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Juliet McGuire

The EcoSport is here to stay…with more derivatives

Don’t panic people, the Ford EcoSport is not going anywhere, for now. The rumours have been doing the rounds, but the peeps at Ford assured us that we have nothing to worry about it. This was told to us at the launch of yet another special edition model, so I think we can trust what they have to say.

The EcoSport has been a sort of pioneer for the mini-SUV segment, hasn’t it? It launched way back in 2013 when many of the rivals we see today were merely a sparkle in a manufacturer’s eye. Since its debut, more than 75 000 have been sold in South Africa. And it just keeps on selling.

HOW TO KEEP ECOSPORT RELEVANT

One way Ford has managed to keep the interest in this ol’ boy is by introducing limited edition models to the market. Last year we saw the Black Edition arrive, it was based on the Ambiente auto derivative and sold more than 2445 units, which solidified its success and so paved the way for this new edition. It is called the EcoSport Active and is based on the Trend auto model so offers a bit more in terms of spec etc than the Black Edition offered.

HOW ACTIVE IS ACTIVE?

It is set apart by some black detailing here and there and 17-inch gloss black alloys – which look awesome by the way. It also sports black mirror caps and a black front and rear skirt. The roof and roof rails are also black. And when in the exclusive Luxe Yellow paint finish, it reminds one of the Ranger Wildtrak…well sort of. There are three other colours to choose from as well. And just so everyone knows you are driving a limited edition model, there are Active badges on the fenders.

The interior boasts leather seats with the Active logo as well. It has an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as cruise control. And similar to the Trend and Titanium derivatives, the Active model is equipped with the FordPass Connect system, which includes an embedded modem that allows you to connect with the car and control a number of vehicle functions from your smartphone via the FordPass app.

You can access info such as fuel level and vehicle health alerts, as well as remotely lock, unlock and even remotely start the car (automatic models only) to cool or heat the cabin.

WHAT DRIVES THE ACTIVE?

It is powered by Ford’s multi-award winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine which puts out 92 kW and 170 Nm. And it is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The driving experience won’t surprise nor delight you, no fault of itself really. It’s just that we’ve had a decade with the beloved mini crossover and so are super familiar with it. Perhaps the fact that we think little of the engine, means it does nothing wrong then? If you enjoy sitting high on the road then the EcoSport is a car you would want to consider!

PRICING OF THE NEW ECOSPORT

The EcoSport Active 1.0 EcoBoost Automatic is priced at R393 700. Included as standard is Ford Protect comprising a four-year/120 000km warranty, four-year/unlimited distance Roadside Assistance and five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty. You’ll have to purchase a service plan which is a bummer.

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