The Ford Figo Aspire is the newest kid in the compact sedan segment. We compare it with its immediate rivals, the Maruti Swift DZire, Tata Zest, Hyundai Xcent and Honda Amaze.
Exteriors – All these are compact sedans and to be frank none of these are lookers at all. The Swift DZire had the most abrupt styling since the beginning and even now matters haven’t improved. The nation’s favourite compact sedan isn’t very pleasant to look at from certain angles. Same goes with the Tata Zest which has the familiar Tata face at the front while the rear is a bit bulbous. The Hyundai Xcent looks decent enough but still a bit incomplete while the Honda Amaze looks better in comparison to the rest. The newest offering, the Ford Figo Aspire has a neutral design in profile. The front and rear look gorgeous when seen head-on, but the side profile feels a bit incomplete due to the shorter length.
Interiors – Without doubt, the Figo Aspire and the Xcent have the best interiors out here. The design is good, the build quality rocks and ergonomics are also pretty much sorted. The Zest also boasts of quality interiors which are far better than older vehicles from the same stable. The DZire has decent build quality while the dashboard is straightforward and functional. The Amaze has a quirky looking dashboard and build quality is good but nothing exceptional. On the equipment front, Ford, Hyundai and Tata all provide a long list of features while Maruti is better than Honda which feels slightly lacking.
Engines and Mileage – All five compact sedans are offered with both petrol and diesel engines. The Figo Aspire is the only one that gets two petrol engines. The smaller 1.2-litre unit churns out similar power figures as its rivals having similar capacity engines. The 1.5-litre unit is very powerful though. The Zest is the only one to get a turbocharged petrol unit and hence it produces the maximum torque. All these engines are mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Ford offers the 1.5-litre engine with a 6-speed DCT gearbox while Maruti and Hyundai offer a 4-speed AT with the DZire and Xcent respectively and Honda offers a 5-speed AT with the Amaze.
Moving to oil-burners, the Figo Aspire and Amaze are the most powerful out here. The DZire and Zest come with the same diesel engines. The Maruti gets the lower 75 PS tune while the Zest is offered with both 75 PS and 90 PS tunes. The Xcent is the only one out here to feature a 3-cylinder engine. All the cars get a 5-speed manual transmission and the Zest is the only one to be offered with an AMT gearbox in this segment. Talking about mileage, when it comes to petrol variants, it is the DZire that tops the list while the Xcent comes right at the bottom. In diesel variants, it is again the DZire which has the maximum mileage on paper while the Zest has the least, the Figo Aspire coming close to the booted Swift.
Safety and Service – Kudos to Ford for making dual front airbags standard on every variant of the Figo Aspire. The top variants of the vehicle will get segment-first six airbags. The automatic variant will also get ESP and Hill Start Assist. The DZire gets dual airbags only on the top variants. Tata offers ABS on every variant of the Zest apart from the base variant. Dual airbags are also offered on the top 3 variants. The Xcent gets dual airbags on the top variant while ABS is optional on the mid and top variants. The Amaze gets dual airbags on the top variants while ABS is offered on the top 3 petrol variants while all diesel variants get it as standard.
Talking about service, Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai have an upper hand while Honda is also good. Tata has a long way to go when it comes to customer satisfaction. Buyers have a perception that Ford’s service is expensive but the same is not true and Ford promises maintaining a Figo Aspire is cheaper than rivals, thanks to the use of child parts. Ford’s service network isn’t as big as Maruti, Hyundai or Tata but its service is better than the Indian automaker while it has more dealerships and service centres than Honda.
Pricing and Verdict – The Zest is the cheapest product here but still it sells in the least numbers. The DZire and Xcent are priced attractively and that reflects in their sales. The Amaze is slightly expensive for what it offers but even then it sells in decent numbers due to the Honda badge. The Figo Aspire is going to be marginally costlier than the DZire and Xcent but then again it also offers a lot more and is a better overall package. If we had to pick one from all these, the Figo Aspire would be our pick, closely followed by the Hyundai Xcent.
Figo Aspire vs DZire vs Zest vs Xcent vs Amaze – Petrol Comparo
Figo Aspire vs DZire vs Zest vs Xcent vs Amaze – Diesel Comparo
* all prices are ex-showroom, Delhi.