PRETORIA, South Africa – Ford SA has modified its portfolio of EcoSport small family leisure/city SUVs with the addition of a six-speed auto transmission for Ambiente petrol units.
Driving safety and comfort spec upgrades have been added to Trend and Titanium models.
Doreen Mashinini, Ford SA’s marketing manager, told The Corner: “The compact SUV category grew substantially with the launch of the EcoSport in India in 2013 and the model (when our editor was Wheels24 editor) has since then dominated this class,
EASIER IN THE CITY…
“The introduction of a six-speed auto transmission for the EcoSport 1.5 Ambiente offers the best value-for-money automatic in the entry-level compact utility segment and, paired with the six-speed automatic gearbox and 91kW, 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine has created a compelling proposition that offers exceptional value for money.
“It’s ideal for active individuals and families for which the convenience of an autobox not only eases the rigours of city driving but also delivers comfortable and hassle-free open-road cruising.”
EcoSport Trend and Titanium derivatives have also been refreshed: added are a collision mitigation system that alerts the driver to a potential collision with the vehicle ahead, pre-charges the brakes, and can apply maximum braking as soon as the driver hit the brake pedal.
Trend units gain cruise control while Titanium models have had front parking radar to complement the cars’ already present rear sensors and a belly shield added to Trend and Titanium models to protect EcoSport models should things get rough enough to exceed the already generous 206mm ground clearance.
…SAFER ON THE HIGHWAYS
Mashinini again: “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, will also appeal to buyers.”
The changes take to seven (price list below) the number of EcoSport derivatives, starting with the 1.5 Ambiente five-speed manual or the new six-speed auto.
”The three-cylinder ,1.5-litre, petrol engine available for the Ambiente auto,” Ford’s news release adds, ”is renowned for its eager power delivery and sprightly performance – 91kW and 151Nm for overall driveability and conservative fuel consumption.”
EXTENSIVE CRASH MITIGATION
A 1.5-litre TDCi turbodiesel is also available in Ambiente trim, producing 74kW/205Nm and spinning a six-speed manual gearbox while the one-litre, 92kW/170Nm EcoBoost engine powers the Trend and Titanium models – which can be specified with six-speed manual or auto transmissions.
All models have six crash-mitigation nitrogen crash bags; the Trend and Titanium units add a driver’s knee-bag while the EcoSport Ambiente has Ford’s SYNC multimedia system with Bluetooth and voice control, two USB ports, six speakers and a 10.7cm info screen.
READ MORE Ford features on Carman’s Corner
Trend models have a more sophisticated version of SYNC with a 16.5cm colour touchscreen, the Titaniums SYNC with a 20cm screen and satnav.
All models have anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control; the Ecoboost units add roll control which adjusts engine torque and braking to help the driver keep control.
The one-litre EcoBoost-powered models are equipped with hill-start assistance and tyre-pressure monitors.
Each EcoSport unit will be delivered with a four-year or 60 000km* service plan, three years of unlimited km roadside assistance, and a four-year or 120 000km* comprehensive warranty.
Service intervals 15 000km.
There’s also a five-year, unlimited km, corrosion warranty.
…AND SO TO THE PRICES
Ford EcoSport 1.5 Ambiente – 5MT – R279 700
Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Ambiente 5MT – R289 900
Ford EcoSport 1.5 Ambiente 6AT – R297 600
Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6MT – R319 200
Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6AT – R333 900
Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6MT – R357 000
Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6AT – R370 400