After driving my new SilverLine - Ford Ecosport TDCI Titanium Diesel for about 400 kms, I feel, this will be apt time to share my initial ownership experience.
1. A semi-Indianized SUV which is primarily meant for countries with LHS Drive. The only changes are in relocation of Steering wheel and driver pedals to RHS. Rests of the features are primarily meant for LHS countries which we should get used to. Features like boot door opening side (right instead of left), location of Indicator and rain wiper switches in driver side (they swap Left to right and vice versa in Ecosport vs. Alto). There will be initial difficulty to get used to this change.
2. Build was solid. Doors are real thick and initially we were using two hands to push or close the door. Looks like a safety aspect built to European/American safety standards. This is a welcome change as compared to our t(h)in sheet of cars from Maruti whose doors can be closed with a pointing finger.
3. Commanding presence. I just loved the SUV for its build and height though it occupies less space. I see people run away from it when it goes on road as against those not even caring when Alto is seen. I just need to stop the Alto and have people cross the road to avoid any damage for Alto.
4. Personally feel that for Indian conditions, ES Trend will be more than enough and has everything we need when driven safely. Titanium will be for those who wish to pamper a bit with gizmos or show to their loved ones that they care a bit more. This may be debatable but this the truth and reality. This was even confirmed by our dealers. Hitherto, experience tells that in pursuit of peace of mind, there are certain things in life for which both mind and heart says its better wisdom to blindly listen to what family says rather than apply our mind. Here it comes truth and family proved it a correct decision too. No regrets for shelling more on this beautiful vehicle.
Interiors/Exterior design and Care:
With recent price hike of ES making a dent in my wallet, I decided to limit my interiors to minimum including floor mats, door visors, steering wheel cover (art leather), neck rest, CD holder and door guards - all simple yet elegant ones. I also got a CD holder. An under chassis coating with 5 year warranty was done at 3M Nungambakkam. Entire packet costed me around 5.5K. I am planning for paint protection, sealant program with 3M in a month or two when my savings improve.
Till recent experience of handling of only hatchbacks, getting (or rather climbing) into a SUV was a different experience altogther. The size of interiors/vehicle created a mild chillness which took couple of days to wade off. Till then I did not take the vehicle to main roads.
The engine horse power looks pretty decent and engine itself is responsive (not punchy though). I did not feel the turbo lag anywhere (I may be wrong but pls. correct me) as I accelerate slowly. I use 32 ps pressure for all tyres. The ride as a driver was smooth though I have limited my max speed at 70 Kmph. Rear passengers did not complain much on ride quality and handling at 70 kmph. But handling a sheer size will be tiresome for short distances (< 10 kmph) that too in traffic areas like Chennai etc, once the initial thrill wades off. I feel anyone having an ES should have a small second car too if living in Metro Cities.
I am ensuring the engine rotates at all possible rpm so as to have even drive in. This is by driving at all possible speeds according to traffic. I believe a traffic area with occasional long drives will help in better drive in. Any comments on this pls?
Few more points:
1. Finding an ideal seating position for driving is very easy. The support and ergonomics is very good and lumbar support is a very useful feature.
2. The hand brake is kept on front passenger side. A typical example that this is meant for LHS vehicle drive countries. Placing it at center would have been convenient.
3. A back seat arm rest and front common and wide arm rest for driver and co-passenger would have enhanced the richness of interiors.
4. The driver pedals are bit inconvenient driving with shoes. Not sure but feel pedal leg is obstructing comfortable placement of foot. Any experiences on this front pls?
5. Dealer delivered car with around 30 litres of diesel. It’s a nice thing to note unlike in Maruti, where our first stop after delivery will be in a petrol bunk for filling the fuel on our new vehicle
6. As it is a diesel engine I perform the usual ritual of idling engine for 30 secs before start /stop.
7. Somewhere the manual was also mentioning to revive the engine to 3K rpm for 30 secs atleast once a week. I am doing this religiously. Earlier, I did this for my Maruti Swift LDI based on same advice from mechanic attached to Maruti dealer. Not sure on exact reasons but I think this will reduce the smoke from engine.
8. Headlamps brightness looked okay for me. This is again subjective. I seldom use fog lamps.
9. I am still getting used to Sync and started exploring the features one after another. I am trying to find the voice command section but not sure if missing it. The synch has gone well with my Blackberry.
Here are the images of my SilverLine. Sorry about the average picture quality of the interiors