Echo-Sport. Eee-coh-Boost. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but still music to our ears. Over and around the rolling hills and dips of the Vermosa Sports Hub estate, a sports facility in Cavite, the ‘Eco Eh-co’ proved its mettle, tackling climbs with an effortlessness the old model lacked. Attached to the engine is a new six-speed automatic transmission. Yes, the old Powershift is gone. Dropped in the interest of simpler maintenance and smoother performance.
The new transmission still slurs at low speed, prioritizing passenger comfort over urgency. And there’s no “Sport” mode here, either. Not that it matters. The EcoBoost’s healthy 170Nm of torque is spread out over a wide band from 1,400 to 4,000rpm. And that shove doesn’t start petering out until 5,000rpm, giving you more flexibility on the road, whatever gear you’re in.
The big 17-inch wheels, wrapped in 205/50R17 tires, ensures you stick to that road better. The big wheels result in a marginally lumpier ride, but firmer shock damping handles this quite nicely. Thus equipped, the EcoSport pitches into corners more eagerly than before, though it does tend to wash wide at the limit, despite the stickier tires. This is a crossover, after all.