Ford EcoSport’s little engine that can


Ford Philippines VP for Marketing and Sales Rodel Gallega and Ford Philippines managing director Bert Lessard with the refreshed EcoSport PHOTO BY EUGENE ARANETA

Ford Philippines unveiled the new EcoSport last week at the SMX, SM Aura, BGC.

“The Ford EcoSport is an SUV in a league of its own—combining quality design, rugged capability, best-in-class features, superior fuel economy, and great value for money, all into a single and fun vehicle,” said Bert Lessard, managing director, Ford Philippines.

Ford pioneered the mini SUV segment in the region when the Ford EcoSport had its ASEAN debut at the 34th Bangkok International Motor Show in 2013, which quickly gained market acceptance.

Thanks to a small and nimble footprint, it makes it easy to navigate around the busy streets of the metro, its ground clearance of 209mm allows it to traverse through bad road conditions and even wade through light flood.

It was so successful that Ford sold 39,000 units in the Philippines since it was introduced locally in 2014.

Ford had since then led the mini SUV segment for the last four years, and even enjoyed a 50 percent share in 2017.

It was also listed as the third most registered new vehicle in the SUV category in the first half of 2018 with 4,220 units according to registration data from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), inching above the Ford Everest and Isuzu mu-X (January to June 2018).

Aside from exterior and interior enhancements, the new EcoSport’s most notable new features are its new and upgraded smart and safety features and driver-assist technologies (DAT) and its 1.0L EcoBoost engine for its top-of-the-line Titanium variant, promising improvements in both fuel efficiency and drive performance.

Just like the classic American fairy tale that was first told over a century ago, this little EcoBoost engine could just pull off a big “train”. But in Ford’s case, the big and heavy “train” is the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, officially cited as Republic Act No. 10963, which is the initial package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) signed into law by President Duterte last year.

TRAIN has adversely affected sales for new vehicles in the market, especially for the first half of 2018 since the market went on panic-buying mode last year in anticipation of increase in vehicle prices for most models this year.

Since the start of the year, sales for the car industry has been on a slump.

Hopes are high for the new EcoSport though. The reason why the ubiquitous EcoSport can be often seen running around the metro is because of its affordable price tag.

Aside from this, it has the nimbleness and road manners of a solid compact car but robustness and spaciousness of an SUV.

So what’s new about the 2018 EcoSport? The new EcoSport now has two engine variants, the topline variant will have the award-winning 1.0L EcoBoost and a new and more powerful 1.5L twin independent variable camshaft timing (TiVCT) engine, producing 125 and 123 horsepower, respectively.

The previous model only had about 108 horsepower in the 1.5L VCT engine.

The turbocharged 1.0L EcoBoost engine features direct fuel injection technology and variable camshaft timing.

One of smallest engines to debut this year, the EcoBoost engine has been named as 2017 International Engine of the Year in the Best Engine under 1.0-liter for the sixth year in a row.

It has won 10 International Engine of the Year awards, including overall winner three times, and also as Best Newcomer.

It is Ford’s most technologically-advanced engine ever, producing more power while consuming less fuel.

It also now comes with the auto start/stop technology when idling at traffic light, further adding to the EcoBoost engine’s fuel efficiency.

All the other variants will get the new and more powerful 1.5L engine features TiVCT that helps improve efficiency.

Together with the new 6-speed automatic transmission, this upgraded engine allows for smoother and faster acceleration.

For the exterior, the new EcoSport features a refreshed grille, a new hood design, new headlamps, and a new set of lightweight and extra durable 17-inch alloy wheels.

Ford says its interior enhancements put driver and passenger comfort and convenience as top priority.

The topline Titanium variant sports a more stylish design and has a leather cladded dashboard, power sunroof, and an 8-inch multicolor touchscreen with a redesigned interface and intuitive smartphone-like actions.

For mini SUVs like the EcoSport, Ford’s designers had to make sure every cubic centimeter inside the cabin space is fully utilized.

The new EcoSport can handle up to 1,178 liters of storage with 25 smart storage compartments for coffee cups, smartphones, tablets, umbrellas, bottles and other accessories.

Its trunk is enough to accommodate sufficient luggage space for quick out of town trips.

Safety is a priority for Ford so the new EcoSport is equipped with multiple smart and DATs that make driving safer and more convenient.

These include the rear view camera with rear parking assist, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlights, and a convenient smart keyless entry.

For the young and upwardly mobile millennials, they will appreciate the new features of its Sync 3 with navigation system that allows drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while staying connected.

Sync 3 features voice control for its entertainment system and the driver’s calls and text messages.

The AppLink 3.0 feature on Sync 3 also allows passengers to use their favorite smartphone applications via the car’s touchscreen.

Aside from being smart, the new EcoSport also comes with a slew of safety features including hill-start assist control, electronic brake-force distribution system, electronic stability program, anti-locking brake system, and up to six airbags available in the Titanium variant.

“The new EcoSport retains the strengths of its predecessor while introducing a number of new and exciting features. Its trendier design and sophisticated interior, smart technologies, and the addition of the EcoBoost engine will deliver a more enhanced driving experience.

“We are excited for Filipino customers to get their hands on the new EcoSport and see for themselves why it’s a street smart vehicle perfect for urban driving,” said Rodel Gallega, vice president, Marketing and Sales, Ford Philippines.

The new EcoSport is available in four variants starting with the 1.5L Ambiente MT at P918,000, 1.5L Trend MT at P968,000, 1.5L Trend AT at P1.028 million, and the top-of-the-line 1.0L EcoBoost Titanium AT at P1.168 million.

The new EcoSport comes in six colors: Absolute Black, Ingot Silver, Crystal White, Ruby Red (for Trend and Titanium variants only), Canyon Ridge (Titanium variant only), and Blue Lightning (Titanium variant only).

The Ford EcoSport is now made available in all Ford dealerships nationwide.

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