Ford Figo Aspire Facelift Review & Test Drive

Ford Figo Aspire Overview

This is the latest iteration of the Ford Aspire. A much-needed refreshment has been brought in three years after this sub-compact sedan was first launched in India. The carmaker has made a host of cosmetic changes like a revised face, tweaked rear and an updated cabin. This comes along with mechanical upgrades in the form of a five-speed gearbox and two new petrol engines. The latter are from Ford’s new Dragon engine family that was already seen on the new Ford Freestyle and the EcoSport. So, how effective are these changes? We find out. Book a test drive for Aspire in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

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Ford Figo Aspire Design

The new Figo Aspire as already mentioned above is the sub compact sedan based on the new generation Figo hatch, so except the extended boot at the rear everything while everything else looks identical to the new Figo hatchback which will be launched in the market after the sedan.

Ford retained the typical styling DNA even in this new sedan and that is quite obvious from the typical Ford Trapezoidal grille towards the front which gets the four slats while the long elongated headlamps adds the little touch of sportiness to the front face, the Blue oval logo has found its place on the tip of the front hood while talking about the front hood the new hood looks sculpted and has also got two vertical crisp lines on them which starts from the windshield and end towards the Ford logo placed towards the front tip. Besides these there is nothing much interesting to describe towards the front except the raked windshield and some sweeping lines towards the front hood which according to Ford conveys a sense of movement.

Towards the side profile there is a distinct character line which starts from just behind the front headlamps and blends perfectly towards the rear taillamps. You will also love the blacked out B pillar which adds a premium touch to the side profile so are the 8 spoke alloy wheels and side blinkers integrated with the ORVMs (available only on top end variants), the other variants will get side turn indicators placed on the fenders.

Walk towards the rear of the sedan and the extended boot has been perfectly blended with the overall design so the car’s shape does not appear boring or odd. The smaller wrap around tailamps looks stylish but unfortunately does not get LED configuration to them while the chrome finished slat runs across the rear boot of the car while the rear bumper gets some Black treatment towards the lower half which adds the premium feel to the overall sedan.

Ford Figo Aspire Cabin

As you step inside, you will notice the new 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The centre console looks neater now as the massive onslaught of buttons has been removed in lieu of the slick Sync 3 system (even lower models get a touchscreen and not the el-cheapo mobile docking system). The equipment list remains the same as earlier with a few more features, it now gets auto-dimming cabin mirror, reverse parking camera, reverse parking sensors, automatic headlights and automatic wipers. The car also comes with push button start and both the sun visors now get a mirror. There are two USB ports right ahead of the gear lever.

The Ford Aspire offers decent amount of legroom and headroom on the rear seat, however getting three adults in the rear isn’t easy due to the width of the car, Ford knows that and hence there are only two adjustable headrests at the rear, there is a centre arm rest too but that gets no cupholders, neither do the door pads. The seat back is scooped out, there are magazine holders behind the front seatback and the only cupholder for rear seat passengers is the one in between the front seats. The Aspire gets a new key which has boot release on it, imperative as there is no electromagnetic tail gate opener. The car also misses out on a passive entry system which could be added in the near future.

Ford Figo Aspire Gearbox

The 1.2-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine from the predecessor is now replaced by an all-new, Dragon petrol motor that debuted on the Freestyle. This three-cylinder, 1.2-litre Dragon petrol mill produces class-leading 95bhp of power and 120Nm of torque. There’s also a new five-speed manual gearbox that is standard even with the diesel engine, which we will talk about in a while. Let’s first get to the petrol. We tapped the engine start button and the powerplant started without much of a noise. The idling is silent and the refinement is good enough for a three-cylinder mill.

Start moving, say from standstill and you realise the low-rpm throttle response is ordinary. The surge only starts to come above 2,000rpm otherwise below that, the punch (torque) feels weak. However, as you speed up, you realise it has enough pep to push the car. Above 4,000rpm is where I’d like it to be. Use the gearbox judiciously and the engine performance feels not just acceptable but on par with segment standards. Of course, as you accelerate to higher rpms the three-cylinder thrum becomes audible. The tyre noise also seeps into the cabin when doing three-digits speeds.

The diesel, on the other hand, gets the tried-and-tested 99bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder TDCI motor. The mild clatter is still there but with 215Nm of torque; this one allows the car to putter around the city in third or fourth gear at 30-40kmph, without the engine lugging at all. Overtaking slow moving vehicles doesn’t make you feel nervous and you can take on the highways easily thanks to its good mid-range with torquey nature. The performance also starts getting stronger as the rpm needle climbs, while cruising at triple-digit speeds remains to be a breeze.

Then, the highlight is the new five-speed gearbox with short throws and well-defined gates. There’s no notchy feel in the shifts and that makes it a slick transmission to use. This, along with a light clutch with short travel, makes it great for the city. Furthermore, the steering at parking speed is light and weighs up nicely with increase in speeds. It is direct and quick to react making things easier within the city. The compact sedan continues to feel very chuckable and even around tight corners handling feels safe. There’s minimal body roll too.

Ford Figo Aspire Driving

Ford has got a good balance of ride and handling on the Aspire. With the bigger wheels, the dynamics are even better. Ride quality is pliant and absorbs almost everything in its stride although bad roads are felt inside but only at higher speeds. The steering offers good feel too, it’s light at lower speeds and weighs up at higher speeds but isn’t in the same league as the hydraulic steering assisted first generation Figo. There is some amount of body roll but the car is quite poised around the bends and is a whole lot of fun, no matter which engine is powering it. Brakes too offer good stopping power but the ABS is over sensitive and pulsates just too much under heavy braking.

Ford Figo Aspire Safety

Ford has given special attention to the safety of the occupants inside and thus the new sedan comes with robust passenger cage created from high-strength steel, both driver and passenger side airbags and for the first time in the history of Indian auto industry Ford has even provided side and curtain airbags for the occupants as an option. The top end trims also gets ABS and EBD and also hill assist which is available only with the auto transmission variant though.

Ford Figo Aspire Cost in Chennai

Ford Figo Aspire On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 6,22,722 to 9,18,648 for variants Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT and Figo Aspire 1.5D Titanium Plus MT respectively. Ford Figo Aspire is available in 11 variants and 7 colours. Below are details of Ford Figo Aspire variants price in Chennai,Check for Aspire price in Chennai at Carzprice

Ford Figo Aspire Round Up

Ford has played their cards well with the Aspire facelift. Its looks are a differentiating point, cabin is well designed and reasonably spacious with some new equipment. However, it still misses out on some basic features like DRLs, projector headlamps and rear AC vents, which have now become a norm in this compact sedan segment. Nonetheless, the Aspire nails the spot with class-leading safety equipment, most powerful engines in segment, excellent driving experience and prices lesser than its outgoing model. It’s also competitively priced between Rs 5.5 lakhs to Rs 8.14 lakhs (ex-showroom) undercutting the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Honda Amaze by good margins. An Aspire to aspire for then then?

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