Ford’s breakthrough model in the domestic market, Ford Figo hatchback is as refreshing as the first generation version. Talking broadly about the overhaul, this version looks a lot better than the predecessor featuring relatively chic styling identical to its sedan twin Aspire. Underpinning the same platform, Figo hatchback could be referred as the boot-less version of Aspire. Up front the similar Aston Martin-esque radiator grille is notably conspicuous. Moreover the side view and rear profile all bear similarity to the sedan version. Interiors appear largely same as Aspire with subtle changes, differentiating it from the latter. Even the equipment embedded inside the cabin are akin to the ones stuffed in Aspire. Power generation is done by the same set of engines serving in Aspire including 1.2 litre and 1.5 litre gasoline engines and one 1.5 litre diesel powerplant. There are two transmission choices which comprises of one manual and one automatic gearbox. Rivalling the likes of Maruti Swift, Hyundai Grand i10 and Nissan Micra, Figo hatchback is the one upper in terms of pricing. That said, the Ford Figo price in India is tagged very competitively.
STYLE AND LOOKS ;
The Ford Figo 2017 does not share anything with the earlier model and is an all new car. It is based on Ford’s Kinetic design 2.0 language and the theme is identical to other new generation cars from Ford. A robust passenger cage made from high strength steel is a part of it. The Ford Figo 2017 also offers driver-side airbag as standard, across all variants. Ford has given a lot of emphasis on passenger safety. In fact, the Ford Figo 2017 is the only car to offer upto six airbags in its top line variant. Thus it distinguishes itself from others cars in its segment
The new Ford Figo 2017 stands out as one of the best looking hatchbacks in the country, clearly. The large dominating trapezoidal front grille, instantly reminds you of Aston Martin. It has chrome highlights and elongated headlamps look good adding some premium feel to it. Diagonally from the front it also resembles Fiat Punto Evo, as the headlamps are strikingly similar. The side looks well balanced with a slightly tapered windowline. The Ford Figo 2017 has a slightly tall stance due to the high window line. It comes with 14-inch alloy wheels, which do look small in comparison to the car. ORVMs have turn indicators on them. The rear portion is pretty neat and simple and integrates well with the overall look. The boot looks sporty and has a spoiler that adds a subtle flair.
SPACE AND CABIN ;
As opposed to its immediate competition, the Hyundai Grand i10 and the Maruti Suzuki Swift, the Figo is relatively longer, and it shows on the inside too. Seats are comfortable and supportive enough. Knee room for passengers at the back is in plenty thanks to a best in class wheelbase of 2,491mm. The shoulder and leg room though is a bit compromised due to the large transmission tunnel at the back. The extra bit of space for the passengers at the back has resulted in a smaller boot. In fact this 2015 Figo has smaller boot space than its predecessor. There are quite a few cubby holes to store bottle and knickknacks.
The dashboard of the Figo is similar in every detail to the Figo Aspire. But the silver and grey combination on the hatchback looks a lot better than the black and beige on its larger sibling. Use of a lighter color scheme has also made the cabin feel airy. The V-shaped center console is in line with Ford’s design philosophy. We particularly loved the instrumentation – it not only looks good but is also easy to read and informative; a rare combination to find nowadays.
Ford deserves to be applauded for giving driver side airbag as standard figment across variants. The second variant, Ambient, upwards all trims get dual airbags with a maximum of 6 in the top-end trim. ABS and EBD though is only offered in the top two trims. Safety aside, the Figo offers a lot on terms of features including, Bluetooth, AUX, USB connectivity, keyless entry, climate control and more. The Ford MyKey, MyFord Dock and the Sync Applink are other first-in-class features.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
Ford is offering the same set of engines on the new Figo which do duty on the Aspire compact sedan. So petrol duty is taken care by a 1.2-litre unit that generates 88 PS and 112 Nm, matched to a 5-speed gearbox. This motor has good low-end pep but isn’t the most urgent when you get out on the open road. There is another petrol engine on offer, the bigger, more powerful and excise duty unfriendly 1.5-litre unit, only matched to a 6-speed PowerShift automatic gearbox. Producing 112 PS and 136 Nm, the real highlight is of course the gearbox which is a dual-clutch unit and thereby offers quick shifts and is very responsive to throttle inputs. It can be felt changing cogs at low speeds, the mill having good low-end performance, upshifting under 2500 RPM when driven normally. There are two modes – D and S, the latter inducing some more josh in the Figo. One can also shift gears manually using the lever mounted buttons, the cluster also displaying the gear position in Sports mode.
The 1.5-litre petrol engine has good performance for the city as the autobox makes driving in stop-go traffic a breeze, something we really appreciated in the crowded city of Agra. The motor does become vocal in the top-end, redlining under 6500 RPM. Getting to 100 km/hr at full pelt requires third gear while at the same speed in top gear, the motor spins at 2500 RPM, being quite loud. While ARAI mileage figures for the petrol models are 18.16 km/l (1.2L) and 17 km/l (1.5L) one can expect 14.5 km/l and 13 km/l for the manual and automatic respectively, mileage dropping to around 12 km/l with a heavy foot. The diesel engine is the tarmac scorching 1.5-litre unit which thrusts out a segment best 100 PS and 215 Nm, again identical to the Aspire whose performance we have praised endlessly.
Low-end poke is plenty, lag is very well contained and the shove is so strong that at times you end up with a lot of wheel-spin. The motor has good city drivability and once out on the highway, this engine makes you grin ear to ear, the zest with which it picks up speed is truly fantastic, no hesitation in getting past the 150 km/hr mark. Aiding the fantastic mill is the smooth shifting 5-speed gearbox and light clutch, making easy work of driving. NVH levels are good too (slight diesel drone is present) and the ton comes up in under 10 seconds (being slightly lighter than the Aspire, it’s marginally quicker too), requiring at least third gear while at the same speed in top gear the needle hovers around the 2300 RPM mark, one nudge on the big pedal and overtaking is done in an instant. The ARAI rated mileage is the best in the segment (25.83 km/l) and after having tested the Aspire’s fuel economy, the new Figo should easily deliver around 18-20 km/l in the real world.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The last Figo aced this section of our test, so it’s a bit hard to break the news that the new one isn’t quite as special in the handling department. There is some un-Ford-like slack at the steering and it doesn’t feel quite as sure-footed as the last one did around the corners. But that’s not to say the Ford isn’t nice to drive, because dynamics are actually good by class standards. The steering has decent weight to it (it feels better calibrated than the Aspire), high speed body movements are well contained and the brakes offer great feel and stopping power.
Straightline speed stability is also really good. However, at slower speeds, the Figo tends to feel a bit stiff-kneed on all but the smoothest city roads. The small 14-inch tyres also get swallowed by large potholes. The suspension does work quietly and bump absorption is generally good, but that little bit of Ford magic is missing on this Figo.What is noteworthy though is that Ford seems to have addressed the bottoming-out issue that plagued the old Figo. Ground clearance on the new Figo is actually a class-best 174mm.
Ford has nailed it when it comes to safety. No one would have ever imagined that in our country a carmaker would offer six airbags in a hatchback priced under Rs. 10 lakhs. Ford is also offering a driver side airbag as standard across all variants. No doubt the new Figo is the safest car in its segment and future-proof. That’s not it, the car also comes with traction control, stability control and hill hold assist with the automatic transmission variant. Ford is targeting rural markets as well with the Figo and is promising a competitive maintenance cost along with 24/7 roadside assistance and 2 year/1,00,000 kms warranty.
The Ford Figo surely stays towards the top in the list of some popular hatchbacks of India and this new generation hatchback helps to raise the popular quotient even higher. The new generation hatchbacks comes with a new and improved styling which surely seems to have worked in favor of the hatchback while it also gets plenty of features as well which are never seen on a hatchback before. The Figo also excels in the drivetrain department as well and offers one of the most powerful petrol engines in its segment while Ford has taken no chances either in terms of safety as well and thus even the base petrol variant also gets driver side airbag which is pretty impressive.
Overall this is complete package that you will get for your money and I am sure this new hatchback will be appreciated in the Indian market which is considered as one of the toughest market of the world.