Ford India today launched the updated version of its EcoSport compact SUV with prices starting at Rs 731,200 (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base petrol Trend variant. The range tops off with the Titanium Plus petrol automatic, priced at Rs 1,099,100 (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The refreshed crossover gets extensive tweaks including some mechanical changes, which go on to make it more than just a minor facelift over the outgoing model, which was launched back in 2013, and had laid the foundation for the sub-4-metre crossover segment in the Indian market. Since its launch in June 2013, the EcoSport has sold a total of 210,320 units in India till end-September 2017.
The EcoSport now gets a revised face, with a bigger and bolder new grille, adorned by the blue oval which moves to its centre. The bonnet too has become a bit more flat with two muscular character lines coming down near its sides, lending a more imposing character to the crossover’s front end styling. The most striking element upfront is the presence of the new halogen projector headlamps, which come with integrated LED DRLs.
Changes towards the side only include two sets of newly designed alloy wheels, the 17-inch ones doing duty on the top Titanium Plus trim, while the lower Titanium variant getting a new 16-inch pattern. The remaining profile remains the same with the compact SUV boasting a ground clearance of 200mm.
A slew of changes mark the inside, with a redesigned dashboard, which now sees the centre console housing the new 6.5-inch (Ambient, Trend, Trend+) or the 8-inch (Titanium, Titanium+) touchscreen infotainment systems which come offering with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality alongside Ford’s SYNC 3 voice navigation module. The seats are also better cushioned now and get a new simpler folding mechanism for the rear bench.
While the facelifted EcoSport continues to be powered by the same 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel motor as on the outgoing model, producing 99bhp of peak power and 250Nm of peak torque, Ford India has brought in a completely new petrol engine to the crossover and is relying on the new automatic gearbox to attract a lot of new buyers looking for an automatic option in the segment. Company officials say the outgoing EcoSport’s saw 7-10 percent sales of the automatic variant and expect the facelifted model to achieve the same if not more, given the growing demand for automatics in urban India.
The new petrol motor is a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder unit from Ford's Dragon series and gets a counter-balancer shaft to negate the vibrations associated with a three-pot motor. The engine develops 123bhp of power and 150Nm of peak torque. It comes mated to a five-speed manual as well as a completely new six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox, which replaces the erstwhile dual clutch transmission (DCT) unit. The 1.5-litre Dragon petrol engine is 7 percent more efficient than the outgoing four-cylinder petrol. While the petrol EcoSport delivers 17kpl, the diesel variant deliver 23kpl.
The outgoing EcoSport started with 60 percent localisation in 2013. Ford India has increased the EcoSport’s localisation level to 85 percent, and kept the pricing of the car unchanged from the outgoing model.
On the safety front, the SUV gets dual airbags and ABS with EBD as standard, with the Titanium+ variant getting six airbags in total. The automatic variant also gets Hill Start Assist, ESP and traction control.