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Old 28th March 2016, 14:24   #1
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Default A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!

A Short Note before starting: This car has not been purchased for me. It was purchased by my in-laws family in Calicut, Kerala. I was closely involved through out the purchase process and hence have all the needed info. In addition, I have been driving the car here in Bangalore for the last week and will be driving it a lot over the course of the next month and on a fairly regular basis even after that. Hence I believe I have enough information for an initial ownership report and will be able to keep updating details on the ownership experience. In addition, I do not see too many Ecosport Automatic reviews here and with the price cut and increased interest in the Ecosport, thought it would be a good idea to pen down an ownership report.

Trivia: I will be using the term co-brother quite a bit. As I understand this is more of a South Indian usage, clarifying the meaning: Refers to sister in law's husband.


The Fourth Time Lucky Story

Let me clear this first as I am pretty sure readers would be curious about this and I do not want to prolong the mystery to the end of the review.
  • First Time: Flashback July/August 2013: Co-Brother 1 was on the lookout for a new Manual Petrol Car. The Ecosport was the First Choice. We were ok to wait a bit. So we headed to a Ford Showroom. Below is what greeted us. (Note: Representative image from Bhpian Murugan's Ecosport AT ownership thread (Ford EcoSport 1.5L AT: Ownership Review). But this is pretty much what we saw. Had no choice but to look elsewhere and ended up buying an i20.


A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-booking-closed-20130823_105916.jpg

  • Second Time: Flashback September/October 2013: I was on the look out for an Automatic Petrol, had booked the Polo TSI in September, but felt it was a little too cramped and the Vento TSI felt to be too much of a stretch. Ecosport AT seemed ideal. But the Ecosport Fever was peaking, dealers were arrogant and un-responsive. An Extract from my Vento TSI Ownership report below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Ford Ecosport: Was actually considered in my earlier shortlist also. Had to be dropped because of the long waiting period. Would have been my choice if it was available within a reasonable time. In summary, if you look at it, I was ready to choose between the Ecosport, Fiesta, City and the Vento TSI. But the first 2 were not available (I visited 3 ford dealers and none of them had an Ecosport/Fiesta AT test drive vehicle)

Dealership Visits:
Ford
  • Elite Ford Marathahalli:: Made multiple visits to check out Ecosport and also get info on Fiesta. For the Ecosport, In general no SA bothered to assist or volunteer to provide any details. I guess they were not obliged to since bookings were closed and they had more than enough bookings. But a better response would have been nice.
  • Metro Ford Palace Cross Road:Made a quick visit when I went to VW showroom next door. Spent around 10 min before someone acknowledged my presence. Quickly checked on wait periods and test drive options and left. Both showrooms did not have an Ecosport AT for Test Drive
  • Third Time: Flashback-Sometime in 2014: Co Brother 2/ Father in Law keen to replace one of their cars with the Ecosport Automatic. Bookings open, wait periods still high but was not a concern. Headed to the Ford showroom in Calicut, Kerala. Treated rudely by the dealership and followed by an absolutely nonsensical statement: "Ford does not sell/supply the Ecosport AT in Kerala". We stormed out vowing to never return to Ford showroom again.
  • Fourth Time: Present Day: After lot of deliberation , a Polo TSI booking was made in VW Calicut with a delivery requested in March. Now, if there is one dealer/manufacturer who is capable of making everybody else look like saints, that is Volkswagen. After a series of missteps (Detailed later), we were ready to call it quits. The Ecosport's price cut had just been announced and the Brezza had launched, so decided to give Ford a shot before deciding to quit VW or stick on and some how get the car. And Lo Behold, the same Ford dealer (same SA in fact), is the epitome of sweetness and Customer Orientation. Ford was apparently now selling the Ecosport AT in Kerala and even more shocking, actually had 2 cars in stock.

So the wheel had turned a full circle. The TSI was let go in favor of the Ecosport and in the fourth try, the family finally had an Ecosport.


Background

A quick flashback to 2010. One car in the family was a Wagon R (2005 purchased). The other car was a 2008 Taxi Innova which was called for personal trips when needed. Since the Innova and its driver became very popular, calling for personal trips was starting to result in good loss of revenue and also the car would not be available at short notice due to committed trips. Hence, in 2010 we decided to pick another car. It was around the time the Etios was announced. Having experienced the comfort and maintenance free nature of a Toyota with the Innova, the Etios was kind of decided as the first choice. We were among the first to book the Etios in Calicut, Kerala. Once the car was launched and a couple of TD's later we decided to confirm. The spartan interior was not really to our liking, but ticked most of the other parameters. In addition, we had appointed personal driver since co brother 2 would be in town only ~5 months in a year and this was just the kind of vehicle to be given to a driver. The Etios came home in early 2011.

The Wagon R was replaced in 2012 with the Brio. By that time the thought process of 'Why not an Automatic' had started, there was even a rumor about the Brio Automatic coming Unfortunately as is typical of a dealer, they denied any such plans. Since it was considered more as a nice to have, we did not wait or look at other options since we liked the Brio. So a manual Brio Top End joined the Etios in 2012. 4-5 months later the Brio AT launched, we almost went right back to exchange the MT for an AT, but then better sense prevailed and that plan was put on hold.

A Side Note: Co brother 2 always had a fancy for a nice big Fortuner like SUV. During every car buying process this discussion comes up and we put it aside, citing practicality concerns and the fact that he is there only part of the year.


The Decision Process and buying experience
The thought of an Automatic was always there at the back of our mind. With the increasing traffic and the dependency on the driver, it was felt that an Automatic would be convenient and would also be more comfortable for the ladies to drive. I got my Vento TSI in late 2013 and after experiencing that, it was more or less decided that the next car would be an Automatic. During my Vento search, co brother 2 had driven the Polo GT TSI 2-3 times and had been really impressed with the quality of the car and drivability. Through out 2014 and 2015, the topic was discussed, options were looked at and discussed. Few things were clear.
  • Has to be an Automatic.
  • Has to be a decent performer.
  • Should look and feel plush, both inside and outside. This was important. If you look at all the previous cars Wagon R, Innova, Brio, Etios, they all had one thing in common. One would not associate terms like 'feature loaded', 'plush' or 'premium' with these cars. They were good reliable cars and not much more.
  • No Maruti, Tata or Mahindra. Not very keen on Hyundai's.

The one sticky point that initially did not get a closure was the question of which car to let go. Various permutations were discussed.
  • Let go of the Etios and go for the Dream SUV.
  • Let go of the Etios and buy a Premium AT sedan like the Vento TSI.
  • Let go of the Etios and get a premium hatch like the Polo GT TSI.
  • Let go of the Brio and buy the Dream SUV.
  • Let go of the Brio and buy a premium hatch.

The SUV plan was kept aside yet again. With the high costs, limited practicality, it did not make too much sense. Our driver was excited with the prospect of a nice big SUV. He said it could use it to 'Scare and or nudge other poor fellows out of the way'- Although said in jest, that pretty much put an end to the SUV plans. Initially the thought was to replace the Etios, it was approaching 5 years and had run 80K km. 2 points mentioned here frequently by GTO and other experts came to mind.
  • In a multi car household, there should be one 'beater' car.
  • A 5 year old car can be made fresh with some modifications and enhancements.

The Etios was a perfect beater car. It was running well, could take driver abuse, was very spacious and could handle all the big luggage oriented runs. The Brio could not handle all this in any way. In addition, the real need was for a compact AT comfortable to all. So finally, sanity was restored and it was decided to retain the Etios and give up the Brio when the time came. With that settled, based on the constraints above, most options were looked at:
  • Maruti and its AMT's were quickly rejected.
  • Baleno may have been considered in the top end. Without that did not make sense. And we were not too keen on a Maruti again.
  • All compact sedans look ugly in the family's opinion. So rejected.
  • Jazz was in consideration for some time, but lack of AT in the Top Variant, the CVT gear box and the fact that it was a little too similar to the Brio resulted in it being dropped.
  • Figo DCT was another one I recommended. Father in Law had a Figo Diesel in his work place and was not happy with the build and quality. Hence dropped.


At this time the Ecosport was not even in the picture, as we wanted to keep the budget to around 10L and the Ecosport was almost 12 L OTR. Ultimately it all kept coming back to the GT TSI. There was a 'Heart' Factor also involved, difficult to not like the TSI+DSG combo after experiencing it a few times. The biggest limiting factor was the cramped rear seat space. Decided to compromise on this considering the other parameters. Finally after all this back and forth, we landed up at VW Calicut on 31st December to book the GT TSI. Went on 31st December 2015 in the hope of getting some commitment on offers. As is typical of VW, there was nothing on the GT.

Booking Notes:
  • Booking was done with a Token Payment of Rs 10,000
  • Color opted was Carbon Steel Gray. OTR at that time was ~9.8L.
  • Co Brother was out and expected back in March 2016. So one key criteria was that we needed delivery Middle of March 2016. There was a 1-2 month waiting period and hence the March time frame was accepted and we were assured of a car by early March
  • Overall a good initial experience. We followed up in early and late Feb and were assured of the March delivery.

The Downhill Slide
  • Started with the new features and price increase. An already expensive car was now 30-40K costlier. But the new features made the car better and we did not worry about it too much.
  • Follow up in March 1st week, again assured that the car will reach by 10th March. Asked for the VIN, did not get it.
  • Co-Brother 2 back in town, visit the showroom on March 12th. No sign of a Carbon Steel Grey TSI.
  • Suddenly on 13th the Grey TSI in transit becomes a Red TSI and we were told a Grey will take another 3-4 weeks. In a way this was a blessing in disguise as Co-Brother was not happy with the Grey and liked the Red more.
  • Although we said ok to the Red, the lack of commitment and missed deadlines were starting to irritate. Remember, we had repeatedly followed up to ensure the car was available March 1st week. Asked for the VIN and it was given. Decoded and it was a Feb manufactured model. So far so good.
  • The Red was supposed to reach on 15th March. No sign on 15th. On 16th we are told it is stuck at the Kerala State Border.
  • Finally told it would come on 18th. Couple of other things had happened. VW had valuated the Brio and given a reasonably good value. So had decided to give it to them. Earlier in the week, my sister in law had asked if a cheque payment was ok to which they said it was fine and they would need a day max.
  • On March 18th, the car had not reached and the SA then said we need 3 days after cheque payment to clear it and get delivery ready.
  • Although these were minor incidents, it cumulatively resulted in a bad feeling about the whole thing. Since we were keen on the car, the dealership was getting progressively arrogant about the whole thing.

The Ecosport Story: We had not made the payment (which we had said we will not do without seeing the car), so we had the option to think otherwise. On a whim, they decided to call Ford and see what they say about the Ecosport. Note: this was just after the price reductions were announced post Brezza launch. Surprisingly, Ford had 2 Ecosport AT's in stock and were much more responsive then before. They called me to get my views and I did a small analysis (posted earlier in the Ecosport Thread)

When we did the GT TSI booking, the OTR in Kerala was ~9.8 L. At that time the Ecosport AT OTR in Calicut was approx 11.85 OTR. That was a cool 2 Lakh difference. In a city like Bangalore, that difference would be closer to 2.5 L since the Ecosport was above 10L Ex-Showroom. In Feb, VW added new features and the price was hiked by 30-40 K. OTR Calicut became 10.3L. The Ford came up with the reduction of almost 80 K for the AT and suddenly the OTR Calicut for the Ecosport was down to 11.05L. . So what was a difference of 2 L was now down to 75K.


What do we get additional in the Ecosport.

  • A better looking car (personal opinion) with the nice SUVish stance that we all like. A segment above.
  • A bit more space all around- A bigger car in all aspects.
  • 6 Airbags (Very important)
  • Push Button Start.
  • ISOFIX Car Seat Mounts.
  • Few other minor nice to haves.
  • A potentially more reliable Dual Clutch
  • A good solid build and fit and finish (similar to the Polo)

What we miss out on.
  • Ford's 1.5 NA and DCT will not match the TSI DSG combo.
  • Rain Sensing Wipers and Auto IRVM (comes only in Titanium +)
  • The MirrorLink supported HU.
  • Cruise Control.
  • Few other smaller stuff.

In all ways, for our needs, the Ecosport seemed to be the better bet and worth the 75K extra. The drivability was the key factor. I recommended to do a good Test Drive and then take a call. Co Brother 2 did a long TD and although it was well apparent that it would not match the TSI+DSG, it was quite acceptable. An additional bonus that it satisfied the Dream SUV need a at least to some extent.

I checked the VIN report and was satisfied. All this happened on 18th March. Things went super fast after that. A friend who knew a used car dealer was contacted, he happened to have a customer looking for a car like the Brio. By the end of the 19th, the Brio was sold (at a better price than what VW offered), Regular insurance guy was contacted and he promised to have the cover note ready by 21st morning. PDI was completed successfully.

On 21st March Monday, payment was done and delivery taken by End of Day.

Within a span of 48 hours, an Polo GT TSI had become a Ford Ecosport AT. Lot of things fell in place like magic. The thought to call Ford,the price cut, Ford having a car available, the Brio getting sold in a jiffy, Ford dealer coming through with the promises and commitments. It was like it was always meant to be. Like I said in the title-4th Time Lucky. The VW SA had the shock of his life when we called and said we do not need the GT TSI. The Etios got some new seat covers and small modifications to the outside. Also planning to subject it to a good detailing package.


The Ford Ecosport



Spec Snapshot

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-ecosportspecs.jpg



As seen from the specs above, the Automatic is available only in the Titanium Variant. The good thing is that the Titanium AT variant is not the same as the Titanium MT. There are some features from the Titanium+ which are available in the Titanium AT, but not in Titanium MT. Many of the features specific to the Titanium + were added as part of the 2015 Facelift. Link to the Face-lift Thread (Ford EcoSport facelift launched at Rs. 6.79 lakh)


Features present only in the Titanium AT and not in Titanium + or Titanium MT
  • Automatic (Obviously )
  • EBA (Electronic Brake Assist), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), TCS(Traction Control System), HLA (Hill Launch Assist).
  • 2 Tweeters (Very curious as to why the Titanium+ does not get the Tweeters)

Features there in Titanium AT and Titanium +, but not in Titanium MT
  • 6 Airbags (The Titanium MT gets only the regular 2 Airbags)
  • Titanium AT only features as listed above.

Features only present in Titanium+
  • Rain sensing Wipers
  • Auto Headlamps
  • DRL's
  • Additional Chrome Bits
  • Leather seats, wrapped handbrake
  • Auto IRVM.

Overall, a well loaded car. Some of the features in the Titanium+ are nice to have. Hope Ford comes out with a Titanium + AT also soon.


A Note on the Dual Clutch AT: Apart from VAG group, Ford is the only manufacturer to offer a Dual Clutch Automatic option in India (Called the Powershift DCT). Ford's DCT is now used in the Figo, Aspire and the Ecosport. Internationally, in most places it is mated to the Ecoboost line of engines. India has to make do with the 1.5 NA Petrol Engine. Recommend this thread on Ford's DCT (Ford PowerShift Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) - A Technical Overview) by Bhpian Arunphilip. A Highly Recommended read.



An Initial Picture: Love this Signature Light Guide
(Not much of a photographer-apologies for the lame attempt at dramatics)

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160323_194137.jpg


The Ecosport is a much discussed and analyzed vehicle. So will focus on specific things like the Automatic Drivability aspects and other significant features that I noticed in comparison with my Vento (and Polo). As mentioned above, our buying decision switched from the Polo TSI to the Ecosport. So many of the points inadvertently will be in comparison to the Polo TSI that sits ~75K lower than the Ecosport and the Vento TSI Comfortline that sits 60K above and Highline that sits ~1.4L above the Ecosport.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 7th April 2016 at 22:44.
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Old 28th March 2016, 15:27   #2
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The Automatic Driving Experience

Since the Ecosport has been dissected in great detail over the last 3 years, let me get straight into the driving experience. At the time of writing the car has done ~1200km with a 750km highway drive and rest in the City. A look at different scenarios of driving the Automatic.
  • The Light Foot Driving Scenario: Ease the car into D, take your leg of the brake and the car moves ahead with the slight hesitancy associated with a Dual Clutch. Accelerate with a light foot and the car makes good progress (except for the quirk mentioned in the next point). Have read a lot about the lazy initial progress of the 1.5NA Petrol, but somehow I did not feel it too bad. It is obviously not TSI fast to pick up, but gets the job done well. The shifts are seamless as is typical of a Dual Clutch and once you have picked up speed, the advantage of a bigger engine comes through and the car cruises effortlessly. Gradual slowing and speeding up are also handled pretty well.

  • The short surge scenario: One you take the leg of the brake and give a prod on the accelerator, sometimes instead of gradually moving ahead, there is a quick surge. It is as if you would expect the car to be in 2nd gear, but it decides to hang on to the first gear. I noticed the same behavior when I drove the Aspire also. You get used to it, but a little bit of a bother in tight situations.

  • The Heavy Foot Scenario: Stomp down on the Accelerator and there is a slight lag before the car takes off. Transmission holds on to the gears till ~3-3500 RPM before up shifting. Post the small initial lag, acceleration is very good. The engine noise is not very nice. Fuel Efficiency will definitely take a big hit.

  • The medium slow-fast scenario: Consider you are in slow moving traffic, say at 30-40kmph, occasionally there is a gap and you want to quickly accelerate and close the gap. The transmission seems to be confused here. Sometimes as you step on the gas, it will be in the right gear and close the gap quickly, other times, it holds the gear and hence you take a while to move on. The problem I faced here is that before the maneuver, I am not sure which gear the car is in. The display just shows D. Here I really missed the VW behavior where even in D it shows the gear. As a result there is a bit of confusion.

  • The Sports Mode: Overall increases the peppiness to an extent. Useful to avoid the situation mentioned above and also for highway overtaking maneuvers. Not really for fun.

  • The Manual mode:The Manual mode is via +/- buttons on the gear lever. It works only in S mode. You move into S mode and then start using the buttons. It displays the gear on the console. On seeing it i felt the buttons will not be comfortable to use. But works quite well. A shift to S mode and a quick drop of a gear or two can be done for making that quick overtaking easier. being a DCT, the shifts are super quick in manual mode. I recently TD'ed the XUV500 and did not like the manual mode. There was a significant delay in the shifts which kind of defeated its purpose.

  • The Automatic and Push Button: In the VW AT's, if you switch off the car in D mode, the Key will not come out. Since the Ecosport has a Push Button Start, was curious as to what the behavior would be. The car will switch off in any position, You can switch off in D and then move the lever to P. If you do not do this and again try to switch on, it will not do. Only the Electrical's and associated stuff come on. I did not check what happens if I switch off and leave the car with the lever in D with no Hand-brake. With a Key involved, you will not forget to take the key and when you try to do that, it reminds you that you are not in N or P.

Overall Summary: I think the reports that indicate that the Ecosport DCT is poor performing and lazy are a little unkind. The DCT does seem confused at times and the 1.5NA and DCT combo is probably not as smile inducing as the TSI+DSG, but overall I felt it a very competent AT. It does most things pretty well, the way it does some things may not be ideal, but it does manage well. I did not really feel it lacking in any scenario. The quirky situations, one gets used to pretty soon. In addition the DCT did not have any of the typical 3-2 jerkiness seen in the DSG and is definitely more reliable than the DSG. The car was driven to Bangalore from Calicut and this is a heavy traffic, mostly 2 lane route with ghat sections and hilly area roads. The car handled the trip well and never felt lacking at any point of time.


Few other points about the driving aspects
  • When I first started, I felt the large dash area up front may take some getting used to. Was surprisingly not the case. Felt quite comfortable from the word go. The high seating position also helped.
  • Steering feedback felt better than my Vento. Slightly on the heavier side but more precise. Came to realize that I preferred the lighter one on the Vento.
  • Definitely handled bad roads much better than the Vento.
  • The Blind Spots were a little bothersome initially.
  • Elders in the family appreciated the seating. The fact that you get in and sit "on" as opposed to sit "down" makes ingress and egress easier.
  • The Mystery of the High Beam: I was driving down a dark stretch and wanted to switch to high beam. In all cars I have driven, pushing the stalk out (or maybe pulling it in) would switch to High Beam. I tried pushing out, nothing happened, pulled it in, it seemed to slot into position, but just flashed the high beam and went back to low beam. Ended up doing that trip by holding on to the 'Flash' position when all it was needed. Once we got home, tried it out at leisure. Still could not figure it out. Dug into the quick start manual, no luck. Was fiddling around again, and by chance pulled it in two steps. That is when I realized that the first slot was just the flash, and pulling it in once more would put it into the 2nd slot which was the high beam. Now I tried to push it out to switch it back to low beam. No luck. Pulled it in again and it quickly sprang back to the low beam.That's when I realized it was a 2 step toggle switch. An embarrassing moment in front of family who considers me a 'Car Expert' . One other nice thing I noticed was that the headlight switches on only in low beam. Even if you are in high beam when you switch off, when you switch it on, it automatically is in low beam. Nice.



Some exterior shots. Just a few since we have seen plenty of Ecosports.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_125517.jpg

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_125534.jpg

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130428.jpg

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_125553.jpg


Last edited by Rajeevraj : 7th April 2016 at 21:29.
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Old 28th March 2016, 15:34   #3
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Pictorial review of things that I liked as well as disliked.


The Smart Key. Small and light. the emergency key is placed inside this. Could not get a picture. Noticed the Request Sensor on the door responds only when one is really close with the key, maybe couple of feet. Passenger door also has a request sensor.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160326_125528.jpg

The Instrument Console. Loved the Start/Stop Button. Conveys that it is the power button and at the same time can be read as "Ford Power". Nice. Note that the Polo/Vento twins do not get push button start.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160323_194318.jpg

Nice under seat storage compartment on the passenger side. The seat adjustment levers also feel good. Both not present in the VW twins.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_125632.jpg

The soft padding on the door feels good. I think it can get dirty easily. The VW's do not have a soft touch area on the door.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_125724.jpg

Wiper Stalk. Felt a bit plastiky as compared to the VW. The tactile feedback also not very great. same with the right side stalk.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_125816.jpg

Liked this Info Display that tells exactly which door is open. The Polo/Vento misses this. A very useful feature. Also shows if the boot is open.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_125856.jpg

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_125918.jpg

AT gear lever. The top part is nice. Bottom part does not feel as well finished, shift action not as good as the VW twins. Not a big deal as one does not shift often. Note the Tiptronic buttons. Works only in S mode and is not very Ergonomic.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130021.jpg

Power Switches for the mirrors. Shame that the Ecosport does not get an Electric Fold when the lower Aspire gets it.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130107.jpg

Armrest, not as wide as the one in the VW and is Non Adustable. For my seating, it was a little too far back. Would have liked it to be a couple of inches longer.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130125.jpg

Keep hearing a 'Cramped at the back' concern for the Ecosport. Found it spacious enough. A view of the space available after the driver seat is adjusted for my height (5'11). Few trips with 3 average size adults in the back was comfortable enough. Much more comfortable than the Polo and not too different from the Vento.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130220.jpg

Boot space. Not the biggest but functional enough. Recessed door is a nice touch.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130339.jpg

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130351.jpg

The parking light guide and the Fog lamps. Liked the finish of these.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130515.jpg

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130523.jpg

The AC Console. Like the stalks, some of the buttons do not have a good feel.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130744.jpg

The most important feature- 6 Airbags. The cheapest Petrol Automatic with 6 airbags. Consider this: The next cheapest AT car with 6 airbags one can buy are the D Segment Sedans like the Jetta/Octavia/Elantra which go above 20L in most places. Even in the diesel, only the more expensive Verna and XUV500 come with 6 airbags.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130846.jpg

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130906.jpg

The busy center console. I think Ford needs to introduce a touch based HU soon. Lot of buttons here and a little cumbersome to navigate.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130809.jpg

Another view of the instrument cluster. A digital Fuel Gauge would have been nice.

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_125959.jpg


Last edited by Rajeevraj : 6th April 2016 at 21:53.
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Accessories

Installed the IRVM based Reverse Camera accessory from Ford itself. Expensive, but looks solid. One flaw noticed was that at my seating position, I wanted the IRVM a little higher, but because of its size, it could not move up further and I ended up lowing my seat a little. (Note: My Vento in the background )

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130640.jpg


The OEM Sensor Display

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130648.jpg


Spare Wheel Cover

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_130428.jpg


Magnetic Window Blinds (This was from a local shop)

A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!-img_20160327_125611.jpg


Parting Thoughts:

The Ecosport was a highly anticipated launch and was one of those vehicles that was a trendsetter and met/exceeded most expectations. In addition it was a segment creator and had a free run of more than 2 years without any major competition, especially from the 2 biggies-Maruti and Hyundai.

Unfortunately, Ford did not handle the Ecosport like they should have. In spite of the unprecedented hype and bookings, they made no move to increase the local dispatches resulting in long waiting periods. Poor dealer attitude also did not help. In addition they rapidly increased the price (I think twice or thrice in the first year). In spite of all this the car sold a steady ~3-4000 units every month. It has been discussed in other threads as to how such a product in Maruti's or Hyundai's hands would have easily resulted in close to 5 figure or more monthly sales. This is now plainly visible with Hyundai's Creta and Maruti's Brezza.

The other curious problem the Ecosport faced was that there was nothing directly to compare it against (Maybe the Duster to an extent). When the Creta and the TUV300 came up last year, comparisons started popping up. With the Brezza's arrival and the price cut, there seems to be a renewed interest in the Ecosport and some of it's USP's are being appreciated.

In, the case of the Automatic, Ford is still well placed. The competition is mostly diesel and are Torque Converter AT's or AMT's. We have the TUV300 AMT, the Duster AMT and the Creta Diesel AT. The only Petrol SUV'ish AT is the upcoming Creta AT. But looking at the Creta MT SX+, the Petrol AT will be 3-3.5 L more expensive than the Ecosport AT. Even then it does not get stuff like 6 airbags and ESC/HLA which are unique to the Ecosport. With the price cut, the Ecosport sits not too far above the Polo GT TSI and quite a bit less than the Vento TSI. It becomes a good choice for buyers wary of VW but still looking for a solid, decent performing Automatic. It would be nice to get an Ecoboost AT also. I think they have the price window for that. Also, with all the competition, Ford seems to have finally woken up to attempt to protect its Ecosport Turf. The positive experience with the dealer was a pleasant surprise. Ford has also stepped up its marketing efforts for the Ecosport.

Will keep updating as we experience the car more. Thank You for reading.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 7th April 2016 at 22:45.
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Old 8th April 2016, 08:27   #5
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Thread moved from Assembly Line to Initial Ownership Reviews section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th April 2016, 09:04   #6
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Congrats on finally getting the Ford Rajeevraj! The fact that it was the fourth time sums up the condition of Ford here in our country. They make it incredibly difficult to buy the car even for buyers who really want to bring it home. A far cry from MSIL or Hyundai where they would have taken money for booking the moment thought of a new car enters your head.

And its a crisp and well thought out review. Thanks for sharing with us.

The EcoSport AT Titanium is amazing VFM and very well loaded. Most things that you need from a car in that segment is all there. I haven't driven the EcoSport but have tried the Figo 1.5 DCT. As you rightly pointed out, its not a lazy drive train at all and quite decent compared to the puny 1.2 L units around. The EcoSport' heavy build wouldn't be helping here of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
The Automatic Driving Experience

The short surge scenario: One you take the leg of the brake and give a prod on the accelerator, sometimes instead of gradually moving ahead, there is a quick surge. It is as if you would expect the car to be in 2nd gear, but it decides to hang on to the first gear. I noticed the same behavior when I drove the Aspire also. You get used to it, but a little bit of a bother in tight situations.
This is a bit confusing. Can we not make it more predictable with a better control over the A pedal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
The Automatic Driving Experience

The Mystery of the High Beam:
Been there. Done that. Was on the a friend' Fiesta S many years back.
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Old 8th April 2016, 09:12   #7
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Default re: A Diamond White Ford EcoSport Automatic joins the family - Case of 4th time lucky!

Nice review Rajeevraj. Congrats on the AT. This is a very practical option with the 6 speed DCT and all the safety features in place for a very competitive price now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
The Automatic Driving Experience

The Mystery of the High Beam:
There's another quirk. Once you are in high beam you can no longer flash oncoming traffic. You need to go back to low beam to flash. On some highways you have to flash to request the other car to dip as well but if you are in highbeam, it's a 2 step process to dip.
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Old 8th April 2016, 09:48   #8
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Thanks Rajivraj for sharing this ownership review with a detailed, rare insight on the Ecosport Automatic.

One more advantage of Ecosport (over the VWs) is that the Ecosport is better prepared to take on the crater-filled roads, unscientific speed breakers and roads submerged in water, which are a common sight even in urban cities.
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Old 8th April 2016, 09:59   #9
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One crisp and unbiased review. Glad to see that you pointed out all the important and relevant points that can be really helpful to prospective owners.

1) Those signature lights aint bright during daylight right? Can you post a picture of it? Looks amazing at night/dusk. I was planning on getting that when they introduced it as an accessory but 13k or 15k was too expensive for it.
2) Yes, the high beam can be tricky for new owners. Luckily I had gotten used to it as this was the third Ford in the family. But you will love it when you get used to it.
3) Suggest you to get rid of the metal key chain. Heard it can interfere with the signal from the smart key when you try to lock/unlock. Not sure how true this is.
4) As you mentioned, the soft padding on the door can be really comfortable but gets dirty. But not as bad as the really light (beige) ones.
5) The driver armrest is really short but let me tell you (after experiencing the arm rest in the Creta), it's at a perfect height and it's a boon during those long highway trips. But this tends to get dirty fast. Fro what I have noticed, this armrest is pretty useful for the front passenger. Dont be surprised if you find the front passenger using this. You will find that soon
6) Didnt notice the request sensor on the boot door. Is it behind the handle? Good they updated that. The security at the malls had a hard time opening the boot. They tend to pull the handle everytime.
7) The rear parcel seems to that rigid material now. Earlier, it was that sliding type which was easy to handle.
8) After using the digital gauge, you will love the analog one

I am sure you will love driving this in Bangalore. Congrats on the car and keep the thread updated.
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Old 8th April 2016, 10:40   #10
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Congrats to your in-laws' family on their new acquisition!
And thank you for a really well thought out review.
I am so glad that you have helped clear certain misconceptions about the vehicle like the cramped rear seating, its sluggish nature etc.
As a user (and unfortunately a terribly lazy one to write a review) I can vouch for its practicality; for a medium sized family (of average build) it is spot on.
Here's wishing you all many enjoyable and safe motoring miles!
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Old 8th April 2016, 11:03   #11
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Congrats Rajeev!!! Had some queries:

1. How is the room in the back seat? We are a family of 3. Me, my wife and a 4 year old kid, who is in her car seat. 90% of the drives are only the 3 of us. The question was, if we decide to do some highway trips, will 2 people + a car seat be manageable in the back seat? Or will it become a terrific experience for the 5th passenger

2. I know that you driven it less but what is the mileage you have got on your drives?

EDIT: Re read your report which says that 3 is doable. However, if you could still answer my query, especially with respect to the car seat, if you have that experience, would help. Thanks!!

Last edited by arvind71181 : 8th April 2016 at 11:05.
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Old 8th April 2016, 16:16   #12
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Very well composed review focusing on the AT part with a good amount of pics too! Congrats on the new acquisition Rajeev! Wishing you/your in-laws many more happy miles on the vehicle.
One question on the ride comfort in the rear seat - Did the rear seat passengers feel thrown about during the drive? Asking because when we test drove the new Ecosport, the rear felt a little bouncier than usual.
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Old 8th April 2016, 16:50   #13
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Nice review!!

One question- did you manage to get the car into 6th? If so at what speed?
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Old 8th April 2016, 21:56   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
This is a bit confusing. Can we not make it more predictable with a better control over the A pedal?
Thanks deetjohn. For the above, the issue is that there is a mismatch between the A pedal input and the response. Again, its minor and occasional. I assume we will not even notice it after some time. Will update on this point as I drive it more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
There's another quirk. Once you are in high beam you can no longer flash oncoming traffic. You need to go back to low beam to flash. On some highways you have to flash to request the other car to dip as well but if you are in highbeam, it's a 2 step process to dip.
Thanks Viddy. Missed the above quirk. Can be a little bothersome I think.

Also, thank you for the inputs on PPF and detailing. Missed to mention that earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveen.raju View Post

1) Those signature lights aint bright during daylight right? Can you post a picture of it? Looks amazing at night/dusk.
3) Suggest you to get rid of the metal key chain. Heard it can interfere with the signal from the smart key when you try to lock/unlock. Not sure how true this is.
6) Didnt notice the request sensor on the boot door. Is it behind the handle? Good they updated that. The security at the malls had a hard time opening the boot. They tend to pull the handle everytime.
Thanks Naveen. Yes, those lights are not great during the day. Will post a proper picture. The close up pic in the 3rd post is during the day. You can notice how close I needed to get to get it visible.

Thanks for the pointer on the key chain.

Yes, the request sensor is behind the handle. Honestly, I did not know where it was, we went to a mall and I unlocked the central locking and noticed the security fiddling behind. Luckily another guy knew where exactly the sensor button was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arvind71181 View Post
Congrats Rajeev!!! Had some queries:

1. How is the room in the back seat? We are a family of 3. Me, my wife and a 4 year old kid, who is in her car seat. 90% of the drives are only the 3 of us. The question was, if we decide to do some highway trips, will 2 people + a car seat be manageable in the back seat? Or will it become a terrific experience for the 5th passenger

2. I know that you driven it less but what is the mileage you have got on your drives?
Thanks Arvind.

1. It will be bit of a squeeze. I did not explicitly try with a seat and 2 people. From my Vento experience, if I have 2 in the back + seat, I place the seat in the middle. Then it is manageable.

2. The mileage for the Calicut-Bangalore trip was ~12.5kmpl. This is pretty much heavy traffic 2 lane highways with a ghat climb and hilly sections. Within City only, have not checked properly yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
One question on the ride comfort in the rear seat - Did the rear seat passengers feel thrown about during the drive? Asking because when we test drove the new Ecosport, the rear felt a little bouncier than usual.
Did not specifically hear a comment on this from family. The lack of grab handles due to the 6 airbags was a bother. Will update more on this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteKnight View Post
Nice review!!

One question- did you manage to get the car into 6th? If so at what speed?
Honestly, I do not know. As there is no display of the actual gear the car is in, could not be sure. And unless you pay close attention with music/ac etc turned off, it is difficult to notice all the shifts, especially to 4,5,6. In manual mode, did not get a chance to get to 6. Will try this out once more and update.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 8th April 2016 at 21:58.
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Old 8th April 2016, 22:12   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639
There's another quirk. Once you are in high beam you can no longer flash oncoming traffic. You need to go back to low beam to flash.
How is this a quirk ? It is always like this, at least in most regular cars.

Unless manufacturers decide to a build in a logic :

1. Note status of high-beam
2. Receive signal to flash
3. If High-beam off then flash high-beam
4. Else if If High-beam on then momentarily switch off high-beam when stalk is pulled.
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