Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 02 Aug 2018
The Ford EcoSport with its compact, rugged and loveable looks was first introduced in South Africa back in 2013. Within the past five years, it has garnered massive popularity and this can be attributed to three key elements which it offers
- Rugged Ability
- Stylish Compact Design
I spent some time exploring the Natal Midlands region nestled between the coastal city of Durban and the rugged hills of the Drakensberg mountain range to drive the brand-new EcoSport and discover what it offers.
A lot has changed with this latest-generation EcoSport. The front fascia has gained an imposing trapezoidal grille as well as integrated LED daytime running lights, a face very familiar to that of the new Ford Kuga which we recently drove and found many reasons to fall in love with.
Apart from the updated and modern front-end, the 2018 EcoSport features over 2300 new parts. Styling is catered for with have the choice of 7 exterior colours across 3 trim levels including Ambiente, Trend and Titanium.
The EcoSport features alloy designs including 5-spoke, 16-inch alloys finished in gunmetal grey on the Trend, while the Titanium derivatives feature 17-inch alloy wheels. The base-level Ambiente model comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels and features wheel covers. A feature which has always been distinctive of the EcoSport and is continued is its full-sized spare wheel attached to the tailgate, a sign of its rugged yet stylish nature.
Apart from the visual cues which help distinguish the new model, the interior has benefited massively, with a much more minimalistic, clean and clear dashboard design as first featured in the brand new Ford Fiesta. Soft to the touch premium feel materials and an impressive ergonomic layout really help make the new EcoSport shine.
A massive leap within the new EcoSport is the inclusion of Ford’s very intuitive SYNC3 multimedia system which features within Trend and Titanium (with navigation) models. A large 8-inch colour touchscreen mounted centrally on the dash allows for touchscreen input and provides media through every imaginable source, including the likes of Apple CarPlay and its wealth of available applications. Two USB ports provide a great option for device-charging or connecting media sources during the drive.
The new EcoSport has added further focus on safety with as much as 7-airbags fitted within Trend and Titanium models. The vehicle also features Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with traction control, Roll Stability Control (RSC), Hill Launch Assist and even a tyre pressure monitoring system.
EcoSport Is Practical!
The seats fold in a 60:40 split and luggage load area has been increased to 334-litres with the seats folded-up and a sizeable 1 238-litres with the seats folded flat.
From launch, the EcoSport is available with 2 engines variants, namely a 3-cylinder 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol engine with 92 kW/170 Nm of torque and a fuel consumption claimed at 5.8 L/100 km and a 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine with peak outputs of 74 kW and 205 Nm on offer with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 4.6 L/100 km.
The engines can be mated to either a 5-speed manual(Ambiente) or 6-speed manual and automated transmission choices on both Trend and Titanium models. During launch, I was able to experience the EcoSport on a variety of surfaces ranging from smooth tar to rougher more and more rutted gravel. The EcoSport offers a smooth and comfortable drive and can be commended for its ability to remain engaging to drive while retaining a relaxing feel.
A compact body with stylish good looks, decent ride-height, an impressive build and note-worthy tech all help make the new EcoSport and impressive model from the brand and one which is sure to keep its success story on our roads.
SA Pricing & Warranty
EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Ambiente 5MT – R264,500
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6MT – R287,500
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6AT – R300,700
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6MT – R327,800
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6AT – R339,900
All models come standard with Ford’s 4-year/120 000km warranty, 4-year/60 000km service plan and a 3-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance plan with 5-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty.