With its huge strides in build quality and excellent design, the Ford Motor Company has been impressing.
Then along came the Ecosport.
Ford has created a mini-MPV/SUV crossover car that is a bit bigger than a Fiesta/Figo but smaller than a Kuga and at the same time created a very practical size and shape. This car uses space very well. Big enough to take 4 adults with some baggage, but small enough to feel like a Fiesta.
Speaking of small. The ‘boot’ is tiny. You will get your shopping in or maybe two sets of golf clubs, but that’s it. Unless you fold the rear sears forward to create a very useful load space.
Our test car was the 1.5 normally aspirated petrol engine version. It is fine at sea level provided you plan ahead. Building up steam takes a while. No snappy overtaking manoeuvres here. Acceleration in gear is leisurely to put it mildly. I cannot recommend the 1.5 to Gauteng/ Highveld readers.
This engine just does not have enough juice. Ford claims a combined fuel consumption of 6.5 litres/100 km for the 1.5 petrol. Dream on. Consumption is nearer 8 litres/100 km. Both the Ecoboost and the diesel give very frugal fuel consumption figures around 5 to 6 litres /100 km. All is not lost though. The car also comes with a superb three-cylinder, turbo 1.0 EcoBoost engine. This is the one to get. The interior is not bad, with a pleasant and practical layout. It just is not very well put together.
The seats are fine and the air-conditioner, sound system and instrumentation are all good. Leg room at the back is quite good. Headroom is excellent, perhaps to accommodate turbans. Road holding is fine and the brakes, steering, gears and clutch all function acceptably. The Ecosport 1.5 TiVCT Ambiente Man, we tested costs R199 000. The top of the range Ecosport 1.0 GTDi Titanium Man costs R249 000. There are six models including two 1.5 TDCi diesels and a 1.5 petrol automatic.
The Ecosport has a 4 year or 120 000 km warranty and 4 year or 60 000 km service plan.