OD SUV Slugfest: Ford EcoSport
The Ford EcoSport kicked of the trend of sub-4 metre SUVs in India and still remains one of the best examples of an urban SUV and continues to be fairly popular.
Styling and street presence
The EcoSport has compact dimensions and balanced proportions and the styling is fairly smart too. But the large grille which dominates not just the front, but the entire look of this SUV, evokes mixed responses. Some simply love it and there are others who detest it. Nevertheless this Ford has substantial street presence for its size and the highlight of its styling has got to be the spare wheel mounted externally on the tailgate. This is a very traditional SUV feature and most welcome in an urbane and modern vehicle like the EcoSport. The distinctly shaped fog lights that also house the turn indicator are another nice styling element.
Seating and visibility
The sharply sloped A-pillars obstruct peripheral view and vision while going around turns. The wipers do not clean some portion below and towards the top of the windscreen, and in extreme driving conditions you want the visibility to be better. Due to the smallish door opening, ingress and egress is a little bit tight, but the seating height and H-point is good. But there are no rear a/c vents and the cabin takes slightly long to cool.
The ground clearance is decent and the overhangs are also short allowing one to negotiate rutted and uneven roads fairly confidently.
The externally mounted spare wheel makes access most easy, and putting back the replaced tyre is convenient too. There are ample storage spaces in the cabin, but no grab handles to hold onto when the going gets rough.
Touring ability and performance
The Ford EcoSport powered by the 1.5-litre diesel has a reasonable cruising range of about 725km. The engine is peppy and punchy and the gear shifter is precise and a pleasure to use. But high speed stability could be a bit better.
Given the pleasing manner in which the EcoSport handles on tarmac, our dirt stage timings are disappointing. It's quite unpredictable and twitchy in the slush, though the choice of low
profile road tyres on 17-inch wheels has something to do with that. It's still nice to drive and steering feedback is good, it lacks grip in the mud.
Price: 13.14l (on-road, Mumbai)
Fuel Economy: 14.2kmpl
Fuel tank & Range: 52l /750km
4WD lock: No
Diff Lock: No
Ground Clearance: 200mm
Dimensions (L/W/H): 3,998x1,765x1,647mm
Off-Road Driving Modes: No
Headlight Washers: No
Boot Capacity: 352l
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