There have been a lot of ownership reviews on the New Ford Ecosport and I have been going through them for a while. Before I start my review I would like to thank all those who have taken the pain to share their ownership experiences that has help me and many others in making their decisions and also keeping the spirits high in times of the never ending wait. I consciously would not want to discuss in detail the run up to the decision for buying the Ecosport but would like to dwell more on the car and more in relation to the TREND Variant in this review.
I was not actively looking for a car as my plan was to replace my erstwhile 2009 Zen Estilo only next year as it completes 5 years and to upgrade to a sedan which had more space and comfort. But the Ecosport fever caught me ever since the media drive reviews started coming. And yes, I decided to book the car once the price was announced. Initially I booked an Ecoboost Titanium variant but immediately changed to 1.5D TREND variant. The reason for the change was the running cost and the details are given in my separate thread here
Booked with Chennai Ford on 13th July and got my vehicle delivered on the 26th of October. The wait was the most painful one and I did visit the showroom as often as I could. After the first week of October I started making visits to the showroom atleast twice a week to ensure that I get my car on time (3 months as committed by the dealer). Also shot a few mails to the Fords customer care mail IDs and they were also followed up. Did have some responses from them as well and they even called me to confirm whether I had taken the delivery. The car being an instant success, I could understand that Ford had to work hard to deliver the goods on time. But however, I seriously feel that the entire booking and delivery process could have been managed in a much better manner. It was as if we were at the mercy of the dealers and there was complete lack of clarity. And I am confident that people who had the influence or money were able to jump the queue.
But to all who are yet to take their deliveries; the memories of the long wait will all fade away the moment you hear from the dealer that your car is on its way. And it will be a sheer pleasure to have your hand on the machine
The total on road cost was Rs.941013 after the accessories that were taken from the dealer. The extended warranty was not taken and the insurance (Bumper Ė bumper & nil depreciation) was taken by me online from Royal Sundaram thus saving around Rs. 7000. The insurance also includes the FREE MyTVS Kit for one year. The essential accessory kit was not also taken from the dealer. The other additions that I made to the car are listed separately in the review.
The reasons why I chose to go for the Trend variant
are listed below. All of the features listed below were not available in the Ambiente variant and were deal breakers for me for not taking the Ambiente variant (I am using the past tense here as Ford can keep changing the features often and this review is based on what was there when I booked). I didn't go for the Titanium variant since it exceeded my budget, else I would have gone for it.
: I wanted a car that had ABS
and Airbags. This was one of my top priorities. But to have the Airbags meant that I had to go for the Titanium variant which was not in my reach. This is one thing that I am still not happy with.
2. Reclining rear seats
: While spending so much on a car, I wanted to have some basic comforts and that meant good seating position.
3. Rear head rests
: Yes, itís the same reason as for the reclining seats. It is a basic comfort feature that I expected.
4. Power windows
: To put it the other way, not having one would make the car look so ordinary. These actually should be standard equipment.
5. Driver Seat height adjusts
: I bought this car so that I can take my family for weekend trips and even longer ones in the car. So for me who will be in the driverís seat, would want a more comfortable seating position.
6. Steering mounted controls
: This is one of the features that I am using a lot now. Though the controls donít have the phone symbols printed on them, they can still be used to receive and cut calls. Donít know what Ford is saving in not having them printed on the controls.
: This is something that needs to be standard but Ambiente variant does not have this.
8. Rear washer and defogger
: Though I was not a fan of this, now I like this a lot. Especially when it rains these days, itís really helpful.
9. Silver painted front grill
: I liked the Silver ones but love the chrome ones available in Titanium variant. Some of the most visible differences between the variants have been highlighted below for easy reference. Variants.pdf My first impressions:
It was love at first sight and has been a long journey to own this car. As I drove my machine for the first time, it felt like I was moving a petrol car. Never felt any difference. But however as I start to drive more, I felt the difference. This one has good torque and is very comfortable to drive in Chennaiís City traffic. I live in Valasaravakkam and people in Chennai using the Arcot road will understand the traffic situation there. Drivability & Ride:
I ll start with this as it is something that the driver will be living with for most of the time in the car. The torque is more than adequate
and the power delivery is linear. There are no sudden surges and do not expect any adrenalin rush from the engine as you would expect from the Swift. This feels like a more matured engine not the peppy type.
The steering is lig
ht and you will love it in the city. Making turns and taking U-turns can be done with ease. The light steering also helps when you park in tight spaces where you need to work a lot on the steering. On the highway, I have read in some reviews that the steering is too light. But my experience has been different. It actually weighs up well and you have adequate feedback. I really donít have complaints here.
Thus it offers good drivability in the city and will easily help you cruise in the highway at 120 - 140 KmPH.
The view from the driverís seat is good
. But as mentioned in many reviews, the thick A-pillar can be a bit tricky initially till you get used to the car. But within a few KMs in the Driverís seat, I got used to it and donít have much to complain there as well.
The stiff suspension affects the ride quality a bit
. It is not that bad to become a deal-breaker anyway. The car is well planted to the road even at high speeds with minimal body roll while thrown around the corners. NVH:
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 cabin is quiet and the vibration levels are seldom felt. Mileage:
I have driven my car for about 1200 Kms now and based on the Tank fill method the mileage as inspiring too. City Mileage
: 17Kmpl (Full AC) Highway Mileage
: 20.3 Kmpl (Full AC)
My latest city mileage is 16.6 KmPL which includes a bit of idling with the AC on
as my family members preferred to stay in the car when I went shopping for a while. Boot Space:
The boot space is adequate for packing luggage for a 4 day trip for all the passengers. However, it would be a bit greedy to expect the space of a full size SUV from an urban SUV which is sub 4 meter length and made for the urban life. AC:
The AC is really powerful and cools the cabin in no time. I have never had a chance to try the AC at full speed. Speed 1 is the one used 95% of the time. Speed 2 for some quick cooling after being parked in sun. Used speed 3 only once just to try. Never tried the full speed (Speed 4).
The AC vents can be closed completely. Interiors:
The interiors look new age
and the chest-out dashboard is a cool thing.
But I have a few complaints here. The plastics are not up to the mark when compared to similarly priced cars. It will sure have rattle issues in the long run
. How bad??? Only time will tell. But I have heard feeble ďgrrrrrĒ sounds
from behind the instrument cluster and the doors on rough roads. They are not noisy and can be heard if you pay close attention. When I mean rough roads, I donít mean roads with potholes but roads whose surfaces are not so smooth. Iím specific here as I have not heard any serious rattles
so far on bad roads with potholes.
The driver's seating position can be adjusted with the height adjuster and the tilt and telescopic steering adjustments
come handy to provide the perfect driving position. The seats are adequately wide and the back row can seat 3 average built people comfortably. The rear leg room is very good and the reclining rear seats
provide comfortable seating to the passengers as well.
The doors have a soft cushion padding
to rest your arms. The dual tone door panels (for all variants except the Titanium optional variant) break the monotonous dark feel inside the car. There are lots of storage spaces
and the overall space is good. The front doors have two bottle holders (1ltr) each and the rear has one each. Thus 6 bottles can be tucked into the door pockets itself.
And in the space in between the seats, 3 more bottles can be kept thus totaling to 9 bottle holders. The phone can also be kept in there conveniently. There is a small pull out compartment to access the OBD port and some small stuff can be put in it as well.
These are small but very useful things. Exteriors:
I donít have to say more about the exterior looks of the car. It definitely is a head turner. Even though many Ecosports run on the roads these days, many people still gaze at my car whenever I wait in a signal or pass them by. There have been instances where some have even followed me for some distance just to have a glimpse of the car. Here are some pics which I thought would be worthwhile.
The air kickers add to the aerodynamics of the car. The fuel tan lid has a string attached to it to hold the lid.
This is a difficult place to clean.
The OVRMs turn backwards as well. Thus donít have to fear a motorcyclist hitting your OVRM.