Ford in South Africa has introduced a new entry-level EcoSport to its small SUV range.

The EcoSport 1,5 Ti-VCT is powered by the same, 1,5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine found in the updated Figo we tested in the October edition of CAR magazine. However, Ford says the unit in this model is credited with 91 kW and 150 N.m of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual 'box.

This base model is priced at R254 950, which is R12 550 less than the 1,5 TDCi Ambiente variant that previously served as an entry-point to the Blue Oval Brand's EcoSport line-up. Like its diesel stablemate, this new EcoSport is offered in Ambiente guise.

Features such as Ford's SYNC infotainment system (SYNC3 is reserved for higher-specced varaints), with Bluetooth connectivity and voice control, and a six speaker audio system. Electric windows fore and aft, heated side mirrors and air-conditioning are included, too.

Safety equipment fitted as standard are six airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), rear parking sensors and ISOFIX child seat anchorages.

According to Ford, the EcoMode found in this car aids drivers to achieve optimal fuel economy.

The 1,5 Ti-VCT EcoSport Ambiente comes standard with a four-year/60 000km service plan, with 15 000km service intervals.

Author: Marius Boonzaier