How & why I sold my EcoSport after a great 6-yr ownership experience
I loved the idea of keeping the Ford and doing some tuning on it to make it an adrenaline machine but…
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So, it’s been 6 years and 16 days and 40K kms since I updated this thread. I have posted regarding the various updates on my car in the Ecosport thread, and several other threads, but I never came back and finished this. The fact is, a lot of things changed. I became a husband, then a father, then I got promoted and transferred to a more demanding position, and I just kept pushing off the updation till it was too far gone.
The Ecosport has done just under 40K in six years. It was mostly idle during the COVID time, and since I was staying very close to work, I never had the need to drive the car too much. I did drive it as much as I could though.
Kerala is a very vehicle-dense state, with almost every family having at least one vehicle. This has meant that the driving experience is becoming less and less fun due to the heavy traffic, and a diesel manual with a heavier clutch was not very enjoyable most of the time. I had even resorted to taking the longer trips to Trivandrum exclusively at night, to avoid the traffic. On one such trip, the AC failed, and while the night time meant that we didn’t suffer, it wasn’t a comfortable trip. It made me aware that things could fail, and it might leave me stranded at night in the middle of nowhere with my wife and infant daughter. So that was basically the end of the night runs, and it was back to early morning or late evening drives, with the hard clutch leaving me exhausted at the end of each long trip.
I needed an automatic car. I’d decided to keep the Ecosport, as it was still feeling like new, with only the tyres and some grey plastics showing any age. The decision was further reinforced when I enquired about the resale value of the car, which would mean that I would be left with little to fund a replacement. I was beginning to regret not going for the Brezza, just a bit. Besides, Ford dropped the bombshell that they were leaving India, and that shattered the already average resale value of the car to new lows, with Ford owners panic selling their cars. I took to OLX, hoping that there would be someone panic selling an Ecosport AT or an Aspire AT, but most of the sellers were looking for ready cash, whereas I needed to arrange a loan. I missed out on a lot of excellent deals at this time.
In between, I booked an XUV700 and got a booking for an AX5 petrol with price protection. But when the vehicle arrived in May of 2022, there were a couple of unpleasant surprises. Firstly, the price of the XUV had increased by about 1.7 lacs, and while I had price protection, I would have to pay road tax and insurance based on the increased amount. Secondly, Kerala state refused to allow BH registration, which meant that I had to pay a tax of about 3 lacs. As this was completely out of my budget, I had no option but to cancel the booking. Besides, I was getting a transfer back to Trivandrum, and the associated expenses would mean that I had to push off a lot of dreams.
So back to Trivandrum it was, and after I got settled, the new car bug bit me again with all the new launches this year. I managed to somehow snag a price-protected booking of the Scorpio again, and the waiting period gave me time to re-assess my options.
Firstly, I had to decide if I was going to keep the Ecosport as a second car and buy a smaller automatic car, or replace it with a bigger, more up-to-date car. As much as I loved the idea of keeping the Ecosport and doing some tuning on it to make it an adrenaline machine, it didn’t make much financial sense to keep a second car basically as a toy. Moreover, since the Ecosport was still under finance, it left me with a budget of just about 10L for the additional car, and I was not impressed by any of the automatic options available in that price range. I just couldn’t get my head around the idea that I had paid 10.3 lakhs for the Ecosport, and just 6 years later, I couldn’t even buy a fully equipped Swift for the same money.
Since the car had done just under 40K, and had just got serviced, with renewed insurance, and only needed new tyres, I decided to bite the bullet and place some ads online. I priced it on the higher side, at what dealers were selling similar, or even worse cars of the same model. I took some good pictures of the exterior and interior, and placed an ad with a good (IMHO) writeup. The interiors were well kept, and I had added premium-looking 7D mats, upgraded to LED lighting everywhere, and gave the car a good detailing session for any “suitors”.
I was initially disappointed at the flurry of low-ball offers, with an occasional slightly higher offer, but after a talk I had with some friends, I came to know that this is how dealers operate. When they see a good car that they can flip easily, they make a ton of fake IDs and low-ball the seller until they lose their nerve and make a panic sale to a slightly higher offer. In my case, I was offered prices from just under 5 lacs to 5.25 lacs, with the occasional 5.7 – 5.8 lacs offers. I decided to stick on, and after a couple of days, I started getting more genuine offers for higher amounts. I had decided that I wouldn’t sell for less than a figure that I had set in mind, and was prepared to drop the whole idea if I didn’t get that price.
Finally, I got what I think is a great offer from a genuine person, and his only demand was that I should allow him a couple of weeks for processing a car loan. Since his offer was higher than what I had received so far, and actually slightly higher than I was expecting, I took the chance and agreed. It took considerably longer to complete the sale than I had initially thought, due to technical issues during the loan disbursement. And this, even when he had a pre-approved car loan limit. In the meantime, he had asked for a detailed test drive. I asked a couple of friends to test drive the car beforehand, so that they might spot out any issues or noises with the car that I had missed. They both said the same thing: While I was selling the car for a good price given its age and market value, the buyer was getting a low km, solid, safe and well-maintained car for less money than a new Swift. I guess our market is weird that way. People have no qualms about buying an abused, taxi-used, beaten-up Toyota or Maruti, but wouldn’t give a fair price for a much better car from another brand. If I were selling a Brezza in the same condition, it would have fetched at least a lakh more. Something to think about before finalising my next car, certainly.
It was hard to let go of the car, as it felt like I was giving up a true friend, who had been with me through some wonderful and some terrible times and had endured all with little complaint. It felt like my life had changed so much since I got the Ecosport. I had met my wife for the first time in this car, I had gone to my wedding and brought my wife home in this car, and I’d taken my pregnant wife to the hospital, and brought home my firstborn, in this very car.
Once the advance was taken, I deliberately refrained from driving the Ecosport anymore. I had taken a small trip with my family the week before, so they could have some good last memories with the car. I borrowed my Dad’s Nano AT for my office commute. This was done for two things. Firstly, I wanted to keep the ODO under 40K, and secondly, I wanted to desensitize myself from the feel of the Ford, so that I wouldn’t unfairly compare my next car with it.
Regarding the service experience, I never really had a bad experience with Kairali Ford Trivandrum, who did all my servicing. The service bills were reasonable, and I never had to fight with them for something unnecessary that they’d done. They’d always call me before starting the service, and never coerced me into expensive treatments or packages. I was surprised to know that the service costs were even lower than for a Brezza.
Now, I think that I had a great ownership experience with the Ecosport and Ford in general. The Ecosport has the reputation of being a sporty driver’s car, and it always gave me a sense of pride when I went anywhere in it. Even in 2022, I think it looks drop-dead gorgeous, with the beautiful 16-inch wheels and the origami-like folds and curves. The steering was most communicative, and the engine was a delight especially once you got above 1500 rpm. The chassis made you want to drive it hard, and no matter whatever mischief you got upto, the car always had your back like a true friend, and would get you out of it. The brakes never failed me even when the tyres had got old. I’m sure that the new owner, a guy about a decade younger than me, will enjoy driving it. Me, I’m a supposedly “responsible husband and parent” now, and I’m ready to move on…
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