Long-term review Ford Ecosport




In India, most people have the impression that Ford sells cars that have high ownership cost & are unreliable. Now previously there have been some Ford cars particularly in the early 2000s which were unreliable & had high maintenance cost. But in recent years Ford has done a lot of work to improve its after-sales services. Today I am writing a long-term review of my Ford Ecosport to give you an insight into how good or bad it is to own a Ford product.
Note: The Ecosport shares most of its components with other Ford cars like- Figo & Figo Aspire.     

 Ford launched the Ecosport in 2013. Since then the car has been a success.  It comes with 3 engine options i.e   1.5ltr Ti-VCT(Petrol), 1.5ltr TDCi(Diesel) & 1ltr Ecoboost (Petrol).

Model Year- 2015
Variant – Titanium TDCi 1.5
Type- Diesel
Km’s done till now- 98169 km
Services did till now- 10



Reliability & Durability :

Lets directly come to the big question  i.e how well this car has done in past 2 years. Normally it was driven around Delhi NCR,  occasionally it has done Highway Trips to nearby Cities like Agra, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Yamuna Nagar etc. It has been also taken to some long road trips like Delhi-Srinagar-Leh Ladakh (3500kms round trip), Delhi-Sikkim (4600kms round trip), etc. Here is the maintenance cost service wise to give you an idea of what it costed me-


1st service -2500Kms – Was free ( General Inspection)

2nd service- 10000Kms - 2000 (Engine Oil + Oil filter)

3rd service-20000Kms - Service Charges- 5134, General Service  +Brake Fluid.

4th service- 30000Kms – 3600 .   

5th service-40000Kms  - Service charges-12649, General Service + Brake fluid + A/C Filter & set of tyres(1 Tyre- Rs 6000) Most of the things covered in Warranty.

6th service- 50000Kms- Cost roughly varied around  4k

7th service-60000Kms-  Cost roughly varied around  4k

8th service-70000Kms-  Service charges- 7222. General Service + Ball Joint

9th service-80000Kms- Service charges- 14,977. General Service,  Additionally -Fan Motor Assembly, Belt & Bulb.

10th service - 90000Kms Service charges-  11,289. General Service + Rear spring pad, Seat spring, front right brake assembly.

Note: General Service Includes- Plug oil drain, Oil filter, Gasket drain plug, filter cleaner,  wash fluid pouch, engine oil.

Additionally, there are some facts that I would like to highlight-
1)  After doing about 35000km’s in the first year I started facing Battery Issues. The battery used to discharge overnight. It also lead to starter failure. Ultimately both were replaced by Ford for free under warranty. Ford also gave me a heavy discount on general service charges in 5th service.
2) The steering mounted controls someti.mes stop working. I started facing this problem in the 2nd year.  I was not able to get it replaced under warranty as Ford Engineers never spotted it.
3) The clutch was replaced at 75,000kms. It costed me about 6k. I purchased all genuine Ford parts from Kashmiri Gate. Got it fitted from my local mechanic. Ford was asking for the same about 12-13k.
4) Brakes from company cost around 3700. Till now they have been replaced twice. I purchased them from Kashmiri Gate, Delhi.
5) Some fault with the fan motor assembly. It lead to an in-effective AC. New one costed around 8-9k.
6) Tyres last About 40000kms.
7)  The car was also involved in some minor accidents. Once a Swift coming from opposite direction hit the right side of the car. The front right wheel of the swift interlocked with the rear right wheel of my car. This lead the rear Axle to bent, however the right side doors only suffered few scratches while the Swift suffered broken front axle, damaged front bumper & fender. Due to Increased Vibrations from the rear axle, Ford suggested me to replace the rear axle. Rear Axle along with other damaged components was replaced under Insurance. However additionally I had to pay 5k.
Ford currently gives standard warranty of  2years/100,000Kms on its Cars.  It can be extended to 3yrs/100000Kms, 4yrs/100,000Kms or 5yrs/100,000Kms. It is far better than the likes of  Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Renault but it falls short when compared with Hyundai, Honda & Toyota particularly in terms of extended warranty. Also for an owner like me who’s Car has high running this kind of package makes less sense.

Drivability


At Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim(World's Highest Lake)

Ecosport has compact dimensions but getting hang of it takes some time. Otherwise driving it in and around the city is easy. What I really love is the handling whether driving in the City or on Highways or Hills it feels sharp and easy to maneuver.  The engine has decent power for city and highway use, but it feels under powered on hills. Visibility inside the cabin is also decent but the A-pillar obstructs the vision most of the time.  For driving in rough terrains ground clearance is  sufficient, I have taken it to some of the most treacherous roads in India but never have encountered a situation where its underbelly got scrapped. The ride is stiff which really reduces the body roll, but it makes it uncomfortable on bad roads. Engine kind-off struggles on hills, while crossing Changla pass(Elevation: 5,360 m) on the way to Pangong Lake there were numerous situations where the Car  stalled. The only way you can avoid such situation is by keeping the Car in between 2000-2500 Rpm(Turbo kicks-in between 2000-2500 Rpm) but even that is not easy on bad roads as the speed is around 25-30 kms/hr.



Interiors


It has a lot of cubbie spaces inside the cabin so storing small and big items are easy. Front seats are comfortable even for the long journey but there is no front-passenger arm rest. Rear seats are not that comfortable, especially for long journeys. There are also a lot of lights inside the cabin for the front and rear occupants. Boot space is also decent, It was able to hold 10days luggage of 4 adults(Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Manali) same for Delhi-Sikkim.



The infotainment system has a lot of features but it’s not niggle free like sometimes my phone won’t connect to it through Bluetooth.

Lights

One thing which I wish was better on the Ecosport is its headlights. They feel weak while you are driving in the city or on the highway.

Final Overview-


Things I like about it-
-Superb Handling
-Low spare parts cost
-Lot of storage spaces inside the cabin
-Decent Mileage- 17kmpl avg

Things I don’t like about it-
-Weak Headlights
-Feels underpowered on hills
-Niggles in the infotainment system
-No engine temperature gauge on the speedometer


Overall I feel its an all-round package. It is a suitable for those people who want a car that can be used for City & Highway commutes plus can also be taken on long road trips. In few days Ford will bring the updated version of this Car and that would make it even a more sensible package. I would also like to add that Ford has come a long way in order to improve their after-sales service, they still have some flaws but now they are preforming better than most of their competitors.

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