Ford Figo Long Term Review
Car Tested: Ford Figo TDCI Duratorq
Kms Done: 1703 kms
Test Started at: 13,143 kms
Test Concluded at: 14,846 kms
Mileage: 14 km/l, 16.50 km/l (best), 11.80 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 122.2 litres
Fuel Cost: Rs. 6899/-
Rs. per km: Rs. 4.05/-
The Ford Figo puts a grin on your face from ear to ear with its perky dynamics
The Ford Figo has been with us since a while now and after doing more than 1700 kms, it’s time for the final long term report of this entry level diesel hatchback. The Figo has contributed a lot in lifting the fortunes of Ford in India and that’s because of the fact that it offers good value and strong overall package. We are quite enamored with the Figo since day one and it has kept us happy in almost every aspect, no wonder it bagged several awards during its initial days. So we have examined the Figo’s day-to-day behavior in the city as well as highways and here’s the gist of its long term stint with MotorBeam.
The styling of the Ford Figo is such that it offends none and falls easy on the eyes. The design language is simple and straight with a little aggressive front profile that was facelifted in 2012. If you look it from the side, the Figo tends to appear mature and more sizeable than it actually is because of the pronounced wheel arches and rising shoulder line. Remember the Ford Fusion that was launched in India in 2004? The Figo’s rear section resembles the Fusion a lot with the similar vertical tail lamps and hatch design. The facelift didn’t involve drastic cosmetic changes but only a few revisions to make it look fresh.
The Figo with its small nose, long wheelbase and big cabin area contributes well towards cabin comfort. The colour tones used inside are dark but there is adequate room for four people to sit with ease and the large windows add to the visibility outside. The dashboard uses dark blue tone with silver inserts on the centre console and some other areas. It looks quite sporty with some elements but the music system appears aftermarket with lots of buttons. The instrument cluster is easy to read with a digital display for ODO, trip metres, distance to empty and now with the 2014 update, it gets fuel efficiency monitor. You also get a WiFi dongle now with the 2014 Figo (at an added cost of Rs. 10,000/-) so that you are connected all the time with your work and other personal stuff. It has been a convenient feature for us to cover live events and update gallery in real time.
The stock music system sounds impressive and there is a host of connectivity options including CD, AUX, USB and Bluetooth. The Bluetooth integration is amazing and you can access your phonebook along with streaming music. The steering column mounted controls are intuitive to use and grow over you with time. The overall quality is rugged and feels built to last but some places have rough edges. Nothing rattles or looks out of shape even after driving on broken abused roads. We were quite surprised by the effectiveness of the air conditioning in the Figo. It quickly cools the cabin within a few minutes, even in 45-48 degrees of scorching Delhi dry heat. The seats at the front feel a bit narrow but rear seats are decently supportive. Boot capacity at 280 litres is more than adequate in this segment. Some niggling things in the cabin include passenger side bonnet lever and no rear power windows. Also, no seatbelt height adjust bothers short people as the belt rubs against their neck.
The 1.4-litre Duratorq diesel engine with 68 BHP and 160 Nm seems to be weak on paper but things are quite different and fun on the road. There is some turbolag initially but it’s not deep and the car accelerates to a great extent but once the 2000 RPM mark is crossed you get a sweet diesel punch that can be enjoyed in every gear. The motor redlines smoothly with some pronounced noise but no need to rev it hard as the punch lies in the mid-range, which is pretty wide. The rev cuts quite smoothly though, without any jerks. NVH are impressive in the cabin with acceptable diesel clatter and minimal wind and tyre noise.
Gear ratios are very well stacked together. In city traffic conditions, the relatively tall initial gear ratios help in crawling easily without much shifting. Once you nudge past heavy traffic and find some open space then there are the third and fourth gears to play with. Fourth keeps the motor calm at 40-50 km/hr for cruising in the city, shift down to third or second and you can enjoy attacking the gaps. Fifth gear for highways is tall enough for cruising. The first gear maxes at 40 km/hr, second at 79 km/hr, third at 110 km/hr, while fourth takes you past 140 km/hr. The gearbox is smooth but sometimes during quick shifts it misses out the gates. Overall fuel economy during our run came out to be 14 km/l.
Despite belonging to the lower segment of hatchbacks in India, the Ford Figo feels very mature while driving. The superb chassis offers a perfect blend of ride and handling. The ride feels stiff only at slow speeds but really shines once it gathers pace. It only thuds at big potholes otherwise takes the broken and undulating surfaces in its stride orderly. That tad bit of stiffness contributes to sharp yet confident handling and along with the precise hydraulic unit, it is pure nirvana to attack corners at high speeds. The Figo turns its nose quickly and maintains its line throughout and you can push it hard. Steering feedback is on the heavier side at parking speeds but gets adaptive as you hit the road. Braking performance is good but the intial pedal feedback could be better.
Ford India had sent the Figo amongst several other hatchbacks offered in India for Global NCAP crash test and it came out with a segment leading four star safety rating. The segment it belongs to has many contenders that offer you more or less the same utility but the Ford Figo comes with some extra dose of emotional appeal. Apart from being a practical entry level hatchback, the Figo also succeeds in pulling your heartstrings. The overall package it offers at this price point with a practical diesel engine is quite desirable but it has started looking grey haired and the new generation Figo is eagerly awaited.
The Ford Figo won’t disappoint you in the long run. The build quality is long lasting, it’s light on the pocket and the Ford after sales is improving with each passing day. Also, the car offers great convenience with some useful features, space and segment leading safety.
Further Reading –