They're compact but fun, funky yet practical, not very pricey and economical-to-run. This is essentially what comes to one's mind when one speaks about a hatchback. The Swift is, undoubtedly the major player in this segment, but Ford has recently updated their Figo with a new top-spec Blu edition. Here's an in-depth comparison of these two before you plan to live the hatchback life. We'll tell you which one is measurably better than the other through our complex points system.
Size and appearance
Both cars have a compact footprint and might leave some space to accommodate a two-wheeler, as well, in your parking lot. The Figo facelift with revised bumpers, tweaked headlamps, a new honeycomb front grille and new 15-inch alloy wheels looks better than its predecessor. The blacked-out elements on this Blu trim also look the part but it has no alluring effect like the Swift. With a new Heartect platform and its all-new design and styling, Maruti has managed to introduce a hatchback with sporty styling and a far more premium appeal. Be it the bright DRLs, the chunky bits, the floating-roof design or even the LED tail lamps, the hatchback looks stunning.
Cabin Comfort and Space
None of these cars actually reign supreme over the other in terms of practicality and comfort. Both cars have ergonomically-laid cabins, with more than four bottle-holders and decent number of storage and stowage slots. All the same, the storage slots in Figo's centre console sees better usage. No soft materials have been used. In fact, it's the hard plastics that generously adorn both cabins. The design for both cars have evolved distinctly, but neither of them possess that wow-factor. Nevertheless, front seats in both cars are relatively comfy. Yes, one does sit a bit higher in the Swift than the Figo, but both have height-adjustable driver seats for finding that perfect driving position and a good view of the road. Still, the cabin space in the Swift is undoubtedly more, translating into better headroom, knee-room and legroom. Also, unlike the Figo's black top, Maruti has used lighter coloured materials that reflect more light and also create a better sense of space inside. But then, the Swift's boot gets a wider opening and is slightly bigger too. What's more, it gets a 60:40 split option for the second row meaning more versatile options of luggage.
Both cars have a nicely appointed interior, with basic comfort and convenience features in an attempt to give the owner an upscale experience. These include a touch screen system, reversing camera with parking sensors, USB slots, push-button start/stop, keyless entry, automatic climate control, auto-headlamps among many others. However, there are minor differences in the equipment list. For example, the Figo still misses out on DRLs, while the Swift gets added LED projector headlights. What's more, the Figo does not have Ford's Sync3 infotainment system, which means it misses Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, at this level, this Ford hatchback still brings a few extra niceties like rain-sensing wipers and especially for the safety suite. This includes a segment-first six airbags, whereas the Swift gets front dual airbags only.
On the road
The Swift is powered by the tried-and-tested four-cylinder Fiat sourced 1.3-litre turbo-diesel engine. There's no change in power output, meaning it produces 74bhp and 190Nm of torque like its predecessor. We noticed that on the go, one needs to keep the revs hovering over 1900rpm for adequate response, especially while commuting in traffic. Post this, it does get more vocal with the distinct engine clatter. Thankfully, what helps is the fact that the Swift is light, but even then, one needs to constantly go up and down the five-speed gearbox to extract the most out of this engine. What works in its favour is the light clutch and the crisp gear shifts.
The Figo, on the other hand, gets a powerful 1.5-litre diesel motor that produces 99bhp of power and 215Nm of torque. This mill is comparatively less noisy and has a better throttle response. The turbo lag isn't that pronounced and post 1,750rpm one can feel a nice tug. Sure, the Swift has the advantage of being light weight, but then the Figo makes up for it with more power and torque. All the same, some people might not like the rubbery gear shifts here and a little heavier clutch with springy action, especially when driving in traffic. The highlight, however, is that unlike the Swift, you don’t need to constantly shift gears to make progress and all you need to do is ride the linear torque curve. Overall, you’ll appreciate its more responsive nature which ultimately also makes it feel more relaxed at high speeds too.
When it comes to the ride and handling bits, the loose steering on the Swift might feel easier to use than the tighter one on the Figo, especially while manoeuvring through traffic. And, even if it does weigh up at higher speeds, it isn't as precise as the Figo's, which also provides a better feedback. But while taking a corner, one will certainly realise how sharper, quicker and more planted the Figo feels than the Swift. Both the cars get McPherson struts in the front and torsion/twist beam type suspension at the rear. But of course, they are differently tuned and as a result the Figo feels more planted with its adept suspension. Though tyre noise can be heard at triple-digit speeds, its high speed stability is phenomenal. Yet, the Swift absorbs bumps better, while the sharper potholes do send a jolt in the Figo's cabin. All in all, the Swift, despite its lighter controls, isn't as exciting to drive or confidence inspiring as the Figo.
Acceleration and driveability tests
Now on to our V-BOX tests, where the Swift completed the 0-100kmph sprint in 12.12 seconds, the Figo completed this feat in just 10.37 seconds thanks to the additional power. When we look at the city driving scenarios, the Swift performed the 20-80kmph roll-on test in third gear in 11.28 seconds. Meanwhile, the same test was accomplished by the Figo in 10.53 seconds. Also, the in-gear time of 11.65 seconds for the 40-100kmph run in fourth gear is quite impressive against the Swift's 14.2 seconds by a considerable margin. It clearly goes on to show how the additional torque has helped the Figo.
Now, if you were expecting the Swift to be far more fuel-efficient than the Figo, you are wrong. That's because both the cars posted almost identical figures. In the city, the Swift returned 14.6kmpl while the Figo delivered 14.14kmpl. Out on the highway, the Figo posted a fuel economy of 19.67kmpl, whereas the Swift 19.1kmpl. Both cars then should be able to keep the fuel costs down for an owner.
On-road price Rs 10,04,545
The Swift is a well-rounded package, a lightweight car with light controls. It's quite peppy to drive and a nimble handler. Although the engine does not feel as refined and powerful as the Figo’s, it does manage to be more fuel efficient. But then, it has a stylish exterior, comfortable cabin and is smartly equipped. Also, it makes a strong case for itself through its strong dealer network and high resale value. But then, what allowed the Figo to race ahead in this test was the safety and driving bits which the little Ford simply excelled at.
On-road price Rs 9,00,493
Well then, the Figo has turned out to be the winner of this face-off by a respectable margin. For those owners who are in a hurry and don't want to look like it, the Figo provides brisk acceleration, exciting handling and an engaging drive. It does lack some modern features and might look much understated with its less-than-graceful exterior styling. However, it's packed with the essentials and got your back with safety features at a slightly lower price-tag. A well put-together product, which is more satisfying to drive.
Pictures by Kapil Angane
The petrol Swift has been used in some images for representation purposes only.
|CAR NAME||Maruti Suzuki Swift||Ford Figo|
|Variant||ZDi Plus||Titanium Blu 1.5 TDCi|
|Installation||Front, transverse||Front, transverse|
|Displacement||4 cyls, 1248cc||4 cyls, 1498cc|
|Power||74bhp at 4000rpm||99bhp at 3750rpm|
|Torque||190Nm at 2000rpm||215Nm at 1750rpm|
|Power to weight||72.89bhp per tonne||104.64bhp per tonne|
|Torque to weight||187.15Nm per tonne||227.26Nm per tonne|
|Gearbox||5-speed manual||5-speed manual|
|CHASSIS & BODY|
|Kerb weight (measured)||985kg||1057kg|
|Tyres||185/65 R15||195/55 R15|
|Type||Rack and pinion||Rack and pinion|
|Type of assist||Electric||Electric|
|CAR NAME||Maruti Suzuki Swift||Ford Figo|
|Variant||ZDi Plus||Titanium Plus 1.5 TDCi|
|PERFORMANCE & BRAKING|
|20-80kmph in 3rd gear||11.28s||10.53s|
|40-100kmph in 4th gear||14.2s||11.65s|
|Tank size||37 litres||42 litres|
|Seat base length||480mm||470mm|
|Boot||268 litres||257 litres|
|Loading lip height||750mm||710mm|
Maruti Suzuki Swift
Ford Figo Titanium Blu
|Feeling of space||20||15||14|
|IN THE CABIN|
|Feel of quality||20||14||14|