Ford has introduced a special edition model to its mini SUV range, the EcoSport Active. It is based on the existing EcoSport Trend 1.0 Ecoboost automatic model. The line-up was introduced in 2013 and Ford SA says over 75 000 models have been sold to date.
What’s new on the outside?
The EcoSport Active has been a given a rugged and dynamic appearance, with touches of black on the grille, headlamp surrounds and foglamp bezels, with sporty black finishes on the front and rear skirts. It has 17″ Active design black alloy wheels with additional dark finishes on the mirror caps and roof rails, and dark tinted rear windows.
The roof is also a contrasting black, available in four shades: white, and metallic paints for yellow, silver, and dark grey. The model can also be distinguished by the “Active” badge on the front fenders.
What’s new on the inside?
The same Active badge appears on the leather seats, which replaces cloth ones on the Trend models. It has a leather-trim multifunctional steering wheel with cruise control, electric windows, air-conditioning and an 8-inch colour infotainment screen.
The rear seats fold flat, 60/40 split and the boot capacity is 333L. The overhead console has space for your sunglasses with ample space for items between the seats.
All the tech
The infotainment system features Ford SYNC 2.5, which still looks a bit dated, but it supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and has 2x USB ports. There is a 12V power plug in the front and it has steering mounted audio controls.
It also supports FordPass Connect (also available on the existing Trend and Titanium models), which features an embedded 4G modem that gives you the ability to remote lock/unlock, remote start and stop, schedule a remote start and then things like vehicle status, car health alerts and over-the-air updates. I tested this last year when it made its debut on the Ranger:
Under the hood
The EcoSport Active runs on the 1.0L EcoBoost engine that has an output of 92kW or power and 170Nm of torque. The three cylinder engine is paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox only, there is no manual option.
In terms of safety, just like the Trend model, it has 7 airbags, ABS brakes with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Hill Launch Assist (HLA). It also has rear parking sensors, and alarm with immobiliser. It also has ISOFIX seats.
Launch drive experience
We had a couple of hours available to us for the half day event and could go anywhere, but to be back at a certain time. Being in Johannesburg, we also had to be mindful about not getting caught in lunch time traffic, etc. We chose to go to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, but of course, when we got there, it was blocked due to protesting. So we ended up at Freedom Park.
It was a bit frustrating driving around look for another spot when our initial one didn’t pan out, especially in a city I’m not familiar with. The drive was alright, but I felt inside the cabin was a bit too loud. I tried closing the windows a few times when they were actually closed – I could hear the wind really loud.
I also was rather disappointed that the FordPass Connect app, which we had ready ahead of the launch, was not available because the system was down. I couldn’t log in or reset my password, despite trying multiple times.
I also tried pairing my phone to the Sync system and it just didn’t bring up CarPlay. I spent a fair amount of time checking my settings, just as I was about to give up and decided to use Google Maps directly on my phone, did it show up on the screen.
The car itself in the “luxe yellow” looked more orange but I liked the pop of colour and the overall look and style, even the wheels. It’s a striking vehicle and ideal if you want to dip your toes in the mini SUV segment without forking out for some of the other higher end brands. The security guards at Freedom Park also seemed to love the car.
The special edition EcoSport Active costs R393 700 and comes with a four-year/120 000km warranty, four-year/unlimited distance Roadside Assistance and five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty.
Recharged is an independent site that focuses on technology, electric vehicles, and the digital life by Nafisa Akabor. Drawing from her 16-year tech journalism career, expect news, reviews, how-tos, comparisons, and practical uses of tech that are easy to digest. email@example.com