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Ford EcoSport diesel review, test drive

There’s no doubting the immense popularity of the compact SUV segment in India, something that is proven by the Renault Duster’s rapid climb up the sales charts ever since its debut here. But now, there’s a new contender in the form of Ford’s EcoSport.

There's no doubting the immense popularity of the compact SUV segment in India, something that is proven by the Renault Duster's rapid climb up the sales charts ever since its debut here. But now, there's a new contender in the form of Ford's EcoSport. It's even smaller than the Renault (it's under four metres long), but Ford clearly thinks it has what it takes to take on the reigning king.

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Is Ford's latest offering up to the task then?

The EcoSport, when it's launched, will be available with three engine options - the petrol and diesel engines from the Fiesta, as well as a brand new 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged, direct-injection petrol motor, called the EcoBoost. We've sampled a car powered by the EcoBoost already, so today we're driving the 89bhp, 1.5-litre turbo-diesel engine, and our first impressions are pretty good. This powerplant's ready responses and instant power delivery at low to medium engine speeds makes it very easy to drive in traffic. The Ford is happy to amble around in third gear, even at speeds as low as 30-40kph, and tap the accelerator and it picks up the pace quite rapidly. What further aids tractability is its five-speed manual gearbox, which is light and has a nice mechanical feel to it.

However, out on the highway is where the EcoSport begins to feel a bit away from its comfort zone. It tends to run out of breath, particularly when you have to execute a high-speed overtaking move.That said, the EcoSport's refinement is quite impressive. The motor feels composed for the most part and only gets a bit noisier closer to the redline. The Ford managed to set some brisk times in our acceleration test. It took 13.72 seconds to reach 100kph while it reached a top-speed of 168kph.

  • First Published Date : 29 May 2013, 10:09 AM IST