Ford Figo Aspire: what’s cool and what’s not?

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I had a quick drive in the all-new Ford Figo Aspire last week, and I came away impressed despite a few uninteresting details of the Aspire. We know that Ford is in full swing with their new manufacturing plant in Sanand, Gujarat – and the Aspire – their newest offering – is being built there.


Looks


It looks rather attractive. When my Mum saw the car, at first glance, she said it looks more premium than other cars in the segment, after she confirmed the price of the car with me. Yes it is true. The Figo Aspire has got a fresh new face with the big front grille as seen on Astons. In short, the Figo Aspire is a great looking car and much better than its prime competition, which is the Maruti Dzire, Tata Zest, Hyundai Xcent and the Honda Amaze. All these cars get boring when stared at, but the Aspire stands out with a striking front fascia. Like other compact sedans, the rear end is shortened to keep the car under 4m, and that – unfortunately – gives the side a disproportionate look. We got the Titanium variant, which came loaded with 14-inch, 8-spoke alloy wheels.


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Interiors


Yes, the interiors look similar to that in the Ecosport. There’s the dual-tone black/beige dash and beige seats, and door pads. The Figo Aspire boasts leather seats with adjustable headrests (first in segment). Also, the Aspire has the longest wheelbase in the segment, which offers more leg and shoulder room for all passengers. The Aspire comes with 20 storage spaces and there is decent room for three at the rear.


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The Aspire gets steering controls, six airbags on the top variant, ABS and the centre console from the EcoSport with voice assist, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Since the boot is shortened, we get around 359 litres. The fit and finish on the inside is good and no complaints about that. But I can tell you what is rather unusual inside. The car doesn’t have rear AC vents and also lacks rear parking cameras, even on the top-end variant.


Features


My Ford-Dock is the first-in-class feature in the Aspire which offers the drivers a unique solution for storing, mounting and charging mobile phones, MP3 players and satellite navigation systems, and for integrating these devices into the car’s entertainment system.


Ford’s advanced in-car connectivity system SYNC with AppLink allows drivers to control their phone, entertainment and apps hands-free using simple voice commands. In India, AppLink allows drivers to access information about nearby attractions and food destinations with Explore by MapMyIndia, and keep themselves updated with the latest cricket scores and upcoming fixtures with ESPN Cricinfo. The secure global location-sharing app, Glympse, also lets drivers share their location.


And then there is the MyKey technology that lets owners program keys with restricted driving modes that encourage good habits, such as increasing seat belt use, limiting vehicle top speeds and regulating audio volume.


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Engine & Driveability


We Indians crave for diesels. So a majority of the Aspires will be sold in diesel variants. Thankfully we were able to drive the diesel, but sadly we were able to drive the diesel variant only. The Figo Aspire is available with three engine options. A 1.5 TDCi diesel and two petrol engines (1.2-litre and 1.5-litre Ti-VCT). The diesel motor is from the EcoSport (but offers more power) and the engine now produces 100PS and 215Nm of torque, and is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. With reduced turbo lag, the power delivery is linear and overall drivability is good. You get a strong mid-range, good gearbox and a slightly heavier clutch. There isn’t much to complain about on the driveability front. The suspension setup, which is completely setup for city use, is a bit of a letdown. A bit of fun factor is somewhat missing. You attack a corner in the Aspire, and it’s sure to manifest body roll. But yes, the Aspire is a pleasing family sedan; not a car for corners. The older Fords performed around corners with a lot more zeal.


The Aspire’s Electronic Power Assisted Steering is lighter to operate, and the turning radius of the car is 4.9 metres. The claimed fuel efficiency for this engine is 25.8kmpl. Impressive!

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Verdict


The more premium-ish Aspire will be loved in its diesel avatar. I haven’t driven the petrol variant, but rumours have it that it isn’t very impressive. However, the diesel is smooth and punchy, and the Aspire can give its competitors a nightmare with the looks and features on offer.


Colours available


Seven all-new colours – Ruby Red, Sparkling Gold, Oxford White, Tuxedo Black, Deep Impact Blue, Ingot Silver and Smoke Grey.


SPECIFICATIONS



Brand: Ford
Model: Figo Aspire
Variant: Titanium

Price: 

Variants Ambiente Trend Titanium Titanium +
Powertrain Combination
1.2L Ti-VCT (Petrol) INR 489,990 INR 576,990 INR 669,990 INR 724,990
1.5L TDCi (Diesel) INR 589,990 INR 676,990 INR 769,990 INR 824,990
1.5L Ti-VCT (Petrol AT) NA INR 779,990 NA

Engine

Type: 1.5L TDCi

Fuel: Diesel

Power: 98.6 BHP @ 3750 rpm

Torque: 215NM @ 1750-3000 rpm

Performance

Fuel effieciency: 25.8KMPL (Certified)

Acceleration (0-100kmph): NA

Top Speed: 185KMPH

Transmission

Type: 5 speed manual

Dimensions

Length x width x height:3995x1695x1525mm

Wheelbase: 2491mm

Kerb Weight: 1048 kg

Ground clearance: 174mm

Capacity

Boot volume: 359 litres

Seating capacity: 5

Fuel tank: 40 litres

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