Ford has introduced the new, facelifted 2017 EcoSport in India. The new EcoSport has been one of the most awaited cars in recent times, and has already generated upbeat enthusiasm owing to its popularity in the crossover segment. However, it now faces stiff competition from equally popular contenders, which now include the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, the Tata Nexon and the Honda WR-V, each of which come with unique advantages. The 2017 Ford EcoSport, launched today, aims to take on this competition, buoyed by a much-improved in-car technology package, improved front styling and Ford's new 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine.
The technology inside
The biggest change is inside the EcoSport, which finally does away with the age old near-analogue infotainment system. Instead, it now houses an 8-inch touchscreen panel designed in a floating format at the centre of the dashboard. It misses out on integrated navigation, but does include both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Furthermore, it runs on the new Ford SYNC 3 firmware, which presents a new interface. Standard features including Bluetooth-based music streaming and telephony are present, along with physical input sources like aux and USB. The new Ford EcoSport also gets steering-mounted controls for accessing the media setup and the central multi-information display in the instrument cluster, which still remains monochrome unlike the ones in the newer generation Hyundai cars. The new Ford SYNC 3 also gets voice control for handsfree commands, and other technology inside include a rear parking camera, automatic climate control and safety features including dual-front airbags, ABS with EBD, hill start assist, ESC, traction control and paddle shifters (in the petrol-automatic variant). The range-topping Titanium+ trim gets side and curtain airbags too, along with rear ISOFIX child seat mounts. The headlamps have been upgraded too, and are now projector headlamps with LED DRLs.
Design, Powertrain and Prices
In terms of design, the 2017 Ford EcoSport gets an all-new front grille with chrome slats to give it a more Endeavour-like stance. Much of the rest, however, is retained from the older EcoSport's body, and the India variant still has the spare wheel mounted to the exterior of the car. Inside, the dash has been redesigned to accommodate the new infotainment system, and seat upholstery has also been upgraded to make it look more premium. Also improved is seat cushioning, which should make the ride quality even better. The boot has also been slightly reworked to provide 30 litres of more luggage volume.
The third major upgrade for the Ford EcoSport is the new Dragon series engine - a 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine that produces 123bhp and 150Nm of torque. This engine is paired with a choice between the 5-speed manual and the 6-speed automatic gearboxes. The diesel trim is still powered by the older, 1.5-litre mill, which produces 100bhp and is only available with the 5-speed manual gearbox. Ford has also reportedly achieved 85 percent localisation of the EcoSport's production, which has allowed it to keep the pricing nearly similar to the outgoing EcoSport despite the significant upgrades.
The prices and variants of the 2017 Ford EcoSport are as follows: