Ford’s blacker, butched-up EcoSport Active rides into town
Ford has added a more rugged-looking Active model to its long-running EcoSport crossover range, slotting between the mid-range Trend derivative and the range-topping Titanium.
It is the latest refresh of the popular blue-oval car which has sold more than 75,000 units since its 2013 launch and remains one of the top sellers in the burgeoning compactcrossover segment. It follows the special edition EcoSport Ambiente Black which was launched last year and was extended due to customer demand.
The Active is based on the mid-range EcoSport Trend 1.0 EcoBoost Automatic, but gets a more butch-looking cosmetic package with black treatment for the front grille, headlamp surrounds and foglamp bezels, as well as sporty black front and rear skirts. Black wheel arch mouldings and 17-inch Active design black alloy wheels continue the external makeover. The dark finishes extend to black mirror caps and roof rails, along with dark-tinted privacy glass for the rear windows. The roof is painted black, providing a contrast to the four available paint colours: Frozen White and three distinctive metallic options comprising Luxe Yellow, Solar Silver and Magnetic Dark Grey.
Inside, partial leather seats embossed with an Active logo replace the cloth seats used in standard Trend models.
It is otherwise identically specced to the Trend with features such as a leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel with cruise control, electric windows all-round, and air conditioning.
Seven airbags, ABS brakes, collision mitigation and stability control make the EcoSport one of the safest vehicles in its class.
The cabin has aged well and has soft-touch surfaces that raise the comfort and ambience, while the infotainment is on trend with an eight-inch colour touchscreen system with built-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Like the Trend and Titanium models, the EcoSport Active has a FordPass Connect system that allows control of a number of vehicle functions from a smartphone via the FordPass app. For example, the car can be started remotely so that it is cooled or heated to your desired temperature before you get inside.
FordPass Connect also provides information such as fuel level and vehicle health alerts, call up the vehicle’s service and warranty information, find the nearest Ford dealer or make service bookings. In the event of an emergency, owners can contact Ford Roadside Assistance directly from the app.
Under the bonnet is a 1.0l EcoBoost petrol turbo three-cylinder engine which delivers 92kW and 170Nm, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. I drove the car at its media launch in Gauteng and it’s a perky little performer that holds its own in the freeway fast lane while providing easygoing poke in urban stop-start driving.
With power fed only to the front wheels the EcoSport lays no claims to off-roading prowess, but its elevated 206mm ground clearance is useful on rough gravel.
The EcoSport Active Automatic is priced at R393,700, which includes a four-year/120 000km warranty and four-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance. Customers have the option of purchasing service or maintenance plans up to eight years or 135,000km. The warranty can be extended up to seven years or 200,000km, and the roadside assistance by an additional one or two years.
1.5 Ambiente manual - R311,400
1.5 TDCi Ambiente manual - R322,500
1.5 Ambiente Black auto - R346,700
1.0 EcoBoost Trend manual - R358,700
1.0 EcoBoost Trend auto - R375,300
1.0 EcoBoost Active auto - R393,700
1.0 EcoBoost Titanium manual - R401,600
1.0 EcoBoost Titanium auto - R416,900
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