Buyers' advice, Ford, Motoring News, new models, suv

Ford year-end boost focuses on more EcoSport sales

  • New entry-level addition to EcoSport line-up
  • ‘Impressive’ new-generation 1.5-litre three-cylinder
  • Six crash bags, electronic stability contro
2018 FOR ECOSPORT AMBIENTE: End-of-year touch-up. Image: Ford SA
2018 FOR ECOSPORT AMBIENTE: End-of-year touch-up. Image: Ford SA

PRETORIA, Gauteng – Ford’s EcoSport SUV, launched in June 2018, has made a close-to-Christmas bid to boost sales.

The Pretoria automaker says its making the model ”available to a wider range of price-conscious buyers” with the introduction of an replacement entry-level, petrol-powered, 1.5 Ti-VCT Ambiente.

Doreen Mashinini, Ford SA’s marketing manager, told The Corner in a media release: “The EcoSport has always been a compelling combination of exceptional value for money matched to great style, upmarket features, and family-oriented space and versatility.

2018 FOR ECOSPORT AMBIENTE: End-of-year touch-up. Image: Ford SA
2018 FOR ECOSPORT AMBIENTE: End-of-year touch-up. Image: Ford SA

“We set a benchmark with the updated range but the 1.5 Ti-VCT Ambiente wil broaden its appeal with even greater value at the entry point to this popular segment.

THREE-CYLINDER WAGON

“Combined with the impressive performance of a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and the superb level of standard comfort, safety and convenience features, the EcoSport range is more appealing than ever.”

The 1.5 Ti-VCT Ambiente, Ford says, is the most ”affordable” of the EcoSport range, even less costly than the 1.5 TDCi Ambiente with the same specification and five-speed manual gearbox. A one-litre EcoBoost engine powers the mid-series Trend and range-topping Titanium models still available with a six-speed manual or auto transmission.

2018 FOR ECOSPORT AMBIENTE: End-of-year touch-up. Image: Ford SA
2018 FOR ECOSPORT AMBIENTE: End-of-year touch-up. Image: Ford SA

Powering the new addition to the EcoSport range is the lively 1.5-litre Ti-VCT three-cylinder petrol engine that recently made its debut in the refreshed Ford Figo line-up. This advanced latest-generation unit is powerful, efficient and clean, and uses an aluminium engine block and cylinder head for reduced weight.

READ MORE Ford features on Carman’s Corner

It also,Ford says, relies on twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) for the quad-valve engine to deliver more low-revs torque but top-end power. Fitting a dual-stage variable oil pump is said to have bolstered efficiency but reduced fuel burn.

2018 FOR ECOSPORT AMBIENTE: End-of-year touch-up. Image: Ford SA
2018 FOR ECOSPORT AMBIENTE: End-of-year touch-up. Image: Ford SA

The 1.5 Ti-VCT engine makes 91kW/150Nm (data updated after publication by Ford).

Though the EcoSport 1.5 Ambiente is entry-level, Ford says, it does have many features:  electronic stability control, six crash bags, IsoFix child-seat anchors, rear parking radar1, and ”follow me home” headlights.

Each side window has a power lift; there’s remote central locking (be careful in the car park!), perimeter alarm, power adjustment for the heatable external mirrors aircon and towball preparation.

2018 FOR ECOSPORT AMBIENTE: End-of-year touch-up. Image: Ford SA
2018 FOR ECOSPORT AMBIENTE: End-of-year touch-up. Image: Ford SA

A six-speaker Ford Audio system is linked to SYNC with Bluetooth and voice activation, plus steering-wheel audio controls. The instrument cluster carries a trip data computer and an EcoMode to help save fuel.

Ford EcoSport recommended retail prices:

1.5 Ti-VCT Ambiente 5MT – R254 950 (price updated after publication by Ford)
1.5 TDCi Ambiente 5MT – R267 500
1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6MT – R293 500
1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6AT – R306 900
1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6MT – R334 500
1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6AT – R346 900

Every EcoSport includes in its price a four-year or 120 000km warranty, three-years’ roadside assistance and five years anti-rush through warranty. A four-year or 60 000km service plan is included along with 15 000km service intervals.

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