Ford Classic Long Term Review
Car Tested: Ford Classic Titanium TDCi
Kms Done: 2570 kms
Test Started at: 14,091 kms
Test Concluded at: 16,661 kms
Mileage: 14.35 km/l, 17.74 km/l (best), 12.96 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 179 litres
Fuel Cost: Rs. 10,382/-
Rs. per km: Rs. 4.03/-
Major Repair – None
Service Cost – None during the test
The Ford Classic is the best driver’s car in the entry level sedan space, priced attractively.
The last generation Ford Fiesta was a successful model for the blue oval. The latest generation Fiesta has not been able to spell the same magic whatever the reasons. When the new Fiesta was launched, Ford decided to christian the old Fiesta as the Classic and slot into into the entry level sedan segment. This segment is abuzz with activity with lots of choices for the consumers and if you think like an Indian, you would always prefer a three box design over others.
The Classic has already proved it’s mettle in the Fiesta avatar and it is essentially the same car with a few minor changes. It shares a lot of components (dashboard, audio unit, etc) with the Figo making it easier for Ford to price it competitively. The exterior design is pretty compact even though the Fiesta measures over 4 meters in length. The new Fiesta’s kinetic design makes the Classic look a little dated but then there are cars like the Verito, which make the Classic look utterly handsome in comparison.
The dashboard layout is very similar to the Figo and quality of materials does not feel too premium but even after 15,000 kms on the odometer, there was barely any rattling or vibration from any part of the car, which goes on to show that the Classic is very well put together. The seats are comfortable and even after long drives there isn’t much fatigue. The rear seats, however, can feel cramped for tall passengers over longer distances. The beige interiors justify the Indian appetite for the colour but tend to get dirty with usage. It’s recommended to opt for aftermarket seat covers to protect the original upholstery. The AC is a chiller and cools quickly and efficiently. Audio quality is decent and Bluetooth connectivity is a boon. The audio unit is identical to the one in the Figo and it takes a while getting used to. Once you are well versed, it’s easy to pair your device and use it. Audio controls on the steering were sorely missed. The Ford Classic has only one trip meter and a large distance to empty reading.
The bonnet release is on the left side, in the passenger footwell and is quite inconvenient to access if you are going solo in the car. Stop at malls these days and you have do have to lean over the gear lever to be able to open the hood for security check (can’t understand what they are really looking for in the engine bay), which can eventually take a toll on your back. On the other hand, the boot opener is very conveniently placed on the dashboard, just to the right of the steering wheel. In case the car is locked, the boot will not open even if you accidentally press the trunk release button. The light behind the B-pillar (on either side) is very useful for rear passengers at night. Boot space is sufficient for occasional inter-city dashes.
Under the hood of our Ford Classic is a 1.4-litre oilburner which pelts out 68 BHP of peak power at 4000 RPM and 160 NM of torque at 2000 RPM. The figures may tell a story but the picture is quite different. Even with a peak power of only 68 BHP, the Classic doesn’t feel underpowered at all. Power is available throughout the rev band and there is almost no turbo lag. Since the peak torque comes in quite early at 2000 RPM, drivability is simply fantastic. Be it the city or the highway, the Ford Classic tackles both with ease. However, post 120 km/hr, the engine noise becomes quite audible and there is a fair amount of wind and tyre noise creeping into the cabin. NVH levels are average.
Mated to this engine is a 5-speed manual gearbox which has distinctly short throws. The fifth gear is tall enabling the Ford Classic to go north of 140 km/hr on the highway. We got an average fuel efficiency of 14.35 km/l with the best and worst being 17.74 km/l and 12.96 km/l respectively. Drive with a light foot and the Classic will surprise you with its mileage figures. We also noticed that fuel efficiency drops considerably after 120 km/hr. Driving between 80 – 100 km/hr is ideal for better fuel economy.
The steering is moderately light and you can cut though city traffic without difficulty. Speed up on the highway and this unit weighs up pretty well at high speeds offering terrific feedback. This is, by far, the best steering in its segment. The Classic is equipped with a hydraulic steering as opposed to an electric one the competition offers and what a gem it is. Take it around the twisties and the Classic comes into a class of its own. It tackles corners with laser guided precision exhibiting superb balance. The chassis has been setup to a perfect balance and with its superb steering, the Classic is undoubtedly the best driver’s car in at this price point. With such amazing handling characteristics, one would expect the ride to be compromised, but somehow Ford has got the magical balance between the two. Ride quality is phenomenal and the Classic can digest the biggest of potholes without transferring much to the passengers. Braking is pretty good and the brakes do a commendable job in getting the car to zero from hundred without any drama.
Ford has an established a dealer network in most major cities and towns and are continuously expanding their touch points. Ford parts are engineered for longer replacement intervals to deliver lower cost of ownership. For example, the Classic’s coolant replacement interval is 1 lakh kms or 5 years, whereas few major competitors replaces the same every 20,000 kms. Also transmission oil is fit for life. Service schedule and cost of a few spares is mentioned above. All prices are inclusive of tax in Delhi.
The Classic is a perfect entry level sedan. It may look dated as compared to the competition but it boasts of comfortable interiors and decent amount of kit. Further, its ability to put a smile on your face when you take the wheel is unmatched at this price point. Ford has gone even more aggressive with the pricing and the Classic now starts at Rs 4.99 lakhs which is an absolute steal for a car with such accurate road manners.
The Ford Classic is a great value for money package offering a lot to the buyer. While its fuel efficient diesel motor will appeal to most, others will be enthralled by its terrific ride and handling combination. The Classic, in the true sense, is the best driver’s car in its class.
Further Reading –