Ford SA seems to be poised to make 2019 a big year as the Blue Oval continues to unveil new models to push sales in the coming 12 months.
A few weeks ago, Ford announced the addition of an entry-level Ambiente model to its local EcoSport range, which is sure to add to the baby SUV’s already wide appeal due to the reduced entry price of R254 950 for the Ambiente.
Powering the new addition to the EcoSport range is a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine with a maximum power output of 91kW and peak torque of 150Nm. This is the same unit that does duty in the Ford Figo, which we got to sample a few weeks ago. It is a surprisingly eager little power plant that easily copes with congested city roads or long trips on the open road.
Despite being the entry-level model, the EcoSport Ambiente ticks a lot of boxes in terms of standard equipment. This includes Electronic Stability Control, six airbags, ISOFIX child seat mounting points, rear parking sensors and manually activated ‘Follow-me-home’ headlamps.
Electric windows are fitted all round, along with remote central locking, a perimeter alarm, power heated side mirrors and air-conditioning.
A six-speaker Ford Audio system is provided, linked to SYNC with Bluetooth and Voice Activation, plus steering wheel audio controls. The instrument cluster incorporates a trip computer.
Upmarket Figo Titanium
More creature comforts was also the main theme when Ford announced the addition of a Titanium trim to its Figo line up. The new Figo range-topper gains Ford’s SYNC3, which allows the driver to control audio, multimedia, climate control and connected smartphone functions by using voice commands, or by means of the integrated 6.5-inch colour touchscreen.
With two USB ports, SYNC3 offers the benefits of smartphone integration provided through Apple CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto, which integrates the phone’s connectivity with the car to make and receive calls, and listen to voice mail. Songs, playlists and compatible apps can also be accessed.
The colour touchscreen provides the display for the integrated rear view camera that comes standard on the Figo Titanium, making parking manoeuvres even easier in the small hatchback, which, by the way, is the only body shape for the Figo Titanium spec.
The Figo Titanium also gains Ford MyKey, allowing owners to programme a key for younger drivers that can inhibit incoming phone calls, restrict top speed, reduce audio system maximum volume and disable the audio system altogether if occupants are not using safety belts.
The Titanium further benefits from the fitment of dual side and full-length curtain airbags, in addition to the front airbags that are standard across the range.
Further improving overall driving convenience and comfort, the top-spec Figo incorporates audio controls on the steering wheel, electronic automatic climate control, automatic headlamp activation and rain-sensing windscreen wipers, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, “Follow Me home” lighting, as well four-way adjustment for the driver’s seat.
However, this pushes the asking price for the top spec Figo Titanium to R215 900.
New Tourneo Custom
On the tail end of this year’s new model announcement is Ford’s new Tourneo Custom minibus.
The Tourneo Custom was a gem when it was first launched and the new updates should only add to that.
According to Ford, its new people mover delivers first class travel in extensively revised and more premium interior. Targeted at executive shuttle, personal use and lifestyle customers, the interior trim has been completely revised for the new vehicle with a focus on ‘outstanding craftsmanship and appearance’. Ford promises more upscale materials to reinforce the impression of quality and attention to detail within the cabin. Travelling comfort is further enhanced by new seat designs and improved noise reduction to appease discerning rear passengers, who also get a more effective air conditioning system for faster cooling or heating.
The new Tourneo Custom incorporates a number of driver assistance features. Standard items across the range include Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Hill Launch Assist (HLA), Load Adaptive Control (LAC), Roll-Over Mitigation (ROM) and Trailer Sway Control (TSC) which is activated with the fitment of an approved tow bar at a Ford dealer.
Occupant protection is provided by means of the standard front, side and curtain airbags, as well as ISOFIX child seat mounting points on the second row seats.
All models are equipped with a six-speaker audio system incorporating Bluetooth, USB and Aux connectivity and steering wheel-mounted controls.
Propulsion for the Tourneo Custom is provided through a selection of two Ford diesel engines producing 74kW and 310Nm of torque for the 2.2 TDCi Ambiente, and 92kW and 350Nm of torque for the 2.2 TDCi Trend. Both models employ a six-speed manual transmission.
Pricing starts at R546 000 for the Ambiente and R567 300 for the trend.