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Ford Figo Review: Ford Figo - a Cool Car Indeed

Ford Figo - a Cool Car Indeed

By CarTradeIndia Editorial Team; 23rd August, 2010
Introduction

A majority of Indians, when looking for a new car will be thinking of getting a 'Small Car'. The Government has done plenty to encourage the small car market too. As a result, this is the segment most manufacturers have to have a presence in, in order to have an overall healthy market share. Since the launch of the Ford Ikon way back in 1999 speculations were on as to when Ford would introduce a small hatch. It's not that Ford cars are not selling, and indeed the success of the Ikon and 1 lac sales of the Fiesta are proof to the contrary, but Ford were playing with a mere 20% market all this while.

Ford Figo

Pricing plays another big factor whether a car will sell in numbers (just take for instance the Swift or the i10) or will get stuck at modest or even small numbers (the Fabia and the Jazz for example). Indian mentality is set at comparing how cheap the car is to its competitors, and at times providing more features for a premium can really backfire.

Ford took note of these two points (especially after the Fusion did not do too well) and finally launched the Figo in March 2010 at a base price of 3.6 Lac Ex-Showroom Pune for the Base Petrol Variant, at the face of it surely an attractive price point.

Today we check out the Ford Figo in detail, and find out whether this attractive price has required compromises on other areas. The car we drove was a top of the line Ford Figo Titanium (diesel).

Exterior

The Figo looks typically Ford. The styling carries on from the Ford Fiesta, the Focus and even the Fusion. In fact the rear can be easily mistaken for a Ford Fusion. Both the Figo and the Fusion share the same platform and hence are very similar in size. I loved the Fusion, it was a practical car which comfortable seated 5, had a large boot and drove well. The only negative points (and the reason it didn't do too well) were the boxy design and the high price.

Ford Figo

The Figo is based on Ford's 'Kinetic Brand Philosophy' and has simple design cues. As such, it carries no flashy lines like some of the recent launches like the i20 or the Chevy Beat. The first thing you notice about the car are the striking headlights, while the Tri-Plane front end with the 'Cat's Whisker' on the Upper Grill give the Figo its unique look. The Figo’s Titanium trim also gets a Chrome Strip running across the middle.

The Figo’s roof slants heavily towards the rear and has a mini spoiler at the end and the Titanium trim has a Rear Window De-fogger with Rear Wash and Wipe. The flared wheel arches add a more muscular look to the car. The rear end, with the vertically styled tail lamps, is clean and resembles the Fusion. Front Fog lamps are available as an optional accessory.

Ford Figo

The Figo doesn't look like it, but it is actually quite a large car. It is longer than the Swift, and has the longest wheelbase (2450mm) amongst its competitors (sans the i20). The short overhangs especially at the rear manage to free up plenty of Interior Space.

Ground Clearance stands at 168 mm but even on high speed breakers with a full load, the car didn't scrape anything.

The 284 litre Boot is again the largest in its segment as opposed to the Swift at 232 litres, the i10 at 225 litres and the Indica Vista at 236 litres. Grab handle on the inside of the Hatch makes it easy to pull down and close. 

Interior

The top of the line Titanium that we had, came with a Coral Red colour dash. It does stand out and I didn't really dislike it, as it’s something different and I've certainly not seen any such colour being used in the interiors before. If you don't like it, that's quite alright because the regular black dash can also be opted for.

The dashboard is hard to the touch but Plastic quality looks and feels good. There are not many panel gaps except for the one that we found near the Odometer. Initially, the trip knob kept getting stuck when pushed inside, but that thing sorted itself out by the next day. The knob will probably get used a lot since it is the only way you can switch between the Odometer, the 2 Trip Meters and the DTE (Distance to Empty) reading.

The Steering Wheel is large and meaty to hold. The Dual Horn is loud and does its job effectively.

The brushed Aluminum Central Console looks good and can be found on the Door Handles, the Gearbox, the Aircon Vents and even on the Speedometer Lining. The Central Console houses a Music System with Bluetooth compatibility and Aux In. Coupled with 4 speakers on the Titanium, the low and mid range sound quality and bass is quite good. No option for a USB input though. The Bluetooth can pair up to 5 phones at a time, however only 1 can be operational at any given time. You can access your phone book, call logs and even redial numbers through the system itself. Speed sensing volume comes as standard, which means the sound automatically increases with speed.

Indicator stalks are short and on the wrong side. Why Ford can't just have them the right way around for Right Hand Drive vehicles, I cannot understand. It takes a while getting used to and it’s easy to keep starting the wipers while trying to change lanes.

Pulling the right side stalk operates the rear spray and the wipers. To spray the front glass you need to push the little knob at the end of the stalk. Both Front and Rear wipers, I felt were of poor quality and did not clean the glass properly.

Lane Change Indicators are standard, which means you only need to tap it once and the indicators will blink 3 times. Very useful in Traffic and at high Speeds.

The bonnet release is also on the wrong side, with the release switch being located on the Passenger side below the Glove Box.

The air conditioner in the Figo is very powerful and tends to chill the cabin in no time. The Circular Air Vents do an outstanding job of directing air around the cabin. Ford has used one of the largest in class compressors and claims that the A/C is effective between -10 to 49 degrees Celsius. Internal Dual Filters help reduce coarse and fine particles like dust and pollen from entering the vehicle while the A/C is Switched On. Climate Control A/C is not available on any Trim.

Even the Top of the line version does not have all 4 Door Power Windows. Instead the Rear Passengers have to manually roll the windows Up & Down. The Rear Windows do not roll down all the way either, just about 2/3 rd the Distance. Ford says it was for safety, but I'd still prefer them going all the way down.

Another couple of features missing are Tilt Adjustable Steering and Alloys. I felt the Rear Parcel Tray too was a bit Flimsy. However Ford has equipped the Figo with an Electric Boot Release Button on the Dash, which is a feature unique to the Figo.

The top of the line Figo gets Electrically operated OVRM's ,with the adjustment knob on the Driver Side 'A' Pillar. The Titanium also has a driver seat Height Adjuster and finding the right seating position is quite easy. Doors autolock on reaching a speed of 7 kmph, however there is no 'Seat Belt not buckled Warn' buzzer.

Plenty of storage place is available with deep door pockets that can hold a 1 litre bottle (1 Litre and the direction the bottle is to be kept is also marked. This means there is more space in the Door to keep other stuff like maps or rags. Storage in front of the Gear Shifter is divided into 3 sections and can accommodate 1 glass and probably the I-pod or other small things you are carrying with you. There is a recess below the handbrake lever for storage and even behind the Lever for Rear Passengers. The Glove Box is deep and adequately sized and you also get a small compartment below the headlight switch for loose change or receipts.

Ford Figo

The Doors shut with a nice Thud, which reminded me of the way the doors of my Skoda Octavia used to close. The Mid and High end variants have Door Trims matching the Seat Fabrics. Central locking is standard and the Mid and High End Variants also get Keyless Entry.

Legroom upfront is Excellent, the Front Seats are comfortable and hold you in place. Rear Legroom is adequate, however the bench is wide enough to comfortably seat 3 adults. Rear headrests are not adjustable, but are not as low as seen in some other cars. Seat Fabric looks and feels excellent. Thanks to the large glass area, the cabin feels airy and does not seem claustrophobic at the back. Headroom is more than adequate even for a 6-footer.

The headlights are operated via a knob to the right of the steering wheel. The red Backlight on the Speedometer console is not too bright and during the day, I kept forgetting that the parking lights were on (thanks to the gloomy and dark weather) while leaving the car. However the Figo does come with a 'Headlight ON' Reminder which is a boon.

Passenger Side Vanity Mirrors are available on the mid and top of the line variants.The Accelerator, Brake and Clutch pedals are really close to each other. The foot tends to get stuck beneath the Brake at times. No Dead Pedal provided either. 

Performance

The Figo, it must be said, handles like a dream. The power steering is light and very responsive. It is very easy to maneuver in and out of traffic, even at fairly high speeds. The chassis is set up well and encourages you to corner hard. Body roll is evident but controllable. It is a very Driver oriented set up. In fact the chassis can take a lot more than what the two engines currently available on the Figo can offer.

Ford Figo

However there is a down side. In my view, to increase high speed handling, Ford have set up the suspension a bit too stiff. You could almost feel all the bumps on the roads, and when you take a speed breaker with a little speed, the rear passengers are easily thrown off their seats.

On a positive note, the top of the line Titanium variant comes equipped with Driver and Passenger Airbags and Anti lock Braking system with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.

The Front Disc-Rear Drum setup offers plenty of stopping power. Slam the brake hard and the Figo comes to a halt in no time, enough to give the back benchers quite a scare. Tyre noise does make quite a racket though. The Front too dips quite heavily and unless you are really confident the car won't do anything silly, it is quite natural to immediately ease off the pressure applied on the brake pedals. Hazard lights start blinking when you brake heavily from over 96 kmph to warn drivers behind of the rapidly decreasing speed.

Our test car was equipped with 175/65 profile tyres running on 14” Steel Rims. They offered adequate grip but it did tend to get a bit noisy at high speeds. The Figo is designed to continue operating at water heights upto 550 mm (almost 2 feet) and pull away under normal driving conditions. 

Ford Figo

 

We had the proven 1.4 Litre Duratorq TDCi engine to test which also does duty on the Fiesta and the Ikon. Not much is needed to be said about this engine as it has already helped the Fiesta gain top marks for Customer Satisfaction in the latest TNS survey. The engines will be locally produced in Chennai as part of Ford's US $500 milion investment in India. The 40,000 square metre plant is capable of producing 2,50,000 units anually.

The engine delivers an output of 69 PS @ 4000 RPM and 160 NM of torque @ just 2000 RPM. With torque peaking at only 2000 RPM, turbo lag is almost negligible. The diesel powerplant weights a mere 98 kgs. As compared to its competitors (mainly the Fiat's 1.3 litre multijet engine) the engine is slightly underpowered despite having the advantage of higher cc's. This is due to single overhead camshaft design design with two valves per cylinder.

NVH levels I'd say are OK. Ford claims they have used double door seals in the Diesel variants, but it is still not sufficient to drown the noise that the engine makes at higher revs. Vibrations however are minimal even during idling.

Ford Figo

This is one of the most frugal engines around and returns nearly 20 kms to a litre. With a fuel tank capacity of 45 liters, it offers a range of nearly 900 kilometers. The Engine is also BS IV compliant and CO2 emissions are just 114 grams per kilometer. There is a DTE indicator which shows how far you can go with the current fuel load and a warning buzzer starts when the range goes below 80 kilometers. On the Diesel, there is also an alert if there is 'Water in Fuel'.

We got a 0-100 timing of 16.1 seconds without the A/C and 17.8 seconds with the Air Conditioner switched On. The engine is responsive between 1500 – 4000 RPM, above which it feels quite strained. Wheelspin is a piece of cake and can be done every time from standstill with ease.

The TDCi engine is mated to the IB5 transmission. Gear Shifts are smooth and precise and the transmission has already proven its capability in the Indian Market. The double side dry clutch system includes a hydraulically operated clutch mechanism that automatically compensates for clutch wear, hence periodic adjustments to the clutch pedal are eliminated.

We had the proven 1.4 Litre Duratorq TDCi engine to test which also does duty on the Fiesta and the Ikon. Not much is needed to be said about this engine as it has already helped the Fiesta gain top marks for Customer Satisfaction in the latest TNS survey. The engines will be locally produced in Chennai as part of Ford's US $500 milion investment in India. The 40,000 square metre plant is capable of producing 2,50,000 units anually.

Ford Figo

The engine delivers an output of 69 PS @ 4000 RPM and 160 NM of torque @ just 2000 RPM. With torque peaking at only 2000 RPM, turbo lag is almost negligible. The diesel powerplant weights a mere 98 kgs. As compared to its competitors (mainly the Fiat's 1.3 litre multijet engine) the engine is slightly underpowered despite having the advantage of higher cc's. This is due to single overhead camshaft design design with two valves per cylinder.

NVH levels I'd say are OK. Ford claims they have used double door seals in the Diesel variants, but it is still not sufficient to drown the noise that the engine makes at higher revs. Vibrations however are minimal even during idling.

This is one of the most frugal engines around and returns nearly 20 kms to a litre. With a fuel tank capacity of 45 liters, it offers a range of nearly 900 kilometers. The Engine is also BS IV compliant and CO2 emissions are just 114 grams per kilometer. There is a DTE indicator which shows how far you can go with the current fuel load and a warning buzzer starts when the range goes below 80 kilometers. On the Diesel, there is also an alert if there is 'Water in Fuel'.

We got a 0-100 timing of 16.1 seconds without the A/C and 17.8 seconds with the Air Conditioner switched On. The engine is responsive between 1500 – 4000 RPM, above which it feels quite strained. Wheelspin is a piece of cake and can be done every time from standstill with ease.

The TDCi engine is mated to the IB5 transmission. Gear Shifts are smooth and precise and the transmission has already proven its capability in the Indian Market. The double side dry clutch system includes a hydraulically operated clutch mechanism that automatically compensates for clutch wear, hence periodic adjustments to the clutch pedal are eliminated.

Ford Figo

We had the proven 1.4 Litre Duratorq TDCi engine to test which also does duty on the Fiesta and the Ikon. Not much is needed to be said about this engine as it has already helped the Fiesta gain top marks for Customer Satisfaction in the latest TNS survey. The engines will be locally produced in Chennai as part of Ford's US $500 milion investment in India. The 40,000 square metre plant is capable of producing 2,50,000 units anually.

The engine delivers an output of 69 PS @ 4000 RPM and 160 NM of torque @ just 2000 RPM. With torque peaking at only 2000 RPM, turbo lag is almost negligible. The diesel powerplant weights a mere 98 kgs. As compared to its competitors (mainly the Fiat's 1.3 litre multijet engine) the engine is slightly underpowered despite having the advantage of higher cc's. This is due to single overhead camshaft design design with two valves per cylinder.

NVH levels I'd say are OK. Ford claims they have used double door seals in the Diesel variants, but it is still not sufficient to drown the noise that the engine makes at higher revs. Vibrations however are minimal even during idling.

This is one of the most frugal engines around and returns nearly 20 kms to a litre. With a fuel tank capacity of 45 liters, it offers a range of nearly 900 kilometers. The Engine is also BS IV compliant and CO2 emissions are just 114 grams per kilometer. There is a DTE indicator which shows how far you can go with the current fuel load and a warning buzzer starts when the range goes below 80 kilometers. On the Diesel, there is also an alert if there is 'Water in Fuel'.

We got a 0-100 timing of 16.1 seconds without the A/C and 17.8 seconds with the Air Conditioner switched On. The engine is responsive between 1500 – 4000 RPM, above which it feels quite strained. Wheelspin is a piece of cake and can be done every time from standstill with ease.

Ford Figo

The TDCi engine is mated to the IB5 transmission. Gear Shifts are smooth and precise and the transmission has already proven its capability in the Indian Market. The double side dry clutch system includes a hydraulically operated clutch mechanism that automatically compensates for clutch wear, hence periodic adjustments to the clutch pedal are eliminated.

 

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
 Make Ford
 Model Figo
Variant Duratorq Titanium
Ex-Showroom Price (Pune) 5.37 Lac
Displacement (cc) 1399
Power (PS@ RPM) 69 @ 4000
Torque (NM@ RPM) 160 @ 2000
Min turning Radius 4.9
Tyres 175/65 R14
Length (mm) 3795
Width (mm) 1680
Height (mm) 1427
Wheelbase (mm) 2489
Ground Clearance (mm) 168
Kerb Weight (kgs) 1130
Boot Space 284
AC Yes
Power Windows Front Only
Features
Features Lxi Exi Zxi Titanium
Roof Antenna Yes Yes Yes Yes
Full Wheel Covers No Yes Yes Yes
Rear Wipe & Wash No No Yes Yes
Rear Defogger No No Yes Yes
Electrical OVRM's No No Yes Yes
Front Power Windows No Yes Yes Yes
Driver Seat Height Adjust No No Yes Yes
6 Speed Intermittent Wiper with Anti Drip No No No Yes
Tachometer No No Yes Yes
Parcel Shelf No Yes Yes Yes
Integrated Audio system No Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth No No Yes Yes
Manual AC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Coral Coloured Dash No No Yes Yes
Fabric Insert on Door Trim No Yes Yes Yes
Passenger Vanity Mirror No Yes Yes Yes
Removable Parcel Tray No Yes Yes Yes
Electric Power Steering Yes Yes Yes Yes
Headlight On Reminder Yes Yes Yes Yes
DTE Indicator Yes Yes Yes Yes
Central Door Lock with Keyless Entry No Yes Yes Yes
Engine Immobiliser Yes Yes Yes Yes
Driver Airbags No No No Yes
Front Passenger Airbags No No No Yes
ABS + EBD No No No Yes
Competition
Specifications
Ford
Figo
Maruti Swift
Vdi
Volkswagen
Polo
Fiat
Punto
Variant Titanium ABS Highline 1.3 Emotion PK
Ex-Showroom Price (Pune) 5.37 Lac 5.5 Lac 6.86 Lac 6.55 Lac
AC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power Windows Front Only Yes Yes Yes
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes Yes
ABS Yes Yes Yes Yes
Airbags (D/P) Yes No Yes Yes
CD Player / Bluetooth Yes No Yes Yes
Alloy Wheels No No Yes Yes
Keyless Entry Yes No Yes Yes
Rear Wash and Wipe Yes No No Yes
Electric Mirrors Yes No No Yes
MFD No No No Yes
Length (mm) 3795 3760 3970 3987
Width (mm) 1680 1690 1682 1687
Height (mm) 1427 1530 1453 1495
Wheelbase (mm) 2489 2390 2450 2510
Ground Clearance (mm) 168 170 168 171
Kerb Weight (kgs) 1130 1075 1055 1190
Boot Space 284 232 - 280
Fuel tank Capacity 45 43 45
Displacement (cc) 1399 1248 1199 1248
Power (PS@ RPM) 69@ 4000 75@ 4000 75@ 4200 76@ 4000
Torque (NM@ RPM) 160@ 2000 190@ 2000 180@ 2000 197@ 1750
Min turning Radius 4.9 4.7 4.9 5.4
Tyres 175/65 R14 165/80 R14 185/60 R14 195/60 R15
Conclusion

Ford is going all out with the Figo to try and tap into the 70% small car market and increase its overall market share. The Figo comes with a class leading 2 year / 100,000 kms standard warranty. Extended Service and Total Maintenance plans are also available for regular maintenance items up to 5 years at reduced rates. The plans protects against inflation on items like oil, fuel filters, oil filters and labour. Ford currently has 167 Dealers across 97 Cities in India.

Ford's Roadside Assistance provides free 24 hours service 2 years from the Date of Sale of the vehicle. It includes onsite minor repairs, fuel delivery, jumpstart, vehicle unlocking and towing on flat bed trucks.

Ford Figo

In order to change the perspective for Ford’s cars being expensive to maintain, long lasting parts have been used. The components must pass a minimum of 100,000 kilometers during durability runs. To reduce costs, parts are being locally manufactured rather than being imported, and the Figo has 75% localization content. In case of an accident, Ford has ensured that is it possible to change smaller parts rather than the entire body structure. Also special care has been taken to ensure that costs of parts liable to get damaged in an accident (for eg. the bumper) are kept low.

Ford have kept only the most necessary features and used smart designs to reduce the cost of the Figo, but fortunately as cheap quality was not what Ford had in mind while planning the Figo. The quality of the Car’s Parts and the fit and finish are right up there. The company’s proclaimed aim was to offer a Quality Product at an Affordable price, and with 25,000 cars sold in just 100 days it indeed seems that Ford has got it just right with the Figo.

The Figo is available for an On Road price (Pune) ranging between Rs.3.96 Lac to Rs.5.0 Lac for the Petrol and Rs.5.05 Lac to Rs.5.97 Lac for the Diesel Variants. Ford says Figo is about redefining the Ford Brand, and we see no reason why it should not.

With an excellent drive, superb mileage, attractive pricing and modest compromises on features, we'll sign it off by saying that the Figo is indeed 'Cool'.