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REVIEW: Ford EcoSport 1.0T Titanium auto

Published Jun 24, 2022

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REVIEW: Ford EcoSport 1.0T Titanium auto

Johannesburg – When the Ford EcoSport first hit the streets nine years ago it became an instant hit, and the little pavement hopper soon commanded around 40% of the compact SUV market.

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Of course, there is a lot more competition in that segment nowadays so that share has gone down, but despite this the EcoSport is still a strong seller, with monthly sales averaging around 700 units this year so far.

Part of the secret is that Ford has kept it fresh over the years, with a 2018 upgrade having brought a new look and modernised cabin, and more recently Ford added the Active model to the line-up with a slightly more rugged look (read more about it here).

To keep us acquainted with the compact SUV model, Ford recently sent us a range-topping EcoSport 1.0T Titanium auto model to play with for a week.

And play with it we did.

I took a few friends to a Parkrun on a farm near Walkerville one Saturday morning and the route eventually took us onto a dirt road with some large potholes that seemed cleverly hidden at times. The EcoSport remained comfortable and composed even over these harsher surfaces, with its 206mm of ground clearance giving it an advantage over many of its more low-slung crossover rivals.

And that’s the thing. The Ford EcoSport is one of the few compact SUVs that actually looks like an SUV.

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One downside to its tall stance is that there is a fair amount of body roll through corners, but this is counteracted to a degree by a well honed chassis inherited from the Fiesta as well as grippy 17-inch alloy wheels on the Titanium.

The EcoSport feels surefooted on tar and dirt, and the steering is accurate and communicative, which inspires confidence at speed.

Power comes from the familiar 1.0-litre turbocharged engine, which feels refined for a three-cylinder unit. It produces a healthy 92kW and 170Nm, however the tall body shape and 1336kg kerb weight mean performance isn’t as effortless as it is in the equivalent Fiesta.

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Nonetheless the engine ticks over comfortably at around 2500rpm on the highway, but it does need to be worked hard (which can make things a bit noisy) when brisk acceleration is required.

Our car came with the six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox, which can get a little frenetic at times if I have to nitpick, but buyers can also opt for a manual transmission.

Fuel consumption on my mostly rural weekend route amounted to 7.2 litres per 100km. After resetting for some town driving, the on-board readout hovered around the 10 L/100km mark for the remainder of our test period.

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The EcoSport’s cabin has aged rather well, largely thanks to the 2018 facelift bringing a more digitised and ergonomic dashboard. Material quality is decent by compact SUV standards and the Titanium’s leather and cloth upholstery combination for the seats looks quite classy.

The little Ford is falling behind in terms of packaging though, as rear legroom is on the tight side. On the upside, the 333 litre boot is more than adequate by class standards and although the surface area isn’t exactly vast, the deep luggage compartment does provide plenty of vertical packing space.

In terms of cabin tech, the EcoSport Titanium comes with an 8.0-inch Sync3 infotainment system (Trend models ship with a 6.5” screen). The screen is perched at the top of the dashboard and although the graphics are hardly cutting-edge, the system is user-friendly and there’s also built-in navigation for the flagship model.

Other standard features in the Titanium include cruise control, push-button start, automatic climate control, seven airbags and ESC stability control.

VERDICT

The Ford EcoSport remains a popular compact SUV choice but the range-topping model that we sampled is getting a little expensive, at R416 900. If you’re shopping below the R400 000 mark though, the Trend and Active models are well worth a look-in.

Overall, the EcoSport has aged rather well and although there are a few blemishes, including interior practicality, it remains a competent product in this booming market.

IOL Motoring

Related Topics:

Car ReviewsFordSUV

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