Piranha in the North: off-road test-drive Ford EcoSport 4WD

Wow, what a nasty rise! And steep and slippery, and all pitted with gullies. Look how it toils colleague on the Explorer Sport. But at its disposal 345 “horses” and Terrain Management System. But – we play the cards that were put. First gear, clutch block, turns … Turns must be kept relatively high, on bottoms “engine” is not drawn, even though two liters. So steer have to fast, but very precisely, first the left, then immediately right, then there is a chance to avoid serious hanging. Too bad that thick pillars overlap review. Well, God did not give a pig will not eat, you go … Opa! Ah yes, the baby, ah yes frantic bug! On the first attempt and without any problems! Yes, by the way – baby name Ford EcoSport 4WD, and we travel with him on the Kola Peninsula.

Piranha from Naberezhnye Chelny

T ak so happened that before the meeting on the Kola earth I saw EcoSport mainly on the exhibition stands, first in Geneva in 2013, a year later – in Moscow. Then, in 2014, Ford marketers were full of optimism, and it seemed they had some justification. According to their ideas, inexpensive crossover with the original appearance, and assembled in Russia, I had to select customers and Nissan Juke with the Opel Mokka, and Renault Duster with Nissan Terrano, at the same time destroying the nerves and the more expensive models.

But as time passed. In Moscow’s dense traffic flow and then flashed and Mokka, and Juke, and the new Suzuki SX4, not to mention the ubiquitous Duster, but the “athletes environmentalists” something not seen ….


Maybe it’s in appearance? EcoSport looks really extraordinary. Overweight, even a few stumpy body, a short hood with three (!) Air intakes. The upper, narrower carrying oval Ford emblem perched beneath the hood, lower – a hefty fall octagonal with three double louvres, for which see the large “teeth” of the vertical plates and a bottom, embedded in the bumper and covered by silvery plastic bezel. Twin pillars with small triangular embrasures between the most stable, and the front door edge. Side opening tailgate with hanging her spare wheel cover, and continue to the rear window black lining covering the massive rear pillars.

I called the car stable association with piranha fish: it is also such a dense, massive, a little reminiscent of the outline of the common carp, but very toothy … was constructed some crossover with the code B515 factory in Brazil, where the fish just lives.

How warm cosmopolitan

In general, EcoSport – a true cosmopolitan. Judge for yourself: it involved the development of an international team, the Brazilian designer, the design center of the American company, and the car was originally planned to be sold in South America, Europe, India, China and developing Asian and African countries. Well, collect it and in Camaçari, Brazil, China and Chongqing, and in Chennai, India, and the factory in Rayong in Thailand, and Hai Duong Vietnamese, and Russian Naberezhnye Chelny. Of course, for each market provides its own range of engines and their features in a complete set.

For example, neither in Russia, nor in Brazil do not sell cars with 1.5-liter diesel or a petrol turbo engine capacity of 1 liter. In these markets the machines get aspirated petrol Sigma (1,6 liters, 122 liters. With.) Or Duratec HE (2,0 l, 140 hp..). Of course, to a child of the Brazilian tropics are registered in our land of evergreen tomatoes, engineers had to work hard: to strengthen the suspension, to accommodate the battery and the starter motor to work in conditions of negative temperatures, install electric heating seats and windows (by the way, next year, as promised by the company’s employees, added and steering wheel heating), air ducts to reach the climate system on the back row and adapt the engines to the domestic 92-th gasoline.

We are used to the automatic transmission gets “older” version with the most powerful engine. But EcoSport and be original here: two liters, and one hundred and forty “horses” means all-wheel drive with electronically controlled multi-plate Dana firm clutch and uncontested six-speed “mechanics” MMT6, but paired with the 1.6-liter engine can operate as a six-step “robot »DPS6 (such a vehicle has been in our test), and the five-speed manual iB5.

Unfortunately, a combination of all-wheel drive, “older” motor and the “machine” is not and is not expected. To model this, of course, negative. The proportion of customers who prefer to “automatic”, in our country is constantly growing, and in the first half of 2016 it is the first time was 51%. But, in principle, the Russian driver’s “mechanics” do not scare, so the prospect of a ride on four-wheel drive EcoSport I reacted very positively, especially since faced a trip for a very interesting places. On the journey with Ford on the Russian North, I’ll be sure to separate, but for now it’s time to get acquainted with the interior of the small cosmopolitan.

All colors of gray

It is necessary to open the driver’s door as you visit the two thoughts, and almost simultaneously. First: Well, it is necessary, but it is inside more than outside! And the second – yes, and, modestly, that all …

The color scheme is black, black, gray and gray. Plastic inserts a satin metal underscore the gloom of the dark kingdom.

Plastic – just hard. Even the instrument cluster gives the impression of something very budget: unpretentious (though good read) dials in wells, molded black plastic.

Luc or panorama roof does not provide even the most expensive complete set Titanium Plus (in my possession was a car in the Titanium version). Pride brand, the SYNC media system, presented in the cheapest version, with the crowning center console a small monochrome display, which means that the built-in navigation in the car and never will be. Prepare the bracket with suction cup and own a navigation device. In addition, the lack of means of the display on the console and the inability to equip the car rearview camera. Someone will say, they say, it’s all self-indulgence – but just for the EcoSport with him hanging from behind and outstanding for the housing dimension “spare wheel” This device proved to be very useful.

It goes without saying that the adjustment in the car purely mechanical? But behind the wheel, to my surprise, it was arranged without any problems, despite the growth of 182 centimeters and a weight of a hundred pounds. Moreover, I have not even picked up the end of the range of longitudinal movement of the driver’s seat. But the seat itself is not great. And the cushion a bit short, and the back is too tight, so that route, I always felt some pressure and discomfort in the shoulder. But the profile was quite comfortable, and during the whole of our trip (and the day we drove up to five hundred kilometers, and by no means all – at a decent asphalt) I never felt discomfort in the lumbar region.

Recall Niva

Alas, on the road revealed a pair of ergonomic flaws. In the first place, not the best way placed window control buttons. If your left hand is in a natural way “falls” on this unit, the fingers hit the keys that open the rear door glass. It should be slightly forward stretch. Sam windows – the budget, too. I would call it “semi-automatic”: opening happens after you press the button, and here to close the window, you need to press on it constantly.

Well and secondly, moves the lever of the six-speed box were large enough, and a fifth gear you need to reach (and here let us remember together Niva).

There are certain problems with the visibility … In front of it is limited to thick twin-pillars. The small triangular windows of the severity of the problem is not removed: they are virtually useless and serve mainly design element. Well, the view out, too, leaves much to be desired: the rear window is small and narrow. Make it longer allowed massive door with a “spare wheel” pendent on it, so I’m more looking into mirrors, the benefit of their size does not cause any complaints.

Rear sofa is also left very mixed impression. On the one hand, I’m quite fit “for a self”, but without reserve. On the other – well, uncomfortable to sit there, though you kill me! Especially if you decide to put back in the most vertical position to increase the amount of luggage. And to do that you’ll want to, because the trunk at the EcoSport was a small, only 310 liters at the maximum recline. But interestingly enough, to sit in this position backs is not too convenient.

Georgia under the roof!

Of course, if you go two or three, and your luggage can not shove three hundred liters of any forces, you can fold the rear seats either completely or in a ratio of 2: 3. To do this, pull the belt loop at the back grounds. Then, if you believe the official TTC, luggage compartment volume will increase to as much as 1238 liters. But then Ford disingenuous, because you probably will not read the fine print footnote: the volume from 310 to 348 liters given by the VDA, ie to the level of glazing, but the 1238 – it is under the roof.

In fact the designers of the Brazilian Center chose not the most effective (in terms of the use of internal volume) diagram of folding seats. The back rests on the pillow, and with it tilts forward, “otedaya” a very solid part of the increment of useful volume. And because of the brackets, fixing the rear seats in place, the floor in the extended luggage compartment is uneven, so do not ship to, for example, packets purchased at the market in fruit and vegetables, and certainly will need a tent for long-distance travel in the EcoSport: about the idea to organize a berth in the cabin can immediately forget.

Well, let’s before you hit the road, finish talking about the luggage compartment and the exterior features of the EcoSport. Many believe that the designers hung spare tire on the fifth door opens sideways to the baby seemed “older” than it actually is, and more like a serious off-road. Probably, this is also meant. But removing the spare wheel from the luggage compartment, able to slightly increase its volume without increasing the length of the body and overhangs. Plus, it provided low loading height, which is exactly like the weaker sex. But how gracefully handle designers entered the fifth door in the box on the right rear lighting, it deserves only the most positive ratings!

The problems of selectivity

So, click on the button, throw out the key fob key tip (keyless access and start button is only in Titanium Plus version). Turn key – revives two-liter “four”. Okay, soundproofing – at least a solid “4”. Go! And once you understand that in spite of two liters volume, particularly high-torque motor is different, and for more or less energetic acceleration it is necessary to twist, so – quite actively to shift gears, and both up and down. And here the problems begin: the selectivity of the box is not the best, and the lever moves, as I said, big.

Stick second gear instead of fourth – time to spit. Particularly acute this problem is revealed when driving on asphalt.

I must say that the Kola Peninsula in the Murmansk surroundings in summer provides excellent conditions for test drives. There are lots of newly built highways, with excellent asphalt. At the same time they have enough and went straight and steep turns and climbs. There are asphalt worse, there is very poor, with pits and potholes. Grabs and graders, and stone primer “kostotryas” system. In general, you want to test the car in a variety of conditions? Kola at your service! So, even at a very gentle lift motor thrust is not enough even to 2500 rpm, which means that you need to switch from cost-sixth is not even on the fifth, and fourth gear, and better do it before getting up, and not in his mid.

The same picture when overtaking with access to the oncoming lane. In this case, when switching error may just be dangerous: the engine plaintively vzvoet, the tachometer needle jumps into the red zone, you immediately begin to squeeze the clutch and still enable the transmission, which originally wanted, for example, the fourth. But over the second car lose speed, and you have to switch again, this time to the third. She was the same, her five-Fordist box I liked a lot more! And in any case, from a compact car with stosorokasilnym engine and the “mechanics” where are you waiting for better dynamics. As I see it, he would have to accelerate to “hundreds” for 9 seconds, and then – 11.5 …

Ford EcoSport, 2 liter, 140 hp
Consumption per 100 km

Urban cycle lExtra Urban, lCombined cycle, l11.4 6.5 8.3

The lady wants to chat

But the suspension and steering on the pavement if not delight, then, at least, just a delight.

EcoSport – the car is very assembled in the corners it does not heel and falls, and the steering is different excellent sensitivity in the near-zero area. Trajectories he writes exclusively for sure.

Leather with “ergonomic” excrescence did not like – comfortable grip, I could not find it. Especially because the off-road talents EcoSport were above average, and on the roads that require vigorous maneuvers with the steering “from stop to stop,” most convenient to wield the wheel of constant cross section, and all of these nodules is generally only interfere.

And it revealed a funny problem with the SYNC system. Yes, EcoSport has appeared deprived of a large multi-function display on the console, but it boasts a full voice control a multitude of functions. But if you accidentally hit the power button of the system (it is located in the block on the left steering wheel spokes), then you have a few minutes to wait for e-lady calmed down, and it will bother to ask you questions unanswered and offer you command it to do something useful . Pressing the button again leads to the fact that the questions will go in circles …

Where the asphalt ends

Oddly enough, the most unfavorable for the EcoSport coating proved to asphalt, but broken. Here his suspension time is not enough energy intensity, and the most prominent potholes I had a couple of times to fix the breakdown of strikers. Of course, the blame – not noticed in advance, drove too fast, trying to stay on the tail of the Ford Explorer run organizers. In short, on such roads do not abuse the speed and be more closely.

But “where the asphalt ends», EcoSport behaves just fine! Short base, small overhangs, excellent agility, the ability to lock the clutch and effectively slow down the engine in first gear, completely decent ground clearance and plastic protection over the entire lower part of the body – all this only increases the potential for off-road model.

Fuel tank capacity:
52 l

In any case, the rise in the road near Teriberki, which desperately skidded peredneprivodnaya the Kuga, EcoSport baby at all, consider not noticed. On another rise complex, near a waterfall Mill Titovka on the river, I, of course, had to carefully estimate the trajectory to fully exploit the advantages and compensate the disadvantages, but there is a small cosmopolitan not blundered.

What are the disadvantages? First of all, the same lack of traction. Peak torque at this engine accounts for 4400 rpm, and therefore, even on the first transfer you to go rather fast. On the sand, for example, where time is needed, but the speed of the wheels – no, you have to do and are constantly working the clutch, with the inevitable risk of its singe. Well abuse coupling lock is not worth it, otherwise it will overheat quickly, and you will temporarily be without all-wheel drive.

Again, in some situations, a full-length stand problems with visibility. The trajectory of the movement will need to estimate in advance.

But in general, despite the fact that Ford has always stressed that the EcoSport is positioned as an urban crossover, you absolutely can safely go on it to the country, hunting, fishing, picnic, after all.

Naturally, in the city it’s not bad, although it makes wield a lever box more often than we would like. So “what is in the soup is not enough?” EcoSport Why not become a bestseller in many countries?

Ford EcoSport 4WD
Brief specifications
Dimensions (L x W x H):
4273? 1765? 1680 mm
Curb weight:
1488 kg
203 mm
gasoline L4, 2.0 L, 140 hp, 186 Nm
6-speed, mechanical
Acceleration from 0-100 km / h:
11,5 s

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