The popularly of the compact SUV began after Ford launched the EcoSport in India. The company garnered bookings in large numbers, making it an instant hit in the market. However, the recent times have seen launches from various manufacturers, and this is now a crowded segment. However, it’s getting a little long in the tooth now, and Ford very recently unveiled a more rugged looking version of it, calling it the EcoSport Active. It’s currently unveiled for the international market, but if we’re lucky, we might see this in India very soon.
A rugged appearance
The Ford cars will be offered as a top-of-the-line variant. What you get is a more off-road inspired look on the outside, like the beefy black plastic wheel arches and side skirts. And thanks to an improved ride height, it can now traverse over some uneven terrain. On the inside, the changes aren’t much, but the new variant does sport leather seats with ‘Active’ badging on the backrest. The European-spec EcoSport Active comes without a tail-mounted spare wheel, but the Indian version certainly will. There’s also a rugged version of the EcoSport on sale in South America that gets four-wheel drive.
Under the hood
The EcoSport continues to be sold with a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbo petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel motor, with power being sent to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission.
An Active for India?
In the Indian market, the EcoSport gets a restyled rear bumper and tail gate because of its tail-mounted spare wheel. For India, there is no 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine on offer anymore after the SUV had to be upgraded to meet BS6 norms. However, it is powered by either a 1.5-litre petrol or diesel engine for India, with the petrol model coming with the option of a an automatic transmission.
But there is a turbo petrol engine on the cards for the future, in the form of Mahindra’s 1.2-litre mStallion T-GDI engine, thanks to the partnership between both brands. This new engine first made its debut on the Mahindra XUV300 at the Auto Expo earlier this year.
The engine produces 121bhp, which is ample enough. For a three-cylinder engine, it is remarkably quiet, and the engine is punchy in the lower revs. But power builds gradually and the engine tends to get a bit vocal. The engine doesn’t particularly like being revved, but it delivers all the power in a linear fashion. You get either a 6-speed automatic gearbox or a 5-speed manual transmission. Also, read the latest car comparisons, only at autoX.