Ford Aspire Facelift Long Term Review
Car Tested: Ford Aspire Titanium+ Diesel
Kms Done: 2493 kms
Test Started at: 5787 kms
Test Concluded at: 8280 kms
Mileage: 15 km/l, 17 km/l (best), 11 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 166.2-litres
Total Fuel Cost: Rs. 12,881/-
Fuel Cost Per Km: Rs. 5.20/-
A fuel-efficient compact sedan with a comfortable cabin makes the Ford Aspire diesel a practical daily driver
I migrated from the capital into a city where I last saw the sun on the flight, 30 days ago. Arrived with overweight luggage and no experience of driving on flooded roads where yesterday’s pothole is today’s grand canyon. From a long term fleet of compact SUVs, hatchbacks and sedans, Faisal gave me the Ford Aspire with a slight nod. Truth be told, I was eyeing the 205 mm ground clearance of the Duster, 19 km/l frugality of the Jazz while the Aspire was a hard pass. Little did I know that I will miss the sedan when it will part our long-term fleet of carriers.
The 1.5-litre diesel engine I got to drive around is a hoot and rather tried and tested because the same motor does duty on the EcoSport, Figo and Freestyle and even the pre-facelift Aspire. The engine pulls beautifully and never grunts to interrupt the cabin, which honestly, deserves +2 points being an oil-burner. The clutch is light, the 5-speed gearbox slots well and the torque kicks in early around 1600 RPM. Even though the car goes through some initial lag, the mid-range is extremely strong. My daily driving in the Aspire included some uneven city roads and a few kilometres of open highways. While the light steering felt like a boon in Mumbai’s bumper to bumper traffic, upon the highways, it made me a little hesitant and cautious on the accelerator. No doubt that the steering is light, precise and does its duty but at high speeds, it kind of takes a vacation.
When I failed to rev the motor to its limits and almost cut a point for the steering wheel, I sighed believing that Ford just wanted to keep me safe. I remember this thought being interrupted by a huge let’s say ‘uncovered opening in a paved area’ bringing the Aspire to a halt. 50 points to Ford for proceeding over it so gracefully. The suspension on the Aspire facelift does well to handle speed bumps and rainwater filled potholes which arrive out of nowhere.
The ride quality is impressive, comfortable and high-speed stability is decent on the compact sedan. However, though there is a bit of body roll at high speeds, the Aspire facelift is extremely fun to drive. On bumpy roads, ABS kicks in earlier than one would expect but overall, the brakes are sharp yet not neck-breaking.
Despite its punchy performance and fun-to-drive nature, the Aspire is very frugal
The one buying factor of a diesel vehicle is fuel efficiency. Though thankfully, the Aspire’s mileage never appeared in a single digit, it fell drastically whenever I was a little playful with the throttle. It once wavered from 17 km/l to 11 km/l in less than 48 hours. The former was a midnight run to the airport while the latter was an attempt to cross-town during peak office hours. However, after a week of forgiving traffic conditions and mostly highway commute, the mileage figure rested at 15 km/l which is actually not that bad.
My overweight luggage was mentioned initially because I didn’t think the Aspire would fare well in that department but at 359-litres, the boot ferried everything I got from Delhi, for 2 days. The cabin has a lot of capacious cubby holes, magazine holders and storage spaces for almost everything. In 30 days it had packed food, clothes, bills, keys, books, etc. slotted in places one would never find. Ford’s ‘family waali feeling’ played quite a couple of times in my head.
The Ford Aspire facelift is a reliable car and we’ve stressed it enough that it deserves to sell more. Probably what doesn’t rake in numbers for Ford in this segment is the presence of two very strong contenders - the Maruti Dzire and the Honda Amaze. If we let numbers talk, the former was the 2nd most selling car in July 2019 while the latter was at number 11 out of 25.
Well, Ford is now offering the Aspire facelift in a CNG variant coupled with a 1 lakh kms warranty on the car and the CNG kit which it claims to be class-leading in the category. Meanwhile, the brand also offers a first-in-class standard 5-year warranty on its fossil-fueled engines. Ford also offers the lowest cost of ownership in the segment and we did not face any major issues with the car at the end of our short tenure. Here’s hoping I see more units on the road, saving damsels from gaping potholes!
* Punchy diesel engine
* Interior fit and finish
* Attractive pricing
What's Not So Cool
* Headlights illuminate insufficiently
* Steering feel could've been slightly better
Further Reading -
Ford Aspire Facelift Long Term Review – First Report
Ford Aspire Facelift Review
Ford Aspire Facelift Video Review
Ford Aspire Pre-Facelift Long Term Review - First Report
Ford Aspire Pre-Facelift Long Term Review - Second Report