The Aspire from Ford recently received a facelift and also lost the Figo name but it gained plenty more. So is the new Aspire good enough to take on the likes of the Maruti Dzire and Honda Amaze? We answer that question by telling you 5 things that we really liked about the Aspire and two things that we didn’t.
The Aspire has always been one of the better looking compact sedans right since its inception While in most compact sedans the boot seems like an afterthought, it is not so with the Aspire. The update includes an all-new bumper that looks edgy thanks to the sharp creases around the fog lamps. You also get honeycomb elements in the new grille which looks more matured than before. The top Titanium variants also get bigger 15-inch alloys which look more proportionate and also fill the wheel wells better. At the back, the 2018 Aspire looks identical to the old car, except for the new bumper that looks sportier. Overall with the update, the Aspire looks more grownup and mature than the old car.
While the exteriors was a mild update, the interiors have been thoroughly revised. The dashboard that looks thoroughly modern. The dual-tone beige/black cabin now looks contemporary and even the fonts on the instrument cluster have been revised with sporty carbon fibre texture surrounding it. It is a very practical cabin too with loads of cup holders, big door pockets and many cubby’s to store knick-knacks upfront. As the 2018 Aspire is still based on the old car, interior space remains the same. Space both at the front and rear is adequate and the seat shape and support is really good. There is enough knee room at the back and the big windows help make the cabin feel airy.
3. Infotainment System
The biggest addition on the inside is this infotainment system. You now get a 6.5-inch touchscreen system and the floating display looks really nice. It is fitted with Ford’s latest SYNC 3 system and is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which adds to the overall experience. The infotainment system is one of the best when it comes to quickness, smoothness and the big icons make it easy to use on the move. You also get two USB ports for charging and connecting your smartphone.
4. Tried and tested diesel Engine
The Aspire was always known for its brilliant diesel engine and we’re glad it remains unchanged in the updated car. With 99bhp and 215Nm of torque, the Aspire pulls hard and will surprise you. Even in-gear acceleration is fantastic and overtaking just requires a little flexing of the right foot. What’s also new in case of the diesel, is the gearbox. Ford first used the Getrag-sourced 5-speed manual in Freestyle petrol. It’s an absolute joy to use and shifts with a reassuring click and feels light and easy to use too.
5. Ride and Handling
We’ve always loved Ford’s when it comes to the ride and handling balance and the Aspire is no different. The suspension setup largely remains the same barring the few changes made to accommodate the larger wheels and that has added to the ride quality. The low-speed ride feels good and the Aspire absorbs the city’s irregularities with aplomb. Hit bumps at higher speeds and the Aspire do bob a little before settling down but it never feels nervous. Handling is excellent for a car in this class with quick turn-in and good steering feel and the Aspire can be a fun little commuter.
1. Quality could be better
Now when the Aspire was originally launched, its interiors were pretty good for its segment. But how does it feel now with the competition upping its game? Frankly, this is one of the areas where Ford could have done better. Overall fit and finish are still not that great and cars like the Hyundai Xcent and Maruti Dzire do a much better job. Also unlike the old car, Ford has decided to skip leather upholstery on the Ford Aspire to keep costs in check.
2. Not the most spacious – headroom and boot space
While there is enough knee room at the back, I’m not so sure about the headroom. The headroom at the back is in short supply and anyone above average height will spoil their hairdo against the roof. Boot space too at 359 litres remains unchanged and this is lesser than the 407 litres that the Hyundai Xcent offers or the 420 litres offered by the Honda Amaze.
The Aspire has always been a competitive package and the update has just made it better. A strong diesel engine, good dynamics and a long list of features mean it offers almost everything one could ask for. Sure the interior quality could be better and it could offer more space but at Rs. 9.7 lakh for this top of the line diesel it undercuts its rivals by a big margin and that makes it a very good value.