Kick-starting the festive season in style, Ford India’s big bet this year is its new 2018 Ford Aspire facelift that is already on sale and in many ways will disrupt the sales in this segment at least for the next 4-5 months. The challenge in this compact segment for any carmaker is to make the car look good without changing its proportions and at the same time make the car look radically new to impress the buyer. It is a challenge and that’s where these facelifts have now become so important especially during the festive season when the buying sentiment in a country like India is at its peak. The 2018 Ford Aspire gets enough changes to call it a proper mid-life facelift and scores well in almost every area. The facelift was also long overdue considering its arch rivals (Dzire and Amaze) in its respective new avatar have boosted the sales in this segment.
Let’s get straight into what’s new with the 2018 Ford Aspire and how even though its a facelift it still is at par with the competition and many areas it also gets better.
2018 Ford Aspire Interior Cabin:
The cabin of the new Aspire impresses from the very first glimpse of it. The nice touch of dual-tone colours is refreshing and the quality of plastics used is impressive. The piano black touch around the infotainment system adds to a premium appeal and chrome around the round A/C vents is not overdone. Remember, the button-heavy dashboard of the Ford Aspire? Well, that has now been replaced with a nice 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system that responds well. On the top-variant which we were driving (Titanium+) it supports the Ford Sync-3 system which includes the support for Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The pop-out style screen is very user-friendly and very convenient to use. But here’s the problem, there are two USB slots located below the A/C control unit above the gear stick and there is a small place to put to put your phone between them, however, if your phone’s screen size is 5-inch or more it will slide out of that pocket and keep falling as you drive. The cupholders are way back and far from USB points to place your phone there.
The seats are nice and comfortable and provide adequate lumbar support but H-panel starting from A/C control unit and going down towards the gearbox is a bit aligned towards the left. This has resulted in the plastic panel hitting the passenger right knee and that got really uncomfortable in the long drive. It also got a bit difficult to open the glove box while seated in my normal position in the passenger seat.
With no change in the dimensions, the space on the rear seat remains the same. It has enough headroom and legroom but three people seated does not give adequate shoulder room. There is a rear armrest but without cupholders. Both top-variants of Honda Amaze and Maruti Suzuki Dzire gets rear armrest with cupholders. Overall, the look and feel of the cabin is nice and pleasant and very airy.
2018 Ford Aspire Exterior changes:
The big face to the looks of the 2018 Aspire has been given to its face with a new look to its front grille which now gets silver accents (black in lower variants) that makes the Aspire bolder and aggressive. There is also more chrome the fog-lamp housing that looks overdone but would impress the buyers. We would have liked to see projector headlamps at least on the top-variants which is a big miss and so are the DRLs. The front and the rear bumpers are redesigned and body-coloured sensors (instead of all-black) makes the car look complete. 2018 Ford Aspire Titanium trim+ now gets 15-inch alloy wheels making it look sportier and the lower trims get 14-inch steel wheels.
2018 Ford Aspire Petrol review (1.2L Petrol engine)
For Ford India, the new 1.2L petrol engine that it launched with the EcoSport has been highly appreciated. The same engine block made it to the Freestyle and now the new 2018 Aspire gets it. The engine is very well tuned and enhances the overall driving fun. There is ample power at any given point and the 5-Speed gearbox tuned well. While driving the Aspire on the highways around Jodhpur, I really missed having the 6th gear. The Aspire is certainly the most stable car in the segment and while you still feel the rare occasional bumps, the suspension setting is a bit on the harder side.
The steering wheel is smooth to handle and often extra smooth that you need to be conscious of finding the right grip while driving. Like other cars in the segment, it does not get cruise control but does get steering mounted controls. There is almost no engine noise in the cabin but we did find a lot of traffic noise coming in and insulation there could have been a bit better. The claimed mileage on the Ford Aspire petrol variant is 20.4 kmpl and on the highways, it did return an impressive 16.9 kmpl. We are yet to drive the car in proper city conditions.
On the safety front, Ford Aspire gets dual-airbags, ABS with EBD as a standard fitment right from the base variant. The top variant gets additional safety focus with 6 Airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Traction control, hill-start assist, rear parking camera with sensors and many more.
2018 Ford Aspire India facelift price:
|2018 Ford Aspire facelift price in India (ex-showroom)|
|New Ford Aspire Ambiente||Rs 5.55 lakh||Rs 6.45 lakh|
|New Ford Aspire Trend||Rs 5.99 lakh||Rs 6.89 lakh|
|New Ford Aspire Trend Plus||Rs 6.39 lakh||Rs 7.29 lakh|
|New Ford Aspire Titanium||Rs 6.79 lakh||Rs 7.69 lakh|
|New Ford Aspire Titanium+||Rs 7.24 lakh||Rs 8.14 lakh|
|New Ford Aspire Automatic 1.5L petrol price|
|Titanium||Rs 8.49 lakh|
Should you buy the new Ford Aspire?
Why not? Maruti Suzuki Dzire is a common sight on the road and Ford is also offering the segment first 5-year warranty on the car. It also claims low service and maintenance cost and the introductory prices are too sweet to be ignored. Ford Aspire is also a fun to drive car and carries a small family with good care. With new features, it is indeed one of the best proposition to buy and we expect the prices of the car to go up in January 2019 as we reach the end of the festive season. For Ford India, with higher levels of localisation, it will mean good business and more profits from the new 2018 Ford Aspire.
Image Credit: Jatin Kakkar