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Ford EcoSport vs Holden Trax

Craig Duff

9 Jan 2014 • 3 min read

Ford EcoSport and Holden Trax go head-to-head in this comparative review.
 

value

Ford EcoSport

$27,790

Light SUV buyers pay a hefty premium for the extra room and command driving position and the EcoSport follows that formula. The money buys a focused drive and serious interior space. There's no satnav or reversing camera.

Holden Trax

$27,990

The MyLink infotainment system includes the Bringo satnav app. It's $70 to download and owners will need a decent data allowance on their mobile phone plans. Heated seats and a 240-volt power socket are smart convenience additions.

technology

Ford EcoSport

The chassis and suspension are the most impressive aspects. The 1.5-litre engine (82kW/140Nm), a carry-over item, is paired with a six-speed auto. Buyers prepared to change gears can save $2000 and get more grunt with the excellent 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder.

Holden Trax

The 1.8-litre engine (103kW/175Nm), venerable to say the least, is mated to a sixspeed auto. The on-paper performance edge is dulled by extra weight and the Trax is about a litre thirstier than Ford's 1.5-litre over 100km. Local suspension tuning gives it decent roadholding.

design

Ford EcoSport

The Territory's junior sibling has good proportions and no shortage of room for cargo or passenger stowage spaces. The Sync infotainment system is fully featured but the overall interior impression is let down by plastics salvaged from a 1990s vehicle.

Holden Trax

A bulbous front doesn't mesh with the otherwise solid styling. The interior is a step up from the Ford in terms of fit and finish and the absence of buttons - courtesy of the seven-inch touchscreen - makes the centre console far less cluttered.

safety

Ford EcoSport

The only-average pedestrian protection rating contributed to the EcoSport's four stars from EuroNCAP. The upside is a great score for adult occupant protection and solid child safety figure. Seven airbags are standard and the ABS software includes a three-mode stability control setup.

Holden Trax

With five stars, the Trax edges the Ford in every assessment area. It comes with six airbags and reversing camera. In common with the EcoSport, it has rear drum brakes but owners won't notice in everyday driving.

driving

Ford EcoSport

The Ford is fun. The 1.5-litre engine needs a minute to get into the meat of the torque curve but the auto then does a decent job of keeping it there. It lacks the outright acceleration and fuel economy of the turbo 1.0-litre but its performance is still on par with most cars in this segment. Ride quality and cornering are class-leading.

Holden Trax

The Fiesta drives better than the Barina and that translates to their high-riding counterparts. The Trax is still more than competent with good front-end grip and general compliance. A softer suspension tune gives it an edge in comfort at the expense of more body roll through the turns. The engine starts to thrash at higher revs - the car could easily cope with the Cruze stablemate's turbo 1.6.

Verdict

Ford EcoSport

Holden Trax

The Holden's more polished interior can't quite offset the EcoSport's better dynamics, though plenty of buyers will argue with that.