Ford EcoSport: the catalogue buster

I was looking forward to the EcoSport not just for being a new category of car, but also to see if it reinforces the declining army of fun, affordable cars in India. The bad news first, then. The EcoSport is not a fun, driver’s car. If you wanted to relive your days with the Ikon and the old Fiesta, the EcoSport is not the car for the job. The good news? The EcoSport is an extremely well-packaged, thoughtfully designed and capable urban SUV.

Well-packaged because it is under four metres in length and all engines are under 1.5-litres in cubic capacity, making it fit inside the Indian government’s small car norms, thus lending it excise benefits. Yet, it has 200mm of ground clearance and – according to Ford – the ability to wade through 550mm of water. And since it fulfills the other two small car criteria, the EcoSport won’t be taxed as an SUV just because of its over-170mm ground clearance.

I say, “thoughtfully designed” because while it’s no longer than a standard hatchback, little touches, like placing the spare wheel on the rear door and those split foldable rear seats allow for a versatile cabin with a lot of storage for bottles and cups. Still, it is more a four-seater than a five. Nevertheless, it is a capable urban SUV because it rides very well and handles better than typical affordable Indian SUVs like the coughScorpio and the coughSafaricough.