After giving thought for sometime, I decided to post this thread hoping that my inputs on the test drive and points I considered in deciding what to buy will help some of you in some way.
I had the opportunity to TD (test drive) the Diesel and the Ecoboost versions of the Ecosport. Fortunate for me, the dealership offered me to try the both the versions a second time for a longer drive and here is what is observed.
I ll first go with the Ecoboost engine
: (specific to the engine/general observations later)
I am a pertol head and was very keen in buying the Ecoboost. So made my point after the first TD that I ll book the vehicle only after the trying the Ecoboost again for the secondtime and for a longer drive and I was provided with the opportunity.
The first time I drove the Ecoboost, I was all thrilled and the TD seemed overwhelmingly happy. But when I did the second TD I was more keen in observing the drive and feel.
In general, the Ecoboost engine is a rev loving fun to drive engine but a bit sluggish at times. This is what I have also read in many reviews. But to throw more light to this scenario, with four adults and a kid on board, the engine did well in a normal Chennai city traffic that I drove. However, what you just miss then is the "peppy
" feel in bumper to bumper traffic (means-more down shifts). When I drove a bit in a freelane it made me say "Wow!!!". There is lot of power and you will love it. It is more instantaneous as you move to the turbozone. Keep pressing the Accelarator and the speedo will just quickly reach great speeds. In a steep road though, you are forced to downshift. But you are assured that the downshift will help you regain the power and the vehicle moves effortlessly.
To put things into perspective, this engine will do justice to the people who want performance even if at times it meant a bit of downshifts. I believe that people who look for performance will love to make those gear changes (cos they are the active riders). It will also to a large extent satisfy a normal driver who is indifferent with regard to performance / economy. The engine is good for the city traffic and excellent for long drives. Thus Power / performance can never be considered as a deal breaker for the ecoboost.
Will reserve my comments on economy later.
Now the 1.5L TDCi diesel
This engine is familier for those who have driven the all new Fiesta. Its a humble engine and does not boast itself of its power (though it is powerful). The power is more than adequate and it is linear. There are no sudden surges. The torque helps the drivability. City drive is easy. Though when compared to the ecoboost there is a little, very little bit of engine noise inside the cabin which however fades in the sound of the AC (the AC vent is a bit loud). It offers good drivability in the city and will easily help you cruise in the highway at 120 - 140 KmPH. Based on other reviews, the ecoboost will still be energetic after the 140 KmPH whereas this Diesel will lose a bit of gas (I didnt try this speed in the ES but have tried it in my friends Fiesta). The engine is also very economical. From my friend and from what I have read, it sure will give you 15 - 16 KmPL in a city with heavy traffic like Chennai.
The engine when compared with its peers in the marke is the most refined (I would say, you may disagree). For those who are not familier to the diesel world, my advice is "Do not try ES in isolation". Try other diesel SUV / cars and the E
port. Then you will be more satisfied to go for the ES diesel.
The ES Diesel is suited for those who do frequent long drives, those who drive more than 30 KmPL a day and who expect more miles / rupee. It has ample power and is fun to drive too. Other Observations (in general):
I am not going too much in to all the details but just somethings I feel it is worth noting. I will dwell more on the things that are negative because ES in general is a good package and there is more of positives than negatives. The Plastics:
The plastics as such is not that bad. But as I saw in one of the video reviews in YouTube, I tried shaking the Instrument Console (Behind the Steering) and infact it was too loose. The entire unit was shaking. This kind of fitment could lead to rattling later as time goes by. Ford sould find some quick fix for this else this could be a BIG turn-off for owners and reviews could flow in the negative in this regards. Lets hope Ford is listening.
Otherwise, the look and feel would be fine. Only the Titanium (O) vatiant has all dark interiors. The other variants have dual colour tone. Check the link below to see the pics of the Trend variant. My White Little Monster: Ford Ecosport Ownership Review Interiors:
Some say that the Interiors are cramped. But I personally felt that it was spacious. Wiper & Indicator controls:
Unlike all the other Indian cars, the Wiper control is on the right to the steering an the indicator controls to the left of the steering. Though by usage we can get used to it, I feel it is a simple modification that could have shown more respect to the Indian driving habits. Will Ford ever want to do something like that to an American car? Tilt & Telescopic Steering wheel:
Thats a great job!!! Excellent feature. Can help adjust to any kind of driver. Reclining rear seat:
Hats of to you Ford!!! Except for Ambiente variant all other variants get the reclining rear seats. This is very very useful and I would say that this is one feature that makes an Ambiente buyer go for the Trend variant. Airbags:
The Airbags are available only for Titanium & Titanium (O) variants. Ford should have provided an optional Trend variant with the security features of the Titanium alone. This could be something similar to what Toyota does. They provide optional features for variants one below the top end too. This can help Ford get more people into opting for Ford. Something I think Ford has underestimated. General:
There have been lengths of reviews written on SYNC, Push button start etc. Considering all of those, in general the ES is a value for money proposition from Ford. The quality is at par or higher than its peers. I dont want to duplicate the points highlighted in other reviews and thus cutting this short here.
The engine guard below the engine is available for the Diesel variants. Economy:
As all would know, Diesel engines are more fuel efficient than the petrol. My expetations on the Ecoboost were on the higher side. I had expected 13 - 14 KmPL. But after reading through a few reviews, I feel it is going to be anywhere between 11 - 12 KmPL. This is actually good mileage for a petrol car carrying a weight of 1.2 tons. May be my expectations are greedy. Hope most of you will agree with me given the rising fuel prices. This is what leads us to the BIG question. Now, the big question. Which Ecosport should I buy? Petrol / Diesel
Well lets talk about that a bit. I first booked the Ecosport Ecoboost - Titanium variant as my max budget was Rs. 9.5L. But then I changed my mind and settled for 1.5L Diesel - Trend
variant which is ~ Rs.9.2L. These are a few of the things that I considered before changing my decision.
I drive around 35Kms a day (Office & Back). This translates to an average of more than 1000kms per month (excluding holidays & days when I take my bike).
I am driving a petrol car (Estilo) now and I spend about Rs.5000 monthly on petrol. But my investment in the car is significantly less. But when I decided to buy Ecosport my investment goes up and so wanted to make most of the investment. Thus had to decide on whether to stay with Ecoboost or to go for Diesel.
The computation has been done cosidering
1. Diesel price to be 60 and petrol to be 80
2. Diesel and petrol price to be Rs. 80
In the first case for a average usage of 1000 Kms per month, we still save around Rs. 69000 in 5 years. This is after cosidering interest cost on the additional cost of diesel @ 9 per annum.
In the second case, the petrol surpasses diesel by a very narrow margin of Rs. 11000. This case is more hypothetical not realistic in the near future. Now, Which variant to choose:
This again boils down to the affordability of each person and hence subjective. But though the Titanium variant is the one which has the two airbags atleast and other luxury features. Hence, considering safety, it would be better to choose titanium / titanium (O).
Having said that, I have personally opted now for the Trend variant. Reason: I cant afford Diesel Titanium, if I could have I would have gone for that. But yet, Trend is not that bad. It has ABS
and for me the only feature that I miss is the airbag. Except that I am happy to own the Trend. I can change the alloys, Opt for the kind of seat covers and the other cosmetic accessories I want.
Ambiente, is however a value for money variant. Those who love to customise their car can experiment with this. But it lacks ABS
& the airbags. Yet it has the audio and the Tilt and telescopic steering. It does not have the reclinable seats.
At the end of the day, irrespective of which variant you choose, you should be happy drivng the car. Thats where it is more important to look at the substance over the form.
Hope I have been able to answer some of your questions you would have had. Please do bear with me if there are any mistakes.