Ford Figo Aspire Overview
Comfortable, Spacious and presentable, Ford’s Aspire has a lot going for it. However, the lack of petrol engines and a full equipment list hasn’t helped its case. The diesel Aspire though won a fan following of enthusiasts thanks to its lively nature and driving dynamics. But now the facelifted Aspire gets a new gearbox for the diesel and a new petrol engine – the lively 1.2-litre Dragon from the Freestyle. Does the new petrol engine finally make the Aspire petrol an option worth considering? And with the market again shifting towards petrol, has Ford played it smart by giving importance to petrol engines again? For information on contact details of Ford car dealers in Hyderabad
Ford Figo Aspire Exterior
The original Ford Aspire (available only in America) from the 1990s was essentially a basic stripped out car for the entry level buyer and it looked like one. This new namesake thankfully does not. In fact, the new Aspire is one of the more handsome looking cars in its class especially when viewed from the front. With its large ‘Aston Martin’ inspired grille festooned in chrome in typical Ford design language. The large headlamps are not as well detailed as we would have like them to be but aren’t bad looking either. That said, although not immediately evident too, is the fact that the lower half of the front bumper does look a little abrupt and stubby which might not appeal to few. Although we expected a daytime running light option, there isn’t one and neither is there a projector headlamp setup, which is a bit of a disappointment.
The side profile of the Ford Figo Aspire is nicely sculpted and makes the most use of a well defined waistline to break up the mass of the car. The slightly flared wheel arches too look right in place. In fact, the Aspire is a genuinely well designed car that looks like it was intended to take the form that is currently is in as compared to some of the other cars in the category that look like a cut and paste job.
The simple and elegant design continues around the back with considerably flat and yet well layered bootlid and bumper combination. The large chrome strip on the boot though will certainly attract the typical Indian customer. That said, the rear end does look a tad bit too plain-jane and could have certainly been tarted up a little bit more. The wheels, a set of 14-inch alloy wheels too look inspired from the older Fiesta sedan and are not as exciting as some of Ford’s other products.
Ford Figo Aspire Interior
Step inside and one is greeted by a stylish interior. The dashboard seems familiar because the design theme is similar to the EcoSport. The steering wheel, centre console and information screen look very similarto the EcoSport and Fiesta. There are dual-tone black/beige dash and beige seats and door pads. Depending on the variant, there’s either gloss black or silver finished inserts.
There are controls on the steering wheel too. The light blue backlit instrument cluster is pleasant looking but the dials could have been slightly larger. The air vents in the side are circular and feature chrome detailing in the top variant. Headlamp switches are new and placed below the driver side air vent. The boot release button is also placed next to it and is easy to access. The auto climate control switches feel premium and are well detailed. Quality as well as fit are good and are improved over the EcoSport
Ford claims there are as many as 20 storage points inside the car. There’s a storage point on the side of the dashboard that can be accessed when the door is open. Door mounted bottle holders are large and can accommodate more than one bottle if needed.
The seats are comfortable and even feature leather upholstery (first in segment). There is good support up front but the rear seats could have offered more support and could have been madelarger. The rear kneeroom isn’t best in segment but is still very impressive. The front seats have been scooped out to maximize room at the rear. Shoulder room isn’t a lot, so three adults in the back can be a squeeze. The floor isn’t fully flat too so it is good only for two adults. A rear armrest is also offered.Boot space at 359 litres isn’t as much as the Amaze or the Xcent but it is quite usable. The loading height is good and the boot is deep too.
Ford Figo Aspire Gearbox
The Ford Figo Aspire will be available with two petrol and one diesel engine options. The 1.2-litre four cylinder petrol and the 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel will come mated to the five-speed manual gearbox, while the 1.5-litre petrol will be available with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The 1.5-litreTDCi diesel is tuned to produce 99bhp and 215Nm of torque making it the most powerful car in the segment, marginally higher than the Honda Amaze. At standstill and low speeds, the engine is harsh and there is prominent clatter in the cabin, also a light buzz can be felt on the steering wheel and pedals. The harshness goes down as the rpm increases and engine feels pretty smooth over 2,000 rpm. We are however willing to live with it for the kind of performance it has to offer. The car is quick, getting to 100kph is easy and cruising in triple digits even more so. There is no turbo lag and the healthy bottom-end torque helps quickly getting from 60kph to 100kph without downshifting to the fourth gear. The clutch is light and easy to use even in the city traffic, though the gear shifts require a little extra effort. The ARAI efficiency of the diesel car is rated at 25.83kpl and we managed to get 15.5kpl in our test drive.
The petrol car on the other hand feels relatively underpowered. The Ti-CVT is good to deliver 87bhp and 112Nm, though the tuning, as expected, has been for efficiency. The engine refinement is top notch and driving around in the city is going to be comfortable. The performance isn’t too bad, it can get off-the-line quickly and there is decent midrange to get to 100kph in respectable time, but going past 120kph requires some efforts. The engine needs to be put under lot of stress, though we didn’t mind doing that since it sounds incredible at high rpms. While the ARAI efficiency of the petrol is decent as well at 18.16kpl, we expect the real time efficiency to be much lower at around 12kpl.
The 1.5-litre petrol was not part of the first drive, though we are looking forward to driving it soon. Our experience with the Fiesta AT tells us that the dual-clutch PowerShift transmission is fantastic and the 110bhp and 136Nm will feel even better in the smaller, lighter car.
Ford Figo Aspire Driving
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.
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
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 Ex-Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 5,46,964/- (Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT) to 8,10,227/- (Figo Aspire 1.5D Titanium Plus MT). Get best offers for Ford Figo Aspire from Ford Dealers in New Delhi. Check for Figo Aspire price in New Delhi at carzprice
Ford Figo Aspire Conclusion
Lot of thought has gone into development of the Figo Aspire; it might not excel at a specific thing, but is a superb overall package. It looks decent, offers plenty of cabin space, scores REALLY high on safety, beats the competition on performance and has a decent ride and handling package. It does miss out on few features, but I don’t mind missing out if Ford manages to price this competitively. The price then becomes an important factor in deciding the fate of this product. Ford is expected to launch the car and start deliveries in the next three to four weeks and if you are looking at buying a compact sedan or any car under Rs 9 lakh, it makes sense to wait for a month to check this out.