The gears within the auto industry continue shifting with model and derivative updates happening as scheduled but with no fanfare – the Ford EcoSport the latest to see range changes with the addition of an automatic for the Amiente models and some spec upgrades on the others.
“The compact SUV category grew substantially with the maiden launch of the EcoSport in South Africa in 2013, and the model has dominated this class ever since,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager Marketing at FMCSA. “The introduction of a six-speed automatic transmission for the EcoSport 1.5 Ambiente represents another trend-setting move for this successful model, which now also offers the best value for money automatic in the entry-level compact utility segment.
“Paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox and the 91 kW 1,5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, the EcoSport Ambiente is a unique and compelling proposition that offers exceptional value for money,” Mashinini adds. “It is ideally suited to active individuals and families where the convenience of an automatic makes it perfect for busy city driving, while delivering comfortable and hassle-free open-road cruising.”
In addition to the new Ambiente model, the EcoSport Trend and Titanium derivatives benefit from the inclusion of Ford’s Collision Mitigation System – a pre-collision assist feature that alerts the driver of a potential collision with the vehicle ahead, pre-charges the brakes and, if necessary, applies maximum braking pressure once the driver presses the brake pedal.
Cruise control with an adaptive speed limiter has now been added to the Trend models, while the Titanium gains front parking sensors to complement the rear sensors that are standard across the range. An underbody protection shield on Trend and Titanium models makes the EcoSport more robust for less-than-perfect roads in combination with its 206 mm ground clearance.
“These attributes, combined with the EcoSport’s impressive list of safety, comfort and convenience features, plus a standard 4-year/60 000km service plan, ensure that the expanded range is more appealing and competitive than ever,” says Mashinini.
With the addition of the new model, a total of seven EcoSport derivatives are available, starting off with the 1.5 Ambiente in five-speed manual or the new six-speed automatic version. The three-cylinder 1,5-litre petrol engine available in the Ambiente auto’ delivers 91 kW and 151 Nm of torque. A 1,5-litre TDCi turbo-diesel model is also available in Ambiente trim, producing 74 kW and 205 Nm, linked to a six-speed manual gearbox.
The 1.0 EcoBoost engine, which produces 92 kW and 170 Nm, powers the Trend and Titanium models, which can be specified with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
Active driving safety features across the board include anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control (TC), as well as Roll Stability Control (RSC) in the EcoBoost range, that adjusts engine torque and braking to help drivers maintain control. The 1.0 EcoBoost-powered models are also equipped with Hill Launch Assist (HLA) that makes pulling off on steep inclines easier, along with Ford’s Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
All EcoSport models come standard with Ford Protect which includes a 4-year/60 000 km service plan, three-year unlimited distance roadside assistance and 4-year/120 000 km comprehensive warranty. This is complemented by a five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty. Service intervals are every 15 000 km.
EcoSport 1.5 Ambiente 5MT R279 700
EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Ambiente 5MT R289 900
EcoSport 1.5 Ambiente 6AT R297 600
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6MT R319 200
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6AT R333 900
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6MT R357 000
EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6AT R370 400