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We drive the new Ford EcoSport 1.0 Titanium

Compact enough for the city, comfortable enough for long road trips…

The Ford EcoSport originally hit local shores in 2013 and quickly identified itself as an affordable small SUV, favoured among South African families in need of a sporty-looking, safe and efficient compact crossover.

Now, in 2018 Ford has brought its new EcoSport to broaden the appeal by offering more safety features, an upgraded interior and enhanced connectivity.

We recently spent a week with the new EcoSport 1.0T Titanium auto model where we got to experience it in much of the same environments as its potential customers would. In the city and out…

We Like:

Compact enough for the city, comfortable enough for long road trips

‘Cool Factor’: Sporty exterior styling

Raised ride height and driving position – giving you a sense of confidence and good road visibility

Auto option: Great for the city commute

Based on the Fiesta (same chassis, gearbox and engine)

On the outside

On the outside, the new EcoSport gets a larger and more aggressive grille to complement its bold exterior, making it look more like an SUV – and an updated one at that. Ford’s use of styling on the EcoSport is aimed at reflecting the new key family-friendly design traits that were introduced with the mid-sized Kuga in 2017. Angular headlights incorporate LED daytime running lights on the Trend and range-topping Titanium models.

Attractive new alloy wheel designs complement the rugged, sporty character, and are offered in Gunmetal grey five-spoke 16-inch versions on the Trend series, or striking 17-inch rims on the Titanium. The entry-level Ambiente model is fitted with 16-inch steel rims with wheel covers.

One thing that took a bit of getting used to was its boot, or more specifically, how you open and close it. Finding the button to release the door was one thing, but I feel it really could do with an automated tailgate, as the boot door (which opens sideways) is rather large and heavy.  During my test drive I really had to throw my body weight at the door to close it, when my hands were full. That being said, opening it just takes a press of a button under the door lever and it seems to almost open itself. Its boot space – once you’ve opened the door – is generous (334 litres) and offers more than enough to accommodate your friends’ or family’s luggage items.

Also read: We drive the new Ford Figo 

Inside

An update to the interior of the Ford EcoSport was desperately needed and now, it offers a much more contemporary cabin with upgraded tech and much better quality materials around. It is unpretentious, but functional and practical, and generally looks a whole lot better!

New seat designs give better comfort to front and rear occupants, with full leather trim on the Titanium model. Additional storage space can be found all around the cabin, and includes a built-in folding, sliding armrest with an integrated storage compartment.

Ford’s sophisticated SYNC®3 communications and entertainment system is fitted as standard on the Trend and Titanium models, and incorporates Bluetooth and Voice Control.

SYNC®3 is supported by the new floating colour touchscreen, which can be operated with pinch and swipe gestures. We like that whichever EcoSport model you buy now, you get a trendy touchscreen as standard. A 6.5-inch screen is fitted on the Trend models, while the Titanium features an 8-inch version as well as embedded turn-by-turn navigation.

On the road

The new EcoSport is a pleasant and a no-fuss affair when driven. It’s not trying to be a racy or powerful vehicle, so don’t expect anything mind-blowing when it comes to its on road delivery. But for a 1.0-litre car that’s aimed at your average, every-day driver, it has a lot to offer.

The six-time International Engine of the Year in the sub-1.0-litre category delivers an exceptional combination of performance and fuel efficiency, and is ideally suited to the EcoSport. It produces an impressive 92kW of power matched to a peak torque output of 170Nm all the way from 1 400 to 4 500 r/min.

Trend and Titanium customers have the choice between a six-speed manual gearbox or the latest-generation six-speed automatic that recently made its debut on the all-new Ford Fiesta.

Conclusion

With a host of safety features (including as much as SEVEN airbags), as well as a much needed interior and exterior update, the new Ford EcoSport is now up-to-date. But with so many others in its segment, will it still be as popular among South African’s as before?

Thinking of test driving a Ford EcoSport? We’d love to hear what you think once you have! Send your thoughts to womenwheels@assocmedia.co.za

Pricing

EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Ambiente 5MT                             R 264 500

EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6MT                          R 287 500

EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6AT                           R 300 700

EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6MT                      R 327 800

EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6AT                       R 339 900

All models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A four-year/60 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals.

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