We have the Mahindra Scorpio for the brute force on any terrain and Maruti’s Swift for the best daily commuter in India but where does this leave the Ford Ecosport and why has this particular car received so much appreciation in a country like India?
It was the year 2013, when Ford Ecosport began a journey in what could be termed as a revolution in compact SUV segment, offering the drivability of a hatchback and the road presence of an SUV, coupled with some class leading features to add the feel called ‘premium’.
Over the years, the Ford EcoSport received only a few variant revisions as well as more features were added to keep its competition at bay, however, the competition is getting stiffer with each passing day as the segment has seen new entrants like Tata Nexon, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and TUV 300.
Fast forward to today, Ford EcoSport Facelift is all set to be launched in India on 9th November, however as the unofficial booking of the mid-life update commence through dealerships across the country, we take a look at why the Ford EcoSport Facelift took so much time in the making.
And Man!! It’s Time Well Spent.
‘Facelifts’ have an image of their own and many times it means a few cosmetic updates as well as some tweaking here and there, however, Ford EcoSport Facelift is a whole new story and it is indeed the American maker’s move to fight back with the competition.
Ford EcoSport Facelift’s updates are not limited to the upholstery nor they end with some sort of new bonnet, rather it is an update to the core.
Ford EcoSport Facelift: What’s New In This Actual ‘Face’ Lift?
In terms of design, Ford Ecosport Facelift gets a new front fascia, which seems to be slightly above it’s competing class. The tweaked bumper houses a restyled single-piece grille, LED daytime running lights, bigger headlamps with projector lens as well as fog lamps and a noticeable hump on the bonnet.
All these cosmetic changes give the 2017 Ford Ecosport a much more aggressive stance front the front while at the rear, the boot-mounted spare wheel now gets a different cover there are some minor tweaks in the rear bumper, as well.
There isn’t much to notice from the side profile as apart from the redesigned alloy wheels, revised OVRMs and larger elongated roof rails, rest remains the same. A closer look, however, would reveal that 17-inches diamond wheels now comes as standard.
2017 Ford Ecosport Facelift gets LED backlit scuff plates which light up with the EcoSport branding and the biggest interior update that catches one’s eye is the refreshed dashboard layout.
A bigger floating 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system (only for top-end trims as other variants get smaller 6.5-inch unit) which supports SYNC 3, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity sits atop of the central AC vents while the circular climate control system has been ditched in favor of auto AC fascia like the one found in Figo siblings (not included in base variant). The new SYNC 3 brings in voice commands for phone calls and music.
The steering wheel is all new and gets, even more, buttons to push while the instrument cluster has also been updated with a MID housed between the tachometer and speedometer. Ford Ecosport Facelift will also get cruise control, a speed limiter as well as a rear-view camera while all-black cabin and leather upholstery are limited to top trims.
Although ABS comes as standard, the 2017 Ford EcoSport comes with six airbags on the top trims, while other variants offer dual front airbags, except for the base one. In addition, Ford has added its ‘Emergency Assistance’ system as an additional feature which will automatically call emergency services in case of an accident.
Other features include ABS with EBD as standard, auto door unlocks with light flashing on a crash, rear door child safety lock as standard, paddle-shifters with automatic transmission, tyre pressure monitoring system, backlit dual USB ports, projector headlamps and reverse parking camera.
While the petrol-automatic trim will get traction control, hill start assist and ESC, the top-end variant will get side and curtain airbags as well as Isofix rear-child seat mounts.
Under the hood, Ford EcoSport Facelift will get a new 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine, producing 123PS/150Nm. This engine is said to replace both the 1.0-litre EcoBoost and 1.5-litre Ti-VCT, 4-cylinder engines.
The new petrol engine will be offered with both a 5-speed manual and a new 6-speed automatic transmission. To make things even more interesting, Ford might launch the 2017 Ecosport with all the three petrol engines.
Diesel fanatics, however, will have to make do with the outgoing 1.5-litre TDCi engine producing 100PS/205Nm coupled with a 5-speed manual transmission.
The 2017 Ford EcoSport facelift is expected to receive a marginal price hike due to a pretty generous list of added features, which are present from the entry-level variant itself.
While the current model starts at Rs 7.21 lakh and goes all the way up to Rs 10.92 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi), it still remains to be seen whether the 2017 Ford EcoSport facelift with a new engine will help Ford retake its crown in the ever so competitive compact SUV segment.