|5th June 2019, 17:36||#1|
How to choose a Dragon - My Ford EcoSport 1.5L Dragon Petrol
This is an ownership review of the Ford EcoSport 2019 1.5L Dragon petrol. (It is the Titanium variant which still had the sun glass holder, 60.40 split seats at the rear and black interiors etc. Ford is constantly making changes to the line-up, so I am not sure if I missed anything significant from the past). The recent updates introduced beige interiors but with a host of feature deletions along with a price cut.
Meat of the Matter:
There are many nuances to finally choosing a right car to buy. The moment we increase the budget by even a lakh the number of options increases manifold especially in the sub 10 lakh ex showroom range (when we look at that from the context of the market in India). There are hatchbacks, premium hatchbacks, sedans, compact sedans / SUVs, CUVs, *RVs etc. so the priorities must take precedence otherwise it’s an unending maze that we get into. We win some and lose some while agreeing to the adage that no car is perfect, I started on my search journey a couple of years back and in that time a multitude of things happened. I switched segments, transmission types, body types, saw through several new launches, almost decided on the new Swift / Ignis AMT and finally decided to hold back for some time more.
The Ford EcoSport which I did buy, appeared relatively late on my list, but as fate would have it I finalized on it after rummaging through an endless list of pros and cons. It shone through the parameters and made it to my parking slot eventually. The parking slot itself had a significant role to play as well, more on that later. To be frank I wanted to buy a Sedan initially and the Verna was at the top of my preference list. Since I was upgrading from an Alto, a sedan seemed a logical next step in the scheme of things. But the interest kept diminishing which was unrelated to the surging SUV / pseudo SUV sales. My better half wasn’t very inclined to a 3 box as well. When I went ahead and bought the Aprilia SR 150 (related thread - Ownership Report: My 2018 Aprilia SR 150) it was too tall a scooter for her and that's a problem for newbie riders. Now I had promised her when I went off and bought the Aprilia SR 150 that the car we would eventually buy would be of her choice, the color and model included. Reason: the Aprilia being on the taller side made it practically quite impossible for her daily use and eventually it became my daily commuter. This when I had put in the reason for buying a new scooter as both of us being able to use it when needed. As the saying goes “All’s Well That Ends Well” applies to me as well and at the end of my selection process I feel relieved (post the mentally grueling phase of a new car purchase cycle) and I feel proud of the Petrol fed Dragon that I tame when I hold the steering. So here it goes:
Why I chose the EcoSport
1. A powerful petrol engine. Very good refinement levels even when being in a 3 cylinder guise.
2. Great Build quality. Door thuds and metal quality included.
3. The Titanium variant is (or was) Fairly equipped with most of the contemporary bells and whistles. I Loved the Dashboard design and the integration, far better than the Nokia N-gage' esque design of the earlier model.
4. Ground clearance comes in handy quite often, that also means roads have gone from bad to worse within city limits.
5. Compact dimensions notwithstanding the SUV look is carried with the requisite poise and the overall design is proportional.
6. The overall glass area gives a sense of airiness IMHO and the interiors feel spacious for my size. I am of average build and the Venue felt marginally smaller viewed from the same perspective. As a 4 seater it works well.
7. The EcoSport still drives like a car rather than a SUV on most occasions which is good for the in city requirements, while also being greatly competent as a Highway mile muncher. I consider myself a sedate driver and it works out very well for my runs.
8. The high seating position feels inherently different. I was traveling in a Vento cab the other day on an office errand and the seating felt very low as a result. The commanding position is very likeable.
9. One of the most driver oriented cars I have driven, the ambience inside the cabin, placement of the switches, steering feel, engine response etc. permeates the feeling.
10. The combo of tilt + telescopic steering adjustment and the seat height adjustment works wonders in finding the right driving posture.
11. A big car feel, helped me in justifying the moolah spent.
1. Jerks felt at start-up and the distinct 3 cylinder clatter at certain rpm bands, have to get used to these.
2. HUGE A pillars cause severe blindspots. Once when I was about to get into the highway missed an entire bus coming from my right. 2 wheelers get easily hidden while in traffic. Got to watch out.
3. Only 2 airbags
4. Fly Audio Touch screen is useless, the entire 9 inch real estate of it, no AA or Carplay. That it’s integrated to the reversing cam is a saving grace, however dynamic guidelines are absent on the rear cam view, placed a bit low as well.
5. Although the design on the 2018 update looks fairly fresh, the "been around for a long time" feeling lingers around.
6. It would bode well for these SUV namesakes in the segment to have at least the electronic stability program suite as standard.
7. General concerns about Ford India shutting shop due to the recent news articles about the JV with Mahindra, sale of the Sanand Plant etc.
8. Not that I have taken a lot of high speed corners but a tight one still needs some planning.
9. Plastic quality feels dull and inferior in some areas, issues with flexing. Hyundai and VW trumps everyone else in this segment in terms of plastic quality.
10. Rough edges and lack of finishing in certain areas. Finesse lacking.
The initial selection process was a chaos (even when I was stuck on Petrol only) as I had been thinking about cars which overlapped various segments. This was being done as I didn’t want to lose out on a good vehicle regardless of the size or characteristics while fetching the best bang for the buck. But I soon realized it was a futile exercise and was a very inefficient process to get to where I wanted to go ideally. The prices indicated below were taken from carwale.com at various points of time, so it may not be an accurate reflection of the prices at present. But by truly analyzing the absolutely necessary features as comprehended by me, I initially shortlisted the Swift / Ignis AMT and the Nexon XM.
Elite i20 asta / asta(O) 844000
i20 Active S / SX 900000
Amaze (VX) 873790
Scross: delta 1000000
Nexon: xz / xz+ 952892
GRAND i10 780000
Dzire (zxi+) 939189
Tiago / Tigor JTP Twins 934000
Ignis zeta 684009
Ignis zeta amt 748324
Ignis delta amt 698602
Swift AMT ZXi
Nexon XM / Kraz 848000
Now, a lot of my friends had jumped into the Automatic fraternity in recent times, more so if someone is located outside the country. In the more developed parts of the world a manual car is almost a rarity, none of the folks I knew in the US etc. owned a manual. AMT, CVT, TC, DCT tried all of them over the period but without getting too keen at the prospect of owning one. Of course, the Polo GT TSI was a character in itself but I didn’t get the true feel of the vehicle, when using an auto box. So, dropped all thoughts of going the automatic way, the Ignis (and the Swift) got unchecked in this manner. For a long time, the Nexon (the XM variant) remained the de-facto choice in my radar and I was already planning a series of upgrades in terms of rear-view cameras, accessories, alloys etc. Had been saving up for a year almost and I knew it was just a matter of a few months now when I would be able to bring a brand-new vehicle home. I didn’t intend to sell my Alto so there were no anxieties as we would normally associate with selling an old car before buying a new. But this enthusiasm at dressing up the Nexon as soon as I buy it, led me to spend a whole lot of hours surfing through youtube videos, checking out the car in person, reading through the tbhp threads etc. The more I saw the car the more radical the design looked every passing day, eventually I decided that if the same thing happens after I buy the car it would be a disaster. We “have to” like the car it’s truly damn important. Besides there was also a post by RavenAvi which remained etched at the back of my mind since I had always planned to purchase a petrol mill. "Summing up in one line - if it has to be petrol, it's the EcoSport. If diesel, the Nexon. Both choices eyes closed". (2018 Ford EcoSport Facelift 1.5L Petrol : Official Review)
Then the phase came when the imminent launch of the Hyundai Venue started doing the rounds. I wasn’t enthused too much by looking at the spy shots as I felt it looked like an Ignis, a car which I had dropped from my list quite recently but still it came in as a serious contender. The hype grew on and I also happened to be in New York when the launch happened, I caught a glimpse of the car just for a few minutes as I had to rush off to another errand in the city. It looked great and I sent a message to my wife instantly saying, “found our new car”. She went through the links and photos and remarked almost instantly “it looks very small”. Anyway, I thought I would make some adjustments to my list again and everything started anew.
There are some things in life which you desire for them to be in a particular way, but they always turn out in the opposite. The state of roads after a brief whiff of the Monsoons is one of them, as a taxpayer a good tarmac to ply your 4 wheels on is kind of a basic necessity but who knows when. So similar to scores of our countrymen I also did what we do best, adjust around it. Which for me basically meant getting something with a good amount of Ground Clearance so that it helps even if in a tiny bit to tackle some of the lunar craters. There is absolutely no certainty when a particular patch of road will get repaired even if on the verge of extinction, so we got to do what we got to do. The dawn of Compact SUVs had already started a few years early on, so I did have some choices in the market to go over. I didn’t have enough of the moolah to go full Endeavor or Fortuner mode at this stage, so the compacts would do for now even with their pseudo lineage. But as I got into my research head-on I realized that they do make a lot of sense, I would have loved to own a Suzuki Jimny which is an awesome package with 4x4 and a diminutive city friendly (and parking friendly in my case) size. If it was in the market today my money would have been on it. My usage of a 4-wheeler didn’t warrant a diesel in any way plus I wanted to be on the right side of the planet savior brigade through this bit. So quite nonchalantly I let go of any enthusiast leanings this time around, choosing a side would just become more difficult in the days to come, sigh...!
My Final list eventually:
EcoSport: Greatly refined 3-cylinder engine in Petrol with enough power on Tap. Being a non-turbo engine, it has the requisite bit of CCs and the much-needed grunt to pull the 1200+ kgs of kerb weight. Fairly well equipped as well. Has the big car feel and a ubiquitous butch SUV look among all of its contemporaries, but pricing was a far cry from the days when it was launched initially. The build quality has been sustained for the most part, being a global car made it appealing as well even with some goodies like AWD missing in the Indian version. The best experience overall in terms of showroom ambience, customer centric approach, follow-ups etc.
Nexon: Available in Petrol and the pricing screamed value for money. Occupied the greatest amount of time in the going to buy list initially. The interest gradually dwindled after several test drives and going through the feedback of some close friends and owners. The design likeability faded away after a while as well. The overall shape looked too funky now and I started seeing remnants of an Indica design hangover which I couldn’t live with. Besides the not so efficient feature distribution meant that one would be happy while going with the top end variant only (while still undercutting other rivals in the pricing front). A 5-star rated GNCAP vehicle without 6 airbags, the presence of the 6 would have tilted my decision in its favor though.
Brezza: Good car and that’s pretty much of it. I had a general overdose of Maruti cars across my years on this planet so wanted something without an MS badge. Besides an absence of the petrol mill made the decision easier to overlook it.
S-cross: NEXA is MS or is it? But for the same reasons above, dropped it. Besides due to the length I would have to go through a series of shenanigans to park the car.
i20 Active: This was my back-up plan in any kind of a scenario. I always liked the original Elite i20 design and the i20 Active wasn’t updated to match the facelift on the elite i20 where the grille changed to a cascading design in addition to some other nips and tucks at the rear etc. Also, it had black interiors, I love black interiors and would prefer it over anything with beige and the likes.
Venue: Post its launch, it immediately propelled to the top of my list with a high degree of desirability index. Pictures looked nice and the features list was all there, but the top-ends were way off the mark in terms of my budget. The variants that I could afford (read S or SX) looked promising as well but some misses were glaring. The SX had a sunroof though but was it enough to tilt the decision in its favor? Not really as I found out.
XUV 3OO: Just too expensive and had white all around in the interiors. Even the lower variants were retailing higher than my extended limit. Details of the petrol mill was sketchy at that time.
The aspirational mention - Suzuki Jimny: While Maruti Suzuki had been dilly dallying the prospect of launching it per the news reports, I feel there is a lot of interest in this particular vehicle. Only if it was available in the market today, would have made me go buy it even if I had to wait for a few months more in case of a prohibitive price. All of my opinion about the Jimny has been framed by going through articles and youtube but its inherent prowess is unquestionable.
And the choice boiled down to:
The EcoSport when it was launched in India back in 2013 could have been a precursor to the state in which the Nexon maybe considered along the same lines as in the current line-up of cars. Funky styling all around, to me it looked like a toy and never did it occur to me that one of it would eventually end up in my garage (small, limited and just about park able apartment space in the basement actually). The 2018 facelift however changed the desirable content a whole notch higher, it still was however the most expensive proposition in my list. Now that the Venue was launched it was a bit on even grounds with regards to the pricing frontier and I had a comparo parameter to decide on. The fact that the hatch didn’t open conventionally was another fly in the ointment. I wouldn’t be able to open it anytime when the vehicle was parked because of the snug fit in absence of a better word. That alone was a major reason for which I didn’t eye the EcoSport for a long time, but a couple of test drives changed it all. The showroom folks at Fortune Ford were kind enough to send a car over to my apartment to gauge out the parking feasibility, I hadn’t fixed the deal yet at that point of time as I was also test-driving other vehicles.
When I went for the test drive of the Venue all the demo vehicles were in white and that color gives the best perspective of size in my opinion. The first look made it look strikingly small, the dimensions are quite all right and in sync with the other vehicles in the fray, but the fault is in the design itself especially the rear which makes it look like a hatchback. As a vehicle its quite good but there are certain design elements which I couldn’t digest for the lack of a better word. With the DRLs ON, the front almost looks cartoonish and the crease on the side profile which runs as a straight line disturbs the symmetry of the design. A slightly asymmetric line like on the Creta would have looked much better, these are all my personal opinions, and, in a way, I needed those to justify one over another. Besides for most part of the beginning, all the showrooms had the DCT variant only for test drives.
And my wife finally said it should be the EcoSport between it and the Venue which seen in retrospection I guess I was happy. The Venue would sell in the thousands anyway riding on its own plus points, so I thought let me go ahead with the one which is still a good solidly built car in present times and the one that started the segment when first launched. There were some other considerations as well, the dimensions became very important after I reviewed the space at my apartment parking. It couldn’t have accommodated anything longer than a sub 4-meter automobile and the EcoSport’s width. A Brezza for instance would have been a tight fit causing problem both for me and my neighbor, the parking would be the last place I would want to get a ding. So, I really had to do some bit of measurements all along. This situation also helped restrain my desire to jump the budget limit and go for a lower variant of the Creta, Seltos or its contemporaries. Knowing that I stretched my budget already to get hold of the Titanium variant it was a blessing in disguise. I didn’t want to miss out on some of the present-day common features such as alloys, passive entry, height adjustment, 60:40 split, rear wiper, DRLs etc. When I started out I felt that my only major requirements were airbags, build quality, rear view cam and some kind of in-built audio but in my experience, there are some other things which really come into use as part of your car ownership journey.
The plethora of information on the MID makes me teary eyed. On the Alto all I had was a Speedo and a fuel gauge, the temp gauge needle remained in the center position in any scenario so ignored for most part.
Below is from when I completed the first 1000 kilometers.
Some pictures to do the talking:
Would have bought a Swift in this shade at some point of time but I am glad that I was able to climb up the segment by a notch.
VIN decoded and a thorough PDI done, thanks to the TBHP checklist.
Good Looking Alloys, 16 inchers from Goodyear holding off just fine. I guess tyres would be the very first of any upgrade I plan in the near future.
Found the interiors quite roomy, acceptable quality of materials. Scoop for the missing keyhole area looks ungainly.
I get the full complement of lights, Projectors, DRLs, Fogs et al. No upgrades planned therefore at least till the end of warranty period. Does a good job of lighting up the way ahead.
Got the silver scuff plates as a freebie. ABC pedals with the alloy encasing look great, dead pedal has a comfortable position as well.
The 10 inch mid was one of the biggest factor in choosing the Titanium variant, else I was stuck up on the Trend initially. Leather cover on the steering and overall switch quality feels premium. Intermittent and variable wiper settings and the rear wiper comes in handy. Perfect size on the steering and it centers by itself after a turn as well. There are quite a few things present on the car even when they weren't in my absolutely necessary list so the discovery of them was pretty awesome.
When I had the first look. The PDI began soon after, this was a couple of days before delivery.
A dressed up Dragon. Great experience at the showroom, delivery experience was memorable as it should. Got to show off my recently delivered tbhp T-shirt as well.
The great parking space conundrum, needs a few extra bit of forwards and reverses.
Stable mates, just for the photo op though cause the neighbor would return soon.
My trusty Alto at a corner. Served me without breaking a sweat thousands of kilometers together.
One of the best views of the EcoSport is the side profile IMHO.
Last edited by sandx : 22nd September 2019 at 21:39.
|19th August 2019, 10:45||#2|
re: How to choose a Dragon - My Ford EcoSport 1.5L Dragon Petrol
I found the dealer experience at Ford to be the best among all the showrooms I visited. I randomly zeroed in on the nearest Ford showroom through google and made a call through the number listed in the search results. As it was a Sunday I wanted to ensure that it was indeed open, and a test drive would be possible for the EcoSport (Manual / Petrol). On receiving a positive note headed out with an open mind, the test drive vehicle was fairly new, it was the Titanium variant which still had the sync 3 system but without the reverse cam. The SA didn't flinch on the test drive distance and I was able to cover some pretty good kilometers as much as was needed to understand and make a proper connect with the car. The car itself felt lively and eager on the performance front. Truth be told I was already hooked onto the EcoSport at this point and was just going over the formalities in a way. I also visited almost all of the showrooms in the order of my shortlists and also borrowed the same vehicles from my friends for short test drives except the EcoSport. There wasn’t much excitement or an eagerness thereafter as I scrolled through since it became apparent that I had made my decision. Despite having some good cars, I am not sure why the Fords do not sell as much. The Freestyle was one other car worth checking out as I felt after I saw it on the showroom floor, a ton of features in a diminutive package. I reckon I might have gone ahead with the Freestyle instead if I was looking for something smaller.
Freestyle on display at the showroom
I initially thought about bringing home the Lightning Blue shade of the EcoSport but my wife felt that the color looked a bit too loud, the Smoke Grey looked good she said, Fortunately the SA told me that there was a Smoke Grey in stock already and I could take delivery whenever I wished. I was told that the VIN indicated a March 2019 manufacture year which I would be buying in June. Transferred a booking amount of 5K while agreeing to pay the remaining amount after a thorough PDI.
Once the PDI was done and after I was convinced of covering all of the minute details per the tbhp checklist made the additional down-payment. I went ahead with the financing option from Ford Finance itself and it was quite hassle free with all the paperwork being completed at the dealer itself in an efficient manner. The ROI (8.9) was lower than what was prevalent at that point of time in most banks that I checked and there were no additional hidden charges.
The discounts were in the tune of 15k cash + 5k corporate discount in addition to some freebies (read accessories, viz. scuff plates, body cover, neck rests etc.). I also took the 3rd and 4th year warranty which led to a total ORP of just a shade more than 11 lakhs. If I look at it, my budget got stretched by a lakh more than what I had accounted for but at the end I thought the additional features made it worth the extra spend. Sync 3 or Android auto wasn’t a priority that much as I like to use a spare android phone for all of those needs, and which I could also use as a part time dash cam. The google assistant is quite adept nowadays and having it on the phone allows for more amount of customization as needed, besides we can set android auto on the phone to start up automatically on discovering a Bluetooth media device on the car. I would have really liked the 6 airbags though.
Amidst all of this it became quite certain at that point of time that Ford was planning another round of feature deletions and per the news shared in our own forum and other WA groups things like the sunglass holder and the rear split seats etc. in the Titanium variant were sure to go. The SA did notify about this and a possible price cut as well but the details weren't revealed in full. I didn't think it would make a major difference on the price front as discounts won't apply if the prices are revised. Besides I needed the split seats and it didn't make sense to wait for the new announcements.
In addition to the extended 3rd and 4th year warranty (Standard being 2 years / 1 lakh kilometres), I also opted for the essential pack which consisted of the mud-guards, floor-mats, boot mats, teflon coating and a host of other items like a document holder, key chain etc. Whatever I can get although some of them I might never use. The overall quality of the pack items were pretty good so didn't think about it much in a hindsight, although someone could negotiate striking them off the total cost to save a few thousands more. The mats especially are not of the plastic / rubber kind and are easy to clean.
Everything from the PDI and the delivery went through smoothly, the insurance was shown at a whooping 50k on paper which was reduced to around 32k without much ado. The Hyundai folks on the other hand were adamant on what’s printed, the handling charge itself was quoted around 8k or something, not sure what they handled in that.
The delivery date was fixed for 5th of June. I visited the dealership on the 4th as well to check on the car and asked the folks to remove all the plastic coverings on the seats etc. before the delivery while conveying that I would like to have a delivery in the morning hours. When the day arrived finally, bought the customary sweet boxes and other items for presenting to the showroom staff as a token of appreciation. Booked an OLA to reach the venue which was about 10 kms from my Apartment. The staff accorded a warm welcome and directed us to the customer waiting lounge for the final set of formalities, I was also asked if there was any special time that the delivery was to be arranged. I was then given a detailed overview of the document set, the warranty specifics, the service schedule and the other relevant details. That being done headed to the floor for the unveiling ceremony.
Mine being the first car to be delivered for the day the whole showroom staff gathered for the claps, there were at least 2 other EcoSport's being prepped for delivery. The unveil and the ceremonial handover of the key done, proceeded with the feature explanation regimen. Distributed the sweets and the other tokens I had got in for the day in the meantime as well. There were some things which I discovered quite later as part of the feature set. I used to feel a wondrous delight when I saw the side mirrors of the Hyundai's auto closing themselves when we lock / unlock the car, it felt great to know that it was available as an option that can be enabled on the EcoSport as well (without the LOUD irritating noise), and I am keeping that enabled for now. Besides the features like the follow-me home guides, puddle lamps etc. were things of great utility I thought as the explanation went on.
The keyless entry implementation is quite unlike any I have seen on other cars. There are no sensor buttons to touch on the door handles but we just have to slide our hands underneath to unlock and for locking there are small groove markings on top of the handle. One of my colleagues remarked "Is that a fingerprint sensor on the handle" during one of the days in office. It took some time to finish the overview, had pushed in a few questions as well but the rep heard through me patiently. This step done one of the showroom folks took to the driver seat to get the car from the lobby to the driveway up front. The last step was the breaking the coconut step, not something that I do every day so obviously I faltered and managed to splash the coconut water in my face in the process. However post this step I could drive off and it was already beginning to tinker in the back of my mind about finally getting hands on the wheel. Did a full check once again by checking all of the nooks and corners of the vehicle and then proceeding with the adjustment of the seats, steering, mirrors et al. And so in a few minutes I was driving down the roads in my own brand new car, culminating a long drawn process worth this record.
Living with it:
Total kilometers driven till date: 1700 kms
Fuel Efficiency: On MID: 13.1 kmpl, Actual: 12 kmpl approx.
Service Costs: 0
Niggles: None (Apart from an ill fitting OBD port cover which was replaced under warranty)
I have completed the first mandatory service at the time of writing this thread, the time just flies with 3 months gone by already. The ownership experience has been a pure bliss, I especially like the surge of power when accelerating through whatever good roads encountered during trips. While the EcoSport has always been known for its good driveability I was quite apprehensive of lugging a relatively heavy car over the city roads and bumper to bumper traffic. It's quite nimble and floats through whatever tarmac we pass through. The high GC is a boon and as someone said regardless of what the official specs may present you can just check on it by actually looking underneath and I am satisfied with what's on offer.
The forum already has a comprehensive review on the Dragon specifically and I must have gone through it a countless number of times before taking the leap (TBHP: 2018-ford-ecosport-facelift-1-5l-petrol-official-review (2018 Ford EcoSport Facelift 1.5L Petrol : Official Review)). Since I had been driving an Alto (also a 3-cylinder Petrol with about 1 / 4th of the power), during the initial days it took some time to get used to the overall girth while navigating through our congested roads but after a few days of regular driving that feeling has largely subsided. I have been getting a MID reading of 13 kmpl which is quite acceptable I feel. Fuelio logs have been diligently updated right from the first fill-up the stats of which tell me that I am getting 12+ kmpl on an average between good and bad days, as the highway drives have been limited this should be a norm without breaking a sweat. The gear change indicators help, and I have observed that sticking to it augurs well for the fuel efficiency however I have observed that the shift indicators between the 3rd and the 4th keeps fluctuating too much depending on the rpms even when being at 3rd or 4th would be just fine at that particular speed range.
Displacement: 1,497cc, 3-cylinder naturally-aspirated motor
Power: 121 BHP / 123 PS @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 150 Nm @ 4500 rpm
Kerb weight: 1242 kgs
Type: 5 speed manual transmission
Standard Warranty: 2 years / 100000 Kms
Purchased: Extended Warranty + RSA 3rd & 4th Year or 100000 Kms @ 12966
Boot Space: 352 L
Fuel Tank: 52 L
Ground Clearance 200 mm
The long and short of it:
My side of the city experiences a lot of traffic even on the parts where the roads can be considered as wide. Unplanned U-turns and peak time vehicle numbers throw a spanner into the timeline almost every day, there’s just no escape. That’s about the sole reason why I started taking the Metro regularly, for the journey of around 7 odd kms between the station and my Apartment I ride out on the Aprilia. In the EcoSport phase I make it a point to take my car for the office commute of around 46 kms to and fro, at least once a week (Planning to increase it to 3 days a week). Spending those 2 hours in the EcoSport made me realize the competencies of the vehicle in terms of being a city roundabout. As I already stated before, the overall size took some getting used to, the thick A pillars didn’t help matters either. But once I got into the groove it was quite a journey of satisfaction. The Titanium variant comes with an Engine Push Start Button, to start the engine we need to depress the clutch and then press it, you just can’t ignore the start-up regimen. The start-up jerks aside, the Dragon pulls cleanly from the first gear without any fuss. The gearbox is slick, and I especially like the moment when I slot it from the second to the third and then to the fourth. The clutch throw feels long some of the times but nothing that causes any major worries. Within the city I would feel lucky if I get to engage the fifth gear even if for a brief period. The gear shift indicator comes into effect precisely around 2000 - 2300 rpms with the upshifts and the downshifts being indicated around that limit. If we are in the 3rd to 4th gear rpm range frequent gear changes aren’t necessary on most days. I found it an excellent city car, the compact dimensions and a good bottom end allows it to be a daily driver without breaking a sweat. A sedate driving style complements this engine in terms of mileage, a heavy foot will surely propel the fuel bills northwards. That said the acceleration is linear and I always have the requisite power to pull through for an overtake or to zip through an empty patch quickly. While at lower speeds the refinement levels are praiseworthy, I have had to use the horn to make my presence felt on occasions. The doors auto lock at 20 kmph however as a safety feature they can be opened from inside at any point of time. I have the child lock engaged always at the rear as this feature seems to scare some folks due to some reason, once I tell them about it. 2 Airbags are standard on the front, another set of it would have been welcome. Seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters are standard, we also have homesafe headlamps, crash unlocking system, safe clutch start, door ajar warnings, rear sensors, etc. as part of the safety feature list. More than these though, the feeling of being cocooned inside the car is far more significant within the confines of the EcoSport.
While on the weekend drives on the highways (highest being a 300 kms round trip) the inherent behavior is sustained, and the driveability doesn’t differ a lot i.e. at being smooth and eager. At higher rpms the engine gets throaty, sounds quite like music to my ears but someone may find it loud as well. Since I was still running in the engine didn’t push the engine too far, in fact I touched 100 kmph only after completing the first 1000 kms as advised by the SA, the manual has references for 500 kms of break-in time for the tyres, avoidance of heavy braking and clutching during the first 150 km in the city, and the first 1,500 km in highways. Reaching the triple digits calls for a gradual progression and isn’t hurried. 80 kmph is reached while on the 5th gear and with the rpm hovering around the 2100 mark, 100 kmph is reached soon after at around 2600 – 2800 rpm. Haven’t gone to speeds greater than 100 kmph as of now, anyway my ideal cruising range has always been around 80 to 100 so not very eager to push around the limit anytime soon. The car itself is rev happy and would be efficient in cruising all day long in triple digit speeds per my experience till now, the overall ambient noise doesn’t protrude too much into the cabin as well when under 3000 rpm. The Fuel Efficiency has remained constant at around 12 - 13 kmpl for a majority of city drives with a few highway drives thrown in, this is as per the MID and Fuelio logs, I expect the figures to improve after the second service. I usually don’t do a full tank fill-up to calculate the FE and my regimen involves filling up by 1000 rupees or so every time the needle reaches the half tank mark. Since my running is not that much right now that amount of fuel suffices for a week or two. There is an Indian Oil fuel station right next door so this schedule suits me for now and allows me to quickly check the tyre pressures as well.
Tales from the ground:
The Titanium variant gets 205/60 R16 tyres shod on 16-inch alloys. I got Goodyear Assurance tyres as stock which should hold good for the near term. I had been a fan of Michelin as it helped salvage a good amount of comfort levels when using them on my Alto, so an upgrade will definitely take me in that direction but there is an entire thread dedicated to discussing the tyres on the EcoSport and it has a whole lot of information available and will be my ready reference. There is some amount of road noise, but it doesn’t fall in the alarming criteria. The major irritant is the noise which emanates from the tiny stones after they get embedded into the grooves, not sure if there is an escape from this. There is nothing extraordinary so as to speak on the current set and per the existing owners and their feedback these would run in fine till around 30K to 40K kilometers. Would like to shop around for all terrain tyres when the time comes with the necessary modifications.
Suspension is standard fare with an Independent MacPherson set-up up front and Semi-independent (Twist Beam Type) set-up at the rear. On truly bad roads the ground Clearance of 200 mm gives a great level of confidence (however there is a plastic wind deflector up front which undermines the approach angle and is the first to get a hit). Went through pretty bad muddy roads on a trip to Ananthagiri Hills, had no problems in tackling those. The EcoSport bounces around a lot on uneven roads (read really bad roads after the first set of monsoon rains), I have to try a lower psi as currently am running with 2 psi higher than the recommended values. But smaller speed humps and potholes are just a blip on the run. The driving dynamics are well sorted, and the suspension works in tune with the other components to provide a fulfilling ride. Ultimately the Low speed and High-speed ride experience comes together well, and I haven’t faced any issues with either road noise filtering into the cabin or vibrations / jerks of any sort.
The EcoSport’s steering comes with, as per the brochure spec: Electric Power Assist with Pull Drift Compensation while Tilt and Telescopic settings are standard. So, there is a right position for everyone if we seek out for it. The steering feels light and maneuvering the car is truly fun, it auto-rotates after a turn as well. Most of the times I have just one hand at the steering while the other relaxes at the arm rest, it’s not adjustable but quite all right for my usage. The leather wrapped steering feels really nice to hold, the size is perfect for me as well, while the provided contours are usable. The steering mounted controls seem to be a result of some heavenly concoction to me after holding the Alto’s steering for so long. The MID can be controlled from the steering as well, no ugly stalks, thank you. The interior ambience is driver oriented and all things are within reach, the sound quality of the horn and loudness are acceptable, it's neither meek nor the loudest. I have made a personal pledge to keep the horn usage to a minimum due to which I don’t reach out to the center too often but it’s within range for a normal usage. Straight Line dashes are sure-footed and feels lively throughout, and we can also confidently point the nose to the intended direction. The feedback is engaging as well and on higher speeds we don’t feel a loosening of the grip due to any EPS over assist. The turning radius of 5.3m didn’t pose any problem in my usage till now.
The Brake specs right from the Specification brochure is as under:
Front: Ventilated Disc Brakes / Hydraulic Vacuum Assisted, Tandem Master Cylinder
Rear: Drum Brakes / Hydraulic Vacuum Assisted, Tandem Master Cylinder with Auto Slack Adjuster
I prefer engine braking to slow down the car wherever possible but there have been some instances when I had to brake hard to avoid potholes and other inanimate objects that spring up, sometimes out of thin air. The brakes work well, and I am satisfied with the performance when in need, being a heavy car, we would expect a lunging forward situation but those are handled with aplomb, the ABS kicking in sound is distinctive. Sometimes I do feel however that the bite could have been more definite. While moving through city traffic in speeds of 40 – 50 light taps on the brakes work fine but if we have to plan on a halt due to a traffic signal or traffic junction occasionally I realize that the car hasn’t slowed down fully yet and I need to apply a second round of brakes for a proper halt. I also realized however that there was a major influence on the way I was applying the brakes, years of driving on the Alto had taken a toll on what to expect of a sharp braking event.
Since I was using the push button start for the first time on any car I have owned or driven it took some time getting used to. Sometimes the engine would start up fine as there is a prominent shake during the cranking up process but soon after I felt that the engine got cut-off when actually it didn’t. If there is some outside din the difference was even greater for me to comprehend, I even called up my SA to report that the engine was dying after starting up. Glad I realized it sooner else I would have been thinking all the time if the engine was in fact running. For a 3 cylinder it is pretty impressive, although at lower gears or if we try to push the rpms there is a distinct engine clatter which cannot be mistaken for anything else.
God knows who designed the side mirror casings. The glass pretty much comes out of the entire cover and looks horrible.
Within a few days of getting my EcoSport home discovered that the OBD port cover wasn’t fitting properly and the lines were appearing skewed. I had seen this in at least a couple of other EcoSports as well. The plastic cover had a slot wherein a section from the cover would go in which was bent in my case and that was the cause of the deformity. The cover was replaced under warranty during my first service which was scheduled at the end of 3 months or 2000 kms. However I felt these things should be caught at the QC level itself.
The Service Experience:
The first (mini) service experience was pretty good. I had requested for an express service as I wanted to be in and out in time for office. Booked the schedule by calling the dealership number and reached the service center. I was promptly shown into the lounge which had a direct view into the workshop floor. Once the SA was assigned I asked him if I could get into the floor for just a little bit and see the underbody of the car after hoisting it on the hydraulic lifts. My request was obliged, spent some time checking out the service steps and the other equipment as well. So, the first service was done in under 3 hours including the washing etc. for a total bill of zero rupees. Enjoyed the coffee and the snacks and at the end the detailed report listing the health of the tyres, battery and a host of other peripherals. Left totally satisfied, there were a series of calls and persuasion tactics asking for a 10 rated feedback which I would have given anyway after going over all, based on a firsthand experience. Only downside was that they smeared a generous amount of some extremely shiny polish all over the interiors which left me with a sticky hand for the entire duration of the day.
The Drive Tales:
Lot of usable space within the Car, makes things easy to store knick-knacks and more. A 6th gear as on the Nexon would have been great.
The Fabric seat covers which came in standard looked very premium and the overall feel made me decide that I will be off any seat cover upgrades until a year or so, but when on an outing there was a liquid spillage incident from the bag of one of my colleagues which made me change my mind. Went ahead with a cognac matching shade which I liked in the EcoSport Thunder Edition. These are standard fare and came in pretty cheap from a car decor shop near my office, as I didn't want to splurge a lot at this stage.
Same Same: No worrying about differently sized spare, same specs all around will be able to do a proper rotation.
Plastic Cladding runs all around, looked dull right off the block. Stones getting stuck in the Tyre grooves makes quite a racket, not sure if there is an easy way out of this. I believe rear fogs were part of the standard feature set at some point of time.
SUV look carried with aplomb. One of the few cars with a proper cavity for the front number plate. In absence of this the HSRP has a very high chance of getting deformed without the plastic cover.
Initial GC testing phase.
Right amount of contours and at the right places adds to the SUV ish look.
The bonnet length isn't apparent when looked at from other angles. Overall stance looks stubby when looked at from the front.
Trip to Bidar, one of the first highway runs.
While on the Bidar Ring Road, was a great day for photos. Had a hard time keeping the speed under 80 kmph as the running-in period was still on. I felt the power delivery was very linear and when on a good patch the speed reaches the triple figures in no time.
The rear hatch release is neatly integrated. I always liked this design element but the unconventional opening not so much. Incidentally one of the first cars that our family had, the Mahindra Max also had a horizontal opening and the Tyre attached to the rear door as in the EcoSport.
When you get good roads, stop for a photo-op.
Mirrors are much bigger than in my Alto and I don't have anything to complain about the view. If only some though was put into the mirror integration.
Alloy designs are contemporary, I felt that they are very easy to clean as well. Puddle Lamps help when parking in darker places. Greatly helpful in my apartment parking area.
And a last parting shot....!
All's well that ends well:
All said and done I yearn most earnestly to take out the car every day (if only someone could foot the fuel bills for an unlimited number of kilometers). I have marked Fridays and the Weekends as pure car days unless there are some other ad-hoc engagements and just for the driving pleasure offered, I have been taking the longer routes to get to where I want to be at, while enjoying the dragon as much I could. I did ponder around Ford packing up and leaving the country and other things of those sorts but let’s see how it pans out, I hope I could see the future. Right now, I want to just concentrate on devouring up the kilometers whenever possible which itself looks seemingly daunting, given the work schedule. But the fact is most of us wouldn’t go around buying a car just on a whim, It’s a big financial decision and something which happens only once a few years at the very best. Wants are unique else only a single model would have sold forever. As I keep discovering, that’s the essence of spending around the time that we take to filter through the choices and the satisfaction is achieved through the outcome of it. We would like to decipher all in advance but what’s the fun in knowing what’s in store already. Unless of course if we are stuck with a lemon, then may the force be with you…!
Last edited by sandx : 22nd September 2019 at 21:54.
|20th September 2019, 21:05||#3|
re: How to choose a Dragon - My Ford EcoSport 1.5L Dragon Petrol
Candids and some more about it:
The Circle of Happiness with a cool silver surround and a green light. Stays on when the engine's running.
Meaty steering wheel which is leather wrapped, feels great to hold as the size feels right in the best possible way, usable contours and controls.
Stitch pattern, no contrasting colors but serves the purpose.
USB ports and the 12V socket (there is one at the rear as well but only on the right side) up front. Illuminated ports are gone, but the rubber base in the storage area remains, good are to place phones, wallets etc.
Some bit of bling livens up the interiors as well. 9 inch fly audio touch screen without Android Auto or Apple Carplay but the integration feels nice. Hardware buttons in plenty in case someone is averse to touch, screen can be turned off independent of the other functions. Haven't explored the GPS or the other features much in course of my ownership till now.
Leash for the Dragon, Slick and Precise. Love to flick it, a sixth cog would have been welcome.
Auto Climate Control present and the cooling performance is excellent, tried and tested in Hyderabad summers. Fan speed on the left control goes from 1 to 7 lines, gets loud at the maximum range. While the temperature control on the right goes to a minimum of 15 degrees before showing LO and to a maximum of 29 degrees before showing HI.
Light - check, Mirror - check, all things in place for the ladies. The driver side is completely blank though, not even a ticket holder.
The glove box is of average size with 2 compartments. The top level has enough space for the manuals and smaller documents to fit it, while the lower half can be used for everything else. No cooled option or illumination available. There are plenty of storage options though and one would never feel there is any shortage of it. The lid is unusually big.
Ideally spaced pedals, rest your foot on the left when on those long drives. No visible clutter underneath. Depending on how we place the foot on the clutch there maybe instances when there might be a contact with the steering rack.
Non adjustable arm-rest storage area is deep, nifty holder for a pen. Works well for my seating posture as I am able to rest my arm comfortably with enough space to spare for the passenger as well.
10 inch mid, one of the factors to go with the Titanium variant, a great amount of information available and which can be controlled through steering mounted buttons. The mid on the lower variant feels pre-historic.
One of my related posts about the MID: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ml#post4598646 (Hyundai Venue : Official Preview. EDIT: Launched @ 6.5 lakhs)
Power Window buttons still glow.
Thought given to prevent unnecessary rattling et al.
Something of the rubber kind I purchased online to prevent the rear door from hitting a pillar at the parking area. Paint Protection measures pending a visit to 3M and the likes.
A personal favorite in terms of striking design integrations.
Eyes up close. Lights up the route efficiently, no issues faced so far, high beam usage has been minimal.
Yikes, looks like someone molded this by hand. This is the area where the hatch meets the chassis at the top. An striking stand-out when the rest of the components seem well put together.
Goodyear Assurance Tyres. Same specifications on all 5 of them.
Meaty Doors, The ones on my Alto were about 50% of it. The rear ones open in a precise 2 stage action, the front ones have a 3 stage opening.
Got the arm-rest at the rear and the split seats, the new Titanium variant doesn't have it any longer. In my parking I am not able to open the rear hatch due to space constraints so the split seats come in handy if I have to access anything in the boot.
Rear wiper is of great utility, the washer liquid flows down through a tiny protrusion present in the same section as the HMSL.
Tyre Pressure recommendations. We are just 2 souls in the vehicle most of the time and I am on 32 all around, will have to try out a lower psi.
Different Engine Configurations. Has references to the Petrol, Diesel and the EcoBoost hearts.
Front insulation present.
The bay can easily accommodate a larger engine, lot of space available from where you can view the expanse of the ground below. Lack of an engine cover makes it look cluttered, there is no under body protection as well.
And on the days I drive, my Ready Player One view.
Last edited by sandx : 22nd September 2019 at 21:59.
|23rd September 2019, 07:33||#4|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Thanked: 33,788 Times
re: How to choose a Dragon - My Ford EcoSport 1.5L Dragon Petrol
Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
|23rd September 2019, 16:45||#5|
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: BLR | CCU
Thanked: 271 Times
Re: How to choose a Dragon - My Ford EcoSport 1.5L Dragon Petrol
I recently bought a Ecosport Titanium with the Dragon engine as well.
I bought mine in August, and it was on May 2019 manufacture.
Just to compare and contrast between your March and my May manufactured car:
1. Mine has beige interiors, yours is full black
2. Mine lacks Sunglass Holder + Map Lamps + Rear Armrest + 60:40 Split seats
3. Both of ours has the new cluster
Ford's constant variant re-jig has really gotten on my nerves It was impossible to find out which month's production had what features. I really wanted to find a pre-jig T+ with Sync3, but didn't find any in stock.
|23rd September 2019, 17:59||#6|
Re: How to choose a Dragon - My Ford EcoSport 1.5L Dragon Petrol
|25th September 2019, 22:31||#7|
Join Date: Jul 2019
Thanked: 6 Times
Re: How to choose a Dragon - My Ford EcoSport 1.5L Dragon Petrol
Congratulations on the new purchase. Even I'm considering the EcoSport S Ecoboost. Hope the join the league of Ford owners soon.
|29th September 2019, 12:07||#8|
Join Date: Mar 2019
Thanked: 364 Times
Re: How to choose a Dragon - My Ford EcoSport 1.5L Dragon Petrol
Congrats on owning the EcoSport! It's a great car but the feature shuffling is so inconsistent by Ford that a potential buyer will not buy the car. This car is so addictive to drive that you'll keep driving it often than expected. I have a lightning blue Titanium TDCi with sync 3. Is there a reason you didn't consider the TDCi cause the price difference is very less.
|The following BHPian Thanks jithin23 for this useful post:|
|29th September 2019, 17:58||#9|
Re: How to choose a Dragon - My Ford EcoSport 1.5L Dragon Petrol
|The following BHPian Thanks sandx for this useful post:|
|30th September 2019, 08:46||#10|
Join Date: Jun 2008
Thanked: 93 Times
Re: How to choose a Dragon - My Ford EcoSport 1.5L Dragon Petrol
Wish you many Happy Miles
|The following BHPian Thanks vickster for this useful post:|
|30th September 2019, 18:27||#11|
Re: How to choose a Dragon - My Ford EcoSport 1.5L Dragon Petrol
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