By now you may have seen images of the India-spec Ford EcoSport or if you are lucky enough, seen it in the metal itself. However, there are a lot of questions about what the EcoSport will pack in under its swanky body panels. Read on to know all about the compact SUV's features, technology, and expected launch date and price
What we know
The Ford EcoSport is one of the most eagerly expected vehicles in India at the moment. Slotting in under four metres in length, the EcoSport will benefit from tax norms allowing Ford to price the compact SUV in an attractive manner.
It will be available with three engines options one of which will be the cutting edge 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine that has been awarded for its class-leading performance and efficiency. The second engine option is likely to be the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine. The third engine option is yet to be revealed.
The Ford EcoSport has spacious interiors for its size and can seat five people in comfort and has a boot space of 346 litres. The rear seats can be folded 60:40 to throw open a total of 560 litres of rear space.
Practicality is enhanced by the SUV’s 200mm ground clearance and 550mm of wading depth. And while this is a front wheel drive vehicle, its 25º approach angle, 25º breakover angle and 35º departure angle will allow it to tackle light off-road tracks.
What we can see
The interiors of the EcoSport are similar to that of the Ford Fiesta. The door pads are the same and so are the dashboard, centre air vents, infotainment system and instrument binnacle. Ford has maintained the dark shade of the interior trim like that on the Fiesta and continues to stay away from the popular beige interior theme of the market.
In terms of equipment, the EcoSport will come loaded with similar levels of equipment as the current generation Fiesta. This will include Ford’s Sync voice-activated infotainment system that will allow Bluetooth-enabled phone and USB devices to be controlled via voice commands for browsing music and radio channels, make and receive calls and even read out text messages. There is also a high resolution parking sensor display showing where objects are behind the vehicle along with audible warnings.
Ford also claims that there are 20 storage spaces inside the cabin of the EcoSport which includes a space to store your umbrella, a sliding drawer under the front passenger seat. Another useful feature is the glovebox that can be cooled by the air conditioning.
What we can expect
The engines, in all likelihood, will be mated to a five-speed manual gearbox while there could also be a six-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox for the petrol EcoSport.
In terms of safety, the EcoSport will come with an engine immobiliser, crumple zones, ABS and EBD and up to six airbags (depending on the variant). The automatic versions are likely to be equipped with ESP as well. The Ford EcoSport will also feature hill hold function that prevents the vehicle from rolling back when the brake is released on an incline. Top of the line variants will feature keyless entry with push start/stop and climate control.
All in all, the new Ford EcoSport is a well built, thoroughly modern vehicle that will tap a segment which has tremendous potential in our SUV crazy nation. Ford is tight lipped about the launch date though it seems like the wait may have to extend till June as the company is currently busy with its 12-week EcoSport Discoveries road show. There's no hint as regards the pricing either though we expect it to start from Rs 6.5 lakh for the base petrol variant.