The Ford EcoSport effectively kick-started the compact SUV segment but has since then lost market share to rivals like the Maruti Vitara Brezza and the Tata Nexon. In response, Ford gave the EcoSport a comprehensive facelift which included updated exteriors and interiors, a new petrol engine, a new automatic gearbox and more equipment. The refreshed model now also comes with new top-spec variants – S, which gets the 1-litre EcoBoost engine, and the Signature Edition. Priced between Rs 7.82-11.89 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), can the updated EcoSport stack up impressively when compared to its rivals? Let us find out.
While the new Ford EcoSport is still broadly similar to its predecessor (at least in silhouette) there is no mistaking that striking new face. Most prominent is the new Ford family grille, flanked by larger headlamps that house projector units and LED daytime-running lamps. The bumper is also new, with triangular housings for the fogs and indicators. The EcoSport hasn’t really changed in profile, save for the new-design 17-inch alloys and the rear, which is more or less unchanged, too. Customers are bound to appreciate the retention of the hatch-mounted spare wheel. The S-trim gets the option of a dual-tone exterior, while the Signature Edition gets a special blue finish.
The Maruti Vitara Brezza, despite its relatively straightforward styling, has won favour with Indian buyers on account of its traditional, two-box SUV appeal. The contrast-coloured roof also appeals to the country's populace. The Brezza’s SUV-styling is further augmented by its 198mm ground clearance.
The Tata Nexon's coupé-like styling gives it a very distinctive look. It has lots of flowing lines and unique design elements; such as the horizontal strip that divides the headlamp housing, contrast-coloured roof and ceramic finish around the headlamps, tail-lamps and fog lamps. The Nexon also looks very SUV-like on account of its 200mm ground clearance.
|Ford EcoSport||Maruti Vitara Brezza||Tata Nexon|
|Boot space||352 litres||328 litres||350 litres|
The new EcoSport features a new cabin, complete with a new dash and new seats. Dominating the dash is the new, floating touchscreen with Ford’s latest SYNC 3 infotainment system. The seats are more comfortable than before, and the features and equipment list is longer: the top-spec automatic variant now gets cruise control, a tyre pressure monitoring system, automatic headlamps and wipers, dual-USB ports, steering-mounted audio and trip controls, a rear camera and paddle shifters. In terms of safety, the higher trim gets six airbags and ABS with EBD, along with electronic stability control, traction control, hill-launch assist and emergency brake assist for the automatic variant. The new EcoSport does not get on-board satnav but it does have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The new top-spec variants also get a sunroof, a tweaked instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch display, a tyre pressure monitoring system and dual-tone interiors.
The Vitara Brezza has an ergonomic cabin with plenty of storage space. The top-spec variant comes with Maruti’s SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system, a rear camera, automatic headlamps and wipers, satellite navigation and cruise control. In terms of safety, the Brezza gets only two airbags.
The Tata Nexon too has a well-equipped cabin. You get a 6.5-inch touchscreen, climate control, rear AC vents, a Harman stereo system with eight speakers (on the top-spec variant) and a chunky drive mode controller to switch between Eco, City and Sport mode. The doors also get umbrella holders – which is a nice touch.
Engines and performance
One of the biggest changes in the new EcoSport is the new Dragon-series petrol engine. Ford has replaced the previous 1.5-litre ‘Sigma’ petrol engine with a new 1.5-litre Dragon series engine. This new motor makes 123hp of power at 6,500rpm and 150Nm of torque at 4,500rpm and comes mated to a five-speed manual (with a six-speed automatic option) in the top variant. The diesel engine is carried over unchanged from before: its 1.5-litre unit is good for 100hp at 3,750rpm and 205Nm of torque at 1,750-3,250rpm. The diesel only comes with a five-speed manual gearbox. The new top-spec S-variant has brought the 1-litre EcoBoost engine back to the EcoSport in the same state of tune – 125hp and 170Nm of peak torque. The new bit added, mechanically speaking, is that the five-speed manual gearbox has been replaced with an updated six-speed manual. The Signature Edition comes with the same powertrain as the standard EcoSport.
The Brezza comes with only a diesel engine, the Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre unit that also powers several other Marutis. It makes 90hp at 4,000rpm and 200Nm of torque at 1,750rpm and comes with a five-speed manual, only. The Brezza is the lightest car in this comparison, which makes up for its lower power figure, at least to an extent. The model has recently been equipped with a five-speed AMT automatic as well.
The Nexon houses all-new engines under the hood. The petrol engine is a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder unit that puts out 110hp and 170Nm of torque, whereas the diesel is a 1.5-litre unit putting out 110hp and 260Nm of torque. Both engines currently come with the option of a six-speed manual and a six-speed automated manual gearbox.
|Ford EcoSport Petrol||Ford EcoSport Diesel||Ford EcoSport Petrol S||Maruti Vitara Brezza||Tata Nexon Petrol||Tata Nexon Diesel|
|Type||Three-cylinder, naturally aspirated||Four-cylinder, turbocharged||Three-cylinder, turbo-petrol||Four-cylinder, turbocharged||Three-cylinder, turbocharged||Four-cylinder, turbocharged|
|Valvetrain||4 valves per cylinder, DOHC||4 valves per cylinder, DOHC||4 valves per cylinder, DOHC||4 valves per cylinder, DOHC||4 valves per cylinder, DOHC||4 valves per cylinder, DOHC|
|Power||123hp at 6500rpm||100hp at 3750rpm||125hp at 6000rpm||90hp at 4000rpm||110hp at 5000rpm||110hp at 3750rpm|
|Torque||150Nm at 4500rpm||205Nm at 1750-3250rpm||170Nm at 1500-4500rpm||200Nm at 1750rpm||170Nm at 1750-4000rpm||260Nm at 1500-2750rpm|
|Transmission||5-speed manual/6-speed auto||5-speed manual||6-speed manual||5-speed manual/5-speed AMT||6-speed manual/6-speed AMT||6-speed manual/6-speed AMT|
The EcoSport petrol engine variants (Dragon and EcoBoost) are priced between Rs 7.31-11.37 lakh while the diesel range has a price tag between Rs 8.01-11.89 lakh (prices ex-showroom, India). The Brezza, on the other hand, costs between Rs 7.52-10.49 lakh (including the AMT and dual-tone versions), while the Nexon is priced more aggressively, starting at Rs 6.16 lakh for the petrol and Rs 7.19 lakh for the diesel; and going up to Rs 9.62 lakh for the petrol and Rs 10.59 lakh for the diesel (prices for the Maruti Vitara Brezza and Tata Nexon are ex-showroom, Delhi).
|Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi)|
|Ford EcoSport||Maruti Vitara Brezza||Tata Nexon |
|Petrol||Rs 7.31-11.37 lakh||Rs 6.16-9.62 lakh|
|Diesel||Rs 8.01-10.49 lakh||Rs 7.52-10.49 lakh||Rs 7.19-10.59 lakh|
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