The Ecosport has been one of the most selling car models from the brand since launched in 2013. And with the increased demand for automatic transmission in the current car market for easy day-to-day driving, Ford has decided to now offer a 6-speed automatic transmission in the entry-level model, Ecosport Ambiente. I took it on a weekend adventure to Franschhoek, to see what it has to offer.
- Model: Ford Ecosport Ambiente 1.5
- Engine: 1.5- Litre 3-cylinder N/A petrol
- Power & Torque: 91 kW & 151 Nm
- Transmission: 6-speed Automatic
- Fuel consumption: 6.9 Litre / 100 km (Claimed)
- Price: R322 700
Stylish with an Adventurous look, contrasting black grille, and halogen headlights with fog lamps surrounded by black trim, the Ecosport rides on 16-inch steel wheels and stands 206mm tall from the ground which gives you a feel that you can take it anywhere #GoFurther. Black door handle, black plastic cladding on the side, and a full-size rear-mounted spare wheel on the tailgate complements the look of the Ecosport.
The cabin of the Ecosport Ambiente looks and feels well put together with most of the trims/panels made of hard plastic which feel like they will last very long.
Steering wheel with mounted controls for the audio, phone, and car setting which helps you navigate through cars info such as the trip meter, fuel consumption. Display in the small monochrome display in the middle of the analog instrument cluster.
The seats are made of strong cloth material and are very comfortable with height adjustment for the driver seat and ISOFIX child seat anchor at the back. The rear seats are just as comfortable at the front, but slightly tight in terms of legroom for taller passengers.
As for the infotainment system, the EcoSport Ambiente does not come with any fancy touch screen display with Apple car play and Android Auto, but a 4.2-inch SYNC color non-touchscreen which has a radio and iPod (MP3) functionality. Topped up with 6 speakers, x2 USB ports, and a 12V power socket.
The range starter EcoSport Ambiente also comes with electric windows all around, manual air-conditioning, and rear parking sensors.
Easy to drive and maneuver around town, the steering feels precise and sharp. Under the bonnet hides a 1.5 L 3-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine developing 91kW and 151Nm of torque. Paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The performance of the naturally aspirated engine wasn’t the most impressive. to be honest, with its peak torque being around 3700-4000 rpm, the car struggled a little bit when overtaking, and tackling steep inclines. the transmission takes a little while to drop down to lower gears to provide a higher torque to pull away. I believe this can be much easier with the turbocharged engine or with the 5-speed manual transmission.
At highway speeds, the car feels really stable and comfortable with good sound insulation from the outside noise. Taking a short left through some vineyards gravel roads, the ride quality was surprisingly impressive, with the suspensions smoothly soaking up the bumps and 206mm of ground clearance.
The Ecosport is decently spacious and practical with plenty of storage compartments inside, a luggage capacity of 333Liters which can even be extended further to 705 liters when the rear seats are folded to a 60:40 split and could be very helpful to store bigger and longer items such as surfboard.
After a long week of mixed driving terrain, I managed to achieve an average fuel consumption of 7.7L/100km over the 6.9L claimed by Ford.
When it comes to safety, Ford has made sure that you and your passengers will go on an adventure safely with six airbags, childproof rear door lock as standard, along with other safety features such as ABS with Brake Assist, EBD, ESC, and emergency brake assist.
Despite the 1.5 naturally aspirated engine not being the most impressive in terms of performance, I enjoyed my time with the Ford Ecosport Ambiente. it is a very good all-rounder compact crossover, fairly equipped with all the essential features and a fuel-efficient engine. I believe is worth considering especially for small families or anyone who want something dynamic.
The Ford EcoSport range is priced as follows
ECOSPORT 1.5 TDCi AMBIENTE 5MT R314,400
ECOSPORT 1.5 AMBIENTE 6AT R322 700
ECOSPORT 1.0 ECOBOOST TREND 6MT R346 100
ECOSPORT 1.0 ECOBOOST TREND 6AT R361 900
ECOSPORT 1.0 ECOBOOST TITANIUM 6MT R387 000
ECOSPORT 1.0 ECOBOOST TITANIUM 6AT R401,500
All prices include a 4-years/60 000 km service plan, 4-years/ 120 000 km warranty with 15 000 km intervals.