Subcompact crossovers, love them or hate them, they’re among the most common kinds of car you can find roving the streets of Metro Manila. To make it into SUV territory, you’d have to pay a pretty penny for something as big and tall as, let’s say, a Ford Everest. But if small and tall is your cup of tea then look no further than the Ford EcoSport.
The unit improved. Well, everything has changed really. Although the exterior is very familiar, the designers have taken this crossover’s style and tweaked it just that little bit to make it a worthy contender in the subcompact crossover selection. Things get better as you peep into the interior as more thought was put into the redesign, and it shows. Oh, and if you opt for the top-of-the-line Titanium variant, you’ll get a 1.0L EcoBoost engine. Couple that with a revised six-speed automatic transmission, and you have yourself a lot of car for your car buying Pesos.
It gets better from here
The base unit starts at only P920,000, which will get you the 1.5L Ambiente MT. For that price, you will get the 1.5L naturally aspirated engine with a manual transmission. There are two airbags, both in the front and the rear. You do get a rearview camera that’s standard throughout the line. In this iteration, a 9-inch colored touch screen is placed front and center. This model is a little too spartan. It omits alloy wheels in favor of steelies with hubcaps. So our first choice out of the lineup of five is the one right above this one.
Steps in the right direction
The 1.5L Trend variant comes in two flavors, either with a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. The manual variant starts at P970,000, and the automatic starts at P1,030,000. You end up paying P60,000 more for a different transmission, but we think that these two trim levels will be worthy if ever you are shopping on a budget. You’ll only have to make your choice if you want to drive a stick. The Trend variant comes standard with a lot more features than you’d get with the Ambiente, and the park assist feature will come in handy to help you get into a parking slot without much difficulty.
The exterior is also less barren than on the Ambiente. With the Trend sporting fog lamps on the front, it rounds out the look more. Couple that with the blacked out roof rails on top and you have something that gives you more options if you are a fan of roof racks and roof cargo solutions.
On the interior side of things, you get the standard cloth seats. However, one thing that the Trend has is steering wheel mounted controls that let you keep your eyes on the road while adjusting the volume or changing tracks on your infotainment system.
We recommend that you also get the automatic variant since the new six-speed standard torque converter is a major improvement over the previous generation. So, what happens if you add another P160,000?
It gets better. A lot better.
If you can afford it, get the Titanium Variant with a 1.0L EcoBoost engine. Skip the 1.5L Titanium completely, and get one of the best engines that you can find in a subcompact. Because the engine is turbocharged, it produces a lot more torque that effortlessly pulls this FWD subcompact crossover to bring it up to speed. If you decide to get a Titanium, the price difference between the two variants is substantial because the 1.5L is priced at P1,100,000 and the 1.0L EcoBoost is priced at P1,190,000. P90,000 separates the two units, but we would like to stress that at this level the 1.0L EcoBoost is the engine to get.
Also note that apart from the engine you get premium features such as a leather interior, a total of six airbags, a bigger and better instrument cluster in the dash, smart keyless entry, and a sunroof are some of the touches that Ford includes in the package. We have to give a special mention to SYNC 3 as it is leagues ahead of what lesser EcoSport variants have in terms of functionality.
So there are two standouts here for us. First off, is the 1.5L Trend AT. Now it’s not the most decked out in terms of features, but if you are looking at a fairly decent car that won’t break the bank, it isn’t that bad of a buy especially if you are looking to shop on a budget. This variant gets the runner up in the line because it isn’t but it isn’t great as the 1.0L Titanium either.
The variant to get in this lineup is without a doubt the 1.0L EcoBoost equipped Titanium variant. Although the 1.5L Titanium has almost the same features, it just simply isn’t going to do the price justice with that naturally aspirated engine. It may have the same features, but with all that kit it hardly seems like a worthy choice considering that if you decide to splurge just that little bit more, your drives will be more effortless and enjoyable with a turbo.
Overall, if on a budget, get the 1.5L Trend. It offers value for money and enough features, but to us at least it isn’t as solid as the 1.0L Titanium. We advise that if you can afford it, this is the model to get. Again we would like to stress that your preference and financial status is king when it comes to selecting the variant you want. So if you go for the Trend, get an AT, unless you really want a manual. If you go for the Titanium, get the 1.0L EcoBoost variant.