Published on January 31st, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Ford’s Prosperity Drive Featuring the Fiesta and Ecosport A Great Success
Ford Motor Company in partnership with Sime Darby Auto Connexion hosted a Fiesta and Ecosport Prosperity Drive to welcome in the year of the monkey in style. The event was more than just a showcase of Ford’s great entry-level offerings, but also was a way for the company to give back to the community and pay tribute to Chinese culture.
The day began with a tour of Sime Darby Auto Connexion’s 48th showroom and service centre known as SDAC PJ2. Located just opposite their headquarters in PJ, SDAC PJ2 is has 22 service bays, the latest Ford diagnostic tools. What’s more, customers can chill out in the lounge and enjoy free Wi-Fi, beverages and snacks while waiting.
The tour was interrupted by a man dressed as the Chinese God of Fortune. After receiving his blessings, we set off for the Oriental Art & Cultural Centre. Here we were given a lesson on Chinese calligraphy and paper cutting. The association that runs the centre are a non-profit organisation whose objective is to encourage the understanding of art and culture through exhibition, collection, research and education.
The drive to our Cyberjaya lunch spot allowed us to put the Ecosport through its paces. We have test driven the car before, but getting into this urban crossover again reminded us of why we liked it in the first place. This version of the compact SUV lacked the sunroof, auto wipers and headlights and had some fewer chrome finished pieces on the outside. Mechanically though, this ‘Trend’ version is no different from its ‘Titanium’ counterpart.
The Ecosport is an attractive runabout vehicle that comes in a variety of eye-catching colours. It’s not out there to compete with the big boys. Think of it as a replacement for the old Perodua Kembara or Suzuki Vitara. The Ecosport fits the gap left by vehicles like those perfectly, and adds loads of safety features such as Electronic Stability Control, ABS with EBD, Traction Control as standard with 7 airbags fitted in the ‘Titanium’ line. Priced and equipped well, the EcoSport has loads of storage spaces and useable features such as the cooled glove box, a laptop-sized hidden drawer, and a 12V charging port in the rear for outings at the beach. Anyone looking for a high-riding city slicker will be pleased with the great balance of power and fuel savings the 1.5-litre, 6 speed PowerShift gearbox has to offer.
After a traditional lunch at the Xing Zhu Chinese Restaurant, we headed down to a Retirement Home in Damansara Perdana called ‘My Father’s Home’. The home was founded by Madam Sia Chooi Chin and houses over 100 senior citizens in 8 bungalows. We drove there in the Ecoboost-powered Fiesta. Having driven the Fiesta with 4 different engines, we have to say that the 1-litre Ecoboost seems to be the best fit for it. Yes, the 4-cylinder 1.6 litre Ecoboost that comes in the Fiesta ST is a marvel, but that engine needs that rock hard suspension to be put to use. Plus you have to deal with the added fuel consumption when driving hard.
With the 1-litre, you get loads of torque throughout the rev range. It’s an amazing, tiny little engine and we’re not surprised that some regions can use this motor to power the Mondeo. It’s a little bit more expensive than the standard 1.5-litre Ti-VCT Fiesta, but you will get the best Fiesta experience there is, with long term fuel savings to look forward to. Plus, side, curtain and knee airbags are a nice addition. The aforementioned 1.5-litre Fiesta wasn’t too bad either. It has slightly less power than the 1.6 Ford sold in the pre-facelift model but you never really feel it since the difference is so small.
At the retirement home, Ford and Sime Darby Auto Connexion distributed loads of supplies and food. We even got to decorate the walls with the artwork we had produced at the Oriental Art & Cultural Centre earlier that day. It was great to see the smiles on the faces of the older folk as Ford staff mingled during afternoon tea.
We ended the day back at SDAC PJ2, where Sime Darby Auto Connexion’s upper management met us to toss some ‘yee sang’ to add some good fortune and prosperity to the coming new year.