Ford presents EcoSport at Bangkok Motor Show, is mum on pricing

By Dinzo Tabamo
 

Ford EcoSport

The all-new Ford EcoSport was revealed to the ASEAN media today at the American carmaker's booth in the 34th Bangkok International Motor Show. For those unaware of what this car is all about, the best way to describe it is that it's a taller Fiesta. Because that's what it essentially is. The EcoSport and the Fiesta share the same platform and about 20-30% of their components.

The EcoSport was designed for urban environments like Manila and the rest of the ASEAN region. It is powered by a 1.5-liter version of the engines found under the Fiesta's hood. It makes 107hp and 138Nm of torque, which does sound like what the top-of-the-line Fiesta would make if it lost 100cc of displacement. The EcoSport will also come with a choice of either a six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission or a five-speed manual. If it will behave like the Fiesta's PowerShift gearbox, we recommend you go manual. It's more fun anyway.

A lot of attention was directed to the EcoSport's 550mm wading height. That's impressive for such a diminutive vehicle. And it does look especially tall onstage. No worrying if the front bumper will graze the wheel barriers in mall parking slots.

If you've been inside a Fiesta, you will instantly recognize the EcoSport's cabin. When the Ford engineers say 20-30% components are shared, the cabin is solid proof of that fact. And you liking the EcoSport's interior will depend on whether you like the Fiesta's. Some see it as cramped. Some view it as snug and sporty. Rear space seems a little tight. And while the boot space looks decent because Ford mounted the full-size spare tire on the tailgate, you can't say that it swallows luggage with ease. Unless you fold the rear seats down, that is.

The EcoSport will also get tech toys, most of it shared with the Fiesta: Ford SYNC with voice control, smart keyless entry, hill launch assist, and rear parking sensors.

Of course, the big question in this segment is: What will it cost? To quote Ford ASEAN president Matt Bradley: "We're not talking about pricing today." Valiant members of the Philippine media contingent tried to get an idea on how much it will cost, but the Ford executives deftly avoided saying anything conclusive. If only Kris Aquino had half their silence, the world would be a better place. We couldn't even get fuel-economy numbers. At the end of the Q&A with Philippine media, the Americans must have been thankful for non-English-speaking journalists.

It will be a long wait until we see the EcoSport on our roads. The units displayed in Bangkok are from China. The B-segment SUVs will be built at Ford's manufacturing facility in Rayong, Thailand. But the production of units in this factory doesn't begin until the fourth quarter of 2013. So, assuming we're even the second country after Thailand to get the units, it's very possible the EcoSport will be launched in our country in early 2014.

Based on what we've seen and what the EcoSport seems capable of, Ford's new cute-ute is worth the wait.

Photos by Dinzo Tabamo

 

Ford EcoSport

Ford EcoSport

Ford EcoSport

Ford EcoSport

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  • 17Sphynx17 Mar 25 2013 @ 06:19pm
    This counts as a crossover right given that it is sitting on a car platform in stead of a truck right?

    I am curious, do our fuel standard prevent them from releasing the smaller 1.0 ecoboost engines? or is it rather a price restriction?

    Because I was surprised to find out that a 1.0 ecoboost ford focus beat a 1.6 ford focus. (episode was on the other uk show) But it would be surprising it this were really true and not manipulated.
  • tron05 Mar 25 2013 @ 06:21pm
    What about the 1.0 Ecoboost and 1.5 turbo diesel variants? Will these be made available in the Asean region?

    This is the vehicle I've been waiting for. Perfect as a roundabout ride for Metro Manila, and the occasional mid-distance road trips when storage area is not a concern. Makes a perfect match as the other car to the Ranger Wildtrak, hehe!
    • Andrew Guerrero
      Andrew Guerrero Mar 25 2013 @ 09:09pm
      According to Graham Pearson, Vehicle Line Director, Small Car, Ford Asia Pacific, "At this time we are launching just the 1.5 TiVCT engine." "1.5L will have both manual and automatic."
      • tron05 Mar 25 2013 @ 11:43pm
        Argh! That's the one I least wanted. I guess it's the cheapest one as well... they're probably checking out the market's willingness to pay.

        I'm kinda curious though why they put in a 1.5 petrol engine instead of the Fiesta's 1.6 even though they share the same platform. I believe Brazil is getting the 1.6.
        • Andrew Guerrero
          Andrew Guerrero Mar 28 2013 @ 10:12am
          Some expect the future lineup of the ASEAN Fiesta & possibly the EcoSport to be made up of a 1.5 Ti-VCT (base) and 1.0 EcoBoost (high-end). This could also mean the end of the 1.4 and 1.6 Ti-VCT for their B-segment models in the Asia-Pacific region. Brasil is a different market, they have a 1.6 flex fuel engine (no mention of Ti-VCT variable cam timing system), it produces 110PS (115PS ethanol).
  • codenamejanrei Mar 25 2013 @ 06:48pm
    So what's it going to compete with? The CX-5, XV and ASX?... And by the way, I really hate Ford's new look, they're trying to be Aston Martin-ish.... :)
    • Andrew Guerrero
      Andrew Guerrero Mar 25 2013 @ 09:10pm
      In the Philippines, its closest competitor would probably be the Kia Soul.
    • the 8th Mar 25 2013 @ 11:21pm
      Yep, we can argue that the following are already ahead of Ford in this category (locally): Suzuki SX4 and Jimny, Toyota Avanza (in a way), Kia Soul (as mentioned by AM3), and the... Great Wall Haval / Hover M2.

      In other countries, there are the following: Dacia Duster, Toyota Rush / Daihatsu Terios (in 5 and 7 seater configs), Honda Crossroad, and some others that I might be forgetting. So no, Ford isn't the first in this segment whether it be in this region or in others.
      • Andrew Guerrero
        Andrew Guerrero Mar 26 2013 @ 12:12am
        @the 8th, did you know Ford would have been ahead of most if they pushed through with selling the brazil-made 1st gen EcoSport which Ford Philippines displayed here along with the previous gen Fiesta 10 years ago. I think the issue was it would have been expensive back then since there was no regional plant making those models.
    • foolishofficer Mar 26 2013 @ 08:55am
      CX-5, XV, ASX seem to the taller hatch versions of Mazda 3, Impreza and Lancer respectively. The similar segment (not necessarily price) competitors of EcoSport would be Suzuki SX Aero, Kia Soul (as mentioned by other replies), Peugeot 2008, Nissan X-Gear Livina, Hyundai HB20x and Toyota Rush.
    • FanBoy Mar 26 2013 @ 03:27pm
      It's not trying to be aston martin -ish. FORD partially owns aston, that's why they can use the design cues whenever they wanted to :D
      • codenamejanrei Mar 26 2013 @ 04:33pm
        But still... prang di bagay sa Chubby faces ng Ford ang Aston Martin grille... for me :D
  • GotToRead Mar 25 2013 @ 07:00pm
    I think they're gonna have a bad time deciding where to slot this in...
    • Andrew Guerrero
      Andrew Guerrero Mar 25 2013 @ 09:15pm
      Its a B-segment crossover, it will slot below the Escape, Rav4, Sportage, CR-V etc. Its closest competitor here would probably be the lower-riding Kia Soul, the EcoSport has the advantage of a higher ground clearance and a 550mm water wading capability.
      • GotToRead Mar 25 2013 @ 11:58pm
        Yeah, I also thought of that. The thing that I wonder about is, would it cannibalize some sales of the Fiesta?
        • foolishofficer Mar 26 2013 @ 08:57am
          I think it will be more expensive than Fiesta. This will be for people who are tired of having to wait out the flood or having to detail the car after having it soaked after a big rain.
    • tron05 Mar 26 2013 @ 12:00am
      Though it's closest competitors are the Kia Soul and Suzuki SX4, if Ford prices this just right, they'll probably eat up into CUV territory as well. I know a lot of people who want a higher platform than a sedan but don't want the heft of a CUV. The Ecosport can easily attract the market of the ASX and CX-5.

      Price the 1.5 petrol at 850K and they'll have a sure winner.
  • raphnext21 Mar 25 2013 @ 07:29pm
    looks like the old toyota rav 4 from side to the back
    • tron05 Mar 25 2013 @ 11:29pm
      Yeah, I had the same thought as well.
  • LACOSTER Mar 25 2013 @ 08:22pm
    looks like a fat pokemon.
  • Feeter Silverster Mar 25 2013 @ 10:38pm
    At first look I thought of this as a SUV, a replacement to old Everest. Maybe they're pitting this vs Avanza with 1,5L gas engine.
    • Andrew Guerrero
      Andrew Guerrero Mar 26 2013 @ 12:14am
      Actually, the closest competitor here for the EcoSport would be the Kia Soul, not the Avanza. The "then" new Kia Soul challenging the previous gen EcoSport... http://wp.zap.com.br/autos//2010/03/comp1-00.jpg
      • tron05 Mar 26 2013 @ 01:37am
        The other potential competitor would have been the Juke. But according to my source in Nissan, they can't seem to price it below 1.1M (non GDi) which will surely make it unpalatable.
      • foolishofficer Mar 26 2013 @ 08:59am
        Tron05 is right! I always forgot there's still a Nissan to consider.
  • jaygarcia777 Mar 26 2013 @ 11:01am
    wish they could release a turbo diesel variant similar to the old focus engine.
  • barry Mar 26 2013 @ 12:23pm
    there should be a duratorq engine or a 1.0L EcoBoost to match the user's needs. my concerns? it's the magwheels. it's very u*ly. sorry to say that...
  • The Stig Mar 26 2013 @ 08:15pm
    i think mas bagay kung wala yung spare sa likod.
  • Kyoichi Sudo Mar 26 2013 @ 08:30pm
    I'd rather let a grey-market importer get me an All-New Escape than having this...
  • nicolo_g Mar 26 2013 @ 09:32pm
    4 wheel screws? It really is the Fiesta hehehe, cute.
  • FortunerRocks Mar 26 2013 @ 10:08pm
    Yung car parang Chubby, Ang Yung Likod mukhang Pinnochio :D
  • GTi Mar 26 2013 @ 11:27pm
    Since the Ecosport is significantly bigger/heavier than the Fiesta, it should've at least gotten the Fiesta's engine.
    • Andrew Guerrero
      Andrew Guerrero Mar 28 2013 @ 10:15am
      The EcoSport and 2014 Fiesta are expected to share engines. Some speculate that the 1.5 Ti-VCT and 1.0 EcoBoost will replace the current 1.4 and 1.6 Ti-VCT.
  • Radenbach Mar 27 2013 @ 10:01am
    dear top gear,

    i still remember the last time you used the tagline "killer" and it did'nt go well.
    case in point: you used it on the nissan grand livina as the "innova killer", we all know what happened as to who was killed or almost.. hahaha!
  • Transformers Mar 27 2013 @ 10:26pm
    Depends on the price. It will be an AUV killer if its priced same as AUVs.
  • carwiki Mar 30 2013 @ 02:09pm
    I was turned off with the EcoSport because of less trunk cargo space when seats are unfolded.
  • magistrate Apr 04 2013 @ 10:27pm
    Looks good to me.
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