Off course, I am feeling breathless by realizing the fact that I am the owner of the much awaited and the hottest car of the year, my White Ecosport Titanium TDCI.
All my fellow TAI
’ns please welcome our new muscular mini beast, the ‘Urbano Bestia
’, meaning Urban Beast in Spanish:) Flash back
It’s often said that ‘You need patience to find true happiness. It’s not going to be fast and it won’t come easy, but it will be worth it
’. And I am thoroughly happy with my purchase, for being patient with my dealer and waiting for the Urbano Bestia (hereafter UB) right since I booked it on 13th June. Well, yes there’s a long story and lot of angry days after that. Each passing day was becoming difficult to maneuver as we had sold off our Dzire VDI in the month of June 2013. Alright here begins the Journey of my Ecosport…
Initially I had booked the Ecosport AT Titanium version based on my usage pattern of roughly around 1000kms a month. I was assured delivery in the month of August 2013 as I was the first customer in Belgaum to have booked the AT variant and 3rd in overall booking sequence. Since then the follow up started with my dealer M/s Patson Motors, Belgaum and each day passed on with agony and aggression whenever I see a brand new Ecosport delivered to other customers.
How I lost the ship? Well, as I had booked the AT variant, Ford messed up real time with the deliveries of their 1.5P AT and one fine day the Regional Sales Manager from Ford had arrived at Patson Motors. My sales adviser arranged a short meeting with him upon special request and to my shock the RSM laid me the fact that they cannot deliver the AT variant at least before September, so ultimately it was October and could stretch to November. Now since I had already traded my Dzire, I had no option but to cancel the AT booking and switch to Diesel Titanium (O) as I was absolutely impatient and was in desperate need of the Ecosport. The sales adviser assured me delivery of the 1.5TDCI Tit (O) in the month of August and I happily agreed on the 25th of July 2013.
Here comes another tragedy, the follow up was in full swing and I had truly stolen the sleep of my sales adviser with 3 to 4 calls - 5 to 10 messages a day. Finally he had got info that Ford has billed him one Diamond White Titanium TDCI on 15th of August and offered me If I wish to go for it, the vehicle can be delivered by the 20th of August. Thought for an hour and also considered the fact that as per SA, Ford is not in a mood to bill the Titanium (O) model anytime soon. So listed out the merits/demerits of Titanium/ Titanium (O) and decided to go with Titanium. Finally the UB arrived on 19th of August at the dealer stock yard and was delivered on 20th of August 2013. The contenders:
The vehicle segment was already decided and it had to be a compact SUV this time as we were not happy with the ground clearance of the sedans available in the market today. There was no budget set as such but we were looking for a car which must be cheap to maintain, reliable and if possible at a price south of 20Lakhs. Contender no 1
: Renault Duster 110 RXZ:
The Duster has its own trump card which falls quite heavy on Ecosport and that is the ride Quality. It takes on any kind of surface with ease and smoothly without upsetting the overall composure. The Ecosport suspension is a bit stiff comparatively. Apart from the ride and space, there is nothing that the Duster can beat Ecosport. No offense to any Duster or XUV owners and its purely my perspective.
Rejected Duster for the following reasons compared to Ecosport:
- Pricing- The top end duster costs roughly 2 to 2.5 lakhs more than the top end Ecosport.
- Interiors- the Ecosport’s cabin is leagues ahead of the dusters with high insulation and quality interior materials used.
- Features: The Ecosport is loaded with the endless list of features which the Duster lacks.
- Overall build quality- No doubt the Ford is the tough one here. Right from the body panels to the windshield glass, the Ecosport is well built.
- Service network and poor track record: The Renault has around 100 dealership across India while the Ford has around 200+.
: Mahindra XUV 5OO W8:
I did check out the XUV 5OO W8 variant and was blown away by its features. The XUV 5OO W8 is a feature rich car with all the safety features, leather seats, navigation, etc just to name a few!
Rejected XUV 5OO for the following reasons.
- Reliability: Was worried about the niggling issues that crop up with almost all the XUV’s after few thousand Kms. No offence to any XUV or Duster owners here, it’s just my perspective.
- Size: The vehicle is one size larger compared to Ecosport, so not city friendly.
- Exclusivity: The XUV now-a-days is too common on roads and there’s no special feeling as that of Ecosport.
- Price: It’s not fair to compare XUV5OO to Ecosport as it’s a segment above than Ecosport, but still it does cost around 6+ Lakhs more than the Ecosport.
- Seating capacity: We never needed a seven seat SUV as our family comprises of just 4 adults and one 8 months old toddler. Did not even consider the Premier Rio as I felt there’s a lot of room left for improvements overall. The Scorpio is an old work horse, reliable but not fresh in today’s world. The Safari Storme still left me wanted for a lot of features, but is a beast to own.
The vehicle was booked at M/s Patson Motors, Belgaum. Overall I would rate the dealership experience 7 on a scale of 10. At times they were just too busy to attend me, and that is still understandable given the demand and interest the Ecosport has created among the masses. On the flip side, the sales advisor Mr Shivshankar at Patson Motors did really tolerate me a lot and helped me to some extent to deliver my Ecosport on the day I needed and it was on the 20th of August. The cost breakup
- Ex Showroom Titanium 1.5d TDCI: Rs 877314/
- Insurance (From dealer): Rs34209/-
- RTO: Rs 136772/-
- Other charges (Roadside assistance+ 3rd year extended warranty+ registration charges): Rs 26,610/-
- Accessories: Rs 47600/-
- Tyre swap costs: Swapped the OE Goodyear assurance to Bridgestone MY02, same size. Paid Rs 14000/- for 4 tyres + my OE 4 Goodyear’s.
- Upgraded the headlamp bulbs with ‘’Philips Extreme vision’’ H4 60/55W for Rs 1200/ pair. Total: Rs 1137705/-
- Front bumper appliqué.
- Neck rest cushion.
- Window weather shield.
- Garware sun-film, recommended by Ford and RTO.
- Spare wheel cover.
- Art leather seat covers. Got them outside.
- Sporty pedal set.( To be installed yet, out of stock at the dealer)
- Interior Ambient lighting.( To be installed yet, out of stock at the dealer)
- Illuminated scuff plates.( To be installed yet, out of stock at the dealer)
- Anti rust coating.
- Interior lamps replaced with white LED in place of the OE yellow bulbs (Front and back). Got them outside.
Received zero discount from the dealer instead I made my SA happy with a small gift…LOL
Coming back to the UB... Exteriors
: There’s enough said and done about its looks. Sharp, muscular and modern are the three words that come to your mind when you see the Ecosport. The wrap around headlamps and the large hexagonal front grill do add a lot of character to it. Having used Dzire for the last 4 years, I find the Ecosport build quality to be really impressive and tough. The vehicle is definitely heavy and the doors need extra effort to open and close. Interiors
Step in the Ecosport you will be greeted by a modern and techie dashboard with loads of features. I find the interiors absolutely spot on with no ergonomic faults ET all. All the switches and vents fall in hand easily.
The seat height and Steering adjust are a boon to find the right driving position just within a couple of minutes. Ingress and egress is superb, you just walk inside of the Ecosport in a normal way as though you are sitting on a regular chair.
The Sync features do work great except while calling out contact names. There’s a learning curve to it and we need to learn what kind of accent and pronunciation the Sync system understands. There is one segment first feature again; the driver side window glass has an Anti pinch feature. If someone accidentally keeps his hand on the glass while rolling up, the sensor cut’s off the glass roll. Engine Performance
As per my recent long trip to Mumbai in the UB, I can say that the vehicle is still under run-in period and hence haven’t pushed it beyond 110Kmph and 2200rpm. So far I have clocked 2400kms and the mileage I am getting at the moment is around 14.5kmpl under mixed situations in ratio of 70% Highway drive and 30% city.
The engine has enough pulling power right from the first gear, but it does feel a ‘bit’ sluggish with A/C on, mind you it never feels underpowered though. There is still lot of juice left when 100kmph is reached and should start giving away post 170kmph or so. Overall this is a super highway cruiser and can cruise happily all day along within the range of 100 to 140kmph. Stability and comfort
I can confidently say that whoever toppled the Ecosport during test drive is a complete amateur or a person sent by the competitor company to topple it intentionally. I have taken medium to sharp bends in the Ecosport with speeds of 60 to 75kmph and it feels glued to the road.
The ride is on the stiffer side but it smoothens out as the speed increases. Minor undulations or small irregularities on the road surface will not be known and it’s only the larger ones which feel and make way into the cabin but do not throw you around. Most of the times the passengers are well cocooned and comfortable with the ‘’powerful
’’auto AC. Some points that I missed or didn’t like about the Ecosport:
Things I loved about the Ecosport:
- No auto folding mirrors.
- The ride should have been more pliant and supple.
- This vehicle is capable of handling more power factoring the way it’s built and a more tweaked engine with 120 to 130bhp power would have made it a pocket rocket.
- No rear disk brakes.
- Accessories are way to steeply priced.
- Careless and Arrogant dealer attitude
- Excellent and VFM all round package.
- Class leading NVH levels due to excessive sound deadening materials and overall construction.
- Modern and futuristic design lines which literally turns 90% of the heads on the street.
- Thoughtful interiors and better space utilization with tons of cubby holes and bottle holders.
- Segment first lane change indicator.
- Segment first Emergency assist system, which is again a life saving feature.
- Sound system and system adjustments are provided in depth. You can change the bass, treble, and host of other music settings plus other vehicle settings like emergency assist on/off, chime tones, emergency assist on/off, auto speed volume compensation, etc.
- The reverse parking sensors do their job extremely well. I don’t feel the necessity to upgrade to a rear view camera.
- Sync, the most talked about feature does understand basic commands like Phone, USB, next track, play, etc with ease but it does mess up while calling out contact names.
- Nifty bag hooks in the boot and on grab handles help hook up your suit or other small bags. Again happy going with Titanium as the grab handles are not available in Titanium (O).
- Efficient yet powerful engine with good low and mid range. Haven’t tested the engine response at speeds north of 100 as its still under run in period.
- Excellent braking and stops the tank with minimal effort without any fuss!
Overall I am thoroughly satisfied with my UB and hope he continues to delight me going ahead!
Now its time for the pics. Here you go...