- Integrated music system
- Microsoft SYNC (more on this in the next section)
- Powerful air conditioning with a full auto mode
- Driver seat with adjustable height
- Telescopic and titl steering
- Plenty of storage space along all doors and between the front seats
- Chilled glove box
- Electrically adjustable mirrors, all four power windows
- Front and side air bags
- Key less entry and push-button start/stop
- Electronic steering system
- SYNC, audio and phone controls in the steering
- Sonar sensors for reversing, no visual assist.
Posted by Arun Bhat on May 22, 2013
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I test drove a Ford EcoSport -- an Urban SUV that Ford will be launching June -- in the picturesque locales of Goa for a day last week. Here is a detailed review of the car based on my drive experiences and briefing from Ford officials. Overview Ford positions the new EcoSport as an Urban SUV. The name explains a lot about the category in which the vehicle fits into. It has the looks of an SUV and has high ground clearance that can help the driver wade through unfriendly roads. But get behind the wheels and you feel that you are driving a smooth car rather than a rugged utility vehicle. It's a compact SUV and doesn't have the typically intimidatingly large size, which makes it even more suitable for urban driving. The 200mm ground clearance may let you drive it off-road, but the vehicle seems to be designed keeping in mind that the buyer will be using it largely in urban conditions. This is perhaps why EcoSport is not available in 4x4 variants, but it can take many roads where you would not dare to take a sedan. Ford has an an excellent packaging with EcoSport that will easily impress anyone on the first drive. It is a practical vehicle that has everything that an urban buyer may want today - plenty of space, high seating position, sufficient boot space, easy-to-drive powerful engine, loaded features and a price tag that will hopefully keep all these affordable. Ford has a clear winner with EcoSport, provided they get the pricing right. EcoSport is slated for release in the first fortnight of June. If they can mange to price the top-end model in the order of ten lakhs, we will probably see a lot EcoSport on the Indian roads very soon. With a sub four meter length and an engine capacity less than 1.2 liters, EcoSport meets the norms of a small car and can benefit from lower excise duties, which may help Ford price it competitively. The look and feel EcoSport has all the looks of an SUV minus the size. It appears like a slightly shrunk and sleeker form of an SUV, suitable for the narrow roads and limited parking spaces in Indian cities. The first thing you notice are the fairly good ground clearance, high position of the hood and the muscular lines that dominate all sides of the body. Ford engineers claim to have made considerable effort in defining these lines to reduce resistance from wind. A plastic lining around the lower part of the body allows it to take small scratches well without having to go through expensive replacement work. Browse through the photographs below from different angles. EcoSport is available in a choice of 8 colours. We drove the Mars Red version which stands out clearly in a crowd. The insides are roomy, but lack the sporty look of the exteriors. The black & silver interior is more functional and lacks the pep that one would like to associate with a vehicle of this kind. While it looses in making a good first impression when you enter, it scores high in features and utility. See more about this in 'features' section down the article. EcoBoost Engine and other variants We drove the Titanium variant of the EcoSport, which comes with a new 1 liter, three cylinder petrol EcoBoost engine that delivers 125PS power. EcoBoost is a Ford Technology that helped it win the 2012 International Engine of the Year award. Ford claims that the 1 liter EcoBoost engine is capable of delivering a performance equivalent to a 1.6 liter traditional petrol engine. EcoBoost will be available only in higher variants of EcoSport. Ford claims a fuel economy of 18.9kpl under test conditions. The other engine options will be a 1.5 liter, four cylinder, petrol version that delivers 112PS and a 1.5 liter diesel engine that gives 91PS power. Predictably, one would have questions about a tiny 1 liter, three cylinder engine's ability to deliver sufficient power for a vehicle of the size of EcoSport. But in five minutes behind the wheel, I was completely convinced about its capability and had no doubts about Ford's claims about delivering a performance equivalent to a 1.6 liter engine. EcoBoost is definitely a technological leap and will probably dominate the petrol engines in the near future. The Drive and performance We drove the Titanium variant of the car, which comes with a 1 liter EcoBoost engine and a five speed manual transmission. It drives smoothly, almost giving a sedan feel than that of an SUV. The engine seems to be always ready to listen to the driver and the first thing I felt on releasing the clutch was the eagerness of the vehicle to move ahead. In the 80km distance that I was behind the wheels of EcoSport, I could test it in nearly all possible road conditions that one can expect in India - city traffic, open highways, coarse but metalled roads and winding roads of the hills. The vehicle performed considerably well in all the conditions. It was easy to manoeuvre in city traffic and I could stay in third gear without shifting in most occasions. It took the winding roads with the effortlessness of a sedan despite its high build. On the highways, I could quickly reach three figure speeds and found it cruising effortlessly at 115km - the maximum speed that I managed to reach in the congested roads of Goa. The engine and transmission deliver a smooth performance in all speed bands and obediently listens to the driver. The torque delivery is excellent and doesn't require frequent gear changing. It was so smooth that my co driver Shrindhi occasionally forgot to move up from third gear and stayed put even at 70+ speeds without sensing any protests from the engine. A few other journalists who were on the drive with us also commented that it almost felt as if they were driving an automatic, never having to worry about changing gears in many occasions. The engine is noise free once you reach a cruising speed even at three figure speeds, though there is a bit of murmur every time you accelerate quickly. The EcoBoost engine lives up to the hype that Ford has tried to create and leaves little room for complaining. The driver seat height is adjustable and has a truly commanding position with a good view of the road. In the two hours that I was on the road, I did not feel any kind of fatigue or discomfort. But it is too short a duration to conclude on the comfort levels. A hill launch assist is a very practical feature in EcoSport. When starting up from a slope, the brakes will have a three second stickiness after they are released. This allows the driver sufficient time to accelerate from start without letting the vehicle roll backwards. Cabin, interiors and features The Titanium version comes fully loaded with plenty of useful features. Here is a list of things that immediately catch your attention on the first drive.