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system sits on top of the centre console reflecting the clever designing and delivering a premium feel. This infotainment system will change the theme depending on the drive modes and it will have Android Auto as well. The dashboard sports layered look, horizontally slated AC vents, push start/stop button.
Seat and upholstery materials also come of high quality and space on offer is pretty good ensuring comfortable journey experience. There will be an 8-speaker high quality Harman developed sound system delivering superior audio experience to the occupants and an automatic climate control as well. Tata has cleverly designed the interior by introducing several utility spaces across the cabin.
As for the space, the Ford EcoSport leaves no stones unturned in making the cabin comfortable for the occupants. Thanks to the longer, wider and taller stance along with a larger wheelbase it offers greater space to the occupants compared to the Tata Nexon. But, if we consider all the factors, like the premiumness, styling, features and comfort – the 2018 EcoSport will obviously be having upper hand than then Tata Nexon.
New Ford EcoSport vs Tata Nexon – Powertrain
On the powertrain front, both the Tata Nexon and the Ford EcoSport come with powerful and efficient engine options. The engine lineup for the Tata Nexon includes a 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel engine.
|New Ford EcoSport Engine||Tata Nexon Engine|
|1.5-litre Dragon Petrol|
1.5-litre TDCi Diesel
|1.2-litre Revotron Petrol1.5-litre Revotorq Diesel|
The petrol engine is capable of churning out 108 bhp of peak power at 5,000 rpm and 170 Nm of peak torque between 2,000 rpm and 4,000 rpm. On the diesel front, the compact SUV draws energy from a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that kicks out 108 bhp of peak power at 3,750 rpm and 260 Nm of peak torque between 1,500 rpm and 2,750 rpm.
|New Ford EcoSport Transmission||Tata Nexon Transmission|
A very interesting and class-leading feature in the Nexon is the Multi-Drive mode that includes modes like Eco, Sport and City. For transmission duty, the Tata Nexon gets a 6-speed manual gearbox and there might be a Magneti Marelli developed F-Tronic AMT gearbox in a later time. On the fuel efficiency front, the Tata Nexon petrol model is claimed to deliver 17 kmpl and the diesel model is capable of 21.5 kmpl of mileage.
|New Ford EcoSport Maximum Power||Tata Nexon Maximum Power|
|120 bhp @ 6,500 rpm|
99 bhp @ 3,750 rpm
| 108 bhp @ 5,000 rpm|
108 bhp @ 3,750 rpm
The Ford EcoSport comes available with a range of engine options that include one petrol and a single diesel motor. The petrol engine is a new 1.5-litre Dragon unit while the diesel engine is a 1.5-litre TDCi.
|New Ford EcoSport Maximum Torque||Tata Nexon Maximum Torque|
|150 Nm @ 4,500 rpm|
205 Nm @ 1,750 rpm
|170 Nm @ 2,000 rpm – 4,000 rpm|
260 Nm @ 1,500 rpm – 2,750 rpm
The 1.5-litre Dragon petrol engine is coupled with a 5-speed manual gearbox and it kicks out 120 bhp of peak power at 6,500 rpm and 150 Nm of peak torque at 4,500 rpm and it will likely return around 16.5-17 kmpl of fuel efficiency. This engine is also available with a 6-speed automatic gearbox and as well.
|New Ford EcoSport Fuel economy||Tata Nexon Fuel Economy|
The 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine is coupled with a 5-speed manual gearbox and it churns out 99 bhp 3,750 rpm and 205 Nm of peak torque from 1,750 rpm. This engine delivers 22.27 kmpl of fuel efficiency. Overall, both the compact SUVs come with efficient and powerful engines. But, Ford EcoSport gets an edge thanks to its very popular and well appreciated new 1.5-litre Dragon engine. On the other hand, Tata Nexon’s first-in-class Multidrive mode will draw attention of many buyers.
New Ford EcoSport vs Tata Nexon – Safety
The new Ford EcoSport comes with six airbags including dual front and side curtain airbags. However, this impressive safety feature is available in the top variants only. Apart from that, it also gets Emergency Assist connected to the Ford SYNC system, ABS with EBD, Hill Assist, Traction Control, etc. The car also uses a high strength structure that offers higher level of rigidity.
On the safety front, Tata Nexon comes equipped with top notch protective measures. Apart from a high strength rigid structure, this compact SUV gets dual front airbags, ABS and EBD as standard. Apart from that, it also comes with reverse parking camera, reverse parking sensor etc. Both the compact SUVs appear with generous amount of safety features and there is very little to choose between.
New Ford EcoSport vs Tata Nexon – Price
The new Ford EcoSport will likely be priced between Rs. 7.2 lakh and Rs. 10.4 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi). On the other hand, the Tata Nexon has been priced very aggressively against its rivals.
In order to become successful, the pricing is going to be a key factor for this car and Tata has hit all the right chords. It is priced between Rs. 5.85 lakh and Rs. 9.45 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi). Being Rs. 1.25-1.5 lakh cheaper, the Nexon is the obvious winner here.
|New Ford EcoSport Price||Tata Nexon Price|
|Rs. 7.10 lakh – Rs. 10.21 lakh||Rs. 5.85 lakh – Rs. 9.45 lakh|
* All prices, ex-showroom, New Delhi.
New Ford EcoSport vs Tata Nexon – Comparison Verdict
On the powertrain front, the EcoSport has certainly an edge over its rival thanks to the new engine in terms of power. The diesel engine does its purpose efficiently as well. But, if you see the specification of the Nexon engines, they are also quite attractive too. The multi-drive function is a very interesting and useful feature and the Nexon is the first car in the segment to have this.
The thoroughly revised exterior will help EcoSport get more customers as it is edgy and sporty. With the Tata Motors introducing new stylish design and premium features in its contemporary cars, the Nexon too bears the same trend. The design of this car is very exclusive and attractive and the interior appears pretty much on the premium side with the cool design and features.
The new Ford EcoSport catches up on the features it missed on the previous version. For instance, it will standard LED daytime running lights, touchscreen infotainment system with popular and useful functionalities like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and other attractive equipment.
Finally, the pricing of the Nexon has been very aggressive and it is a standout buying reason while not underestimating whatever being offered in the features list. The EcoSport facelift arrives in the market with a little premium and has 85 percent localisation of parts as opposed to 65 percent in its predecessor.
Ford ensures cheap ownership costs and it is likely to play the USP role. Moreover, the addition of top-end S version with sporty exterior will further enhance its appeal. With very little to choose between these two heavyweights of the segment, the upcoming sales charts will give us clear indication of what customers actually prefer.