Ford Figo Aspire Test Drive & Performance

Ford Figo Aspire Overview

Compact sedans are the latest piece of the market which everyone is after. The volumes speak for themselves and the pundits expect it to grow at a rapid rate over the next few years. The big guns are already in the fray and no one is letting up. Ford, of course, is the latest one to turn their attention to this sub-four-meter section and they bring fresh promises with them with the Figo Aspire. And although it carries the Figo badge, this showcases what the next generation Figo will rather than then existing one.

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Ford Figo Aspire Design & Style

The compact sedan segment generally has cars which look like more of a compromise. Good looks takes a back seat here. Thats not the cars with the Ford Figo Aspire, though. This one is a very good looking car. The Ford Figo Aspire is based on Ford’s Kinetic Design 2.0. The bonnet or boot are neither too long nor short. The front design is similar to other new Fords like the Fiesta and Mondeo. There is a prominent swag line that runs across the car. The glass area is small so the car looks larger. This also makes it look well balanced and not too tall. The boot design too is good with a chrome strip that is well proportionate. Its not too flashy not too thin. The car looks premium ever from the rear.

Ford Figo Aspire Cabin & Space

After exploring the upmarket exteriors, the interiors continue to impress us considering how the previous generation Figo was. The Aspire has a touch of premium-ness to its cabin thanks to the extensive use of beige and the new dashboard, which is derived from its elder siblings. You must be very familiar with the centre console and steering wheel from the EcoSport and Fiesta. The three-spoke steering as always feels great to hold with those chunky contours and the piano black inserts look good. There are controls for the audio system and Bluetooth telephony. The stalks have been finally swapped for Indian driving style! The indicator, trip meter and dipper controls are on the right while the wiper controls are on the left-hand-side. The three-pod instrument cluster looks small in size and is a bit basic with a tiny MID display but it is quite easy to read. The headlight and fog lamp controls continue to have the European position, which is convenient and also gets the boot release button there. The rearview mirror controls are placed on the A-pillar like the old Figo and Classic that offer electric adjustment and power folding function with a tap downwards.

The Figo Aspire gets automatic climate control on the Titanium and Titanium + variants that chills the cabin quite effectively but at higher fan speeds there is a lot of noise coming out from the vents. The SYNC system with AppLink comes on the Titanium + variant that has a 4.2-inch screen. It offers CD, AUX, USB and Bluetooth connectivity with voice-activated handsfree system. It streams music, which sounds good through its 4-speaker audio system but at high volumes the bass tends to get distorted. There is an emergency assist system that activates when the car experiences a collision and automatically calls the emergency responders providing location and vehicle information. The AppLink system currently works with four apps including Glympse, which lets you share your location with contacts, ESPN Cricinfo that keeps you remain updated with scores, MapMyIndia to explore new attractions and Burrp to discover new food destinations.

Another interesting new feature which is unheard of in this segment is the MyKey technology available with the SYNC system. This system lets the owners program the key that limits the top speed of the car, music volume, prevents switching TCS off and also ensures the usage of seatbelt by turning off the audio system unless the driver wears the seatbelt. So if you don’t want your car to be mishandled by some other driver then you can programme the key, which offers great peace of mind. The Trend and Titanium variants don’t offer SYNC system and instead come with an innovative MyFord Dock feature. There is a small compartment on the top of the dashboard, where you can mount your phone and charge it with the USB port placed in the same compartment and also the AUX port for music connectivity. This way you can easily access your phone’s navigation system too without fumbling with the device.

The quality inside the cabin is good and never does it feel cheap or built to a cost. The doors are heavy and the car has solid build quality. The controls have a tactile feel, the air vents (none at the rear but the AC is a chiller), audio controls, climate control knobs, window switches, etc. feel built to last. There are more than 20 smart storage spaces inside the cabin to make the cabin look neat and tidy. The front door pockets can hold two bottles including a 1.5-litre and a 1.0-litre bottle with still some extra space left for more things. Then there is the sizeable glovebox with a neat pen holder. Just below the audio system there is a convenient place to park your phone that has rubberised material to keep it in place. Between the front seats there is a compartment that gets three cup holders, coin storage and a bin for the rear passengers. The one we liked the most is a secret side compartment, which is only accessible when the driver’s door is open. There are no door pockets for the rear but there are seatback pockets for newspapers and magazines and a parcel shelf at the back with carved out space to keep tissue boxes and similar stuff. There are no grab handles on the Titanium + trim because of six airbags but other variants get it. There are cabin lights for front passengers but missing for the rear.

Ford Figo Aspire Engine & Performance

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 Ride & Handling

When it comes to ride and handling, comfort is clearly a focus area with the Aspire. The suspension is quite plush and absorbent and bumps are ridden over so well that you stop paying attention to every pimple on the road and makes driving a bit more relaxed. On really bad sections of road, the ride does get a bit jiggly and bouncy, which is when you detect a hint of stiffness, but that’s only to be expected. What makes ride quality even nicer is that the suspension works quite silently for the most part. For information on contact details of Ford car dealers in Kolkata

Yes, it does mildly enjoy being driven hard and responds better the more you load up the suspension. But, that effortless grip, unimpeachable confidence and precise steering you get on Fords like the Fiesta is missing here. There’s a strange looseness in the steering around the straight ahead position it doesn’t have the same agility as other Fords and body roll is ever-present. The petrol version is the better of the two Aspires in the corners with a touch more on-centre steering feel and correspondingly a greater feeling of connection with the car. The brakes on both petrol and diesel Aspires, however, inspire tremendous confidence; stopping power was impressive as well and that lends a lot to the overall driving experience

Ford Figo Aspire Safety & Security

The Ford Figo Aspire as expected comes loaded with all the possible gadgets that one might expect from a car in this category and then some. You obviously get Bluetooth telephony, an integrated audio infotainment system with phone controls and steering mounted audio controls. You also get a height adjustable steering wheel and driver’s seat along with electronically adjustable outside rear view mirrors with an electric folding option.

Ford has also taken an interesting approach to a smartphone mounting dock and integrated it well into the central dashboard architecture. You also get what Ford calls a MyKey which is essentially is like a central control over system settings like the speed limiter, seatbelt reminder and the infotainment volume limiter. The Ford Figo Aspire also comes with an automatic climate control and Ford’s SYNC applink that integrates your smart phone or tablet with the infotainment system.

What really does impress us the most though are the safety features that the Ford Figo Aspire comes with. All versions of the Aspire come standard with ABS and two airbags. The top of the line Aspire on the other hand comes with a staggering six airbags which is a first for a car in this segment. The Figo also comes with additional features like hill start control, which too is a first in its class.

Ford Figo Aspire Price in Chennai

Ford Figo Aspire Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 5,47,286/- (Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT) to 8,10,611/- (Figo Aspire 1.5D Titanium Plus MT). Get best offers for Ford Figo Aspire from Ford Dealers in Chennai

Ford Figo Aspire Bottomline

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.