The Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) bolstered the Ford EcoSport’s position in the compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment with the addition of a six-speed automatic transmission for the popular and most affordable Ambiente petrol derivative.
This is further complemented by specification upgrades on the Trend and Titanium models that enhance driving safety and comfort.The introduction of a six-speed automatic transmission for the EcoSport 1.5 Ambiente represents another trendsetting move for this successful model.
Paired with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic gearbox and the lively 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, the EcoSport Ambiente is a unique and compelling proposition that offers exceptional value for money, according to FMCSA.
This makes the EcoSport ideally suited for active individuals and families where the convenience of an automatic makes it ideal for busy city driving, while delivering comfortable and hassle-free open-road cruising.
In addition to the new Ambiente model, the EcoSport Trend and Titanium derivatives benefitted from the inclusion of Ford’s Collision Mitigation System which is a pre-collision assist feature. This clever device alerts the driver of a potential collision with the vehicle ahead, pre-charges the brakes and, if necessary, applies maximum braking pressure once the driver presses the brake pedal.
Cruise control with an adaptive speed limiter has now been added to the Trend models, while the Titanium gains front parking sensors to complement the rear sensors that are standard across the range. An underbody protection shield on Trend and Titanium models makes the EcoSport more robust for less-than-perfect roads in combination with its 206mm ground clearance.
These attributes, combined with the EcoSport’s impressive list of safety, comfort and convenience features, plus a standard four-year or 60 000km service plan, ensure that the expanded range is more appealing and competitive to its rivals.
With the addition of the new model, a total of seven EcoSport derivatives are available, starting off with the 1.5 Ambiente in five-speed manual or the new six-speed automatic version. The three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine available in the Ambiente auto’ delivers 91kW of power and 151Nm of torque resulting in impressive overall drivability and low fuel consumption. The 1.5-litre TDCi turbodiesel model (producing 74kW and 205Nm) is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox and also available in the Ambiente trim.
The multiple award-winning 1.0 EcoBoost engine, which produces 92kW and 170Nm, powers the Trend and Titanium models, which can be specified with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
Another area where the EcoSport punches well above its weight is in the number of airbags fitted. All the Ambiente models feature no less than six airbags (dual front, side and curtain airbags), while the Trend and Titanium also incorporate a driver’s knee airbag.
Multimedia functionality remains a stand-out feature of the EcoSport, as the EcoSport Ambiente incorporates Ford’s SYNC® with Bluetooth and Voice Control, as well as two USB ports, six speakers and a 4.2-inch screen.
The Trend models boast a more sophisticated version of the SYNC® infotainment system with a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, while the Titanium’s SYNC®3 features an 8-inch display as well as embedded turn-by-turn navigation.
Active driving safety features across the board include ABS brakes, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control (TC), as well as Roll Stability Control (RSC) in the EcoBoost range, that adjusts engine torque and braking to help drivers maintain control.
The 1.0 EcoBoost-powered models are also equipped with Hill Launch Assist (HLA) that makes pulling off on steep inclines easier, along with Ford’s Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
All EcoSport models come standard with Ford’s Protect plan which includes a four-year or 60 000km service plan, three-year unlimited distance roadside assistance and a four-year or 120 000km comprehensive warranty. This is complemented by a five-year unlimited distance corrosion warranty. Service intervals are every 15 000km.