The Sedan is considered as a status symbol in India for many but among those ‘many’ all cannot afford it due to the premium price. Hence, there is a segment called compact sedan or entry level sedan segment comes with exempted duties due to sub 4m profile and it has been flooded with cars like Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, Hyundai Xcent and Honda Amaze. The compact sedan segment is one of the volume generators in the country and no manufacture wants to be left out. While others are enjoying massive success in the segment, Ford has decided to enter now with Figo Aspire. Has Ford turned the table? Our review on Ford Figo Aspire would give you an idea!
With good localization, Ford has hit the right spot with the pricing of Aspire as compared to rivals. Aspire is now most affordable compact sedan in its segment with the base price of 4.89 lakh dethroning Hyundai Xcent. However, the higher variants end on premium pricing over rivals at Rs. 7.79 lakh.
Engine and Performance:
The Ford Figo Aspire is available with three engine options two petrol and one diesel, the former include 1.2l which also power current Figo hatchback, 1.5l petrol (offered with automatic gearbox only) and for popular diesel seekers, 1.5l diesel TDCi is the only option available. The greatest advantage Aspire has is the six speed dual clutch automatic gearbox and it is the first car to do so.
The diesel motor we seen on EcoSport and Fiesta has been tuned to produce 99bhp power and 215Nm which makes it the powerful car in the segment overtaking Honda Amaze by a whisker. On an open road engine feels planted and you barely need downshift, in addition it has smoother gearbox and light clutch to compliment it. With 99 horsepower the 1.5l diesel reaches triple digit speed without breaking a sweat and that too in quick time.
Low end throttle is brisk up to 1500rpm but it’s the mid range performance (1600-4000rpm) that shows the real power of the engine. However progress after 4000rpm is slow which might prompt you to make up-shift earlier than needed. The driving around in the city is comfortable thanks to top notch refinement levels and if you’re on highway pick a higher gear to enjoy effortless driving.
Ride and handling is the one area where companies like Ford or Fiat cannot weaken and Aspire is no different and certainly the best handler in the segment though it isn’t handle well as Fiesta or Ford classic. The Suspension is on the softer side which is just enough to keep vehicle planted on triple digit speeds. It is not as surefooted as Ford classic or Figo due to lighter body but it doesn’t dent corner carving. The EPAS steering was easy to hold with good low end response and feedback well complimented by excellent braking performance.
Like the diesel, 1.2l also been tuned to deliver more power but in real world it feels underpowered as if it has been reworked for better efficiency. Driving it inside city is buttery smooth up to 120 km mark but cruising after 120km/hr requires some effort. The insulation levels are way better as compared to diesel. All said and done, Ford Figo Aspire could become new benchmark in the segment (only diesel).
Space and Dimensions:
|Basis||Ford Figo Aspire|
|Boot Space||359 liters|
The Figo Aspire is undoubtedly the one of spacious compact sedan thanks to the class leading wheelbase of 2491mm. The front driver seating position is pretty good with large windscreen giving a good front view. Fronts seats are well cushioned and have great under thigh and lateral support. The rear seats are comfortable too with decent legroom and shoulder space if not the best and the reason being the slight limited headroom space due to sloping roofline. One of the USPs of Aspire is the plethora of storage space in the car twenty to be exact. The 357 liters of cargo capacity might not be as big as 400 liters of Xcent and Amaze but it is fairly accommodating.
There were days when Ford was cursed for making ugly cars like ikon and Escort but things have changed now. Figo Aspire has been designed from the scratch based on company’s global design language. The strongest point about Figo Aspire is its funky four slats trapezoidal grille inspired by British car marque Aston martin which is a common feature on Ford cars nowadays. The four slats with chrome accents give a positive and aggressive impression to the front fascia of the car. The elongated headlamps are big and occupy large portion of the front till the fenders.
The bulge bonnet with stronger flowing lines adds muscularity to it and trench shape front bumper with circular fog lamps adds sporty character though fog lamps look too basic. Most of the sedans suffer design chaos in order to keep it less than 4m but we must say Ford has done quite well. The Sculpted shoulder line gives it a well proportioned look and dynamic appearance. It rides on 14 inch tyres which look small for Aspire and doesn’t go with 174mm of ground clearance.
The rear design might not be the strongest as front but it needs to be appreciated because doesn’t look a compact sedan with cut and pasted boot on a hatchback. Wraparound tail lamps look simple but long thick chrome appliqué does spice things a bit but Amaze’s look well portioned over Aspire. Overall, Aspire is the best looking compact sedan in its segment with clever styling cues though it might not win awards for its design but it would garner buyer’s attention.
Interior and Safety:
If you have been into Ford’s car before you would easily recognize Aspire as Ford because it is inspired by EcoSport and Fiesta. The Aspire looks roomy with beige interiors and piano black central console creates a nice feel. In addition, Ford has also made sure that the quality of materials is of top notch.
Taking the central position is conventional music system with MY ford Dock with voice recognition, navigation and Smartphone holder. Along with holding phone, the Dock can also double up as Smartphone charging. The Titanium+ variant comes with 4.2 inch screen with Ford My link SYNC system which currently works with ESPN Cricinfo, MAPMYINDIA and Burrp. Most importantly, Aspire has leather seats, first car to introduce such feature and it lends premium feel to it. The three spoke steering wheel is nice to hold and piano black touch is pleasing to eyes.
Speaking about the HVAC system, it manages to cool cabin in short period of time in relatively hot weather conditions. The FORD My Key technology allows drivers to activate seat belt reminder and also limit the car’s top speed.
Safety is one of the important aspects nowadays and Ford has not neglected it at all. Aspire is first car in its segment to offer six airbags along with ABS, ESP, EBD, hill start assist, engine immobilizer and many more. One more thing, Aspire has made dual airbags as standard across all variants of Figo Aspire.
Ford is entering very late to the segment but with product they are entering has the full potential do very well and yield good numbers. Ford has thrown everything to make Aspire the best product and it shows. Ford’s first attempt in compact sedan segment seems another success story like Eco Sport. It looks sharp, offers oodles of space inside with decent list of features and scores well in performance department over the competitors. Apart from weak 1.2l petrol motor, Ford has ticked all the right boxes. If you’re looking at buying a compact sedan with good looks, great performance, decent features and good safety then no look further just go and book Aspire.
|Comparison of Ford Figo Aspire|
|Comparison of Ford Figo Aspire variants|