It was exactly an year ago when I first drove the new-generation Ford Figo during its media drive, and it left me wanting more. Good folks at Ford has given me the car once again, and this time for a much longer duration – two months exactly. Within just two weeks of its arrival, I have driven it for over 1000Kms in all sorts of conditions including extremely crowded city roads, broken rural roads and open highways. And believe me, the car did exceptionally well in all terrains and Ford deserves a huge round of applause for making a really capable product.
The model that I have been driving is the top-of-the-line diesel variant – Ford Figo Titanium+ – that features a 1.5-litre diesel mill coupled to a 5-speed manual gearbox. This engine churns out a maximum power output of 99bhp and a class-leading torque of 230Nm.
Now that I have spent good 13-14 days with the car, I would like to talk about four things that make the new-gen Ford Figo the best-in-class product.
1. Finest Diesel Powertrain in its Class
There are a very few cars in the B-segment category that are equally good on city as well as open roads, and the Figo is unquestionably one of them. When you are in heavy traffic, you won’t have to change the gears quite frequently. Though it’s not advisable to start your car in the second gear, the Figo picks up pretty smoothly even in the second gear at times when you are in slow moving traffic – all thanks to its torquey 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine. On the other hand, it gets really frustrating for a Maruti Swift or Hyundai Grand i10 drivers who have no option but to keep on shifting gears in stop-and-go situations. This makes the Ford Figo a lot better city car than both of its closest rivals.
While it does its job well on city roads, the diesel-engined Figo is even more fun on highways. There is no dearth of power in any gear, and the throttle response is impressive from low revs and gets better in the mid-range. The car easily cruises to 80kmph in the second gear, 130kmph in the third gear and over 155kmph in the fourth gear. Thanks to its punchy mid range, overtaking with this car is pretty quick and easy. Having said that, a calmer cabin and slicker gearbox would make the overall drive experience even better.
2. Best-in-class Ride and Handling
If you have driven the old Figo, you’ll instantly feel the difference between the suspension setup of the two cars. While the old-gen had a slightly stiffer suspension and was a delight for enthusiast, the new one will keep masses happy with its slightly city-drive focused settings. The car feels quite comfortable and nice at low speeds and handles rough patches with ease. This doesn’t mean that the car is bad on high speeds, it remains quite stable and still feels lot more planted than the Swift and the Grand i10.
Just like the ride quality, the new-gen Figo’s steering too is a little city-focused as it feels lighter than that of the old model. The steering feedback isn’t as precise as the old-gen Figo’s, but it’s decent and is like most mass-segment premium hatchbacks today. The lighter steering and a short turning radius of 4.9-metres ensure an easy manoeuvrability in heavy traffic and narrow roads.
3. As Frugal As a Budget Hatchback
Gone are the days when Ford cars were considered really low on mileage. Today, Ford has one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its portfolio. In city, the Ford Figo diesel gave me an average efficiency of 17kmpl and it did over 22kmpl on highways – this is in fact better than most entry-level hatchbacks available in the country today. What makes these numbers look even better is the fact that the Figo has the most powerful diesel powertrain in its class. Interestingly, the Figo’s 1.5-litre TDCi diesel churns out more power than the Volkswagen Polo’s 1.5-litre TDI diesel and the Hyundai Elite i20’s 1.4-litre CRDi mills, both of which belong to a segment higher.
4. Safest Car in its League
For many carmakers, safety is still the least priority and proof of that lies in the fact that the even the mid-variants of most of their cars don’t get airbags as standard. Ford, on other hand, is among very few carmakers who have standardised dual airabgs on all their cars and have still managed to price them reasonably well. As a matter of fact, their most affordable offering Ford Figo also has six airbags on its top-of-the-line variant. The Swift and the Grand i10, on the other hand, get two airbags on their respective top-end trims. Besides six airabgs, the top-of-the-line trim also gets anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD).
What impressed me most about the Ford Figo is its braking capabilities – it gives you the confidence that the car won’t go out of control even when you are constantly cruising at high speeds. During our brake performance test, I applied sudden brake at about 150kmph and believe me the car stopped in no time.
Reviewer – Vikas Yogi
Car Model – Ford Figo
Variant – Titanium+
Engine – 1.5-litre TDCi with a 5-speed manual
Distance Covered – 1132Km
City Mileage – 17kmpl
Highway Mileage – 22kmpl