Nissan Juke Ti-S 2014 Review
We are still not fans of the styling but after a good stint in the top of the range Nissan Juke Ti-S, turbo all-wheel drive we rather like the froggy-faced sub-compact SUV.
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Ford's cute as a button Ecosport is a compact crossover, designed for city streets rather than off road adventures. It sits high with a good view of the traffic, a tight turning circle and is small enough to squeeze into most car parking spaces. What's more it undercuts Holden's competitor Trax and shines as the most affordable car in the segment.
Priced from $20,790 for the Ambiente, $22,290 for the Trend or $27,490 for the top of the line Titanium with an auto. Standard features include Bluetooth, airconditioning, power windows, steel wheels, slide-out draw under front passenger seat, 60/40 split rear seats with fold and tumble function, steering wheel audio controls, a trip computer and 6-speaker CD/MP3 audio system.
Also comes with the Ford SYNC voice- based connectivity system with Emergency Assistance that automatically dials 000 using your phone in the event of an accident. Titanium gets all the fruit including alloys, climate air, sports seats, partial leather, push-button start and auto lights and wipers.
Front wheel drive. There's two engines: a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four cylinder petrol or Ford's new turbocharged 1.0-litre three cylinder petrol engine. To get an auto you have to option the 1.5, which is $2000. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine develops 92kW of power at 6000 revs and 170Nm of torque between 1400 and 4500 revs. The 1.5-litre Ti-VCT develops 82kW of power at 6300 revs and 140Nm of torque at 4400 revs. The 1.0-litre engine is available as a manual only, while the 1.5 comes as a manual or with an optional 6-speed Powershift twin-clutch transmission.
Although the new Ecosport shares its platform with the Fiesta hatch, Ford has made some changes to reflect its new role. Shock and spring rates have been retuned to achieve the best balance of steering, handling and ride.
The car's front doors are excessively heavy and require a good shove to close. Rear legroom is tight and the boot is short but quite deep.
A full size spare sits on the tailgate but the tailgate opens the wrong way for our roads right to left instead of left to right. The 1.0-litre turbocharged three cylinder engine is an award winner. Ford describes it as "quiet and smooth-running." They must have been driving a different car because ours was harsh and noisy.
Five stars from ANCAP. It's fitted with seven airbags, including a driver's knee bag to protect the lower legs in an accident. None of the models get a reversing camera, but rear parking sensors are standard on the Titanium.
The problem with small engined cars is that you need to rev the bejesus out of them to get any decent performance. This defeats the purpose of the exercise because it drives up fuel consumption in the long run. Paired with the 5-speed manual, the 1.0-litre engine takes premium unleaded and is rated at 5.7 litres/100km but we were getting 7.7 during testing. The three cylinder engine feels happiest in third gear sitting around 4000 revs, although maximum torque is reportedly produced from a low 1400 revs.
In reality the car lacks roll on acceleration in second gear and the 5-speed box doesn't quite cover all contingencies, with a bit of a hole between second and third gear. Plenty of body roll and steep winding roads, especially hairpin turns pose a problem requiring a change down to first if the car in front is too slow and the engine revs die. Overtaking takes some planning too, but it sails up hills.
Great looking little car. Too bad it doesn't have the performance to match. What about the turbo from the Fiesta ST?
|Ambiente||1.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$6,500 – 10,010||2014 Ford Ecosport 2014 Ambiente Pricing and Specs|
|Titanium 1.0||1.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN||$7,900 – 12,210||2014 Ford Ecosport 2014 Titanium 1.0 Pricing and Specs|
|Titanium 1.5||1.5L, PULP, 6 SP||$7,300 – 11,330||2014 Ford Ecosport 2014 Titanium 1.5 Pricing and Specs|
|Trend||1.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN||$6,800 – 10,560||2014 Ford Ecosport 2014 Trend Pricing and Specs|