Ernest Hemingway was once said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” With that logic, the new Ford Figo is already on its way to being a better car. A truly noble car at that. However, before we get a little ahead of ourselves with a quote from one of the greatest writers of all time, let's just try to put things in perspective for you. We recently got a chance to drive the facelifted Ford Figo in the blue city of Jodhpur; to find out what's new and if it's worth your hard earned money. So let's get cracking!
Engine and Transmission
Let’s start off with the engines first. The updated Ford Figo now gets a 1.2-litre petrol engine which produces 96 Ps and 120 Nm of torque. It’s the same petrol engine used in the Freestyle and Aspire. It’s definitely a huge step up from the previous generation petrol engine used in the Figo and Aspire. There’s an even spread of power right up to to the rev limit and the engine doesn’t feel stressed during routine traffic conditions in the city or on the highway. However, the engine does have a typical thrummy 3-cylinder noise when you get close to the redline. Apart from that, the petrol car at a whole feels a little lighter on its feet than the diesel version.
The diesel engine in the new Ford Figo is the same 1.5-litre unit which produces 100 Ps of peak power and 215 Nm of torque. Both the petrol and diesel engine come mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, which, Ford says, is 15% lighter and requires 40% lesser gear oil than its predecessor. Coming back to the diesel engine, the car feels a lot more hunkered down and stable. The turbo kicks in around 1500-2000 RPM and beyond that Overall, both the engines are good performers both in the city and on the highway. Both engines are also the most powerful in their segment (Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai Grand i10 and Tata Tiago).
The new Ford Figo also gets a six-speed automatic transmission, which is now a torque converter unit instead of the dual-clutch one earlier. It is paired with the latest 1.5-litre petrol, three-cylinder engine which produces a peak power of 123 Ps. However, we haven’t gotten a chance to drive this variant just yet.
Let’s get to the business end of things now, what’s really new in Ford Figo? Apart from the petrol engine, the top-end Titanium Blu Variant, which is the one we drove, gets a new blacked-out cellular grille, a blue and black fog lamp bezel, 15-inch alloy wheels finished in black and subtle sporty decals around the sides and the back of the car. The new Figo also gets blue and charcoal black themed interiors for a sportier feel. Apart from this, the new Figo also gets a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry with push-button start/stop and a rearview camera.
However, we did feel the 7-inch infotainment system was susceptible to glare and can be a little hard to read at times. Also, there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto here, which can be a sore point for some. Ford says that they have changed over 1200 parts on the new Figo to make it better, and in some visible areas at least, the change does result in a much better product.
What’s interesting though is that the new Figo has been priced lower than the older generation model, similar to the Aspire. The price starts at Rs 5.15 lakh (ex-showroom), which makes the updated hatchback quite desirable, given what all is new.
Drive and Handling
This really is the icing on the cake. Ford has always been known for making car biased towards those who enjoy driving. And we’re glad to report that the new Figo follows suit in this regard. Although the suspension setup is the not the same as the Figo S, Ford engineers have sprinkled some of the Figo S magic on the updated Figo. In fact, the top-of-the-line Blu variant even looks a little like the Figo S.
We drove the new Figo on some dirt trails, highways and in city traffic. Once again, we must say, the new Figo is a mighty impressive car to drive. Although there is a bit of wind and tire noise in the cabin, the overall driving dynamics are sorted out very well. The steering feels direct and precise with the right amount of weight to it.
The chassis and suspension setup also compliment the new Figo’s driver-focused nature. Even the seating position is spot on and the steering itself feels well contoured. The combination of good cornering, straight-line stability and powerful engines really make the new Figo a driver’s car.
Like most of the other Ford cars, the new Figo is well endowed with safety features. The standard equipment includes 2 airbags, ABS with EBD and high strength steel. The top-of-line Blu variant gets 6-airbags, which is a segment first. Additionally, the automatic variant gets ESP, TCS and HLA as well. Overall, the new Figo, like the older one, feels like a sturdy and well put together car.
After spending almost an entire day driving around in the new Ford Figo, let's have look at some of the positives. Powerful yet frugal engines, fun to drive, good build quality and now there's the added benefit of the first-in-class five-year or 100,000 KM warranty, which includes 2-year factory warranty and 3-year extended warranty. Ford has gone a little further by reducing the price of the Figo from the previous generation, which makes the Ford Figo a very desirable car in its segment. Essentially, Ford has taken what was already a good car and made it even better.