2014 FORD ECOSPORT AUSTRALIA
Ford's new EcoSport compact SUV touches down in Australia this week, following its international unveiling in April last year.
MORE: TMR drove the EcoSport in India, see our review here.
The 2014 EcoSport offers a choice of two small petrol engines - one of them boasting an International Engine of the Year title and three familiar trim grades.
On the styling front, the EcoSport is virtually identical to its showcar predecessor, with the more conventional headlight internals and black bumpers the only stand-out differences.
Headlining the engine options is the turbocharged 1.0 litre three-cylinder EcoBoost mill, producing 89kW and 170Nm of torque - the latter produced from 1400-4500rpm.
There is also a 1.5 litre four-cylinder petrol unit available across the range, producing 82kW and 140Nm of torque.
Ford lists the three-banger's fuel use at 5.7 l/100km, while the larger engine is thirstier, listing consumption at 6.5 l/100km.
Buyers looking to snap up the more miserly three-cylinder engine will have only a five-speed manual transmission option, meaning the 1.5 engine is the choice if a six-speed automatic transmission is preferred.
The 1.5 can also be had with a five-speed manual, and all 1.5 litre models get 'launch assist' with a hill-hold function.
All models are front-wheel-drive only.
Suspension is by McPherson strut with coil springs and anti-roll bar at the front, while the rear has a semi-independent twist-beam with twin gas and oil-filled shock absorbers.
The EcoSport shares its platform with the Fiesta hatch, but damper and spring rates have been tuned to enhance steering, handling and ride in the high-riding crossover.
Braking is 278x25mm discs at the front and a 9-inch drum at the rear.
Braked towing capacity is listed at 700kg for the manual 1.5 and 1.0, while the auto-only 1.5 lists 500kg.
Features and dimensions
The EcoSport measures in at 4010mm long, although the back-mounted full-size spare wheel - standard with all models - increases length to 4254mm.
Overall width is listed at 1765mm, and without the roof rails included, height is 1658mm. Ford lists ground clearance of 200mm.
For those daring to go off-road, the EcoSport claims a wading depth of 550mm, along with approach and departure angles of 25 and 35 degrees respectively.
Standard features with the entry-level Ambiente model include 15-inch steel wheels, Ford's Sync infotainment system, along with 'sports' seats, a trip computer and six-speaker audio.
Standard safety includes seven airbags, ABS, electronic brake-force distribution and emergency brake assist, and dynamic stability control.
Moving up to the mid-spec Trend adds 16-inch alloys, cruise control, adjustable lumbar support for the driver, foglights and a chilled glove box.
The top-shelf Titanium model builds on the Trend with leather seats, leather steering wheel and a leather gear shifter (manual only), along with auto climate control, auto wipers and headlights, keyless start, roof rails and an auto-dimming interior mirror.
Rear storage is listed at 346 litres with the 60:40 split-folding back seats up, expanding to 705 litres when laid flat.
Other features include Pull-Drift to compensate for crosswinds and unsealed or poorly surfaced roads. Active Nibble Control is also featured, limiting feedback through the wheel of vibrations at high speeds.
PRICING (excludes on-road costs)
- 2014 Ambiente - 1.5 manual - $20,790
- 2014 Ambiente - 1.5 auto - $22,790
- 2014 Trend - 1.0 manual - $22,290
- 2014 Trend - 1.5 auto - $24,290
- 2014 Titanium - 1.0 manual - $25,790
- 2014 Titanium - 1.5 auto - $27,790