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Ford Figo Aspire Hatchback First Look Review

Midasedu

Ford Figo Aspire Overview

Though the popularity of SUVs is reigning over the demand for sedans globally, there’s one particular segment of these three-box style vehicle that refuses to go down. I am talking about the sub-compact, under-4-meter sedan segment, of which India is the birthplace. Propelled by the tax rebates, this segment had and still has all the major car manufacturers gunning for it. As a result of this, we now have up to 6 models of different makes competing with each other in order to grab the biggest slice of the pie.

However, just like other budget segments, it is Maruti Suzuki that currently has the biggest portion in its plate. That said, there are customers with different requirements in the market and hence multiple options exist. One such interesting option is the Ford Aspire. The 2018 Ford Aspire has recently joined Express Drives’ long term fleet. This car is a perfect example of what you would call as an underdog.

Based on the Figo hatchback, the Aspire received its mid-life facelift last year wherein we saw it getting a minor exterior makeover, some additional features and an all-new petrol engine option. It is this very derivative, with the manual gearbox, that we will we evaluating over the course of time across varied parameters.

Ford Figo Aspire Design

The original Ford Aspire (available only in America) from the 1990s was essentially a basic stripped out car for the entry level buyer and it looked like one. This new namesake thankfully does not. In fact, the new Aspire is one of the more handsome looking cars in its class especially when viewed from the front. With its large ‘Aston Martin’ inspired grille festooned in chrome in typical Ford design language. The large headlamps are not as well detailed as we would have like them to be but aren’t bad looking either. That said, although not immediately evident too, is the fact that the lower half of the front bumper does look a little abrupt and stubby which might not appeal to few. Although we expected a daytime running light option, there isn’t one and neither is there a projector headlamp setup, which is a bit of a disappointment.

The side profile of the Ford Figo Aspire is nicely sculpted and makes the most use of a well defined waistline to break up the mass of the car. The slightly flared wheel arches too look right in place. In fact, the Aspire is a genuinely well designed car that looks like it was intended to take the form that is currently is in as compared to some of the other cars in the category that look like a cut and paste job.

The simple and elegant design continues around the back with considerably flat and yet well layered bootlid and bumper combination. The large chrome strip on the boot though will certainly attract the typical Indian customer. That said, the rear end does look a tad bit too plain-jane and could have certainly been tarted up a little bit more. The wheels, a set of 14-inch alloy wheels too look inspired from the older Fiesta sedan and are not as exciting as some of Ford’s other products.

Ford Figo Aspire Cabin

Step inside and one is greeted by a stylish interior. The dashboard seems familiar because the design theme is similar to the EcoSport. The steering wheel, centre console and information screen look very similarto the EcoSport and Fiesta. There are dual-tone black/beige dash and beige seats and door pads. Depending on the variant, there’s either gloss black or silver finished inserts.

There are controls on the steering wheel too. The light blue backlit instrument cluster is pleasant looking but the dials could have been slightly larger. The air vents in the side are circular and feature chrome detailing in the top variant. Headlamp switches are new and placed below the driver side air vent. The boot release button is also placed next to it and is easy to access. The auto climate control switches feel premium and are well detailed. Quality as well as fit are good and are improved over the EcoSport

Ford claims there are as many as 20 storage points inside the car. There’s a storage point on the side of the dashboard that can be accessed when the door is open. Door mounted bottle holders are large and can accommodate more than one bottle if needed.

The seats are comfortable and even feature leather upholstery (first in segment). There is good support up front but the rear seats could have offered more support and could have been madelarger. The rear kneeroom isn’t best in segment but is still very impressive. The front seats have been scooped out to maximize room at the rear. Shoulder room isn’t a lot, so three adults in the back can be a squeeze. The floor isn’t fully flat too so it is good only for two adults. A rear armrest is also offered.Boot space at 359 litres isn’t as much as the Amaze or the Xcent but it is quite usable. The loading height is good and the boot is deep too.View offers on Ford Figo Aspire in Bangalore at CarBing.

Ford Figo Aspire Engine

The 1.2-litre Petrol engine for the Figo Aspire is based on the same motor that powers the petrol variant of the Figo hatchback that we all know of . However, for the Aspire, this four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated unit has got some major revisions in favour of enhanced fuel economy and performance. This Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) equipped engine is sufficiently refined and revs rather freely.

However, low-end performance is not its forte and frequent gearshifts are a must in situations like stop-go traffic. It is on the highways where this motor really impresses. The engine makes for quite a sprightly performer and there’s so much juice on offer towards the top-end of the rev-range that one would be hard pressed to not keep this engine on the boil. Top speed, at above 170 km/h, is nothing short of impressive for a sub-4m compact sedan and even the in-gear acceleration is pretty good. The gearshifts, too, are precise and the shift-action is smooth.

However, among the two engine variants that we drove, it is the 1.5-litre Diesel version that was more enjoyable. This is the same 1.5-litre turbo’ed oil-burner that does duty on the Fiesta and the EcoSport, but has been re-tuned for the Aspire to churn out a maximum power of 100 PS. This might have been done to match the Amaze’s segment-leading power of 100 PS, but what sets the Aspire apart is the way the motor goes on about its business. The turbo lag is minimal and come 1400 rpm, and the Aspire Diesel charges forward with almost a ferocious velocity.

The torque is well spread throughout the rev-range and pushing this car to its limit is just too much fun. We recorded a speedo-indicated 185 km/h, which, when compared to the Amaze-D’s top whack of 145 km/h, feels rather stratospheric! The diesel variant is equally athletic even lower down the revs and doesn’t break sweat even when chugging along at 40 km/h in fourth gear, with the tacho needle hovering at a leisurely 1100 rpm. Akin to the petrol variant, gearshifts are precise and the clutch action is light. The NVH levels could have been a bit lower, but frankly, we are almost nitpicking here.

Ford Figo Aspire Riding

Ford cars are known to be dynamically rich and while the Figo Aspire handles very well, being better than its rivals in the segment, it doesn’t have the same feel of a Fiesta or even the good old Classic (it uses the same platform though which has seen some modifications). The company has tested the vehicle for 150 hours in the wind tunnel for improved aerodynamics which works well in both performance and efficiency. The steering system is now electric (EPAS with pull drift compensation) and there is some vagueness in the centre, the steering weighing up decently at speed but still being on lighter side in the interest of ease of driving in the city. The suspension is naturally on the stiffer side but just enough to keep the car planted at high speeds while the focus is clearly on comfort as road, tyre and suspension noise is well insulated.

Due to the body being lighter, it’s not as surefooted as other Ford cars but still inspires enough confidence to drive fast. The petrol Figo offers slightly better handling due to its lower front-end weight while there is some body roll although not much. The Figo Aspire excels in the ride quality department, it glides over roads with authority and takes bad roads in its stride with utmost confidence. Hit a big bump at speed and you will encounter some bounciness but for the most part, the suspension does a fantastic job of ironing out inconsistent tarmac. Braking performance is excellent on the Figo Aspire and the car stops with utmost confidence, even when you stand on the brake pedal hard.To konow more details on Ford Aspire visit Cssn

Ford Figo Aspire Safety

Ford has given special attention to the safety of the occupants inside and thus the new sedan comes with robust passenger cage created from high-strength steel, both driver and passenger side airbags and for the first time in the history of Indian auto industry Ford has even provided side and curtain airbags for the occupants as an option. The top end trims also gets ABS and EBD and also hill assist which is available only with the auto transmission variant though.

Ford Figo Aspire Cost in Bangalore

Ford Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT Ex-showroom Price is 5,47,361/- and On Road Price is 6,56,157/-. Ford Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT comes in 7 colours, namely Deep Impact Blue,Smoke Grey,Sparkling Gold,Tuxedo Black,Ruby Red,Oxford White,Ingot Silver. Ford Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT comes with 1.2L Ti-VCT Petrol with 1196 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 87 bhp@6300 rpm and Peak Torque 112 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 18.16 Kmpl . Ford Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT comes with Manual Transmission with FWD.

Ford Figo Aspire Conclusion

Ford may have been late to the compact sedan segment but it’s used its time well. Sure, the Aspire may not be as special to drive as other Fords (including the Classic it is to replace) but it does offer everything to help it appeal to a wide buyer base. Ford has clearly spent a lot of money to give buyers what they want, be it in terms of newer concerns as connectivity and safety or in traditional requirements of space, comfort and efficiency.Assuming the Figo Aspire is priced in close proximity to the current market leader, the Swift Dzire, as we’ve been led to believe, Ford’s all-new compact sedan could just become the new benchmark in the segment.

 

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Ford Figo Facelift First Drive Review

Painpeters

Ford Figo Overview

The headline with the Figo facelift isn’t that it’s got the most powerful engines in its class, or that it’s the only hatchback in this range to offer six airbags, or even the 5 year/unlimited km warranty.

It’s the fact that at a starting price of Rs 5.15 lakh, ex-showroom, the new Figo undercuts itself by Rs 67,000! Ford cut prices with the recent Endeavour facelift too, and it’s something that definitely gets the right kind of attention. Further, the Figo lineup has been simplified to three variants, and three engines. There’s the 1.2-litre with a five-speed manual, or a 1.5-litre with a six-speed automatic. These are the three-cylinder ‘Dragon’ petrol motors, as selectively available on the Aspire, EcoSport and Freestyle. The 1.5-litre diesel carries forward unchanged.Check for Ford Figo price in Hyderabad.

Ford Figo Exterior & Design

If you’ve seen the 2018 Aspire facelift, consider that you’ve seen the Figo facelift as well, at least from the front. The updated headlamps, the front grille and the bumper design are borrowed from the Aspire. In the Figo Titanium Blu variant that we drove, the front grille is done in glossy black and there are blue inserts in the front bumper (chrome in the lower Titanium variant). It gets contrasting black roof and ORVMs as well. At the rear, the Figo gets a new bumper and revised tail lamp detailing. The multi-spoke black alloy wheels in the Titanium Blu variant are 15-inch units. These are shod with 195/55 R15 rubber, making them significantly wider than 175/65 R14 rubber on lower variants. The Titanium variant gets 14-inch silver alloy wheels.

With all these changes, the Figo looks fresher than before, but does it look modern? Not really. A rear spoiler, skirts, LEDs in the head and tail lamps and DRLs could have made the Figo Titanium Blu a looker. LED elements would have also made the lower Titanium variant look more in line with the times. So, while the updated Figo looks better than before, its appearance alone is still unlikely to seal the deal for many.

Ford Figo Interior & Cabin

Not much has changed inside, and you’re still greeted by an all-black theme. There are piano black finishes on the centre console and steering wheel, which add a bit of upmarket feel, the dials now get a carbon fibre-like finish, which improves the look, but they still feel a bit too small. The overall fit and finish might not be class-best, but it does feel built to last. There are plenty of storage places in the cabin for the front passengers, with huge door pockets, a big glovebox and multiple stowage areas between the seats.To know more information on Ford Figo visit Midasedu

Those front seats of the Titanium Blu variant get contrast blue stitching, which lends a sporty look. The cushioning is on point and the long seat base provides good under-thigh support. The side bolstering is also adequate and helps keep you in place while on bends. Overall visibility from the driver’s seat is good, and despite the fact the outside mirrors are tiny, the view they offer isn’t bad at all. In the back seat, there’s adequate legroom, thanks to the scooped-in backs of the front seats, and just like at the front, the long seat base provides good under-thigh support. The bench, however, is flat, the backrest is set upright and tall passengers will find the headroom to be tight. You still don’t get door pockets or a centre armrest, but Ford has listened to customer feedback and provided adjustable headrests. The boot space is a decent 257 litres, but the loading lip is high and the boot floor is low, so loading big bags will require some effort.

On the equipment front, the Figo remains quite well equipped, with auto climate control, power-folding mirrors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, auto headlamps and auto wipers. But now you have a much-needed touchscreen, a 7.0-inch unit, available in the mid-spec and top-end variants. However, it doesn’t get Ford’s class-leading Sync 3 operating system (available on the top-end Aspire) and hence misses out on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Instead, it’s a simpler unit with embedded navigation, and there is, of course, USB, aux and Bluetooth connectivity.

Ford Figo Engine & Gearbox

The 1.2-litre and 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrols are new to the Figo, but we’ve experienced them before on other Fords. The gearbox, though a five-speed, is new to the Figo again (borrowed from the Freestyle) and said to be lighter, in weight and on maintenance. Gearing is slightly taller compared to the Freestyle, thanks to a revised final drive ratio, possibly helping it to its 20.4kmpl claimed efficiency figure. The 1.2-litre packs 96PS and 120Nm torque, making it the most powerful in a segment where others offer figures in the mid-80s. The 1.5-litre similarly boasts of a segment-leading 123PS and 150Nm torque, and it’s mated to the only torque converter in its class. Like we mentioned earlier, the 1.5-litre diesel is unchanged and makes 100PS and 215Nm of torque.

We had the two manuals to test – the petrol and the diesel. And having recently experienced this same engine in the Freestyle, the Figo immediately feels easier to drive around, needing less shifts in the city. The shift action also feels more positive, and the light clutch also feels less sticky than we remember. As before, the ‘Dragon’ engine sounds fairly refined for a three-cylinder but that changes when the revs climb. We say when, because this engine does feel like it takes its own time to build revs, and starts sounding rough above 4,000rpm. If you’re in the mood to hustle, response above 2,500rpm is immediate, though we would’ve liked more engine braking after lifting off the throttle. We’ve been told the fueling has been adjusted to make sure the on-off throttle transition feels smooth, but it feels a little disconcerting at first.

Ford Figo Driving Dynamics

Compared to the tremendous first-gen car, the dynamics of the second-generation Figo felt a lot softer and more comfort-oriented. Things were quite different, however, with the 2017 Sports Edition, which handled much better than the regular Figo, thanks to the re-tuned, lower suspension, 15-inch wheels and a beefier anti-roll bar. This facelift gets the bigger wheels and anti-roll bar, and while the suspension has been re-tuned, it hasn’t been lowered. So yes, while the front stays planted in fast cornering, the car is not quite as sharp as the Sports Edition. What it is, instead, is a good halfway point between the sharpness of the Sports Edition and the comfort of the standard, pre-facelift car, which is more suited for everyday driving.

The suspension handles bad roads with ease and is silent in operation with only sharp potholes being registered inside the cabin. However, over a patch of bad roads, there is a hint of bobbing which is evident. The steering stays light in the city and weights up nicely as you gain speed on the highways, and through all this, it still offers possibly the sharpest turn-in in the class. This remains the mid-range hatchback of choice if you enjoy driving.

Ford Figo Braking & Safety

The top-spec Figo remains the only car in its segment to feature six airbags. In its automatic avatar, the Figo also gets electronic stability programme, traction control and hill launch assist. Now that Ambiente is the Figo’s base variant, dual front airbags and ABS are standard. Over the previous pre-facelift Figo Ambiente, this variant is equipped with day/night IRVM, rear parking sensors and vanity mirror on the passenger sunvisor. On the whole, all Figo variants are now more equipped than before and yet cost lesser.

Ford Figo Cost in Hyderabad

Ford Figo On Road Price is 6,85,403/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,82,600/- in Hyderabad. Ford Figo comes in 7 colours, namely Deep Impact Blue,Smoke Grey,Ingot Silver,Tuxedo Black,Sparkling Gold,Oxford White,Ruby Red. Ford Figo comes with FWD with 1196 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 87 bhp@6300 rpm and Peak Torque 112 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Ford Figo comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Ford Figo Conclusion

Ford has cut down the number of variants from five to just three (Ambiente, Titanium and Titanium Blu) and the prices start from Rs 5.15 lakh for the base 1.2 petrol, going up to Rs 7.74 lakh for the top-end diesel Titanium Blu. The 1.5 automatic is available only in the mid-spec Titanium variant for Rs 8.09 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom India). That works out to an average of Rs 40,000 less, variant for variant, compared to the earlier Figo!

The Freestyle, launched almost a year before, showed us pretty much exactly what we would be getting with this Figo facelift, so it wasn’t much of a surprise. But then that’s no bad thing, because the Figo comes together as an excellent all-round package. We just wished the top equipment level – 6 airbags, auto lamps and wipers etc – wasn’t restricted to the ‘Blu’ styling package because the racy decals and black accents might not be to everyone’s taste.

The equipment upgrades are welcome, but also necessary amidst aggressive competition, but we really wish they’d have sprung for the higher-spec infotainment unit with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, which has quickly become the norm for cars with touchscreens. The new petrol engine (and the accompanying gearbox) does its best work in this hatchback, where you’ll be more inclined to wring it out and get the best out of it. The diesel, as ever, is an absolute gem.

So, while the Figo has been updated, the proposition hasn’t changed. It still remains the one to pick if you enjoy driving, with strong engines and excellent dynamics. What’s more, you’ll get a lot more peace of mind now, as Ford has pushed towards highly competitive ownership costs and offers a 5-year extended warranty. And all this, at a more affordable price.