The 2018 Ford Aspire is the new entrant to one of the highest selling segments in the Indian car market. The sub-four-metre compact sedan gets a new fascia, a new touchscreen unit and a new set of powertrains to take on the competition that has been dominated by none other than the Maruti Suzuki Dzire. So we pit David against Goliath, based on the spec-sheets of the fully loaded Titanium Plus and Z-Plus trims to see if the little one can make a mark for itself.
Looks and Styling
The new Ford Aspire, as we have said before, gets a new face akin to the Freestyle crossover hatchback launched a few months ago. It gets a large hexagonal grille in the front with a chrome mesh which makes it look premium. The C-shaped chrome highlights on the bumper mark the front fog lamps while the headlamps unit has been carried over. The profile and the tail are exactly the same as before.
The Dzire also gets a large front grille and swept back headlamps. On the top-spec manual trims that we are comparing, the Dzire offers LED headlamps and DRLs which help the Maruti stand out. The Dzire is a bit wider than the Aspire and hence should offer more cabin space. Also the Dzire has a marginally bigger boot than the Aspire.
Interior and features
The Aspire’s cabin continues with its simple design but gets the new touchscreen display with SYNC3. In our infotainment challenge, we found it to be one of the best touchscreen systems under Rs 10 lakhs. Apart from that, the Titanium Plus gets automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, auto-dimming internal rear view mirror and LED indicators on ORVMs.
The Dzire, on the other hand, scores in touch and feel with the wooden insert on the dash offering a more premium cabin. It also gets rear AC vents which have become more or less a segment standard especially with the mercury soaring higher every year. Apart from that, both the cars are evenly matched in terms of features.
The Ford Aspire though, takes a decisive win in terms of safety with six airbags and child-seat anchor points being standard along with parking sensors across the variants.
Engine and gearbox
The Ford Aspire gets the new Dragon series of petrol engines and the 1.2-litre mill in the manual version develops 95bhp of power and 120Nm of torque. The 1.5-litre diesel develops 99bhp of power and 215Nm of torque. Both the engines are mated to five-speed manual gearboxes and offer 20.4kmpl and 26.1kmpl respectively in terms of fuel economy.
The Dzire seems underpowered, at least when the numbers are compared, as the 1.2-litre petrol develops 82bhp of power and 113Nm of torque while the 1.3-litre diesel develops 74bhp of power and 190Nm of torque. Both the engines get a five-speed manual and deliver 22kmpl and 28.4kmpl in terms of fuel economy. But the Dzire, due to its Heartect platform is much lighter and hence does not feel underpowered.
The Ford Aspire and the Maruti Suzuki Dzire are evenly matched overall with each one having their own set of pros and cons. But when we consider the price points, the Aspire is consistently cheaper than the Dzire across all variants, thereby making it a better value-for-money candidate