The Ford Ecosport started the sub 4 metre compact SUV rage in India. Even, today despite the competition having joined the fray, the Ecosport has managed to hold its own. For 2017, Ford gave the Ecosport a mid life maker over and a substantial one at that. Ford India was kind to send Throttle-Blips a swanky ‘Lightning Blue’ Blue Ecosport petrol automatic as a long termer and its been just over a month that we have been driving it around. Here’s what its been like to live with so far.
On the exterior, the 2017 Ecosport gets a new front grille which has a very mature look and I personally prefer this one over the older unit. There are new headlamps with funky LED DRLs, a new bumper and the turn indicators have been shifted to the fog lamps. This top end Titanium+ gets 17 inch alloys and this design looks super cool. The rear remains unchanged with only a silver insert added to the rear bumper. The rear wiper is also frameless. It’s also good to see that the spare wheel on the tail gate has been retained.
Getting into the Ecosport is easy. With the key in your pocket, just press the integrated sensor on the top of the door handle to lock or unlock. The ORVMs also auto fold and open when doing so. I am a big fan of all black interiors and the Ecosport certainly made me happy in that department. The hard plastics at some places are not that great but over all build, fit and finish is great. The silver trims on the centre console and other places add a nice contrast. The steering wheel wrapped in leather is nice to hold and features controls for the audio and cruise control. There are paddle shifters too. The new instrument cluster looks cheap but on the flip side is clear and easy to read. The MID too could have been a size larger and could do with better graphics. It is controlled by a button on the steering wheel. There’s leather upholstery too which comes with contrast white stitching. Front seats are comfortable but there is no adjust for lumbar support. The rear is good for only two occupants. A full house at the back makes for a very cramped affair.
What I really love about the Ford is its new 8-inch touch screen system. Easily the best around. I found it better than some cars from higher segments as well. The graphics are crisp, the fonts are larger and easy to read and response is fantastic. There is no lag whatsoever. The system can be totally customized to suit your needs, including ring tone, sms tone and even the ambient lighting colour can be selected. Every time you adjust the volume of the sound system, it is displayed on the screen. Ditto for the climate control. There’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. The navigation works well too. The screen doubles up as a display for the reverse camera. The camera gets adaptive guidelines and there is a zoom function as well. While I personally reverse using only the mirrors, this works well in tight situations for sure.