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Ford Figo Titanium 1.5 Ti-VCT AT Long Term Review Report 3

Introduction

We said in our last report that we’d tell you all about the Ford Figo’s city compatibility next time. So, here we are after having spent all of last month closely scrutinising the Figo in city environs. And here's what you need to know about the Figo as a city car.

Love that automatic

One of the biggest draws for me when I volunteered to take up the Figo as my long term mate was its automatic 'box. It's a dual clutch unit, after all. Okay, so the ones among you who have sampled both the Volkswagen's dual clutch auto ‘box on the Polo and the Figo's PowerShift, you'd know that the Polo does a finer, more seamless and a more predictable job of shifting and reacting to throttle responses. But, that's when you are going hell for leather.

In the city, wherein you'd rarely go past 3,000rpm, the PowerShift is pretty seamless too. One really has to pay attention to the shifts to catch them, particularly during down shifts. The throttle response is excellent as well. Yes, the Figo automatic runs one on the largest naturally aspirated engines in its class, so it has good grunt. But, the combination of this engine and the alert gearbox means picking gaps in traffic, getting past sleepy and wayward drivers, and being the first off the line from a traffic light, is all so effortless, it adds an happy edge to commuting. It does get a little snappy at crawling speeds though when it can’t decide whether it wants to stick with second gear or drop down to first.

What also works well for the Figo in the city is its steering response. It has feel and it's pretty quick too. So, avoiding those sleepy and wayward drivers when they start drifting into your lane as you are overtaking them is well, easily done! Plus, the way the steering feels in your fingers and palms as well as its positioning, further cuts the fatigue down. It’s also great for making those three-point turns in narrow lanes or to get the Figo into a tight parking spot.

Why no parking sensors?

 
 
Yes, parking. Now, that’s one area where we think the Figo is lacking. This automatic version is the most expensive Figo you can buy, but it still doesn’t get rear parking sensors! I know the macho lot among you (which includes my wife by the way) might say parking sensors are for poor drivers. However, when you find yourself in a new neighbourhood with low obstacles everywhere – you know cycles, pavement blocks, maybe even a stray – you need all the help you can get. And to ask your co-passengers to get off and guide you every time you need to back the car into a parking spot is just too embarrassing.

The limited visibility through the rear windscreen doesn’t help much either. In fact, the Ford Figo doesn’t score very high for visibility in general. Sure, it’s clear and easy to judge the car’s edges over the hood. And the outside rear view mirrors are decently large as well. But, that A-pillar, especially when you come to a crossroad, can be quite an obstruction. Plus, the C-pillar tends to get into the way every time you want to get off the slip road to join the main one.

 The low speed ride on the Figo isn’t anything great either. The small undulations and bumps are dealt without too much of a bother, but anything more serious and the Ford’s ride gets noisy and a little crashy. Now, we were running the car with the recommended tyre pressures of 35psi on all four corners and that only made the situation worse. Dropping it to 30psi – again recommended by Ford but when you only have one or two occupants in the car – improved things significantly. But still, the ride never felt plush.

Surprisingly efficient

Unlike most of its competition, the Ford Figo comes into the fuel efficiency battle with its hands tied. To start with, it has the largest engine in its group. And it’s not the lightest car in its class either. Add to it the maddening Mumbai traffic, wherein we have been averaging under 24kmph, and you know what - its real world fuel efficiency figure of 10.5kmpl is in fact very good. This was when driven in D mode. But, even in S mode, it managed to return 10.1kmpl. The added benefit of the S mode of course, is a more responsive car, courtesy the gearbox holding on to every gear for a few extra rpms. The downside, meanwhile, is that things can get a tad bit noisy.

Next month, it’s the Figo vs the highways vs the twisties. That should be fun!

 Vehicle Stats

Variant – Titanium

Odometer reading – 8,396km

Positives of the report – Steering feel and response, dual clutch auto, throttle response

Negatives of the report – No rear parking sensors, visibility, and low speed ride

Fuel Efficiency – 10.5kmpl

Photos

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