FORD Group Philippines recently invited the motoring media, including this writer, for a test-drive event to Tagaytay dubbed as the “EcoSport, Out of Town Wellness Drive”. The event was all about relaxation, rejuvenation and detoxification.
We took off the Ford Bonifacio Global City (BGC) dealership aboard several EcoSport variants bound for Dahlia Farm in Tagaytay as our first destination. The EcoSport doesn’t need further introduction as it is one of Ford’s best-selling vehicles to date. While I don’t have the exact figures on how many units were sold so far, its presence on the streets everywhere will attest to that fact, as you can see it everywhere.
At the Dahlia Farm, the EcoSports were parked side by side for the photo ops. It gave us a better view to admire its modern looks, characterized by a wide hood, which sweeps into a sculpted bodyline, blacked-out B-pillars, muscular beltline that extends all the way to the rear. It boasts of driving dynamics and characteristics that buyers look for in an sport-utility vehicle (SUV), such as a high ground clearance. The EcoSport features a dual tone exterior design with black roof, which is set on a 17-inch alloy wheels. The exclusively designed spare wheel and cover mounted at the tailgate complete the SUV look. The rear door handle is electronically actuated by pressing on the little black button, which integrates with the Smart Key system.
Inside the EcoSport, one will see how the dashboard is very well laid-out. The fabric materials of the well-padded with side bolsters, two-toned seats are not your ordinary drapery. It has stitching accents with little unique-looking contusions in the middle for that premium and sporty feel, aside from the comfy driving posture. When Ford’s SYNC is engaged, all you have to do is say the command and the system will do the rest from Bluetooth connectivity, audio and telephony functions, to name a few. As for the cabin space, it’s absolutely one of EcoSport’s high points. With the taller roofline, wider width and longer wheelbase, everything translates to convenience.
Its gem is the 1.5-liter TI-VCT or twin independent variable camshaft timing four-cylinder engine that is rated to deliver 110 hp and 142 N-m of torque. Regarding the engine, buyers have the option to either pair it with a six-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission.
All the units that we drove were equipped with six-speed automatic transmission, which shift seamlessly and are well matched to the engine. It was very smooth in idle while stuck in traffic, thereby lessening the stress on the driver. But as soon as we got away from it, and was now traversing the length of South Luzon Expressway, it exhibited another wonderful characteristic, which is an excellent power-to-weight ratio that made it lively on highways.
The size of the EcoSport is another asset. This was evident when we took the Carmona route on our way to our destination. It didn’t have any problems squeezing through the narrow highway. While I am a regular visitor of Tagaytay whenever my schedule permits, the route that we took was unfamiliar to me. The organizers admitted later that this was the long route. It consists mostly of narrow backroads and, again, the compactness of the SUV was highlighted on these roads.
The EcoSport maybe compact in size but it boasts of an airy interior, although there were only two of us in the vehicle, there wouldn’t be any problems accommodating three more in the rear seat.
At the farm, we were taught how to distress via yoga, how to cook healthy food and concoct healthy drinks to detoxify the body. It is a nice place to be in when one wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
The day was capped with a stay at the nurture villa, with that much-needed massage completing our detox and relaxation luring us to slumber land. On the trip back to lowlands the following day, we were again stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on our way back to BGC.
After we’ve arrived, I glanced at our fuel gauge and was not surprised that it hardly moved at all—exhibiting another excellent characteristic of this fine vehicle’s fuel economy.
The EcoSport is available in all Ford dealers with a starting price of P795,000.
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