The Ford Figo offers agile and responsive steering, and stable and predictable handling. The diesel is a rocket on four wheels
The Ford Figo is perhaps the most underrated hatchback car in India. It’s powered by excellent engines, has one of the lowest claimed ownership costs, and drives quite well, and yet, as far as sales figures go, it doesn’t really appear to be in the consideration set of many hatchback car buyers. With the updated Figo, launched a couple of months ago, Ford has made an already good car, better. It not only gets design changes inside and out, but also has more powerful and fuel-efficient engines, and an all-new Titanium Blu variant.
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—making the hatchback look bigger than it is. The Titanium Blu variant gets a sporty-looking, all-black grille, black roof, and C-shaped fog lamp housings with blue accents.
Much thought has gone into space management, and the quality of plastics and switches is good. Because the Figo has a best-in-class wheelbase of 2,490mm, the legroom is exceptionally good, especially at the backseat. The stalks behind the steering wheel are the way most Indians are used to—indicators on the right, wipers on the left. The cabin has a black-and-grey theme. But the piano black finish on the centre console and steering wheel tends to show fingerprints and grime more readily than on a matte finish, and needs frequent cleaning. Also, while the visibility from the driver’s seat is good, the outside rear-view mirrors are tiny and, at times, you need to focus to properly see the road behind. And we wish Ford offered a better quality rear-view camera.
The top-end variants are well-equipped, and you get most features such as auto-folding mirrors, climate control, night inside rear-view mirror, and automatic headlamps and wipers. The 7-inch touchscreen is responsive, but it doesn’t get the company’s connected car technology—the Sync 3. So, you cannot ‘talk to’ the Figo, not do you get Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. However, the car does have Bluetooth connectivity.
There are three options—1.2-litre petrol (95bhp power and claimed fuel-economy of 20.4kpl); 1.5-litre diesel (99bhp power and fuel-economy of 25.5kpl); and 1.5-litre petrol (121bhp power and fuel-economy 16.3kpl). While the first two are mated to a five-speed manual transmission, the third gets six-speed automatic transmission.
I drove the diesel, and as soon as you fire the engine, press the accelerator and let the car gain speed, you will realise it is a Ford in every aspect. The Figo offers precise, agile and responsive steering, and stable and predictable handling. The power-assisted steering is a boon both for parking and manoeuvring in city-driving conditions, and also at higher speeds on the highways. The diesel, in particular, is a rocket on four wheels, and the 1.5-litre petrol, considering the power it produces, should be equally fun to drive.
The 1.2 petrol starts at Rs 5.23 lakh, the 1.5 diesel starts at Rs 6.13 lakh, and the 1.5-petrol automatic is priced Rs 7.69 lakh. While the pricing is competitive, the real differentiator is Ford’s claim of low maintenance costs and a 5-year standard warranty.
(Prices are ex-showroom, Delhi)