THE battle for the best budget SUV market got way hotter after Ford added its R254 950 wallet-friendly version of the EcoSport to the mix.
The EcoSport 1,5 Ti-VCT Ambiente is setting its sights on Renault’s new Duster, which is available from R249 900 and the new Suzuki Jimny, which sells from R254 900.
This new model now kicks off the EcoSport range as the most affordable offering, followed by the 1,5 TDCi Ambiente, which shares a nearly identical level of features, along with the five-speed manual gearbox but different engine.
Next up is the 1,0 EcoBoost engine which powers the mid-series Trend and range-topping Titanium models. They are available with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes.
The new entry-level model’s engine recently made its debut in the updated Ford Figo line-up too and is credited with a maximum power output of 91kW and peak torque of 150Nm, contributing towards great all-round driving dynamics, impressive fuel economy and low running costs.
In spite of this model’s entry-level status, there are still plenty of standard features to wow the buyers such as all-round electric windows along with remote central locking, power-heated side mirrors, air conditioning and a towbar slot just in case buyers need the dealer to fit on the optional towbar pack.
The base Ambiente also comes with a six-speaker sound system, which is provided with a Bluetooth connection and voice activation, plus steering wheel-mounted sound controls. The instrument cluster incorporates a trip computer as well as the EcoMode switch which assists the driver to achieve optimal fuel economy.
Since most EcoSport SUVs double up as family transports, it is quite safe too. For peace of mind, Ford has added an electronic stability control, six airbags, Isofix child seat-anchor points, rear parking sensors and manually-operated follow-me-home lights.
Ford also recently boosted the EcoSport with a few new design changes that give it not only a fresh look but also a more muscular attitude.
As with the rest of the EcoSport range, the price include a four-year/ 120 000km comprehensive warranty as well as a four-year/60 000km service plan.