It’s not even two months since the launch of Ford Ecosport in India but this car has already attained an unprecedented fame in automotive industry. The Ecosport, in a little span has seen both, goods and bads of serving in a sensitive market like India. On one hand, it has proved to be a jackpot deal for Ford by surpassing the sales figures of its siblings and competitors alike. Though at the same time Ecosport has also managed to get its own share of negative talks due to an immediate recall of diesel version as well as the frequently reported toppling incidents. Yet, it doesn’t seem to have affected the fan following much from bringing one home. The current scenario is that several Ford dealerships across nation have suspended the bookings for interim because of a sudden surge of customers. Unsurprisingly, it’s the Diesel version which is accounting for the major portion of sales numbers. So we took one for a spin to check out whether it’s as much as exciting in this form compared to Ecoboost petrol that we driven a few months ago in Goa.
Ford Ecosport TDCi is equipped with a 1.5 liter diesel engine churning out 91 PS of power @ 3750 RPM and maximum torque of 204 NM @ 2000 – 2750 RPM. This mill is identical to one on new Fiesta apart from the fact that it is tuned to deliver more power, albeit still 19 PS lesser than its direct competitor, Renault Duster. Good thing about this motor is that it’s fairly refined by contemporary diesel engine standards. There’s a slight turbo lag in the initial range but all in all the performance is quite instant and predictable with no sudden thrust of the turbo kicking in, opposite to what we experienced in the Renault Duster 110 PS (http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...10-renault-duster-road-test-drive-review.html). Being a diesel, there’s ample of torque in hand to comfort in the bumper to bumper traffic conditions. You can drive it at the speed of 10 Kmph on 1st gear, 20 Kmph on 2nd and so on with no throttle input at all.
Plus, Ecosport Diesel will appease those too who’re habitual of picking up straight from the second gear itself. Yup, that’s true. You can pull it from second gear in an effortless manner without even realizing you did so. However, whenever using a higher gear in lower speeds, the engine takes its own sweet time to boil and get into the range. So just keep the car in power band and the acceleration feels quick and linear like a smaller car. For highway commute, the story sounds a bit different. You need quick up shifts to speed up, even though catching the three digit number is not a task but the car pines for more power in due course as it tends to achieve more. The maximum it could do for us was 140 Kmph at nearly 3,000 RPM but it remained composed throughout. I’d still stand by my opinion about the gearshift which felt a tad rougher and longer as compared to Fiesta Classic that I own. The braking ability on regular speeds is good but it could have been made better to inspire more confidence when speeding high.
The handling continues to be one of the major unique selling points of Ecosport. The steering wheel is ultra light, perfect for maneuvering in cities and gains weight as the car speeds up. Ford has re-tuned the suspension on Diesel model and difference is rather evident. It’s stiffer and transfers bumps from almost all uneven patches present on the road which is nowhere close to the brilliant ride characteristics found on Renault Duster. Overall NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) levels are well-controlled inside the Ecosport Diesel though somehow a bit of clatter and the vibration does find its way in when the engine is at idle. Contrarily, the truck-like diesel engine noise is glaringly obvious on the outside. Don't miss to check out the video attached in the subsequent post to obtain a better idea. On the mileage front, Ecosport Diesel returned an average of 12.7 Kmpl under mixed driving conditions with air conditioner turned on but there’s enough potential to extract more with sedate driving. The actual ARAI certified figure is 22.7 Kmpl.
Note: This review was only focused on the diesel engine. Please visit the following links for more on Ecosport:
> Ford Ecosport Exhaustive Road Test Review
> Booked a New Ford Ecosport? Let Us Know
> Ford Ecosport Test Drive Review From Brazil
> Ford Ecosport Exclusive Global Premiere Coverage
> Ford Ecosport Petrol and Diesel: What Should You Buy?
> My White Little Monster: Ford Ecosport Ownership Review
> My Cute Devil "Argento" Comes Home: Ford Ecosport Diesel Ownership Review