Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review: 2014 Ford EcoSport 1.5 Titanium

Photos by Ulysses Ang
When the Ford EcoSport launched, it was lauded as the best thing to hit the market since, well, sliced bread. Through a careful series of drives and activities, the EcoSport went from strength to strength making you wonder why you should even consider another car. Within the confines of a controlled environment with pre-determined routes and such, it certainly was getting perfect scores. Outside the glitz and glamour of the motor show floor or even exotic locales, the EcoSport loses a bit of that luster. Don’t get it wrong, it’s still a great vehicle, but one that’s just not exactly perfect.

As the Lunar Sky-colored EcoSport (in range-topping Titanium trim) drove up, the Missus immediately commented that she doesn’t dig the grille. After some debate, she’s right in this case. The EcoSport, most especially the front-end, is a love-it-or-hate-it design. The Whale Shark-like gaping mouth has its uses, but the execution is much less convincing here than say, in the Fiesta. After some more minutes of examining the EcoSport though, you find out that there’s more to it than just the polarizing front-end. With just a length of 4,245 millimeters (including the spare tire), there’s not much metal to play with, but designers have certainly gotten the lines and proportions right. The EcoSport looks macho, capable, utilitarian, sophisticated, and classy all at the same time.



There are a lot of nifty details in the EcoSport’s design from the aero detailing not just to improve airflow (the kicker panel on the rear quarter window) but one that even creates a more efficient bow wave when traversing a flood (the extended front quarter bumper trim). Of course, there are the more obvious ones like the integrated rear door handle with push-button actuation. As cool as these details are, there are some tremendous design misses on the EcoSport’s design (two of them, actually)—which can potentially hurt you. First is the rear door that swings sideways. Although this is largely commonplace, the door edge is right smack at head level and is extremely sharp. This can actually cause a head wound. Second is the hood itself which doesn’t open high enough. This can cause your head to hit the latch when you’re checking the fluids or even trying to get a decent shot of the engine bay.

Inside, the EcoSport is a familiar sight to Fiesta owners. It gets the sub-compact hatchback’s interior almost lock stock and barrel especially on the subject of buttons, stalks, and controls. Of course, there are unique cues like the Squareflec dash pattern, but for the most part, it’s a Fiesta. That’s not to say Ford hasn’t used this chance to improve on the Fiesta’s shortcomings though. For instance, the EcoSport has the added convenience of a tilt/telescopic steering wheel making this crossover an extremely ergonomic ride. And then there’s the driver’s seat which offers adjustable lumbar support and even an armrest. Unfortunately, packaging restraints meant some interior features had to go. The addition of the moon roof meant the grab handles (front and back) have disappeared making ingress/egress much more difficult for the elderly.



That single packaging issue aside, the EcoSport does offer a lot of useful storage spaces scattered throughout its compact footprint. The center console just aft of the shifter doesn’t just offer space for three cup holders but also enough room for your iPod (the aux and USB inputs are located here) and two smartphones. There’s also an under seat storage tray beneath the front passenger seat, a cavernous glove box, and front door pockets that can fit 1.5-liter soft drink bottles. The most important cubby hole though, the luggage compartment, is merely adequate. It’s not particularly deep or wide, but it is tall. Thus, fitting items like two or three gym bag lengthwise won’t be a problem, but managing two 26-inch suitcases will pose a challenge (unless you don’t mind stacking them on top of each other). Of course, the EcoSport does come with a 60/40 split-folding rear seat that grows the available cargo area past 700 liters, but the load area isn’t flat which can limit its usefulness.

While not exactly the perfect airport shuttle, the EcoSport is an extremely comfortable city car, especially if you travel with just a few friends at a time. The front seats are superb with excellent support, trouncing some higher-priced crossovers in terms of comfort. Those at the back won’t be as lucky though. It seems Ford has already set expectations with the EcoSport’s small rear accommodations by providing just two headrests and two three-point seatbelts (the center one is just a lap belt). Indeed, rear legroom is a precious commodity which must be bartered with the front passengers. That said, the rear seatbacks themselves are comfy, offering two levels of adjustment. The cushion length is just right for good hip support as well.



Sitting atop of the Fiesta platform, there’s  an expectation that the EcoSport will drive like one. And for the most part, that’s an affirmative although if you would be overly critical about it, there are some aspects where the EcoSport actually loses against the Fiesta. Sharing the same 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, the EcoSport’s straight line performance is best described as so-so. There’s some good pull, but because of the extra weight (an additional 164 kilograms), the engine has to work a bit harder to get it. And by having to apply more throttle, the engine comes out sounding gruff and taxed especially after sampling this drivetrain’s application on the Fiesta. Indeed, if there’s a good case for EcoBoost power, it would be here. Like the Fiesta, the EcoSport uses a 6-speed dual clutch automatic which is smooth for as long as you know how to use it. Being too aggressive with throttle inputs (aka treating it like a conventional automatic), will result in a jolting and rough experience (like riding a wild bronco). Nonetheless, the Power Shift (as the transmission is officially called) does respond quickly and makes great use of the engine’s narrow power band. This powertrain also means the EcoSport 1.5 can return fuel economy figures almost in-line with the Fiesta’s: 8.47 km/L in the city and 15.38 km/L on the highway.

Given that the EcoSport has a higher center of gravity than its Fiesta sibling, it’s amazing how confident and tossable this crossover feels in the twisties. The electric power steering is quick and responsive to inputs imbuing the EcoSport with go-kart like nimbleness. In addition, front anti-roll bars and rear twin shock absorbers keep body roll in check. And through the tightest of turns, the Goodyear tires provide confident grip with just hints of tire chirping. When the going does get tough, the EcoSport is loaded not just with anti-lock brakes and electronic brakeforce distribution, but with vehicle stability control as well. The nimbleness of the EcoSport does have one trade-off and that’s in the way it absorbs bumps. The ride itself is quite alright, but the EcoSport can be quickly unsettled by large obstacles like humps, curbs, and potholes. The suspension re-bound rates have been clearly increased giving the EcoSport a tighter feel through smooth roads but at the expense of a poorer experience on rough terrain. And despite the small proportions, the EcoSport isn’t as easy to maneuver around in traffic as you think. All-around visibility is mixed at best. The biggest problem is the front three-quarters and the rear three-quarters where huge blind spots are present. Thankfully, rear parking sensors are standard.



With a price tag that caps off at P 975,000, the Ford EcoSport still has a lot going for it. Going beyond the mere perception that an SUV gives more ‘bang for the buck’, the EcoSport comes fully loaded with almost everything you can imagine from a moon roof to leather seats to Microsoft SYNC voice-activated sound system (which sounds awesome by the way). After driving it for quite some time on Manila streets, it’s clear that some magic is beginning to rub off the EcoSport. For the most part though, it’s more than enough car, especially for the price. In fact, it still manages to live up to its expectations but this time, you might have to bring it down a notch.



2014 Ford EcoSport 1.5 Titanium
Ownership 2014 Ford EcoSport 1.5 Titanium
Year Introduced 2014
Vehicle Classification Sub-Compact Crossover
The Basics
Body Type 5-door Hatchback
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.5
Aspiration NA
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 110 @ 6,300
Nm @ rpm 142 @ 4,500
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 6 DCT
Cruise Control No
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,245
Width (mm) 1,765
Height (mm) 1,708
Wheelbase (mm) 2,521
Curb Weight (kg) 1,289
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires 205/60R16
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes, Front and Rear
Auto Lights Yes
Auto Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjustment Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather/Urethane
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes
Climate Control Yes
Audio System Stereo
CD
Aux
USB
Bluetooth
No. of Speakers 6
Steering Wheel Controls Yes

63 comments:

  1. I hope a new variant with ecoboost engine would come out soon. 1.5L seems lacking...

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  2. I hope you also review the Ecosport's direct rival: the Kia Soul CRDI

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    Replies
    1. If Kia would lend us one, we'd gladly test drive it. But, as with the case... It's so hard to get one from them.

      Delete
    2. Tee Wenk, the new gen Soul loses out on some crossover ingredients like ground clearance and water wading capability (new Soul actually rides lower than the previous one).
      The Sould CRDi's P1M+ price tag is also driving people away (They'd either opt to add a bit more and get a larger C-segment crossover or save some money and get an EcoSport).

      Delete
  3. One word.... Underpowered

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    Replies
    1. naks! may pa one word one word ka pa jan!

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    2. then strap a Saturn V grouch

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    3. Arte haha gaaaaaay

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    4. One word....Loser

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    5. This is true, mga retard lang ang magdidisagree. Mas maganda pa nga power to weight ratio ng fiesta than this hot piece of garbage.

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  4. Ulyssess Ang: any advice on which SUV is better: chevy trailblazer or ford ecosport titanium.?planning to get one but cannot decide...thanks

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    Replies
    1. Are you serious? Of course the trailblazer is better. No contest.

      More passenger seat, better engine, etc. They're not even in the same category.

      Delete
  5. im planning to buy ....... do you think this is a really worthy vehicle in its class?

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    Replies
    1. If you're looking at the top of the line model, then no, it is not worth it. If we're talking about the base variant, now that's a great buy.

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  6. "Dct powershift of fiesta and focus are not reliable. My problem with my fiesta s is the transmission . Up to now im waiting for my "clutch kit" assembly to arrive. Avoid the dual clutch of fiesta and focus( even my service manager @ ford told me to avoid matic ecosport ). "

    From: http://tsikot.com/forums/ford-cars-talk-78/ford-cars-reliability-issues-98533/

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  7. "Wow... I'm really glad I came here. Long-time member of Tsikot but inactive.

    We bought an Ecosport 2 months ago and we were really happy with it. But then we started having difficulty in stop and go traffic. One time I even nearly threw up because the drive was so uneven. During gitgitan we would either accelerate very fast or really be thrown forward when braking because the transmission would suddenly downshift. I even brought it to Ford last week so they can tell me if there is something wrong with the car.

    They were puzzled by it too. They said that the car should have adjusted to our driving styles by now. They also offered to recalibrate the software. Marami raw silang similar problem sa Fiesta dati and they solved it by upgrading the software.

    After reading Ford's letter, I realize what's happening now. Frst, we did a lot of highway driving initially. So the car must have thought we did that a lot. Then, there are four of us driving the car. So, I think it keeps trying to adjust.

    The good news is, in the past two days, we noticed that we have been having smoother drives. Maybe we're either learning to drive it better or it is adjusting to us.

    No one told us there is a break-in period. I thought that concept had long gone with new cars. This whole "car adjusting to the driver" concept is crazy. It becomes a moving target. Car adjusts, you try to adjust, then someone else tries to drive the car, car adjusts again and so on... Patay.

    Now, I'm wondering if I should have the software reset. Bale, back to zero.

    What do you guys think?"

    http://tsikot.com/forums/ford-cars-talk-78/all-new-ford-eco-sport-85391/index105.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weird, so that's how cars are today? I remember reading something about an ecu update for the transmission of an optra, and it made the car more fuel-efficient.

      In the case of ford's dual clutch transmission, I hope in the future there would be an update of their ecu for smoother shifting.

      Delete
    2. yes weird po. is it automatic transmission? parang artificial intelligence ba?

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  8. what's up with the seats...duh!

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  9. Hi mr ang, i would like to ask lang on your own opinion.....kasi naguguluhan ako kung ecosport titanium or everest mt, i know they are of two different cathegories, at malayo silang i compare but if i buy the titanium ecosport, konti na lang idadagdag ko, meron nakong everest entry model. I know the fact na old model na ang everest and sooner lalabas na ang newest model kaya bagsak presyo sila, to compare with ecosport na loaded ng techies at bagong model pa. Yun nga lang maliit yung ecosport compare sa everest, we are only 4 in the family so i think we can fit in ecosport. Please enlighten me more coz i really dont want to be confused.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mag everest ka na lang. Iba talaga pag maraming masasakay. Baka may relatives kayo, pwede pa magamit.

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    2. Mag everest ka na lang. Iba talaga pag maraming masasakay. Baka may relatives kayo, pwede pa magamit.

      Delete
  10. Sir how about Toyota Avanza 1.3 E? Okay po kaya sya sa ahunan sa Baguio or Tagaytay? Ano po bang specific difference ng Avanza 1.5 sa 1.3? Thank you so much :)

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  11. Hello, I recently bought a Ford Titanium and noticed that the windshield seems to have "grado" compared to the other vehicles that I alternately drive Mitsubishi and Toyota on a daily basis. Has anyone observed any difference with your Titanium?

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  12. Di kaya may Bifocal pa yan windshield mo? Eh... ford yan kasi.

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  13. Good afternoon Mr. Ang,

    Currently, my family and I drive around the metro with our Honda City 2008 M/T vehicle.

    1. It was flooded during Ondoy
    2. My wife doesn't want to go back to driving to M/T

    We are looking into upgrading our vehicle to something taller and of course, brand new.

    We are a family of three only, plus two helpers. But more often than not, there's just four of us traveling around, my wife, baby of 9 months, yaya and myself.

    Of course, when we drive around, we've got baby stuff with us, one of which is a stroller, being the biggest and bulkiest of things we drive around with.

    Working under the budget of Php 1M, we're choosing between Ford's Ecosport and Chevrolet's Spin. I am having difficulty making a decision on which to get because, quite honestly, I am not that knowledgeable and understanding when it comes to car specs. But I sure do make sure that cars I drive, they're well maintained as I got that outlook from my dad.

    So yes, my considerations:

    1. It has to A/T
    2. Preferably Diesel but if it isn't, so long as it is fuel efficient
    3. Below Php 1M
    4. Comfort is a plus and safety is definitely a must
    5. Performance a-ok for city and provincial driving

    Please do help us make a decision. If you would suggest another vehicle, please feel free to do so.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you can live with a jerky dual clutch transmission with questionable reliability, by all means get an ecosport.

      Since you already had a history with honda, why don't you get the new honda city instead? It will swallow the stroller and other baby stuff that you're worried about.

      Delete
  14. Good day!! Im torn between a toyota altis 1.6 g and ford ecosports 1.5 trend.. which is better.. tia

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  15. hi! we are planning to get ecosport kso ang problem sobrang tagal ng waiting period plus nde na free lto/tpl at nagincrease na to 1k. is chevrolet spin a good replacement instead? thanks

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    Replies
    1. sorry increase to 10k. thanks

      Delete
  16. ask ko lang kong mayrong diesel na ganyang model, gusto ko kasi yan, tama yan sa amin dalawa lang kame,at class sya tingnan, thank u

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    Replies
    1. Ma'am, you can check Ford Philippines website (http://www.ford.com.ph) for full specs of the car. I believe they don't have diesel. Good day!

      Delete
  17. Honda City or Ford Ecosport?

    We are a family of 4. Car will be used in the Metro and out of town.

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  18. all new jazz vs ecosport....

    mga guys anu mas lamang sa dalawa?

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  19. kailan labas ng new ford everest..

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  20. New ford everest coming out maybe last quarter of 2015

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  21. Hi all. Was wondering if you can help me choose between a Ford EcoSport MT and a Suzuki Jimny. I'm trying to look for the cheapest (but good) non-sedan vehicle since I almost always pass by flooded areas during the rainy season. I'm also a first-time buyer which is why I want to get the best deal for the price range of 700k-850k. I drive alone on a daily basis but I want extra seats for once in a while out-of-town trips with family which is why I'm a bit unsure with the Jimny. I'm currently using a 15-year old Honda Civic SIR which is why speed is kind of a consideration too. BUT in terms of durability and not-so-expensive maintenance, which of the two should i go for? Would appreciate some advice from car experts or those who have actually tried driving/ own either. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Suzuki Jimny is probably one of the most bullet-proof cars you can buy in the market today. It's really, really down on tech, but it's extremely honest. It's a no-frills small SUV with good off-road capability. But take note: it's not good on-road. Because of the short wheelbase, it tends to be jittery on smoother tarmac.

      This is completely opposite to the EcoSport which is really built more of an urban crossover. It can't really do off-road even if it's got high ground clearance and all that. In terms of durability, it's good you're considering the M/T as that tends to be more reliable compared to the Power Shift.

      Durability, I'd say the Jimny wins but you do have to live with a very prehistoric cabin and minimal NVH. But, it'll probably be cheaper to maintain in the long run. On the other, the EcoSport provides the plusher driving experience (trust me, your family will love you for that), but long-term durability may be questionable.

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    2. Thanks! That's really instructive but now I'm really confused. Which of the two is the better pick? I'm imagining a twice/year 10-hour drive to Bicol with only 2 passengers & a daily drive to and from work alone. That's operating on a tight budget. Also, I'm planning on keeping it until it's good as junk (which is probably after 10-15 years). Please advise. Thank you :)

      Delete
    3. Based on your Needs and wants, go for the Jimny.

      Delete
    4. Hi! Please help me decide between Honda Mobilio and Ford Ecosport?

      Considerations:
      -under 1M
      -fuel efficient
      -has a lot of space both for passenger and stuff
      -best MT
      -less maintenance

      please please

      Delete
    5. Hi! Please help me decide between Honda Mobilio and Ford Ecosport?

      Considerations:
      -under 1M
      -fuel efficient
      -has a lot of space both for passenger and stuff
      -best MT
      -less maintenance

      please please

      Delete
  22. I've read reviews on the Jimny that the suspension is pretty bad (esp those at the back), except if you're going off-road. For daily commute to work and occasional out-of-towns, EcoSport's better in terms of comfort. Ford's after sales service is good... so far happy with it. The dealer is very pro active in the service department.

    However, if your out-of-towns entails a lot of off-road travel, Jimny is a good option (but how often is that vs. your total time in the vehicle).

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  23. First time buyer. Is ecosport a good buy?

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  24. sayang tlga tong ecosport kung di lang malakas sa gas -_-

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  25. Bought one last month, Trend MT. Day one, lusong agad sa hanggang tuhod na baha (no choice, naabutan ng malakas na ulan nung pauwi na from the dealer). So far, satisfied pa naman. Yung FC lng ung medyo downside. Went to tagaytay yesterday, walang traffic, sarap lumipad sa skyway. But when I checked the FC, nag-average lng ng 12km/l. Im expecting kahit man lng sana umabot ng 15 or 16. Siguro dahil bago pa? Sabi nila fc will improve after 1000km. We'll see. And one more, underpowered nga sya. Mahina ung hatak lalo na pg paakyat or mgoovertake. But for a family of 3, its enough for me. :)

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    Replies
    1. That's right.wait until first check up then observe again ang fc. I always advice my clients na after pa ng check or let say break in period bago mo ma reach yung efficiency nya.so far lahat ng clients ko sa ecosport is satisfied naman.honestly speaking.for the price of 775k-998k kesa bumili ka ng sedan na pag nag sakay ka ng 4 dapa na agad.mag eco ka na nga lang.efficiency is fair enough sa 1.5 engine, sa tibay ng body i should say superb.sa jerking ng engine sa A/t come and visit me in Ford libis and i'll teach you how to drive powershift engine.thank you. Peace to all.-ford agent

      Delete
  26. HI! please help me out between Honda Mobilio and Ford ecosport?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi! Please help me decide between Honda Mobilio and Ford Ecosport?

    Considerations:
    -under 1M
    -fuel efficient
    -has a lot of space both for passenger and stuff
    -best MT
    -less maintenance

    please please

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi! Please help me decide between Honda Mobilio and Ford Ecosport?

    Considerations:
    -under 1M
    -fuel efficient
    -has a lot of space both for passenger and stuff
    -best MT
    -less maintenance

    please please

    ReplyDelete
  29. HI! please help me out between Honda Mobilio and Ford ecosport?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi pls help me decide between ecosport or chevrolet spin.
    Thanks

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  31. Hi pls help ano po mas ok na ulam pag nagddiet hotdod or canned tuna?

    Second question po sino po si Samurai X at bakit siya nakita sa condo ni Papa G smantalang may BF n sya nag jack en poy ba sila

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THIS.

      Eto dapat ang mga tinatanong sa comments, hindi ung mga walang kwenta gaya ng kung ano mas maganda, Ecosport or Mobilio.

      Kaya nga sinulat yung review para basahin and decide for yourself kung ano mas bagay sayo...

      Delete
  32. Hello, anu po sa dalawang to anng mas maganda in terms of power, fuel efficiency and safety, Ford Eco Sport or Chevrolet Trax? Im planning to buy na this March.. Need help to decide and my budget is below 1M... Please, Please

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    Replies
    1. Fuel efficiency goes to ecosport i think safety i think both. The trax and has a turbocharged engine and might sip more fuel than the natural aspirated engine of the ecosport

      Delete
  33. Vios, Mazda 2 or Ford Ecosport? Please help me decide. Thanks

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  35. Hi, My wife and I are planning to buy an Ecosport Titanium. But one of our main concern is, according to family and relatives who own other Ford vehicles, expensive daw ang parts ng Ford compared to other brands like Honda or Toyota. Is this true? Thanks so much for any input.

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  36. Hi im planning to buy an ecosport AT but what i read in the comment above about powershift makes me think twice..is this powershift that bad?

    Reply please..tnx

    ReplyDelete