|Photos by Ulysses Ang and Ford Press|
#1: Fuel-saving Tires
The Ford EcoSport looks every bit like a crossover or soft-roader, but it’s actually equipped with passenger tires specifically designed for improved fuel efficiency. The Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires, equipped as standard on the EcoSport 1.5 Titanium, is claimed by Goodyear to improve a vehicle’s fuel efficiency by up to 4 percent based on the tire lifetime of the tire which is pegged at 105,000 kilometers.
#2: LED Park Lights
The slim, aerodynamic headlights seem to be grabbing the lion’s share of attention with regards to the EcoSport’s design, but look closely and there’s an additional surprise: the EcoSport is rocking LED park lights. Not only does it give off a very distinct glow at night, LEDs or light emitting diodes are more energy efficient and also last longer than your typical “peanut” park light bulb.
#3: Push-Button Rear Door Opener
Ford designers have craftily integrated the rear door handle into the EcoSport’s tail lamp cluster, making the rear-end look cleaner and more visually focused on the tailgate-mounted spare tire cover. But Ford designers and engineers have gone a step further: the rear door opener is actually electronically actuated! You open the tailgate not by swinging the door handle upwards, which is a very awkward action given the positioning, but by pressing on the little black button. This also nicely integrates with the Smart Key system.
# 4: Snorkel-like Air Intake
The description’s a bit of a cheat, but there’s no denying that the air intake of the EcoSport’s been raised as high as possible as a response to customer feedback. How high? It’s actually situated at headlamp level. This means the EcoSport’s air intake is higher than wheel level contributing to the amazing 550-mm water-wading capability. And in case you’re going to ask, yes, the ECU is also located on the same level as the air intake.
# 5: Squareflec Dash
The Ford EcoSport’s dashboard is very, very familiar especially if you sit inside a Fiesta back-to-back. But look closer and you’ll notice that the EcoSport sports a very unique dash pattern, Squareflec. Not only does it give a high-tech vibe, but it’s also a nod to the square-shaped structural patterns seen in nature, particularly in plants. This is a very subtle reminder of the EcoSport’s environmentally-friendly credentials.
# 6: DSP Optimizer for Driver and/or Passengers
On the roads around Hua Hin, everyone came out impressed with the EcoSport’s standard 6-speaker sound system. It has a crisp-clear audio quality and booming bass that every audiophile will appreciate. In addition, the Ford SYNC system also has a wealth of input options, all accessible by intuitive voice commands. However, Ford has gone a step further and equipped the EcoSport with a built-in Digital Signal Processing or DSP. Not only does it optimize the audio levels based on speed, it also optimizes it based on two settings: driver or passenger centric. So next time you want to listen to Miley Cyrus, you can actually make her sound like she’s singing in your ear.
# 7: Speed Limit Warning
Like the dashboard, the EcoSport’s instrument panel looks lifted straight from the Fiesta, but looks can be very deceiving. First up, the EcoSport has an instantaneous fuel consumption gauge bar located at the top-most portion of the multi-information display, something that the Fiesta or even Focus doesn’t have. Plus, scroll through the vehicle settings, and you can actually set a speed limit warning on the EcoSport—perfect if you plan to ply NLEX or SLEX often.
#8: Select Shift
The Ford EcoSport’s engine and transmission combination is pretty good, especially for the urban environment. And though the 6-speed Power Shift dual clutch automatic is generally intuitive, the EcoSport also offers Ford’s Select Shift system which allows you to manually shift gears up or town. There are no paddle shifters on the EcoSport though, so you’ll need to shift the gearlever to ‘S’ and then access the +/- command on the gearlever itself.
#9: Aero Detailing
Ford is touting the EcoSport’s 0.371 co-efficient of drag, making it relatively aerodynamic for a SUV. They’ve managed to do so by making the body panels flow from one to another making the EcoSport cut the wind much more efficiently. Worth mentioning is the ‘kicker’ panel located on the EcoSport’s rear window and tail lamp which channels the air effectively away from the drag-inducing spare tire. In addition, the spoiler located under the front bumper is actually designed to create a more effective “bow wave”. As off-roaders know, this is key to improved water wading capability.
#10: Charger with Pocket
Younger buyers love their gadgets and given smartphones aren’t as energy efficient as the EcoSport, Ford engineers have added not one but two power points for everyone to keep their phones, media players or laptops juiced up. The driver and front passenger has it on the center console near the shifter, while those at the back have it tucked to the side of the seat. In addition, the rear seat power point has a built-in pocket that allows the seats to be folded without interrupting your charging. This is one of 20 different storage spaces in the EcoSport.