Ford Aspire Facelift Long Term Review
With feature-equipped interiors and a punchy diesel engine, the Aspire is a compact sedan for enthusiasts
Cars are becoming commodities, at least that seems to be what the sales figures are suggesting. I know it's a strong statement to make but unfortunately, this is a fact we enthusiasts can't ignore. Because when you have such a good car like the Ford Aspire, how is it not selling in the numbers it deserves? What really has gone wrong or is there a gripe with the product? To find out, I decided to live with the Aspire on a longer term.
I drove the pre-facelift Figo as well as the Aspire quite a lot and while I always loved the driving feel of the cars, there were some negatives too. The old car was mechanically perfect but lacked some equipment but Ford has gone ahead and given it everything and more, the only missing feature is passive entry, rest the Aspire has it all.
Right from a push button for the engine start/stop to a fantastic infotainment screen which has a crisp readout and makes parking so easy thanks to the nice reverse camera, the Aspire is loaded and how. The seats are comfortable, there is decent space at the rear and the boot will swallow your luggage with ease. Still, want more? There are automatic headlights, automatic wipers, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, basically, Ford has just made driving a compact sedan super easy.
The Aspire has all the modern features and space a compact sedan owner wants
But it's just not the ease of driving that the Aspire excels at, it outshines every other car in the segment when it comes to fun-to-drive. The steering has feel, body roll is well contained and now with 15-inch tyres, there is so much grip on offer too. It still has a much more powerful engine than the tyres can handle but I am happy with the compromise as the car is very frugal, returning upwards of 16 km/l.
The engine is the real highlight, again, class-leading, punchy performance with a strong mid-range while still having good drivability thanks to turbo lag being well contained. It's such a joy to drive the Aspire which takes under 10 seconds to reach the ton from a standstill, this is properly quick, that too a diesel, you can have your cake and eat it too, impressive. Yes, the motor is a bit vocal in the top-end but it redlines at 5000 RPM, sweet.
The Aspire's ride is good, the ground clearance isn't an issue and the brakes are strong too. The cluster could be better looking though and the top-end variant should have got better headlights, a projector set-up with LED DRLs would be nice as the segment leader offers the same. That said, with Ford offering the lowest cost of ownership in the segment, I still don't understand why the Aspire isn't selling as much as it should. Maybe the Freestyle is cannibalising it or Ford doesn't have a presence in tier 3 and 4 markets where demand for compact sedans is soaring. Whatever said and done, once you drive an Aspire, it's difficult to drive any other car in the segment with a wide grin!
* Comes with all the modern features
* Fuel-efficient and punchy diesel engine
* Affordable maintenance
What's Not So Cool
* Instrument cluster looks basic
* Headlights could have been more powerful
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