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Friday / 14 June 2024
HomeNewsGoodbye Ford EcoSport – and hello Ford Puma

Goodbye Ford EcoSport – and hello Ford Puma

The Ford EcoSport, which ceased production in April 2022, has finally been delisted in South Africa after all the remaining stock that was on run-out for the past year found new owners, Ford South Africa confirmed to TopAuto.

In July, only 20 sales of the crossover were registered, according to Naamsa’s monthly reports, a far cry from the hundreds of units it moved on a monthly basis for the past nine-plus years.

In the EcoSport’s place, based on numerous reports and rumours in the industry, it’s likely that South Africa will now receive the Ford Puma.

Earlier in August, an authorised Ford dealer in Gauteng listed the Puma for pre-order, a listing that has now been removed, and the advertisement immediately garnered attention as the Puma has been expected to replace the EcoSport for years, but the local subsidiary never gave a concrete answer as to whether it will, in fact, launch in South Africa.

Upon further questioning, a Ford representative told TopAuto that the company can neither confirm nor deny the Puma’s local availability, but on a side note, it did say the EcoSport has been delisted.

It would make sense for Ford to introduce at least one more model to the domestic market to compete in the budget-friendly segment following the discontinuation of the Figo, Fiesta, and now, the EcoSport – otherwise, it will essentially only have the Everest, Mustang, and Ranger to appeal to customers, none of which can particularly be called cheap.

The Puma is the only crossover in the global Ford portfolio that fits this role, making it a likely candidate for a South African launch, which has now been all but confirmed by the Ford dealership’s early pre-order announcement.

Ford Puma

Farewell

The Ford EcoSport has been a mainstay of the South African car scene for several years, thanks in no small part to its compact SUV body shape.

The crossover segment has gradually become the new favourite for passenger vehicle sales in South Africa, taking over from sedans and especially hatchbacks, which is the reason why the EcoSport was able to outlast other popular Fords like the Figo and Fiesta.

The loss of these two models in 2022 meant that the EcoSport has been the Blue Oval’s only affordable passenger car for over a year, as it has instead shifted focus toward its next-generation Ranger bakkie and Everest SUV.

It had a starting price of R311,400, making it the most affordable Ford in South Africa, and much cheaper than the entry-level Ranger or Everest, which clock in at R494,400 and R848,300, respectively.

What’s available

For those who are still interested in picking up Ford’s outgoing SUV, it’s helpful to know what to look for on the pre-owned market.

By the end of its run, the EcoSport was available in nine specifications, which were spread out across four trim levels.

The base Ambient model has two engines to choose from – a 1.5-litre petrol or turbo-diesel – with the former having access to a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, while the latter only gets the manual.

The petrol unit produces 91kW and 150Nm while averaging 6.4l/100km on a typical fuel cycle, while the diesel generates 74kW and 205Nm with a more frugal usage of 4.6l/100km.

The other trim levels – Trend, Active, and Titanium – all get a 1.0-litre, turbo-petrol plant with 92kW and 170Nm, with fuel consumption ranging from 5.4-6.3l/100km, depending on whether a six-speed manual or auto box is used.

Standard equipment across all versions includes 16-inch steel wheels, a multifunction steering wheel, a 4.2-inch media display with Bluetooth, six speakers, fabric seats, manual air conditioning, rear parking sensors, ABS, and six airbags.

The mid-range Trend then adds LED headlights, alloy rims, roof rails, a spare wheel cover, a leather steering wheel, cruise control, and an 8-inch infotainment screen.

The special-edition Active, which is based on the Trend, throws in cosmetic details like a black roof, side mirrors, and wheel arches, as well as model-exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels and branded leather seats.

Capping things off is the range-topping Titanium, which offers chrome styling details, automatic headlamps, 16 or 17-inch alloys (depending on whether you choose the manual or automatic), black leather upholstery, a larger driver display, seven speakers, ambient lighting, keyless entry and start, rain-sensing wipers, automatic climate control, and front parking sensors.

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