July 08, 2015 @ 03:33 PM

Review: Ford EcoSport Titanium

Two wheel drive with a ground clearance that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. How will the EcoSport measure up to its competitors?


Two wheel drive with a ground clearance that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. How will the EcoSport measure up to its competitors?

 
Before the HR-V came along, the Ford EcoSport had been the ideal choice in the compact SUV segment. While the 2008 was a little more expensive than desired and the Jimny is too unrefined in creature comfort, the EcoSport seem to be built to fit right smack in the middle of both. So this made us curious how the EcoSport drives for an urban SUV with just two-wheel drive?

Exterior (Score: 4/5)

To put it simply, the EcoSport looks very much like Ford has taken the old Fiesta hatch and lifted the chassis up then added a large grille on the front for good measure. Alright, that was me and my first impressions (actually the first thought that came to my mind was that it looks like a teddy bear but that’s not going to appeal to your manly side yes?) but the EcoSport is a stylish looking SUV that brings back the old Pajero Sport trend.

Ford hadn’t initially wanted to restart the whole piggy back tyre trend, but to make space for the booth, the rear wheel had to be sacrificed, much to the delight of those traditional Pajero loving community. But let’s get this clear, the EcoSport’s ground clearance is strictly built for water wading and not for off-roading fun. 

Interior (Score: 4/5)

Don’t need to do a double take, the EcoSport interior was donated by the Fiesta as well. Everything you can find in the EcoBoost can be found in the cosy interior but there is a huge difference thanks to the EcoSport’s higher ground clearance. Sitting in the EcoSport makes one feels as if they were on top of the world, that’s a feat another few larger crossovers didn’t have when sitting it them.

The one you see here is the Titanium variant or otherwise known as the higher-spec variant. The Titanium comes with leather seats complete with lumbar support and armrest. There are plenty of cup-holders to go around and a glove box that doubles up as your own personal cooler although I would prefer an extra storage box in the centre console to make it a perfect score.

Power and handling (Score: 4/5)

I couldn’t decide how much the EcoSport should score here. While the handling of the EcoSport is superb, it might be light but instead of making the SUV soft and all over the place it made the EcoSport an agile little urban SUV. It is the perfect car to drive on the B-roads but not exactly the highway cruiser that its sibling EcoBoost is, as the steering will get too light to keep the car steady at high speeds.

But sadly for the SUV, it is massively under power. That 1.5-litre engine requires you to floor the throttle entirely before the car starts moving from standstill. This makes overtaking a chore, floor that throttle and all the SUV returns is a loud roar but not much answering speed. Put the car in Sport and the response is easier to come but this would affect your enjoyment of the in-car entertainment as the engine is just loud at all times.

Tech and Safety (Score: 4/5)

After spending time in so many interesting cars with a touchscreen system as entertainment, the EcoSport’s lack of one sorely stands out. But Sync is ever helpful and it understands Chinese as well, so if you’re more comfortable with Chinese you won’t have a problem “communicating” with your EcoSport thanks to that new feature. The Titanium variant comes with keyless entry and push-button start along with electronic automatic temperature control and that is about the only difference in tech between the two variants.

In terms of safety, the Titanium variant comes with seven airbags including driver’s knee airbags and the usual host of safety features with hill launch assist. While it might be recommended to keep the EcoSport on the tarmac the SUV’s frame are reinforced with side impact beams and this is a standard feature across variants.

Summary

Alright so the EcoSport is surprisingly good, but there are too many things that I found requires a little more improvements to receive the full score. This is one car that we can survive a flash flood in and it has all the creature comforts to offer. So if you’re looking for an off-roader look towards the Ranger or perhaps even the Kuga, the EcoSport is best kept to the tarmac and a little bit of water wading fun in the city.

Overall score: 16/20

JERRICA LEONG

Specifications
On Sale
Now
Price
RM100,800.00 on-the-road without insurance inclusive of GST as tested
Engine
1498cc, Inline 4, 1.5-litre Ti-VCT Multipoint Fuel Injection, 109bhp @ 6300rpm, 142Nm @ 4400rpm
Transmission
Six-speed Powershift Automatic
Length/ width/ height/ wheelbase (mm)
4273/ 1765/ 1675/ 2519mm
 

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