2015 Ford EcoSport Titanium – A Cool, Nifty and Peppy SUV to Cut the Mustard
More than often readers ask us the classic question: why only Rearview Mirror/ MyRVM.com reviews the premium cars? Where are the cars for the common man? It’s not at all difficult to answer, however, there’s a problem: common man cars comes with the complexity some time hard to resolve. Frankly, a common man once met me, spend time arguing, discussing the financial crises, takes the advice and then comes next day waving hand from a different car!!!
What, why?? I was in a shock and awe situation, the common man’s answer was: the salesman said that car (my recommendation) doesn’t come with LED daylight running light, so this one has on it, standard! OK what else, as I don’t loose temper at all but in my own way instead of throwing a punch on other I rather pull my hairs off the scalp. Also, the car you advised was a 2.0 engine and this one is just 1.6 along with factory fitted rear deck spoiler. Off course, you, the common man got that right, just shoot me. I can best express the feeling – lyrically or better still you need to listen to the twisty and bending vocals of Steven Tyler:
Runaway, runaway from the paaaaiiiiinnnn,
Janie’s got a gun/ Her dog day just begun – Aerosmith.
Coming back to the topic of complexity. A common car is designed with multiple variants and for the multiple markets keeping the populous demographic trends. The multiple variants usually come with endless grades so that It can attract that very person who desires for LED daylight running light and 1.6 engine for best fuel economy along with sporty dynamics such as rear deck spoiler. To cut a long story short this is the crux of all the complexities. The major issue here is the price point that hurts and takes away the pleasure of a simple, economical and cheerful drive!
This brings our test drive, the 2015 Ford EcoSport Titanium as a case in point. The nifty new Ford EcoSport is the 2nd generation crossover utility vehicle. The first gen was limited to few markets and now with Fiesta-based EcoSport compact/ crossover utility vehicle, Ford is expanding its product lineup by reaching out far and wide globally. Built under the One Ford program, the car is actually designed in Brazil and manufactured in Chennai, India and then sold here in the GCC and some European markets. Just to clarify it, Ford’s call it as an SUV, in Ford’s parlance for EcoSport only means Smart Utility Vehicle.
Cool Looking Style – 8.0/ 10
Our test car in a shining Kinetic Blue metallic is a Titanium grade and was loaded with add-ons to enhance the car appearance cosmetically. Like chrome bezel fog lamps, yes the all-desired LED daylight running strip and 16inch alloys with 2015/16R tires. EcoSport is a pleasant looking Urbanite. One cannot nitpick with styling as it exudes a pretty SUVish character most definitely visible at the back with a spare wheel attached to the rear door.
Inside, it’s a mix of Ford Fiesta bits and pieces. A mobile phone like the center stack that will make you get accustomed to your new car, right away. Then, the all desired push starter button. A smallish digitronic screen Sync screen sits on top of the dash.
Our Titanium grade EcoSport was also equipped with high-grain leather seats all-around. For the front driver and passenger, these manually adjustable seats provide good support and comfortable ride. In the rear, there’s enough room for 3 adults. The bench seatback can be reclined to suit the comfort of the passenger. Should you have to go to a mall for monthly grocery there’s enough room of 362 liters in the trunk area, however, if that’s not enough, then the rear seat can be folded flat to increase class leading 705 liters of space to accommodate merchandise from Ikea. All these are fair factors till you touch and feel, you will realize there’s dearth of quality materials. There’s plastic all around, but it’s hard, then again the fit and finish wise you make you think it’s ignored by the snoring assembly workers at Chennai plant.
Last thing design wise, is the rear cargo door that is fitted with the spare wheel. Though this is not something new as we see big Pajero, Prado and last generation Rav4 was fitted with the same solution to avoid interior space utilized by the spare wheel. Still if you park your car nose-out in the covered parking then there’s problem to access the grocery bags as the cargo door doesn’t swing upwards, it swings open sideways, which means you require additional space on such occasions.
Cityscape Driving – 6.5/ 10
To start, Ford EcoSport is based on the brilliant Ford Fiesta. This means Ford has nailed it in terms of driving dynamics. The drive is nicely balanced, even though it’s a raised Fiesta. I liked the EcoSport drive through the narrow streets of Bur Dubai. The electric power steering is numb yet the mini SUV is easily tossable from left to right through the labyrinth. I realized this is due to the fact that I kept the 6-speed select-shift transmission in the lowers cogs, allowing max torque as the rev needle stays skywards.
Find an open road or highway, the story is then far off the line. The 1.5l Ti-VCT/ 4Cyl, naturally aspirated engine producing 110hp @6300 Rpm and 105 peak torque at 4500 Rpm is feeble to start or launch then once it’s going with the flow it hangs there. Yet, a high-speed pass or overtake is only a wish. Same thing, predictably the 6-speed transmission actually races to the top cogs to improve the fuel economy and does not have the athletic prowess to drop the gears for the kick-down and race ahead. it resembled like an early gen rubber band CVT tranny. EcoSport is not about the numbers, so I’ll avoid spilling those 0-60 numbers that’s actually happens in about 12.3 secs.
Ford said that EcoSport SUV sold here in GGC is only a front-wheel drive car it’s not a 4×4. Still, just for the sake of info most small CUVs/ SUVs are only AWD and not really 4X4 machines. Naturally, the capability of AWD in most cases is restricted and is functioned to provide essentially good road holding capabilities in case of the wet season. Here, in the Gulf, if the idea is to enjoy recreation in the desert then EcoSport is not the right choice. However, a 500m water wading clearance is good to take into light trails. And its 200 mm raised ground clearance should be able to park over the footpath without damaging the bumper.
Safety – 7.5/ 10
I’m glad to inform you here, that there are no complexities in the safety category. EcoSport is mostly basic and honestly speaking, that’s what is required. Road wise, there’s good traction as there is an Electronic Stability Control system.. The ABS equipped brakes are good to respond. A Hill Launch Assist is a good feature that allows the car to hold automatically and restricts the rearward rolling down movement. Here you may be thinking what Hill Launch Assist will do if you cannot take the car for the off road, well think again… it’s a very helpful feature when you have to take the car the spiral parking! And Of course, there are available parking sensors for reverse parking.
Buyers Guide – 7/ 10
If you’re thinking now what you can do with this little car. Then you’ll be surprised to learn that a peppy little light weight car is always a big delight to have in your driveway. What’s more, if the little car has more space than your regular Corolla? So now EcoSport already start making a compelling case.
Then there’s a lot that a nifty Ford EcoSport can do for you. First thing is the fast cooling aircon and a cooled glovebox that can be utilized to keep the soda cans chilled. And if you’re one of those who live in the area where the parking lot is still a Kacha sandy area then you’re in a win-win situation. You can easily park the car where only you can boldly go. Our Titanium grade also came with Ford’s Sync system that provides Bluetooth mobile connectivity and wireless music streaming from six speakers audio system. A keyless entry and a sporty push starter button. Rain sensing wipers, fuel trip computer and USB media hub and many other features to help you accomplish daily chores pleasantly.
The EcoSport sits within a very tight competition bracket that is filled with dinosaurs like Nissan Juke, Renault Duster, Kia Sportage & Hyundai Tucson. All of them comes with unique selling points and can edge out either one based on a common factor: the price point!
Ford EcoSport start at approximately AED 50,000 for Ambient trim and ends at AED 80,000 for Titanium spec model we’ve tested here. Above all Ford, EcoSport is backed by the excellent 3 years/ 60000 Km Al Tayer dealer warranty and service package. Yeah, it’s all my fault that I got myself into the complexities, I should also follow the common man with a desire of simple things that matter most, like LED lights…