Goodbye, Ford Ecosport. You will be missed. Nearly everyone who’s either owned or driven the Ford EcoSport is likely to feel this way. The final EcoSport rolled out off Ford India’s Maramalainagar production facility off Chennai yesterday, marking the end of the American automaker’s car manufacturing journey in the country.
First showcased at the Auto Expo 2012, and launched a year later, the Ford EcoSport was one of the first popular sub-4 meter compact SUVs in India. Ford India shocked the market by launching the EcoSport at an introductory price of Rs. 5.59 lakh. The Indian market went crazy for the EcoSport, which looked quite similar to the Range Rover Evoque at launch, and Ford found itself with a massive order list with waiting times stretching to many months.
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Ford introduced the EcoSport with petrol and diesel engine options – and this is a combination that the automaker persisted with until the compact SUV went out of production. The last few thousand Ford EcoSports produced in India wasn’t for the Indian market though. It was to fulfil Ford’s export commitments as the EcoSport was one of the most-exported cars in Ford India’s line-up.
People who have driven the EcoSport will fondly remember the way the compact SUV drove. The EcoSport continues to be the benchmark for its driving dynamics, and this is something that other sub-4 meter SUVs sold here have yet to match. Apart from the sporty handling, the EcoSport was renowned for its sturdy build quality as many an owner would attest. Also, the SUV managed to look quite fresh across a full decade even as Ford kept it refreshed with constant updates over the years.
The latest-gen EcoSport sold in India was offered with a 1.5 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged diesel engine with 89 Bhp-220 Nm on tap. A 5 speed manual gearbox drove the front wheels of the compact SUV. The other engine on offer was the 1.5 liter-3 cylinder Dragon Petrol engine with 131Bhp-150 Nm. 5 speed manual and 6 speed torque converter automatic gearboxes were offered with the petrol motor. Ford also sold the EcoSport in India with the 1 liter-3 cylinder EcoBoost turbo petrol engine. The EcoBoost motor got a 5 speed manual as standard.
Ford now exists in India only through its dealerships, and in the coming years, most dealerships are also expected to gradually shut down. As of now, Ford is obligated to service the cars it’s already sold in India, and also support owners with spare parts.
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