New Ford EcoSport S review: More than just a makeover

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Ford EcoSport S gets sportier exterior elements
  • Interior also gets orange accents and new features
  • Re-introduces the award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine to the EcoSport

EcoSport S does look more aggressive compared to its Titanium+ trimEcoSport S does look more aggressive compared to its Titanium+ trim

CHENNAI: The SUV segment is one of the hottest categories in the Indian auto market these days. And that’s perhaps why manufacturers are trying to lure more buyers with affordable compact SUV offerings with some extra bells and whistles thrown in.

One such offering is the new top-spec variant of the Ford EcoSport, christened the EcoSport S. The car gets new cosmetic features and also sees Ford’s award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine making a comeback. We drove the car recently and here’s what we thought.

Is there any change in the exterior design?

While there is really no change in the design of the EcoSport, the S variant does bring with it some additional style elements along with a smoked finish to the package. The front grille is all-black with smoke grey stripes, the fog lamp housings are black too. The headlamps also get black inserts along with high-intensity discharge (HID) projector lamps and tinted glass.

EcoSport S - 2.

The changes in the side profile include all-new alloy wheels with a smoked finish and black roof rails. Because ‘S’ is the new top-spec trim of EcoSport, it gets 17-inch wheels and the Titanium+ will now come with smaller 16-inch wheels. The black treatment has been extended to the roof as well with a glossy black paint on the top.

These little styling tweaks add a dash of sportiness to the the car, and the EcoSport S does look more aggressive compared to its Titanium+ trim.

What’s new in the interior?

There is no major change in the interior either. In fact, the materials used are exactly same as the Titanium+. However, some orange accents have been added to the dash, under the eight-inch touchscreen, door trims and the seats. The stitching on seat covers and the steering wheel is also orange which gives it a sporty feel compared to the basic all-black cabin.

EcoSport S - 4.

In term of features, there are two major additions. There is a new instrument cluster and an electrically adjustable sunroof, which Ford calls a ‘fun roof’. The addition of the sunroof is a nice touch, and the new instrument cluster looks better than before with chrome rings on the analog dials and a bigger MID screen.

The bigger screen gives information in a more sorted manner and the company has also added tyre pressure monitoring system to the package which tells you about the individual pressure of the tyres, which is a handy feature.

How’s the new engine and transmission?

The most important addition to the EcoSport S is the return of the iconic EcoBoost 1.0-litre engine, which is a three-cylinder motor. While the capacity of the powertrain is quite small, it gets a turbocharger and direct fuel injection system along with variable valve timing and Ford’s software control system. All these technologies help control the combustion process. The engine is capable of delivering performance and efficiency at the same time.

EcoSport S - 5.

The company claims that the engine delivers 125PS of power and 170Nm of torque which is almost similar to the 1.0-litre EcoBoost which was offered in the previous generation EcoBoost.

The previous generation of the EcoBoost engine was lagging under 1,800rpm but the new one has got significant improvements in place. It delivers ample amount of torque starting from 1,500rpm and going up to 6,000rpm which is a wide range for both city as well as highway driving conditions.

EcoSport S - 6.

The new six-speed gearbox in this variant has also been designed to blance performance and efficiency. The starting ratios are shorter for a quick acceleration while the fifth and sixth have an overdrive feel.

Ford first introduced the EcoBoost series in the market with the promise of better fuel efficiency. However, the previous generation of its1.0-litre EcoBoost in India was never quite able to deliver on that promise. The company seems to have now worked on fixing this and the new generation model delivers a significantly improved fuel efficiency. During our testing, it delivered between 14-15kmpl in the city driving conditions and up to 18kmpl on the highways.

EcoSport S - 3.

Both the performance and the efficiency of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost is definitely better than its 1.5-litre petrol sibling.

Is it any different to drive?

There is no change in the suspension setup of the S variant. It is actually not a bad thing at all as the EcoSport delivers a great drive experience with perfectly tuned suspension setup ideal for Indian drivers and roads.

EcoSport S-01.The steering feedback is impressive too and it feels communicative and precise like a higher-segment car. Even while cornering at high-speed or panic braking, everything felt in control. The wheels, tyre size, and brakes also remain unchanged as compared to the previous Titanium+ variant.

So, besides the delivery of the new engine, there’s no change in the drivability.

Is it a worthy buy?

We already like the new Ford EcoSport for its drivability and the way it looks. The ‘S’ version takes this experience to the next level with a sportier feel. The car looks much better with the new styling elements; gets new fun features; along with a more fuel efficient and lively powertrain. All this comes for about Rs 85,000 extra over the price of the Titanium+ MT variant which is not a bad deal.
Ford EcoSport S prices (ex-showroom, Delhi): Rs 11.37 lakh (petrol) and Rs 11.89 lakh (diesel)
[“Source-timesofindia”]

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