Ford tells us that its all-new EcoSport SUV offers drivers the perfect combination of small car agility, affordability, and fuel efficiency, with the flexibility and spaciousness customers expect from an SUV, all in one stylish and connected package, with an entry level price of €23,995. Wow, I cannot wait to see and drive it, but can it be that good? writes Padraic Deane.
Well it certainly is a fact that the all-new EcoSport is the first SUV in the world to offer a 1.0-litre engine and is among the first Ford vehicles in Europe to be offered with Ford SYNC with AppLink. The latter enables drivers to voice-control smartphone apps while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
EcoSport is the first Ford global model to be developed entirely in South America. First introduced in 2003, Ford created the segment in Brazil and has since sold more than 770,000 of the first EcoSport models in the region. Ford engineers and designers from more than 15 countries worked together to develop the all-new EcoSport that is launched amid increasing demand for SUVs in Europe.
In fact, Ford projects that between 2013 and 2018, sales of all SUVs in Europe will increase by 22 per cent, and sales of small SUVs, like EcoSport, will increase by 90 per cent.
Ford’s first global SUV, EcoSport features stylish looks with a short bonnet, raked front pillars, and a distinctive chrome front grille with angular headlamps and signature LED light strips.
Ford claims that the full-sized spare wheel mounted on the tailgate ensures the EcoSport’s load capacity rivals that of many medium-sized family cars with up to 375 litres available when the rear seats are in place, depending on the rake of the seats.
Ford also say that the EcoSport also delivers a commanding driving position with the driver’s seat height adjustable and the steering column adjustable for both reach and rake.
The new EcoSport will be offered with the highly-acclaimed turbocharged 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine – the 2012 and 2013 International Engine of the Year - it certainly got my vote as the Irish juror. This engine delivers performance to rival a traditional 1.6-litre engine, but with significantly better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.
The 125 PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost achieves 6.6 l/100km (or 43 mpg ) and 125g/km CO2. EcoSport also offers a 112 PS 1.5-litre petrol engine that can achieve 7.9 l/100km (or 36 mpg ) with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. A 91 PS 1.5-litre diesel engine achieves 4.9 l/100km (58 mpg ) with 120g/km CO2 emissions.
Ford boasts that the steering and handling of the all-new EcoSport offers the same fun-to-drive DNA that has received acclaim in the new Fiesta.
The Ford SYNC in-car connectivity system will enable owners to voice-activate phone calls and select music from devices connected via Bluetooth or USB. And Ford's SYNC with AppLink will enable EcoSport owners to be among the first Ford drivers to voice-activate apps, including leading music streaming service Spotify; the TomTom turn by turn navigation service with audible instructions and on-screen mapping; and Hotels.com that enables booking of rooms in 145,000 hotels in 19,000 destinations worldwide.
The EcoSport series and powertrain details for Ireland are (with tax band in brackets ): Titanium 1.0 EcoBoost (B1 ); Titanium 1.5 TDCi (A4 ); and Titanium 1.5 TiVCT (C ).
More complete details on specification and pricing will be issued at the time of the launch of EcoSport in Ireland.