Ford: EcoSport Titanium 2014 review

Ford: EcoSport Titanium 2014 review

When I was in my teens in the late ‘80s our 80-year old neighbour, Mrs Moss, had kept her 1950s Morris Minor because she didn’t like all these new cars that were too low for her to get in and out of. Her aging hips wanted a seat she could slide across into rather than fall into. It was the second thing that this Ford EcoSport reminded me of; the first thing was Tweetie Pie, the yellow bird, from the cartoons of the 1940s and ‘50s.

Ford EcoSport Titanium 2014 front interiorUnfortunately for the EcoSport is has some of the same problems as the Morris Minor: it lacks power and it’s noisy at speed. While the EcoSport wasn’t too bad around town, it’s really not suited to open road motoring if you are driving on hills. With its lack of power and torque it loses speed quickly, even on gentle gradients, so you give it a bit more gas, and still nothing. Then, without warning the automatic gearbox chops down a couple of gears where you have to rev all 82kW and 140Nm of the 1.5-litre engine into a frenzy to regain the 9kph you lost.

I took it on a drive down the motorway from Auckland City to the top of the Bombays. It didn’t like the hills. It was exceptionally windy that day which exacerbated the EcoSport’s existing wind noise problem, and it really was a handful to keep in a straighFord EcoSport Titanium 2014 rear seatst line – it’s got a short wheelbase and it’s tall, so crosswinds are its nemesis. I then headed east towards Miranda then back around to Papakura via Hunua and up the motorway again. Once on the secondary roads you can feel the body roll in the corners and it doesn’t only roll, but it bounces, too. There’s plenty of braking, though as it’s a fairly light car (less than 1300kg) on 205/60R16 tyres so there’s enough rubber on the road.

Fuel economy is quoted at 6.5l/100km, and you’ll need to put 95-octane petrol in the tank.

The EcoSport is Ford’s latest entry into the comFord EcoSport Titanium 2014 rear quarterpact SUV segment and while the Kuga is excellent (a friend even bought a new one on my recommendation and loves it), the EcoSport doesn’t meet the same high standards. It’s not about the features: for the price ($32,990) the EcoSport has plenty going for it with leather upholstery, reversing sensors, automatic lights and wipers, Bluetooth (hands-free phone and audio streaming), all the safety acronyms you need (ABS, TCS, EBD, EBA, DSC [ESC], hill launch assist, 7 airbags and a 5-star ANCAP crash rating). It also has a huge boot for a car of its length (346 litres with the seats up). The rear door opens sideways which is better for short people but it feels a little heavy.

Ford EcoSport Titanium 2014 badge 2The looks aren’t going to be for everyone. It was designed in Brazil and is built in India and is supposed to be a ‘world car’ for Ford, based on the Fiesta platform. Supplying a press vehicle in yellow probably wasn’t the best move because they look way better in black.

When you’re inside you’ll forget about the exterior looks, except that there’s a huge blind spot made by the A pillar. The seats, despite looking nice in leather, are hard – my passenger was complaining before we were even 10 minutes off the motorway.

To wrap it up I really think this car doesn’t do the other Fords justice. It is a budget model, but perhaps it’s stretching itself a little thin in Titanium trim. You can have an excellent Fiesta or Mondeo or a brilliant Kuga. I like the Falcon, and the Ranger is king of the utes. But I can’t say the same about the EcoSport. I can see where it has its uses – as a city car it’s eminently practical and it does have its luxuries – but I found myself avoiding driving it because I just didn’t like it, and that’s not a good thing.

If you really love the styling and you want a crossover SUV-style town car, try it because as far as compact SUVs go, it’s reasonably cheap. Your best bet as a competitor is the Holden Trax LTZ which looks and drives much better for the same money. Also remember that if you can put up with a car and not a compact SUV you can have a VW Polo TSI for five grand cheaper, and there are plenty of other options, too.

Price: $32,990

Pros

  • Good seating position
  • Large boot for the size of car

Cons

  • Coarse and noisy
  • Lacks power
  • Not the prettiest girl at the party

Words and pictures:

« | »

Let us know what you think

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Road Tests

Silver Sponsors

Car and SUV Team

Richard-Edwards-2016Richard Edwards

Managing editor

linkedinphotoDarren Cottingham

Motoring writer

robertbarry-headRobert Barry

Chief reporter

Ian-Ferguson-6Ian Ferguson

Advertising Consultant

debDeborah Baxter

Operations Manager

RSS Latest News from Autotalk

RSS Latest News from Dieseltalk

Read previous post:
2014 Jazz RS Sport 3:4 front
Honda: 2014 Jazz RS Sport review

You know the advertising campaign for a new Honda model works when you wake up in the dead of night...

Close