Evo Fleet: Ford Figo S
Words: Aniruddha Rangnekar
Ford has been dong relatively well the EcoSport however, Figo and Aspire sales have dropped drastically and that has left us in shock. Allow us to explain why. Ford India recently sent over the Figo S as a long termer to us and it became an instant hit at the evo India office. Abhishek drove it down to Goa on the weekend it arrived, coming back thoroughly impressed by its highway manners and cornering ability. The lowered suspension and stiffened anti-roll bars help the Figo S here, as would the 15-inch wheels and tyres, an inch up on the regular Figo.
On my first outing on the Mumbai-Pune expressway, I enjoyed the planted and secure feeling the car offers, which is confidence inspiring compared to its Japanese and Korean rivals in the segment. That’s because the little Ford has got lots of its tech from its European cousins, a region where Ford sells a variety of compact cars and the buyers appreciate the car’s polish and sophistication, attributes that we Indians have only recently started warming to in cars at this price. Ford is hoping it will make a real play at customers more concerned with price and fuel economy along with European-like solidity and comfort at highway speeds. Our Figo S arrived with over 11,000 kilometres on the clock, yet did not feel like it had run that much, a good sign that it’s built well.
To make the new generation Figo more palatable to our market, Ford has added some weight, replaced the previous model’s modest engine and beefed up the power on the new 1.5-litre turbo diesel to 99bhp. This makes the car properly fun to drive in town and especially while overtaking on the highway. The engine has very little turbo lag and responds instantly to throttle inputs, giving you an almost petrol-like feel to drive. Early impressions have been positive, as you might expect. Pretty much everyone who have wrapped their hands around the Figo’s leather-wrapped steering wheel, has come out smiling thanks to the car’s stiff structure, comfortable ride, and predictable handling. Like some other Fords I’ve driven, the brake pedal is somewhat soft and lacks bite through the first inch or two of its travel. It is the only dynamic trait I don’t like. I would have also liked the interiors to be better, with more modern touches and a reverse camera or at least parking sensors.
The overall driving experience does compensate for the lack of features though, so does the amazing fuel economy. Despite being driven with enthusiasm, the car has always delivered above 20kmpl.
Take a good look at your car buying choices, for this tiny Ford offers the maximum Thrill of Driving this side of `10 lakh and it is economical too.