The new Ford Figo Aspire has a very tempting price. But, it’s only true for the entry-level model. Because when you move to the top of the line diesel variants (like the car we have here), the Figo Aspire transforms into the most expensive car in its class. It costs Rs 8.25 lakh (ex-showroom in Delhi).
Not as tempting, you’d agree. But, as a product, the Aspire is a job well done. This stems from the fact that the Aspire has actually been designed from the ground up with Indian customers / sentiments in mind. The end result? I like it, very much.
But first the shortcomings. I don’t like the rear end design. The Figo Aspire looks rich, modern and likable from the front three-quarters, but the vertically sliced boot looks less aesthetic and more like a panic job. “Must be under 4m…must be under 4m.” Next up, I don’t like the front seats much either. These are large and cushy, but the seat back is oddly contoured. So, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t find a setting that would feel comfortable.
Finally, there’s the question of sub-standard looking plastic bits inside the cabin. The one used for the lower half of the central console, in particular, is a letdown; it simply doesn’t go with the overall feel of the car. And lest we forget, this one here is the most expensive compact sedan in the country now.
Now, for the good bits. I love the engine. It’s a diesel, so the clatter is very much audible. But, Ford has done a commendable job in calibrating it. There’s barely any perceptible turbo lag and the throttle response is excellent. It’s one of those rare diesel cars that pulls – and pulls with energy, mind – no matter where one might be in the rev range. It’s a delight to make gaps with in city traffic and to overtake…even at three digit speeds.
I might not have liked a few plastic bits inside the cabin, but barring that, the Figo Aspire is superbly thought out on the inside. It has a rubberised shelf on the central console to stow away the cell phone; two cupholders with different depths to accommodate both small and large sized takeaway coffee cups; bottle holders aplenty and even a large glovebox. And to boot, the insides feel airy; in fact, the Aspire is easily one of the more spacious cars in its class; the boot included.
It’s also an enjoyable drive. The engine pulls cleanly from under 1500rpm all the way to 4000rpm. Yes, it does get slightly loud towards the top, but not enough to reach for the stereo’s volume knob. The gearshifts – though not Ford-crisp – are still short throw and precise. The steering is quick enough while the brakes are near brilliant. The feedback, the bite, the progression, is all spot on. The handling isn’t great, though, say like the Fiesta for instance, but it more than suffices, especially for its class of cars. We do, however, wish it had gripper tyres…
Overall then, the diesel Ford Figo Aspire in this Titanium plus trim definitely gets my vote. It might not have rear AC vents, keyless start or even parking sensors, but it gets six airbags. Most of all, it is a good car to live with it and drive. And, it feels premium enough to just about justify its price.
Editor’s Score: 4/5