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2017 Ford F-250 review: Spring for the diesel, get 925 lb-ft

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People who know me probably can guess that I love this thing. I mean c’mon, how can you not love 925 lb-ft?!? And according to Ford[1], this baby can tow 32,500 pounds.

That should do it. Yeah the torque is impressive but not as impressive as the refined way the F-250[2] goes down the road. The turbo diesel is an £8,595 option, so it’s not cheap, but if you’re in the market for one of these, you need to spring for it; it’s so quiet and smooth (both in putting down the power and overall noise levels) and mated so well to the gearbox, to me it’s worth it.

It’s astonishing, really. Power just seems to never end. In fact, thanks to the truck’s smoothness, I often found myself going faster than I thought.

Plus, according to the in-dash mpg readout, I was averaging 16-plus mpg in the city. Impressive for a 7,200-pound rig that can tow 16 tons. The ride quality is impressive as well.

There’s slight bouncing over bad road imperfections but not nearly as bad as I feared. The interior is ginormous, well-built and comfortable. There are nice, big knobs for the radio and heat and whatnot.

Always appreciated. Oodles of storage too. –Wes Raynal, editor

Ford issues recall for 13 million F 150 and Super Duty trucks

OTHER VOICES:

I was lucky enough to pull the straw for the Ford F-250[3] for a weekend move across town, which, if you’re planning on buying one of these, you’ll probably help move a lot of beds. Of course, moving furniture and clothes with a Super Duty truck is like using a power hammer to crack open walnuts — it’s complete overkill. But no one buys a diesel-powered full-size pickup because they like to help their friends move.

No, if you’re buying a big diesel-powered full-size pickup, you (hopefully) have a big race trailer, boat trailer, horse trailer, camper or affinity for making people with compact cars look even more compact. That being said, like Wes mentioned, the 6.7-liter Powerstroke oil-burner is incredibly smooth. There is a faint hint of diesel clacking, which I feel most diesel truck fans actually want — even in the plusher trims.

Power delivery is linear and obviously unchallenged by the light load. Unlike Raynal, I found the ride to be considerably harsher than the diesel-powered HDs rolling off the Chevrolet and GMC assembly lines. But it’s a big-ass pickup.

If you don’t option the upper trim levels and can live with pleb-spec amenities, the truck’s firm ride will remind you that you’re actually in a work truck. That said, the King Ranch package does have an incredibly well-appointed interior. The spacious cabin might be big enough to qualify as a New York City studio apartment and is full of cowhides.

The materials feel high-quality, and the heated front and rear seats would make this a joy to climb into during a cold Montana winter. The Ford F-250 is a monster of a truck. Adding the King Ranch package makes it a monster of a truck with an incredible interior.

Personally, I think that keeping the diesel and dropping the luxe guts would be the move for me.

–Wes Wren, associate editor

OPTIONS: 6.7-liter diesel (£8,595); King Ranch package with power running boards, power moonroof, quad-beam headlights, blind-spot monitors, tailgate step (£2,960); Tow technology bundle including adaptive steering, lane-keeping assist, ultimate trailer tow camera (£1,735); 20-inch wheels (£1,420); adaptive cruise control (£740); TPMS accessories (£725); spray in bedliner (£495); 3.55 rear axle (£390); fifth wheel (£370); upfitter switches (£165)

By Autoweek Staff

On Sale: Now

Base Price: £58,650

As Tested Price: £76,350

Powertrain: 6.7-liter turbdiesel V8, 4WD, six-speed automatic

Output: 440 hp @ 2,800 rpm; 925 lb-ft torque @ 1,800 rpm

Curb Weight: 6,851 lb

Pros: The power to tow a whole stable of horses

Cons: Nowhere to park it

References

  1. ^ Ford (autoweek.com)
  2. ^ F-250 (autoweek.com)
  3. ^ Ford F-250 (autoweek.com)

Ford EcoSport Facelift: First drive review

The Ford EcoSport is back with a new face but it’s what lies beneath that could prove to be a key factor in the revival of this pioneering compact SUV

Ford EcoSport Facelift

The new Ford EcoSport[1] receives a mild facelift and the changes under the skin are what make a significant difference in the package. Gone is the critically acclaimed and award winning 1.0 EcoBoost engine that couldn’t find favour with Indian customers. The other 4-cylinder petrol has also been axed and in its place is a new 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder petrol that is lighter and promises to be more efficient as well.

The new automatic transmission also assures to offer petrol buyers a smoother drive in the city. Ford also promises the cheapest cost of ownership in the class and this could be just the boost that the EcoSport needed to regain the ground it’s lost since it was launched in 2013. Ford EcoSport Facelift

Exterior

Ford EcoSport Facelift

While this, technically, is a mid-life facelift for the EcoSport, we have surprisingly little to write about, in this section of the review. The narrow slat that used to lie just under the bonnet has been deleted and the grill now moves higher up on the face of the EcoSport. The Ford logo now moves from the missing slat to the centre of the grill, like in the Endeavour[2] and other Ford family cars of this generation.

Ford EcoSport Facelift The headlamps are larger and the round fog lamps below have been replaced by much larger triangular units. The bottom splitter has also received a mild redesign and the top-of-the-line Titanium Plus model receives 17-inch alloys.

And that is essentially it; the sides and the rear of the EcoSport remain the same. That said, the EcoSport was always pleasant to look at and we can’t fault Ford for not messing with a design that already works well. Ford EcoSport Facelift

Interior

Ford EcoSport Facelift

One aspect of the EcoSport that has aged since it was introduced back in 2013 is the interior and Ford certainly has answered that call with this update. The new all-black interiors, spearheaded by an 8-inch touchscreen display are just what the doctor ordered. There’s a new instrument cluster too, with a central display surrounded by gloss black inserts and a new steering wheel (with paddle shifts on the AT model) that has been lifted from the international Ford Focus.

Ford EcoSport Facelift The front seats are wider with better side bolstering and softer cushioning. The rear has improved contouring with softened cushioning, just like the front.

And now, the back also gets a drop-down armrest with cup holders. Overall, the seats are both supportive and comfortable, which we can tell you after having spent a whole day behind the wheel with no fatigue at all. Ford EcoSport Facelift

Boot space remains the same at 346 litres, but Ford has made a few changes here with a new three position floor for the boot. The bottom most position gives you the most space, while the second position, that is about two and a half inches higher up, leaves a small compartment under the floor, that Ford says, can hide belongings, like a SM© Laptop bag, away from prying eyes. A slightly angled third position allows the floor to match the height of the rear seat backs when they are folded down, giving you one flat surface.

In this position, you have a generous 1178 litres of space. Ford EcoSport Facelift

Technology

Ford EcoSport Facelift Another area that needed to be addressed was tech and with new competition from the likes of the Honda WR-V[3], the Maruti Vitara Brezza[4] and the Tata Nexon[5], Ford has had to step up its game too.

The EcoSport’s new touchscreen takes it right to the front of the pack in this regard. The 8-inch screen is bright and responsive and the third generation of Ford’s SYNC interface is intuitive and easy to operate. It features the now obligatory Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well.

There are even two SM© USB ports on the central to help charge your personal tech, along with a 12V socket. Ford EcoSport Facelift The instrument cluster is also new, but it gets a rather odd looking information display.

While it could have been better in terms of aesthetics, it does provide all the information you need and even includes a display for the tyre pressure monitoring system. The EcoSport also features rain sensing wipers and automatic headlamps but no sunroof or rear air con vents. That said, during our drive on a hot day in Goa with four people in the car, there was never any complaint from either of our rear passengers.

Ford even claims that the air con will cool the cabin down from 50 degrees to 25 degrees in less than 15 minutes and we see no reason to doubt them. Ford EcoSport Facelift Another nice feature in the top-end variant is the keyless entry system which features a sensor on both driver and passenger door handles.

If you have the key in your pocket, the door will unlock as soon as you grab the door handle. Tap the handle when you leave and voila! The car is locked.

Ford EcoSport Facelift

Engine and Performance

The EcoSport now comes with just two engine options – a 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel. The petrol engine is an all-new 3-cylinder naturally aspirated unit. It makes a healthy 123PS of power and 150Nm of torque.

This engine is more compact, lighter and is also claimed to be more efficient than the engine it replaces. Ford has gone to great lengths to quieten the thrummy nature of the 3-cylinder. There’s now a balancer to reduce vibrations and they even have the timing belt, which usually is open to the elements, running in an oil bath.

At idle and start up, it still sounds like a typical 3-cylinder, but as soon as you get moving, it quietens down. It’s really nice to drive at city speeds because all that power has been focused around low- to mid-range rpm and trails off at higher revs. Ford EcoSport Facelift

The 1.5-litre diesel makes the same 100PS and 205Nm as before, but has received a different state of tune. The difference is not noticeable though, and the diesel is still a very pleasant motor to drive, with a very linear torque curve and barely any noticeable step up in acceleration when the turbo kicks in. What has increased though, with this new tune, is the claimed mileage which has now stands at 23kmpl, a good 3kmpl more than earlier.

The petrol also promises one more kilometer per litre at a claimed efficiency of 17kmpl. Another new and significant change to the EcoSport package is a new conventional automatic transmission that replaces the more advanced dual clutch transmission that was earlier offered with the previous 1.5-litre petrol power plant. This new transmission may be old school, but the way it behaves is much more suited to the EcoSport.

It’s much better than the gearbox it replaces and at city duties, it feels quicker too. Shifts are butter smooth and though they are a little slower, they are much more predictable and you never feel unsure of what will happen when you punch the throttle. This allows you to get on with enjoying the drive and makes for effortless city commuting.

Ride and Handling

Ford EcoSport Facelift

Ford says the only changes it has made to the suspension is to the bushes, but this seems to have made quite a difference in the way the car rides. It goes over bumps and speed breakers in a much more composed fashion and while the suspension is still quite sporty, i.e. firm, there is very little sound that makes way into the cabin. Only really sharp bumps like level changes and rumble strips make their presence felt in the cabin.

But those apart, the EcoSport is a very quiet place to ride in. Even road and engine noise at city speeds is very nicely controlled and this makes for an even more comfortable experience. Ford EcoSport Facelift

Like all Fords, steering feel is excellent and this combines well with the sporty suspension setup around corners. There is still some body roll that comes from the tall boy stance and the short wheelbase, but it’s still fairly well controlled. Together, they keep the sporty edge, that the EcoSport had, alive even today.

What could do with some improvement though, are the Bridgestone Ecopia 205/50R17 tyres which don’t feel as if they offer as much grip as we know this chassis can handle.

Verdict

Ford EcoSport Facelift While on the surface, the changes seem small, they have made a great deal of difference to the way the new EcoSport drives and feels. The new petrol engine and smooth automatic transmission are also great additions to the new lineup.

And the technology package has also brought it at par with the competition. Ford even say that it has increased the level of localisation in the car from 60-65 per cent to nearly 85 per cent, and this should help in pricing it really really competitively. To top it all, the company is even promising that it will cost between 7 to 10 per cent lesser to maintain than even the Maruti Vitara Brezza.

Taking all this into consideration, it seems that the EcoSport is all set to reclaim the limelight it received when it was launched in 2013.

Photography: Vikrant Date

References

  1. ^ Ford EcoSport (www.cardekho.com)
  2. ^ Endeavour (www.cardekho.com)
  3. ^ Honda WR-V (www.cardekho.com)
  4. ^ Maruti Vitara Brezza (www.cardekho.com)
  5. ^ Tata Nexon (www.cardekho.com)

Ford EcoSport Detailed Expert Review

Nov 01, 2017 : Expert Review By When Ford India first unveiled the EcoSport back in 2012, the entire nation took notice. It came with all the SUV credentials (Read: macho styling, chunky tyres, high ground clearance and a tailgate mounted wheel) while falling under the crucial sub-4m mark.

The rest, as we know, is history.

Ford EcoSport Expert Review, EcoSport Road Test - 206947 | CarTrade

Half a decade after spearheading the compact SUV trend in India, the EcoSport is back in the game in an all-new avatar. The competition now is fierce, what with the Maruti Vitara Brezza selling like hot cakes and Tata impressing everyone with the hugely capable Nexon. Naturally, the new EcoSport isn’t taking this lightly – it’s got a few neat tricks up its sleeve.

Let’s find out about each in great detail. On first impressions, the new EcoSport appears a lot more flamboyant especially when compared to the car it replaces. That new front-end design is rather bold and divides opinions, as we found during our first drive in Goa.

Make of it what you will, but it’s certainly not lacking road presence.

2017 Ford EcoSport

Upfront, the EcoSport looks entirely different – it no longer gets a twin grille setup. Instead, the front is dominated by the large trapezoidal grille with the Blue Oval logo, pretty much like the Ford’s global SUV line-up. The sculpted hood features a wider central dome and the headlights, too, are larger than before for a more commanding presence.

The only other design change is apparent as you move onto the sides – here you will find the new 17-inch alloy wheels which frankly look brilliant. The large alloys coupled with low profile rubber make the EcoSport look genuinely sporty.

2017 Ford EcoSport

This midlife update isn’t just a cosmetic makeover but a full-on development over the old EcoSport – a fact that is apparent the moment you step inside the cabin. Everything from the dashboard and the dials to the steering wheel is completely new – only the dash top and the gear lever seem to have been carried over.

Nonetheless, we are happy to report that the new dash design isn’t as cluttered as before and is in fact rather smart looking. The biggest highlight comes in the form of the 8-inch touchscreen display that’s been placed closer to the driver’s line of sight. Featuring Ford’s infotainment system called SYNC 3, it’s surprisingly easy to operate and the UI is crisp too.

It also comes with in-car connectivity systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In typical Ford fashion, the cabin is home to a mix of grey, black and silver materials – some feeling more premium than others. While the overall quality is on par with the segment, some of the plastics aren’t exactly well finished – the opening for the cubby hole around the steering column and the glove box is poorly finished. Storage is adequately addressed with two cup holders and decent-sized door pockets, although the glove-box is a touch too small.

The EcoSport also gets a centrally located media bin to stow a smartphone while charging. Ford says it’s designed to accommodate a phone as large as an iPhone 7 Plus.

2017 Ford EcoSport

Outward visibility remains unchanged which means the EcoSport is still slightly more difficult to navigate than its rivals. The high-set dash, thick A-pillars and a small rear glass seriously limit overall visibility.

Thankfully, the front seats are now wider and feature softer cushioning. While there’s a great deal of headroom and lateral support, the passenger side knee room isn’t as generous as the driver side – the centre console is angled more on the passenger side and fouls with their knees.

2017 Ford EcoSport

At the rear, you will find a better sense of legroom thanks to the scooped out front seats – they do work and liberate more knee room. The headroom, meanwhile, is plentiful as always and the softer cushioning is great, too.

The rear bench has good amount of contours, but seating three at the rear is still a squeeze.

2017 Ford EcoSport

Ford India has really upped the game in terms of features. Besides the usual stuff like climate control, height adjustable driver’s seat, electric mirrors and alloy wheels, you get a lot of niceties like projector headlamps, leather seats, daytime running LEDs, 6 airbags, ABS, tire pressure monitoring system and that brilliant 8-inch infotainment system. What about from behind that all-new steering wheel?

For our first impressions we got to sample the all-new 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol motor dubbed ‘Dragon’. Replacing the old EcoBoost turbocharged engine, this new naturally aspirated motor is coupled to a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters in our test car. The engine makes 123bhp and 150Nm of torque and while these outputs look alright, the EcoSport is a heavy car.

This puts demand on every horsepower and Nm. Ultimately, this three-cylinder motor/auto box combo is impressive in the city, with good low-end response from the motor and smooth shifts from the torque converter. This engine is surprisingly refined, too, as long as you don’t floor it hard.

2017 Ford EcoSport

The EcoSport with this powertrain is no driver’s car.

Flat out, progress is hardly thrilling as the engine struggles to pull the car’s heft – this is down to the weak midrange. That said, this engine pulls surprisingly hard at the top-end. Similarly, the 6-speed torque converter is no DCT – though the upshifts are fairly quick, it’s constantly hunting for the right gear, something that’s unnerving when going through the corners flat out.

Overall, it’s a decent, no-nonsense auto box that does a good job of adding convenience to your daily drives.

2017 Ford EcoSport

The old EcoSport was often praised for its planted feel, and while it rode comfortably it erred towards firm. This resulted in a car with good body control that definitely put the ‘Sport’ into its name. For the 2017 model, Ford claims they have worked on optimizing the suspension bushes although we would like to add that this new car rides more or less the same as its predecessor.

Over a mixed array of surfaces, we found the ride and handling to be about what you would expect from the Blue Oval. There is still a hint of firmness to the way this thing rides over bad roads, but the upshot is that you get a car that holds its line brilliantly through the corners and remains composed at high speeds. Similarly, the steering feels just as direct and quick at initial turn-in despite being worked on for a softer bite.

2017 Ford EcoSport

Make Ford
Model EcoSport
Fuel Petrol
Variant Titanium Plus AT
Engine Capacity 1.5-litre
Max.

Power ([email protected])

123bhp @6500rpm
Max. torque ([email protected]) 150Nm @4500rpm
Gears 6
Length mm 3999
Width mm 1765
Height mm 1708
Wheelbase mm 2520
Fuel Capacity (in litres) 52
Tyre size 205/50R17
Specifications Ford
EcoSport
Maruti Suzuki
Vitara Brezza
Variant Titanium Plus AT ZDI+
Fuel Petrol Diesel
Engine Capacity 1.5-litre 1.3-litre
Max. Power ([email protected]) 123bhp @6500rpm [email protected]
Max. torque ([email protected]) 150Nm @4500rpm [email protected]
Gears 6 5
Length mm 3999 3995
Width mm 1765 1790
Height mm 1708 1640
Wheelbase mm 2520 2500
Fuel Capacity (in litres) 52 48
Tyre size 215/50R17 215/60 R16

So that’s the new EcoSport. Improved on several counts including a far more premium looking interior, more features and an urban friendly drivetrain, the new EcoSport seems to have made an impressive comeback.

What’s more, the bold new design also gives it a lot more substance and road presence.

2017 Ford EcoSport

On the downside, the engine’s overall refinement is undermined by the lack of mid-range torque while a more responsive gearbox would have made the EcoSport a lot nicer to drive.

All in all, in the hotly contested market of compact SUVs, the segment starter and now improved Ford EcoSport continues to be an excellent option.

It’s certainly your only option if you happen to plan on getting a petrol automatic compact SUV.

2017 Ford EcoSport

Pictures: Kapil Angane

References

  1. ^ (www.cartrade.com)

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