New Ford Figo car review: Having a host of segment-first and segment-best features, the new Figo is cleverly built to appeal to the Indian consumer
When the first-generation Figo was launched in 2010, it got over 25,000 bookings, transformed Ford India’s sales performance with a jump of 235% over a year earlier, and went on to win the Indian Car of the Year award.
Now when you have to launch a successor to such a successful car, it has to be superior in almost all areas. How worthy is the new Figo?
The inverse trapezoidal grille now forms the core of Ford’s design DNA and adds a premium appeal to its cars. This Aston Martin-like look makes the Figo stand out proudly among the crowd—in fact, it makes the hatchback look bigger than it is. The large, elongated headlights extend all the way back to the fenders. The tailgate is well-proportioned and gets an accentuated character line running through to the tail-lamp cluster to enhance overall width. On the sides, the character lines are such that they give the hatchback a sense of motion even when it is parked. The ground clearance is 174-mm. Overall, the exterior styling of the new Figo is generations ahead of the 2010 model.
The Figo shares its cabin with the Figo Aspire compact sedan. So, as soon as you open the doors, you realise a lot of thought has gone into space management. The cabin feels well put together and the quality of plastics and switches is noteworthy. Because the new Figo has a best-in-class wheelbase of 2,491-mm, the headroom and legroom space is very good, as is the shoulder-room. The stalks behind the steering wheel are now the way most Indians are used to—indicators on the right, wipers on the left. The new Figo makes judicious use of a longer floor console by offering 20 unique storage spaces. It also features fold-flat rear seats to create more room. The automatic climate control system deserves a special mention. It brings the temperature inside the cabin to below 25 degrees in less than 15 minutes, faster than any of its competitors. Overall, the cabin comes across as young, sporty and inviting.
There are three engine options—1.2-litre TiVCT petrol (88 PS power and fuel-economy of 18.16 kmpl); 1.5-litre TDCi diesel (100 PS power and fuel economy of 25.83 kmpl); and 1.5-litre TiVCT petrol (112 PS power and fuel economy 17 kmpl). While the first two are mated to a five-speed manual transmission, the third is mated to a six-speed PowerShift auto transmission—this dual-clutch system is backed by a 10-year or 1 lakh km warranty.
Fire any of the engines, press the accelerator, let the car gain speed and you will realise it is a Ford in every respect. The Figo offers precise, agile and responsive steering, and stable and predictable handling. The Electronic Power Assisted Steering—which provides lighter steering effort at low speeds and heavier, precise feel at high speeds—is a boon both for parking and manoeuvring in city-driving conditions, and also at higher speeds on the highways.
The company says that the new Figo is designed from ground up with safety as one of its key differentiators. One, it gets Ford’s robust passenger cage created from high-strength steel. Two, the car is equipped with driver airbag as standard across the range, and from the second variant onwards it gets dual front airbags across the range. Three, it is the only car in its segment to offer up to six airbags—including side and curtain airbags—for all round protection.
Mention must be made of MyFord Dock, which lets you store, mount and charge your mobile phone, MP3 player or satellite navigation system, and integrate these devices into the car’s entertainment system. Mounted on the dashboard, it can be accessed easily.
Then there is a feature called SYNC with Ford AppLink, which allows drivers to control their phone, entertainment and apps using voice commands. In India, AppLink allows drivers to access MapmyIndia and ESPN Cricinfo.
The car also gets the new MyKey system—you can programme your key to a restricted driving mode setting which can, among other things, limit vehicle top speed and regulate audio volume.
From Rs 4.3 lakh onwards, the new Figo is a value-for-money proposition and a worthy successor to one of Ford’s most well-known and trusted nameplates in India. Having a host of segment-first and segment-best features, it is cleverly built to appeal to the Indian consumer.
(Prices are ex-showroom, Delhi)