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EcoSport is Ford’s compact crossover product presence in the local market. Although the platform is nearing ten years in age, demand remains strong. Much of this can be credited to Ford’s excellent MySync infotainment systems.
In the hierarchy of competitive vehicle segments, compact crossovers are brutal.
South African drivers have moved significantly from hatchbacks and sedans to crossovers. For a brand like Ford, that meant discontinuing models like Fiesta and Figo, in favour of crossovers and small SUVs.
Clever EcoSport spec for urban drivers
Ford has expanded the EcoSport range this June, with a new Active derivative. What distinguishes the Active from other EcoSports? Of the four available colours, there is one Active-exclusive hue (luxe yellow), and you’ll notice protective wheelarch cladding.
If you regularly park in tightly spaced garages, with many oversized supporting pillars, the Active’s wheelarch cladding is a big win. It can save you expensive respray invoices, especially if unwary passengers swing open a vehicle door, when parking next to your EcoSport Active.
The Active is mechanically similar to other EcoSports. You get a 1-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, boosting 92kW and 170Nm. Paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and driving the front-wheels, EcoSport is wonderfully responsive at low speeds.
When you require a quick burst of acceleration in traffic, the 1-litre turbopetrol works a treat to reposition EcoSport Active between lanes. That said, it can be heavier than expected on fuel if you frequently use the performance on offer.
All the tech
Legacy automotive brands struggle with infotainment synching. And device pairing. Software integration and engineering are not the preserve of automotive product teams. But Ford is different.
It has cleverly invested in software integration and device convergence with its vehicles. Ford’s offers excellent infotainment options in some segments of the local market, rarely rivalled or surpassed.
FordPass keeps you connected from afar
The new Active derivative has an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. But if you desire even greater connectivity and remote vehicle functions, there’s the FordPass app.
Using your Smartphone’s data connection allows EcoSport Active owners to monitor fuel levels and maintenance schedule and do things you wouldn’t expect, remotely. Do you want to lock or unlock your EcoSport Active while on business in another city? FordPass can enable that.
Beyond the novelty, the FordPass remote locking is handy. Especially if you are in another part of the country and a friend or family member needs to access the the EcoSport, to retrieve something they might have misplaced.
Priced at R393 700, the EcoSport Active positions just below Ford’s range-topping Titanium version. With additional scratch protection of its wheelarch cladding and and vivid luxe yellow colour option, it could be the better buy.