A Week with Ford’s Compact SUV
Ford Philippines lent us a pair of Ford Ecosports a few weeks ago, the standard Trend 1.5L AT and its Black Edition — which basically means it has black trim including its 16-inch alloys, and we’ve needed a little time to gather our thoughts to share our experience with the compact SUV.
Personally speaking, it was the perfect time for them to lend out one of their vehicles to us, as I have had to prepare for my wedding and needed something more reliable than my old clunker of a car to get around the metro to run some last minute errands for the big day.
Here are the three things we loved about Ford’s compact SUV.
Small Body, Spacious and Comfy Interiors
While some men may have a penchant for driving big pick-ups or huge SUVs, there has always been a special place in my heart for compact hatchbacks. They’ve been a staple in my family’s garage since I was a child.
Ford classifies the Ecosport as a compact SUV, which means that its chassis is about the same width and length as the Ford Fiesta, but definitely stands taller. This also makes this vehicle really easy to park on the side streets of Makati when we’ve had to. Coupled with its lines and the front fascia, it really is quite the looker.
Despite its smaller frame, its interiors are rather spacious and comfortable. It’s no secret that the guys from the team are quite large, but it had more than enough room for us to sit comfortably in traffic. If you’re a bigger family (or just happened to be the barkada school bus for road trips) you might have a little trouble fitting all of your stuff in the trunk of the Ecosport, but it should be fine for families who are just starting out on their own or singles looking for something small and nimble, yet has a higher ride height than a sedan.
More importantly, the AC could handle the rough summer heat we’ve had to endure without batting an eyelash. The Ecosport definitely gets props for that.
Smooth, Economic Ride for the Urban Jungle
While I was out on the open road for a quick last minute check on the venue for my wedding, I found myself wishing that the Ecosport had a little bit more oomph; it does, after all, have the same engine as the Ford Fiesta with a heftier body but has been tweaked a little bit. Don’t get us wrong it could handle the drive, no problem, but I definitely wanted it to be a bit zippier at times; especially when you want to overtake that annoyingly slow tricycle on a two-lane rural road.
Back in the urban jungle that’s Metro Manila though, it was one of the smoothest, comfiest rides we’ve had in awhile; it was comparable to the fun John and I had driving the Ford Focus units we reviewed awhile back. You know how bad the roads from Eastwood to Lanuza can be and the Ecosport handled the “rough terrain” on C5 like a champ; making that bumpy ride a little bit more comfortable than our usual vehicle.
Best of all, with the whole week of going to and from places for wedding preps, I only managed to drain half the tank of the Ecosport and averaged about 11 kilometers to a liter with a mix of highway, but pre-dominantly city driving. Not too shabby given our traffic situation over here.
Hands-Free with Ford SYNC
When we had the Ford Focus, I barely paid any attention to SYNC that’s available on Ford vehicles; that completely changed during this lend out. Mind you this was a few weeks ago, so the Ford Ecosport got to Unbox HQ at that confusing time when the Anti-Distracted Driving Act was in effect and trying to be a good citizen, I complied with the rules of the road at that time and kept my device in one of the cup holders in the center console and paired it up with the car.
True, I still had to start up Spotify before driving, but making calls to suppliers I needed to get in touch with for the wedding was a lot easier when I just barked it out to SYNC. It’s not perfect though. You do have to adjust the pronunciation of certain names on your contact list so that Sync can understand you. For example calling my friend, Paolo, I had to say something closer to Polo to get Sync to recognize what I was saying. Again, not perfect, but I managed a few work arounds so that I wouldn’t get caught and pay the fine at that time.
All in all, our time with the Ecosport was a pleasant one. While it does have its faults, they can easily be overlooked by how comfy the ride and the respectable mileage you get while driving around Metro Manila. With a price tag of Php 905K for the standard Trend 1.5L AT and Php 918K for its Black Edition (Price hasn’t been adjusted for the new tax laws for vehicles), we certainly get why we’ve been seeing more and more of the Ford Ecosport on the road recently. It’s a great compromise between a compact hatchback and a full-sized SUV, which makes maneuvering through our crowded streets a little easier, but still has the ride height to make you feel a little safer as the rainy season starts to drench our streets.