Ford Ecosport was the first sub-4 metre SUV to launch in India about five years ago and since then major auto makers introduced sub-compact SUVs in their portfolio and the segment has ensured constant sales and resulted in higher profits. The Ecosport started as a segment leader, however, currently Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is in the lead. Honda Cars too quickly got in with the Honda WR-V and is currently the top-selling car in its portfolio and last to enter the segment was Tata Nexon. Now though, the a refreshed Ecosport is back and the competition has gotten stiffer. Here's how the four sub-compact SUVs compete:
Dimensions: While the length remains quite similar, the difference lies in the width and height of all four. The Ecosport is taller than Vitara Brezza but not wider. The Nexon is the widest SUV in this segment which has increases overall cabin space but has lost out on height. However, on paper, the Vitara Brezza has the right height and width giving it a proper SUV stance with its boxy design and this is challenged in a big way earlier by Tata Motors and now by Ford India.
Diesel engines: The new Ecosport gets the new 1.5L diesel engine and is the second most powerful engine in the segment after Nexon that also gets a 1.5L turbocharged Revotorq engine making 108hp. The new Ecosport makes 99 bhp of power almost similar to that of Honda WR-V and the Vitara Brezza has a maximum power of 89 bhp. The 1.3L diesel engine on the Vitara Brezza is under powered while all others in the segment gets the 1.5L engine. Honda WR-V claims the mileage of 25.5 kmpl whereas the mileage figures of the new Ecosport will be known only post the market launch of the product.
Petrol engines: The Vitara Brezza currently misses out on a petrol engine variant. We expect Maruti Suzuki to launch the petrol version soon in the next facelift. 2017 Ford Ecosport will also get the 1.5L petrol engine, the most powerful in the segment but the company will now discontinue the 1L ecoboost engine on its small SUV. The Nexon gets a 1198cc petrol engine that makes 108.4 at 5000 rpm and 170 Nm at 1750-4000 rpm, paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
Infotainment: Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment technology will debut on the new Ford Ecosport and will replace the button heavy dash of Ecosport which will change the entire look and feel of the cabin. It now features a touchscreen infotainment system that supports both Apple Car Play and Android Auto along with mobile navigation. Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Tata Nexon too offer the same but Honda WR-V misses out on these features but does support Honda Connect technology.
The 2017 Ecosport has been priced aggressively especially the diesel variants and Ford has just under cut the prices when compared with the Vitatra Brezza but has not undercut the prices of petrol versions when compared to Nexon or WR-V. Tata Nexon will remain the most affordable SUV in this competitive segment.
Vitara Brezza scores the most on practicality but the new SUVs are certainly going to create a lot of noise and might eat up some of the sales of the market leader. The Nexon is already winning hearts especially of young first-time SUV buyers and the aggressive pricing has allowed Tata Motors to stay ahead in the competition. The new Ecosport will be truely a drivers car and the new look and engines will certainly help to increase its sales as the Ecosport has been one of the best performing models for Ford in India.
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