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All-New Ford EcoSport First Drive Review: The Return of The King

Ford EcoSport was the car that started the compact SUV craze in India. It's back in an all-new avatar with a new petrol engine as well. We drove the car recently in an event in Goa and get you our first drive review of the all-new EcoSport.

Siddhartha Sharma | News18.comSidnChips

Updated:November 9, 2017, 1:38 PM IST
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All-New Ford EcoSport First Drive Review: The Return of The King
2017 Ford EcoSport. (Image: Siddhartha Sharma/News18.com)
Ford EcoSport is the car that started it all. This was the car responsible for us getting used to the fact that compact SUVs can also look so good on the Indian roads. It's also the vehicle responsible for delivering on the assurance of an SUV at the price point of a sedan. So, it's just safe to say that the EcoSport is the daddy of compact SUV's in India, and the daddy just got a makeover. The all-new EcoSport had generated a lot of interest in the year 2017. The Indian car lover has been waiting for the new EcoSport for a year now and Ford has been kind enough to oblige by launching the all-new EcoSport in November 2017. And it's not just a minor nip-and-tuck but the new EcoSport also comes with an all-new petrol motor and it's not an eco-boost engine but an all-new three-cylinder petrol motor. We had a chance to drive the new petrol engine with an automatic gearbox and also the tried and tested diesel engine with the manual transmission. Here's our first drive review of the all-new EcoSport from the twining and majestic roads of Goa.

Watch: All-New Ford EcoSport | First Drive Review | Cars18

 
Design
The all-new EcoSport comes with an overall design change. There are a newly designed projector headlamps which also gets integrated daytime running lights. The grille has been updated too and will remind you of the Ford Endeavour. It's big, bold and comes with a lot of chrome on it. This adds to the overall front aggressiveness of the all-new EcoSport. The turn indicators have also been housed inside the foglamp sockets of the bumper on the new EcoSport which adds to the overall neat design of the vehicle. The rear design is pretty much the same and you do get a big space wheel look at the back, which reflects that the new EcoSport means business. The other big change is the new 17-inch alloy wheel design which is lighter and stronger than before and is also not a diamond cut design that most of the manufacturers are using these days. But mind you the 17-inch wheels are only available on the Titanium Plus models of the new EcoSport and they are the ones to have on this vehicle simply because they add muscle to the overall stance of this car.

Interiors
The new Ford EcoSport is also loaded to the brim with technology on the inside. The interiors also feel more polished than the outgoing model and if you look closely at the dashboard you will find a futuristic rectangular design pattern that's like an easter egg inside the new EcoSport. The leather seats on our top end model also offer a premium finish and the seat comfort is amazing in the car. For the rear passenger, you get now a decent leg-room and head-room. The new EcoSport also comes with an amazing all-new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that now supports Ford’s Sync 3 system as well as Apple Car Play And Android Auto. The touch response on this new panel is at power with any top end smartphone out there.

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We were left impressed with its response and the overall fluidity of the graphics. The new EcoSport also offers ambient lighting now in different colours. The car has also received a rear-parking camera, power folding outside rear view mirrors, push start/stop engine, smart entry into the car with a capacitive sensor and ambient lighting inside the car. Being a Ford, they have paid complete attention to safety as well since the new Ford EcoSport has been fitted with a total of six airbags meant to keep the driver as well the occupants of the car. There’s also hill start assist and electronic stability control to help you out in case things go wrong. All variants though come with ABS as standard. There’s also the Ford's Emergency Assistance system that will automatically call emergency services in case of an accident.

Ford-EcoSport-3

Engine and Performance
The new Ford EcoSport comes with an all-new 1.5-litre engine three-cylinder petrol engine that delivers an impressive 123 PS of power and a mammoth 150 NM of torque. This new engine, called ‘Dragon’, comes with a choice of two transmission options – a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic transmission which can also be operated through the paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. The claimed mileage as per Ford for this petrol engine along with a manual gearbox is 17 km/l. In our driving, it did give us a decent fuel efficiency of 14 km/l. On paper this engine might seem like the prefered choice of many, however, we did find the vehicle not that confidence inspiring while making manoeuvres at slightly higher speeds. Also, the torque delivery is not something that was smooth or talk-worthy on this engine. The overall drive quality is decent on the petrol motor. The cabin noise inside the car was also a bit concerning for us. The automatic transmission was also a little slow while shifting up which left us with an over-revving engine most of the times. But having said that, it only comes with three-cylinder in it and the engine is overworked most of the time as it has to compensate for the weight of this car. The new petrol motor is decent but we would still prefer the EcoBoost engine on the new one as in when Ford plans to get it.

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We also drove the tried and testes 1.5-litre four-cylinder TDCi diesel engine that is capable of delivering 100 PS of power and 205 Nm of torque. The diesel engine with the manual transmission is claimed to deliver a mileage of 23 km/l and it did give us a decent fuel efficiency of 18 km/l. The diesel engine did give us the kind of torque we were looking forward to on the new EcoSport and this engine also proved to be a lot quieter and more fun to drive than the new petrol motor.

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Verdict
The all-new Ford EcoSport starts at a price point of Rs 7.31 lakh (ex-showroom) which makes it a very lucrative deal and also one of the most affordable compact SUVs in the market. Ford has done their homework on this, after all, they were the pioneers in introducing this segment to the Indian market. We still prefer the diesel engine on the Ford EcoSport over the petrol motor and that could also be because we like engines and cars that offer more torque than power. But having said that do wait for our full review of the all-new EcoSport before you get yourself one.
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