So here's my first impressions about the sexy new Ford Ecosport Titanium, 1000 cc Petrol, after around 40-50 kms in the city and village roads, over 24 hours.
Looks: Absolutely stunning, especially in this Mass Red color, the stance makes it look like an aggressive prowling cat, and the big grille in front makes it almost menacing, ensuring you get the right of way in traffic, unless you try and take on an Endeavour :) I love the spare tire mount on the back door, and the curves and trims.
Drive Experience: Like a true Ford, this is a lot of fun to drive. Extremely responsive, with an excellent view from the driver's seat. It's compact SUV character makes it reliable and confident, yet extremely nimble, like a cat, unlike its bigger cousin, the Endy, which is usually like a lumbering elephant. At 1000 cc, though, when you need sudden acceleration or when you take a big slope fully loaded, an additional 300 cc would have been awesome. Also, at low speeds in 3rd gear, the car comes close to stalling, which might be a problem for first time drivers in bumper to bumper city traffic. Also, like with all other Fords, the responsiveness and driveability comes at the cost of slightly tougher suspension, and you can feel every pimple on the road.
Interiors and Comfort: Given its compact dimensions from the outside, it's surprising how spacious it is from inside, with sufficient leg room and ample shoulder space. There is also lots of storage space for your bottles and cups, and even a box for your gym shoes under the passenger seat. The rear seats can be split 1-2, and fold all the way against the front seats, giving humongous boot space if needed.
Lots of nifty features, too. A sweetly swiveling holder for your shades, an extra 12V outlet for the rear seats, light under the passenger sun shade, and a boot door that opens smoothly at the touch of a button on the door handle.
The steering includes audio and phone controls, and Microsoft Sync, although it takes a little getting used to, is delightful, especially when you can read messages and call people on your address book by just speaking out the commands. The central console has a full key pad, which means you can also dial numbers and even type messages, directly from the car, while your phone can remain safely ensconced in your purse! The car also provides lots of information - from which door is open, to the temperature outside, to the distance left to next refill of the fuel tank, as well as calculating your fuel efficiency and giving you an indication of what is the best way to drive for max efficiency.
And the key is nifty, too. A compact door lock/unlock, with a button that pops out the key, like one of those cool mawali knives, LOL... could come pretty handy, I think!
And one thing that typifies the thinking that's gone behind this car - check the "chasis number" displayed just behind the windscreen - along with the blue oval - just amazing!
Overall, the Ecosport gets a big thumbs up from me! Now if you are salivating and want to own one, the bad news is - you will have to wait at least 6-9 months before Ford can clear all the backlog, and get you one.