After a series of teasers, Ford has now launched the EcoSport SE in India. Prices for the Ford EcoSport SE start at INR 10.49 lakh for the petrol variant and go up to INR 10.99 lakh for the diesel, both prices ex-showroom Delhi. The biggest talking point about this new trim is its rear tail gate design. The SE trim loses out on the EcoSport's distinctive tailgate-mounted spare wheel, and as such, the entire tail gate is different from the standard model.
Incidentally, the new Ford Ecosport SE is actually similar to the version that's sold in international markets like Europe and North America. Ford actually manufactures the export version of the EcoSport alongside the domestic model here in India. The EcoSport SE comes with an unique rear design where it misses out on the spare wheel and the number plate is positioned in the middle of the tail gate. It still continues to remain a side-hinged unit though, just like the regular version. With the repositioning of the number plate, the rear bumper has also been redesigned with a new silver skid plate.
The EcoSport SE is actually based on the Titanium trim, but it costs about INR 70,000 more. As for its features, the EcoSport SE comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, automatic HID headlights with LED DRLs, an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation and Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system. Compared to the top-spec S trim, the EcoSport SE misses out on features like side and curtain airbags, ESC, traction control, hill-start assist, cruise control, auto dimming IRVM, auto wipers and leatherette seat covers. Safety features on the SE trim include dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, a rear camera, and a rear wiper and defogger.
With the deletion of the tailgate-mounted spare wheel, it must be noted that the SE trim does not have a spare wheel fitted from the factory at all. Interestingly, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) does not mandatorily require passenger vehicles falling under the M1 category to be fitted with a spare wheel, subject to certain conditions obviously. If the vehicle comes equipped with tubeless tires, a tire pressure monitoring system and a puncture repair kit - all of which the EcoSport SE has - the manufacturer does not need to install a spare wheel.
Ford decided to add this new trim to the India lineup after gauging customer feedback about the styling of export version of the EcoSport. Under the hood, the EcoSport SE continues with the standard petrol and diesel engines offered with the regular model. That means its powered by the 123hp, 1.5-litre petrol and 100hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine options, both of which are offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard. The EcoSport sits in the ultra-competitive sub-compact SUV space where it rivals the likes of the Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon and others.