The Ford EcoSport Active breathes some fresh air into the local line-up. We take it for a drive…

The EcoSport Active follows Ford South Africa’s tried-and-tested recipe of launching special-edition vehicles on local shores. It’s an exercise that has paid off for the firm. Case in point: over the past couple of years, the local arm of the Blue Oval brand has introduced the EcoSport Black and several Ranger-based special-edition models, the Thunder and Stormtrak. The outgoing Ranger Raptor and current Mustang have also received some “special-edition” treatment in the shape of the SE and the soon-to-arrive California Special, respectively. And why not? South Africans seem to adore special-edition cars. 


Introduced in 2013, the EcoSport has been around for nearly a decade. However, Ford SA says its small crossover isn’t going anywhere. The “Active”-badged variant bolsters the local line-up. Sporting an array of, ahem, sporty accents, it’s arguably the most appealing model available. 

Based on the EcoSport Trend, the special-edition derivative features unique exterior and interior trim. Starting with the former, the Active gains its “more rugged” appearance thanks to a black front grille and foglamp bezels. This finish is carried over to the side mirror caps and wheel-arch mouldings. These trim bits, including the black contrast roof, were highlighted by the press unit’s Luxe Yellow body hue.


The EcoSport Active further gains model-specific 17-inch alloy wheels. “Active” badging can be found on the front fenders and is carried over to the interior, where it can be found on the front pews. 

The cabin is a familiar EcoSport affair, apart from the afore-mentioned badging. The interior is neatly trimmed and feels solidly constructed. Hard plastic finishes are, however, present. As standard, the Active ships with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, replete with Apple CarPlay and Android auto, and air conditioning. Cruise control is also included. 

A neat addition, an array of vehicle functions can be operated via Ford’s FordPass smartphone application. Before setting off on our drive in Cape Town, the firm demonstrated how the EcoSport’s engine could be started from the app, even if the smartphone holder is in Johannesburg. It’s worth noting that, for security and safety purposes, the car cannot set off without the key fob present. 

Speaking of safety, the EcoSport Active is equipped with seven airbags. ABS and ESC and emergency brake and hill launch assist are also included. Rear park distance sensors are standard. 

The partial leather pews felt comfortable during our drive around the city, a place where it will arguably be driven most, and along the coast. However, thanks to its 206 mm of ground clearance, you won’t need to shy away from traversing seemingly well-kept gravel roads when necessary. However, we stayed on the road, where the Active’s suspension set-up and 50-profile rubber soaked up most road imperfections. 

As with its Trend- and Titanium-spec stablemates, the Active is powered by Ford’s award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. The turbo-triple produces 92 kW. Although we would have wanted a touch more torque, the 170 Nm on offer is available from only 1 400 r/min. The petrol unit is coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission. 

Now onto the all-important question of fuel consumption. How much fuel does the EcoSport Active sip? Ford claims 6.3 L/100 km, allowing a range of 825 km from its 52-litre petrol tank. However, the engine sipped considerably more on our route at around 8.0 L/100 km. However, once on the open road, this figure should decrease. 

Priced at R393 700, the EcoSport Active ships with a four-year/120 000 km warranty. A service plan is, however, optional. According to a Ford dealership, opting for a four-year/60 000 km service plan will set you back around R7 500. 

Considering the influx of new small crossovers into our market, introducing a higher-specced, special-edition EcoSport came at the right time (remember, the EcoSport Black is based on the entry-level Ambiente). The addition of the Active model has breathed some fresh air into the local line-up.