Introduced: Ford Ecosport

When the Fiesta becomes an SUV

Then the spare wheel moves to the tailgate, almost like a real SUV. The ground clearance is given a sizeable 20 centimeter and the slope angles make the steps in front of the local mall a less important criterion in choosing the best parking. But apart from these, somehow so SUV typical peculiarities, the youngest Cologne scion does not want to be understood as an SUV. And because the winters in Cologne are rather mild, Ecosport comes without an all-wheel drive option.

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A world car has sprung

FORD has been selling its Ecosport model in Brazil since 2003 and has done so with great success. A good 700.000 vehicles sold since market launch speak for themselves. Or to put it another way, Ford had the mini-SUV in its range before it became hip in our 'part of the world. Because this, too, can no longer be denied, no matter how sensible the compact SUV class may be, it is enjoying the steepest growth rates.

Everyone wants to sit high above the traffic, enjoy the foresight and claim the subjective feeling of security. The growth opportunities for this segment are brilliant - presumably until we all meet in daily traffic jams, in absurdly made-up small cars, with twenty or more centimeters of ground clearance.

Never the less. Where a market is, there must be an offer.

The Ecosport comes in June 2014 to the German Ford dealers. As a world car he already has a decent journey behind him. Ford manufactures the new Ecosport in Brazil, India and China. Besides these "emerging markets"May the small SUV scion of the Cologne now also the housewives in Cologne-Nippes, the hip and trendy Flat-rate customers and zero-percent financiers as well as the seniors with the desire for a higher-placed seat make happy.

Or not, So the sobering realization after a first test drive. Yes, ecosport has been developed for an important, strongly growing segment. Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Nissan Juke and Opel Mokka have done it. But one notices the Ecosport that he was developed under the dictates of price pressure. In favor of a little more ground clearance one waived a reasonable quality in the interior.

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And so he drives

Understeering early on, you circle winding country roads. Twenty centimeters of ground clearance and the princely slope angle take away the horror of any braking hill. If the 90 hp diesel that was being driven weren't so weak at the start, Ecosport would be a rowdy for the “Tempo 30 Zone”. But the consumption of the only offered diesel engine is conciliatory. The promised 4.6 liters according to the standard were not possible during the test drive - but that is not reprehensible. With 5.8 liters one could be quite satisfied with the route choice with a lot of city traffic and a daring mountain stage.

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That is noticeable

Lots of gray, lots of plastic. You can tell the price pressure on each of the four door panels and across the driver's nose. Also an absolute “no go”: H4 headlights on the front. The Ford Ecosport is a lifestyle SUV with astonishingly good standard equipment. From keyless go to air conditioning to a leather steering wheel and a handbrake lever handle covered with animal skin. But at the front, a light source from the sixties is supposed to provide the bright moments at night. No. Sorry. That might still be the case with a Romanian low-budget brand, but a hip, trendy mobile for € 20.000 shouldn't have to deal with brief moments of darkness when switching from low beam to high beam. Especially since the clever light is on the shelf of the Ford group.  (By the way: if you ignore hip fashion trends, you get a Ford Focus with 1.6 TDCi (105PS) in the 99g SYNC edition with bi-xenon headlights for € 20.715 - you should think about that!) 

That the tailgate is a door and opens to the left to the side, should be owed to the spare wheel. Its weight would bring every damper to its knees. So practical, this hatchback variant is not. Neither in the movement sequence when open, nor at German Federal parking facilities in urban centers. And there the ecosport is supposed to make big eyes.

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That was great

Tel. I always try to see a vehicle through the eyes of the target group. With every test car, I ask myself what would a staunch fan of the model like and what makes sense? Ecosport will serve a vehicle class that a volume manufacturer cannot leave out. He will do this with a solid basic construction and of course he will also get the famous three-cylinder Ecoboost engine with 125 hp. If a positive list were compulsory, I would probably mention the seats. The passenger does not have to adjust the seat height, but apart from that the seating comfort is good and the feeling of space is one thing above all: positive.

Ford Sync Applink

A serious positive mention must be found on the subject of Ford Sync Applink. The way the Ford men go here is quite promising. The next generation will be able to serve the first apps by voice. While cruising through the city, you just press the voice button and say what you want. For example, start the Spotify app and access your own playlist. Or stream internet radio through the car hi-fi system. These features are also not dependent on the choice of the smartphone, as long as you use an iPhone or a device with Google's Android.

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Here must be improved

Haptics, haptics, haptics and also think of the people who see more in a car than just a vicarious agent for fashion trends. The exposed spare wheel may speak the wild slang of off-road heroes, but in the case of a lifestyle SUV that is only available with front-wheel drive (at least once) it only acts as a funny masquerade. The 20 centimeter long overhang is not a real help in everyday life.

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Now the facts:

From June 2014 the Ecosport stands with the dealers. Three engines and two gearbox versions are offered. Whereby the Ford Powershift automatic transmission (double clutch!) Can only be combined with the 112 PS 1.5 liter petrol engine. The Ecoboost 1.0 turbo gasoline engine and the 1.5 TDCi with 90 PS are only available with the manual 5 gearbox.

Prices: Currently FORD offers one more Special price of 17.990 € at. A real offer thanks to proper equipment. But even later, the Ecosport models will only be available with comprehensive equipment. All Ecosport are offered as “Titanium”, the line that Ford generally holds in the top versions. The Ecoboost petrol engine with 125 hp costs € 20.200. (That's when I think of the Focus again, it might be a bugger compact car, but hey, inner values ​​were rarely sexy!)

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