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Ford EcoSport vs Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

  • Mar 28, 2016
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[caption id="attachment_19077" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Ford EcoSport Ford EcoSport[/caption]

The Ford EcoSport gave birth to the sub 4 metre compact SUV market in India and even since has seen competition from various models like the Quanto and the TUV300 but the biggest threat ever has come from Maruti's stable - the much talked about all new Vitara Brezza. So serious was this threat that Ford decided to slash the diesel EcoSport's pricing by over a lakh. So, can the new pricing make the EcoSport a better buy or is the Brezza India's new perfect compact SUV?

[caption id="attachment_19758" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Maruti Vitara Brezza drive Maruti Vitara Brezza drive[/caption]

The design first: The EcoSport has always been a smart looking compact SUV. And even after three years down the lane, it still looks nice. The front remains as aggressive as ever with that in your face look while the side profile showcases the butch and compact aesthetics with matte black cladding all around and a crisp shoulder line. the rear profile is something we love with the tail gate mounted spare wheel giving it a touch of sportiness.
The Brezza on the other hand looks a bit toned down. it is not as aggressive but is a handsome SUV nonetheless. The front is dominated by the chunky chrome grille and a bumper that houses a silver skid plate and unique indicators placed right above the fog lamps. The side profile will win hearts with the dual tone theme and the Brezza is shod with wide 215mm tyres as opposed to 205mm in the EcoSport. The rear is clean in terms of design - you do get a spoiler, more chrome above the plate and a silver skid plate to finish the package. Overall, while the Brezza looks nice and fresh, the EcoSport can still turn quite a few heads even today!

[caption id="attachment_19825" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Maruti Vitara Brezza dashbaord Maruti Vitara Brezza Dashboard[/caption]

Step inside the Brezza and the all-black cabin design reminds u of the S-Cross which is not a bad thing. The Apple CarPlay along with Android Auto has impressed us a lot and so have things like the functionality of the air-con system, chrome inserts on the steering wheel and twin glove-boxes which are really useful. At the back, the Brezza does offer you more space including a central armrest with cup holders. If also offers a practical touch in the way the seats can be folded and flipped to liberate extra space. This is indeed a spacious compact SUV.

[caption id="attachment_19054" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Ford EcoSport dashboard Ford EcoSport dashboard[/caption]

The EcoSport too comes with an all black cabin but has a lot of silver inserts to brighten up the interiors. The steering is chunkier, the speedometer console looks sportier while the phone keypad inspired central console looks great. That said, it misses out on a touch screen system and the air-con controls feel flimsy to operate. The space up front is generous and we love the way those seats hug you. At the back, space is not as good as the Brezza's but you get leather as standard on the top end including 6 airbags, something that the Maruti misses out on.

[caption id="attachment_19072" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Ford EcoSport performance Ford EcoSport action shot[/caption]

One of the biggest advantage in the EcoSport is the engine line up. On offer are two petrol and one diesel engine. You can also pick up an automatic with the 1.5 litre petrol unit. The diesel unit is the tried and tested 1.5 litre oil burner that is also seen in the Figo and the Aspire. It is a larger motor than that of the Brezza and also puts out more power and higher torque. In real world conditions what impresses us the lack of turbo lag - crawling around in traffic and overtaking cars is a breeze and out on the highways, the EcoSport never seems to run out of breath. Topping it is the excellent NVH levels and this Ford is be a no-nonsense urban car. It is not as fuel efficient though.
The Brezza on the other hand comes only in one engine option - India's favourite diesel motor, the 1-3 litre DDiS Multijet. In the Brezza it puts out 90ps of power and 200Nm of torque- both these figures are less than that of the EcoSport but the Brezza being lighter has almost equal flat out performance. The issue comes in the form of turbo lag which can get on to your nerves when you want the engine to respond at the required moment. Drive it gently and  it will keep you happy. The icing on the cake is a segment-best fuel economy of 24.3kmpl.

[caption id="attachment_19819" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Maruti Vitara Brezza drive Maruti Vitara Brezza action shot[/caption]

So, the EcoSport has a better engine but does it ride well? The answer is a big yes - the Brezza's suspension set up is a bit on the firmer side which is a let down for daily city usage. It does aid a lot in terms of handling or off-road adventures but practically speaking if you are going to be driving on city roads everyday, the EcoSport will keep in utmost comfort. Only if the A pillar was not that thick - it can be an issue, specially for short drivers. Both the SUVs have almost identical ground clearance - the EcoSport has a ground clearance of 200mm while the Brezza is rated at 198mm. In terms of safety, the base version of the Brezza gets you a driver side airbag as standard, something that the EcoSport misses out on.

[caption id="attachment_19056" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Ford EcoSport infotainment system Ford EcoSport infotainment system[/caption]

And finally the pricing - the Brezza diesel starts at 6.99 lakh ex-showroom, Delhi which is Rs 30,000 less than that of the EcoSport diesel. This Maruti has been one of the most awaited cars of 2016 and sure ticks a lot of boxes. It looks nice, has lot of space, segment-first features, handles well and will be sold through Maruti's unbeatable network. The EcoSport diesel on the other hand offers you a better engine with better real world usability, richer cabin with better NVH levels but at the cost of space and features. It looks great too but most importantly has a diverse line up of two petrol engine options including an automatic transmission as an option as well, something that metro city buyers are most likely to look at. And this just about seals the deal for the EcoSport which in our comparison, manages to win over the Brezza.

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