2017 Ford EcoSport First Drive Review: New Heart, Old Soul
(This story was first published on 6 November 2017. It has been republished from The Quint’s archives following Ford’s announcement on the pricing of the 2017 EcoSport in India)
A lot has changed with the 2017 Ford EcoSport, but in terms of looks, the major change is restricted to the front only, while it is similar in profile at the rear. The interiors have been completely revamped. The good thing is that it retains its strengths and most of its earlier weaknesses have been redressed.
What’s New With the 2017 Ford EcoSport?
Let’s just focus on what’s new with the Ford EcoSport. The front end includes twin-beam projector headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, the indicators have moved to the new fog lamp cluster. The grille and bumper too are new.
In profile, the major change is to the alloy wheel design. The Titanium Plus variant gets 17-inch alloys with low-profile 205/50 R17 tyres. The rear is largely the same, but open the boot and you will notice subtle changes.
There is an adjustable shelf on the floor of the boot to keep stuff under. Boot space is 352 litres, which can be expanded to 1,178 litres if the 60:40 split rear seats are folded down.
The interiors get an all-black theme, with redesigned seats that feature better bolstering. The top-end variants get black leather seats. There is a large armrest with storage space below it, in between the front two seats. However, there is no rear AC vent.
The dashboard has been completely redesigned. The highlight is the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the centre, which features SYNC 3, Android Auto, and Apple Car Play. It doubles up as the display for the reverse camera and has a plethora of vehicle settings. The EcoSport also gets ambient lighting control now. The sound quality from the 7-speaker system is pretty good.
The instrument panel too has been redesigned. It is now a flat black affair with flat dials for the speedometer and tachometer, with smaller gauges for the fuel and temperature. In the centre is a multi-information display that reads out average fuel consumption, car settings, odometre, and tyre pressure monitoring, among other data.
The layout, though, looks a bit too plain.
The EcoSport also features cruise control and speed limiter (a first in this segment) along with automatic headlamps and rain-sensing wipers. Other features it continues to have are push-button ignition, keyless entry (with touch-sensitive door handles), power folding mirrors, sunglass holder, etc.
How Is the Ford EcoSport to Drive?
The Ford EcoSport diesel has a tried-and-tested 1.5 litre 4-cylinder engine that puts out 100 PS of power and 200 Nm torque, with a 5-speed manual transmission. But what’s new is the 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder petrol motor that puts out 123 PS of power and 150 Nm torque.
This comes mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission (that replaces the earlier 4-cylinder 1.5-litre and 6-speed dual-clutch unit).
This comes with paddle shifts too, which allow for some pretty quick downshifts, although there’s a slight lag on up-shifts. However, the engine is pretty refined and responsive across the RPM range, making it quite nice to drive, especially in traffic conditions.
Watch the video for the full review.