The hand that rocks the cradle are not the typical pair of hands one would usually spot on messing around with the greasy mechanical innards of the squeaky-clean er, say, Ford Ecosport.
WHAT IS FORD ECOSPORT?
In a sense, was a one-shot deal hatched by the visionary collective heads of those prime car magnates from Blue Oval,
an exciting place dead-set on ruminating about mass-producing EVs (electric vehicles) by the truckload that would probably be operational by the year 2025, or so they say.
But Ford Ecosport, however, is mostly a sub-compact crossover SUV (service utility vehicle) harboring somewhat a near spitting-image typified from the likes of another Ford, in this case, the Escape and lest we forget, also the Fiesta.
Moreover, this itty-bitty nimble car has been lately mired in a controversy that would inevitably doom its future as production had been put on hold due to its lackluster and bitingly unproductive sales performance.
According to Detroit Free Press, Ford Motor Co. had previously shut down marketing operations both in the Indian-based Sanand and Chennai plants as of early 2021 and halfway through 2022 because it has bled the famed automaker production losses close to a staggering $2 billion over the past decade.
But other than dipping sales growth, Ford Ecosport; before even all of this hoopla began, already has a heap of trouble brewing up its sleeve owing to its “underpowered base engine”, “a harsh ride” and “limited advanced safety features” positioning this much-maligned vehicle at the back of the bus er, segment at most as reviewed by U.S News & World Report.
So with that in mind, let this article once and for all, zero in on that “under-performing engine” and see for ourselves why Ford Ecosport is causing quite a stir these days although it has a huge following in some parts of the world but especially even so in some locales in mainland US.
ECOSPORT POWER TRAIN
From a historical perspective, the first generation (2003-2012) of Ford Ecosport boasts of five inline-four engine flavors that range from the fuel-efficient Zetec-Rocam 1.0-liter gasoline engine up to a robust Duratec 2.0-liter engine while sometime later, a Duratorq 1.4-liter diesel engine was also thrown into the mix.
Moreover, almost all of the earlier Ecosport versions or trims relied heavily on primordial front disc brakes and rear drums for braking power and all had front-wheel drive with the standard manual transmission while the 2.0-liter variant gets away with a four-speed automatic transmission or four-wheel drive.
Fast-forward to twenty-plus something years later, now poking under the hood of the much-rehashed 2021 Ford Ecosport, a technically-trained eye can easily spot the unassuming presence of that lone turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder base engine with 123 horsepower which delivers 125 pound-feet of torque solely destined as many had observed, for easy suburban crawls at lower speeds rather than the lightning-fast paces one would normally do with a 2022 Aston Martin Valkyrie, reputedly the fastest “hyper-car” in its class.
In addition, that base engine suffers from a serious turbo lag which in turn produces minimal power during acceleration; particularly evident when the car is fully loaded with passengers and cargo according to reputable US car reviewers like Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds, and AutoTrader.
However, Ecosport to date has upped the ante and recently had provided an upgraded power plant in the form of a 2.0L EcoBoost Ti-VCT I-4 engine with 166 horsepower delivering149 lb-ft of torque that comes paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission (AT) which for now, is currently available in the market.
Which is way better but still not that? Care to guess?
But the most troublesome aspect of the Ecosport was its engine nonetheless, as mentioned a while ago, so we will try to key into this “hot mess” and find out what other stuff ails the great, er, Ford Ecosport.
Trouble and we do mean big trouble began when Ford Motors received a handful of mere consumer complaints that later escalated to a bucket-full of recalls that were unheard of since Toyota’s infamous “faulty gas pedals” controversy (remember this?) wherein the latter issued a recall of over 5.3 million cars in November of 2009 that were believed to have ill-fitting floor mats that greatly immobilizes the gas pedals. Talk about a live-scenario-motorists nightmare!
While Ford Motors doesn't seem to suffer from this gruesome fate, the company does, however, have a share of its ups and downs as one damper occurred when a Field Service Action (FSA) was issued in March 2015 which saw Ford replacing the pipes of nearly 96% of 44,682 affected vehicles in its lineup.
This particular glitch had something to do with earlier Ford models that were installed with EcoBoost engines fitted with coolant pipes made out of nylon which in the long run were bound to tear or crack up as a result of high temperatures.
Sadly, this classic scenario repeated itself when in 2018 Ford was forced to issue a recall for 1.0 and 1.6 EcoBoost engines after several owners complained bitterly about their overheating vehicles.
The BBC News (UK) even reported one rare incident wherein one 1.6 EcoBoost engine caught on fire while the car was driven out on the freeway as a result of a highly pressurized oil leak that stems from a cracked cylinder head. (as determined from a further investigation made by BBC)
Just what do we make out of all this dilemma? Purely nothing we suppose as Ford Motors can still be counted upon to deliver one of the toughest engines around.
One just had to look at a Ford F-150 Raptor or likewise the Lincoln Navigator that offers 450-horsepower and 510 lb-ft of awesome torque then gloat over otherwise, particularly about how Ford is dead-serious about leveling the playing field in terms of engine superiority.
So going back to the original question, does Ecosport delivers a punch, why a resounding yes, we suppose but rather only up to a certain point mind you.
But when that dreaded thing happens, (cylinder on flames, engine falling out, tsk. tsk.) it may be the time to wisen up and dearly consult your horoscope and figure out your next move hah-hah or better yet, why not simply take a perfunctory look around at a Ford Maverick instead? Kind of a game-changer perhaps, but on second thought well, perhaps not.