Ford Figo Aspire Facelift Review & Test Drive


Ford Figo Aspire Overview

Compact sedans are the latest piece of the market which everyone is after. The volumes speak for themselves and the pundits expect it to grow at a rapid rate over the next few years. The big guns are already in the fray and no one is letting up. Ford, of course, is the latest one to turn their attention to this sub-four-meter section and they bring fresh promises with them with the Figo Aspire. And although it carries the Figo badge, this showcases what the next generation Figo will rather than then existing one.

Ford Figo Aspire Design

Kick-starting the festive season in style, Ford India’s big bet this year is its new 2018 Ford Aspire facelift that is already on sale and in many ways will disrupt the sales in this segment at least for the next 4-5 months. The challenge in this compact segment for any carmaker is to make the car look good without changing its proportions and at the same time make the car look radically new to impress the buyer. It is a challenge and that’s where these facelifts have now become so important especially during the festive season when the buying sentiment in a country like India is at its peak.

The 2018 Ford Aspire gets enough changes to call it a proper mid-life facelift and scores well in almost every area. The facelift was also long overdue considering its arch rivals (Dzire and Amaze) in its respective new avatar have boosted the sales in this segment.

Ford Figo Aspire Cabin

The cabin of the new Aspire impresses from the very first glimpse of it. The nice touch of dual-tone colours is refreshing and the quality of plastics used is impressive. The piano black touch around the infotainment system adds to a premium appeal and chrome around the round A/C vents is not overdone. Remember, the button-heavy dashboard of the Ford Aspire? Well, that has now been replaced with a nice 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system that responds well.

On the top-variant which we were driving (Titanium+) it supports the Ford Sync-3 system which includes the support for Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The pop-out style screen is very user-friendly and very convenient to use. But here’s the problem, there are two USB slots located below the A/C control unit above the gear stick and there is a small place to put to put your phone between them, however, if your phone’s screen size is 5-inch or more it will slide out of that pocket and keep falling as you drive. The cupholders are way back and far from USB points to place your phone there.

The seats are nice and comfortable and provide adequate lumbar support but H-panel starting from A/C control unit and going down towards the gearbox is a bit aligned towards the left. This has resulted in the plastic panel hitting the passenger right knee and that got really uncomfortable in the long drive. It also got a bit difficult to open the glove box while seated in my normal position in the passenger seat.Check for Ford Figo Aspire price in Bangalore at Tryaldrive.

With no change in the dimensions, the space on the rear seat remains the same. It has enough headroom and legroom but three people seated does not give adequate shoulder room. There is a rear armrest but without cupholders. Both top-variants of Honda Amaze and Maruti Suzuki Dzire gets rear armrest with cupholders. Overall, the look and feel of the cabin is nice and pleasant and very airy.

Ford Figo Aspire Performance

However, the Aspire facelift is all about the new engine, so I got into the driver’s seat to take it out for a spin. It’s the three cylinder engine that now makes its way into the Aspire and it had already impressed us when we drove both the EcoSport and even the Freestyle, so naturally you suppose that it’s going to be great on this one.

In an age of turbocharged engines, Ford still believes in naturally aspirated motors and the 1.2-litre engine is a clear example. It churns out 95 bhp and there’s 120 Nm of torque on offer. It’s great to drive because it’s got a strong mid- range so there’s good enough power at your disposal. In fact you don’t have to shift down all the time in order to overtake a slow moving vehicle. The petrol is mated to a new 5-speed manual unit that fits the bill. Gear shift action is well weighed and the gear lever slots into its place. The clutch is lighter than before, making it easier to drive even in stop/start traffic conditions. Even if you want to stretch the legs of this one and keep climbing on the speedometer, it’s very happy to do that. High speed stability is commendable and there was no vibration on the steering wheel. There’s a bit of tyre noise and engine noise as the revs build but not too harsh to disturb the peace of the cabin.

The petrol motor returns a fuel economy of 20.4 kmpl and that’s pretty impressive too. There’s also an automatic on offer but that’s with the more powerful 1.5 litre petrol motor. But sadly, we didn’t get to drive this one. The engine churns out 121 bhp and we really wish Ford brings this engine with a manual gear box. So an ‘Aspire S’, maybe?To know more information on Ford Figo Aspire visit Cssn

There’s a diesel motor as well the tried and tested 1.5 litre. And I say tried and tested, because this motor does duty on the Figo, Ecosport, Freestyle and even the previous Aspire. It still makes 99 bhp and there’s 215 newton metres of torque. That torque kicks in pretty early too somewhere around 1800 rpm and so once you get past the initial lag it’s all smooth sailing. The response to the throttle input is fairly good and mid-range is extremely strong. The 5-speed gearbox slots in well and the clutch has always been light on this one. Sadly there is no automatic on offer on the diesel. Now the petrol might be great as a city car, the diesel will do well both on the highway and in the urban conditions and fuel economy is impressive too; 26 kilometres to the litre!

Ford Figo Aspire Driving

Ride is well sorted with the Figo Aspire soaking up bumps well. The 175/65 section tyres on 14-inch rims not only ensure a smooth ride, but also offers a fair amount of grip around corners to complement the able chassis. Handling is impressive although if you need to brake while going around a corner, the tail-end tends to lighten up and move about. Steering feel is reasonable, although not quite as good as the high standards that Ford has been setting for themselves.

Ford Figo Aspire Safety

Now this is the Titanium plus variant that we drove and you might be wondering why there aren’t any grab handles on it, well, that’s because the top end variant gets 6 airbags which includes side and curtain airbags and I am quite certain you can do without the grab handles for your safety.On the safety front dual airbags and ABS are standard while the top-of-the-line model comes with Electronic stability program which is very impressive and kudos to Ford India for making that possible.

Ford Figo Aspire Price in Bangalore

Ford Figo Aspire On Road Price is 6,56,157/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,47,361/- in Bangalore. Ford Figo Aspire comes in 7 colours, namely Deep Impact Blue,Smoke Grey,Sparkling Gold,Tuxedo Black,Ruby Red,Oxford White,Ingot Silver. Ford Figo Aspire comes with FWD with 1196 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 87 bhp@6300 rpm and Peak Torque 112 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Ford Figo Aspire comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Ford Figo Aspire Final Word

Why not? Maruti Suzuki Dzire is a common sight on the road and Ford is also offering the segment first 5-year warranty on the car. It also claims low service and maintenance cost and the introductory prices are too sweet to be ignored. Ford Aspire is also a fun to drive car and carries a small family with good care. With new features, it is indeed one of the best proposition to buy and we expect the prices of the car to go up in January 2019 as we reach the end of the festive season. For Ford India, with higher levels of localisation, it will mean good business and more profits from the new 2018 Ford Aspire.