A few weeks ago I headed to the Midlands for the launch of the new Ford EcoSport, where we cruised highways, avoided many potholes, rode on gravel, and rounded many bends smoothly and safely.
The EcoSport is an SUV that’s reliable, affordable in its class, and a pleasure to drive, and it’s a comfy bigger car if you want something higher than a sedan, but not as fuel-guzzling and grand as a 4×4. It will comfortably fit your brood at the back (at least two in infant seats, and three without) and pram and bags in the boot.
The 2013 model has been one of the best-selling SUVs, and has been a hit with smaller families, and those wanting a medium-sized utility car that they can zip to work in, and then head out with on various road trips, getaways and mini adventures on the weekend.
There are five models in the line, from a 1.5 litre five-speed manual Ambient at the bottom of the range, and going up to the 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6-speed auto. In between the two is the 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6-speed in manual or automatic. We drove the automatic Trend and Titanium, and while both are good drives, I unsurprisingly preferred the Titanium as it’s got more power (or what I call vavavoom). The Titanium also comes with a keyless entry, so you merely push a button to start or stop a car.
The new model has been spruced up with a new-look bonnet, grille, bumpers, and head and tail lights.
The practical things you might love include:
- Two coffee cup holders in the front (I’m not even going to pretend that this isn’t important), plus the side doors have pockets and cup holders
- The rear seats fold down flat so that you can transport long or large things
- There’s the SYNC touchscreen system, which connect your Bluetooth and USB devices so that you can make and receive calls, play music or have your text messages read out. You can also see who’s calling, and what song is playing. There are also controls on the steering wheel, and two USB ports
- There’s an onboard GPS
- There are front, side and curtain airbags
- There are rear parking sensors
- There are seven colours to choose from: I’d take the Smoke or Moondust Silver in a heartbeat)
Looking to upgrade? Here are the prices to take note of:
EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Ambiente 5-speed manual: R264 500
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6-speed manual: R287 500
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6-speed automatic: R300 700
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6-speed automatic: R327 800
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6-speed automatic: R339 900
All models come standard with a 4-year/120 000km warranty, 4-year/60 000km service plan, 3-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and 5-year/unlimited kilometre corrosion warranty.