We take a drive in the Ford Ecosport 1.0 Titanium and see if this pint-sized crossover can tick all the boxes.
StylingI do like the looks of the Ford Ecosport 1.0 Titanium. It's an interesting looking vehicle and in a market shared by over 50 brands, you'll want something that stands out a bit. It has macho looks and looks ready to scamper about. Sadly the tough looks are just that, looks as it's not a dedicated 4x4. More on that later.
Ford Ecosport 1.0 Titanium enginePowering this Ford Fiesta on stilts is the acclaimed and award-winning 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine. It's a technological marvel and combines a healthy power output with good fuel economy - vital as yet another petrol price increase looms.
This 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine puts out 92 kW and 170 Nm, which puts it in the same league as some bigger 1.8-litre engines. Fuel economy is this engine's forté and while Ford claims a figure in the low 5s, I could only manage 8l/100km. My excuse is that great-sounding little engine and wanting to hear it purr...
FeaturesStandard specification is quite generous and the car comes with the brilliant Ford SYNC, which is essentially a voice-controlled system for audio. There's cruise control, satellite controls for the audio system on the steering wheel, auto wipers, auto headlamps, a USB port located by the handbrake, aux slot, Bluetooth connectivity and the cabin is dripping with practicality.
There are little storage compartments everywhere, and I'm thankful for the cup holders in the centre to hold my mobile phone and house keys. There's even a chilled glovebox which is perfect for keeping a bottle of water cool.
Speaking of practicality, the rear isn't small and the boot has impressive depth. The added space comes from having the full-size spare wheel outside the car, which makes the car look butch. The boot's handle is cleverly integrated into the right tail light and the space is fairly generous. Leather seats are fitted as standard and offer decent support on longer journeys. It's safe, with all the features you'd need to avoid losing stability.
Pleasant to driveIt's a good drive too, with the little Eco engine providing adequate power. Overtaking requires a little planning as you'll need to have the engine in the sweet spot for maximum grunt. Thankfully the gearbox is a solid and precise unit, which makes it a pleasure to work the transmission.
It has great ground clearance too, which makes it useful if ever you decide to try a bit of offroading. Ford claims you can wade through about 60cm of water without flooding the engine - useful if ever you're caught in a sudden mini flood. That's where the offroad credentials stop though, as the lack of an all-wheel drive system makes this car a bit of an offroad wannabe. You know the type of guy I'm talking about. The man who spends thousands of Rands on branded mountain gear, but then never heads for the trails. This is its motoring equivalent. What a pity.
SummaryMy issues are with the vehicle's build quality. The Ford Fiesta (which this is based on) is a fantastic car and combines a fun-to-drive nature with generous specification along with some good engines. The Ford Ecosport 1.0 Titanium is made in India, along with the Ford Figo and there are a few things I'm not happy with.
The ride refinement could be better. I could feel the engine's vibrations through the steering wheel and pedals, which fortunately is an easy fix. Some of the interior finishes feel a bit cheap too. Luckily this can all be fixed with a simple facelift at the next stage of the product's cycle. Otherwise it's a solid product, perfect for mums taking the little ones to school.
Ford Ecosport 1.0 Titanium price in South AfricaPricing for the Ford Ecosport 1.0 Titanium is R249 900. The car is sold with a four-year or 120 000km warranty and four-year or 60 000km service plan. Service intervals are 20 000 km intervals for the petrol models and 15 000 km for the oil burner.
Ford Ecosport 1.0 Titanium (2013) Quick Specs
|Engine||1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol|
|Power||92 kW @ 6 000 rpm|
|Torque||170 Nm @ 1 400 rpm|
|Transmission||5-speed manual gearbox|
|0-100km/h||12.7 seconds (claimed)|
|Fuel economy||5.7l/100km (claimed)|
. Great engine . Features . Fun to drive