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Ford Classic Detailed Expert Review - April 20, 2013

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Introduction

Apr 20, 2013 : Expert Review By

Ford Classic Review 

In India, there has been a considerable change in trend when it comes to automobiles. It is not just one segment which sells in abundant numbers. Every segment has its own best seller. The entry level sedan segment is one of the emerging car segments in the country.

Ford Classic Expert Review, Classic Road Test - 116768 | CarTrade

The Entry level sedan segment is just a level higher than basic hatchbacks. It is priced in the same level as some of the premium hatchbacks. Swift DZire has been doing well in this group. Be it the brand trust or the success of the model, Maruti is a leader in it. Recently this segment got a new player the Honda Amaze. It not only marked Honda’s entry in the budget sedan market but also is Honda’s first diesel car in India which claims a mileage of 25.8 Kmpl.

The Ford Classic which was the Fiesta earlier is one more sedan in this segment. Ford claims a mileage of 32.38 Kmpl for the diesel which sounds little enthusiastic in real time conditions. The Classic branding was done to bid farewell to the old design and make space for the new version. Prices start at Rs.5.63L (ex-showroom Delhi). Does the aging Ford Classic have it all to take on the new entrants?

Exterior

There are still a limited number of fans who vouch for the way the 1.6S looked especially in the Racy Blue shade. I aspired for it when it was launched then my aspirations shifted towards a pre-used 1.6S but till date I haven’t been able to find one in decent condition. The short sedan stance with side skirts and rear spoiler meant outright performance.

Cutting out from those sweet memories, the Classic presently looks old. It does score more in looks compared to the Accent and also the Sail sedan but then when it comes to taking on the new age rivals like Swift DZire and Amaze, the Classic lags behind. Though, I still maintain that the Classic has got a better rear profile than the new Fiesta which looks weirdly different at the rear.

It has a minimalistic design approach on the front with limited flow of lines. The wide honeycomb radiator grille makes the car look broad. The Figo styled headlamps move all the way to the side. The radiator grille and the mesh on the bumper are spilt by a solid line. The front bumpers also have circular fog lamps on it.

The side view is very dull with no lines or profile to describe about. This view is the weakest view of Ford Classic as it looks too outdated with all straight lines and surfaces. Te design of alloy wheels tries to add some zeal to the overall design. The ORVMs have turn indicators embedded in it. The rear profile has a solid boot lid. The design is very subtle. The design looks matured and not an attractive one.

The Classic is not a looker at all but even then I won’t despise it. There is a reason for it. This car may not have the looks but then it has the potential to look good. As it is a reasonably priced sedan spending extra and tweaking its looks would make it appealing.

Interior

The exterior was not convincing enough but then the interior scores more than the looks. It has been done very neatly. The Titanium variant has a beige and black finish inside. The black dashboard has vents done in brushed silver.

This car may look dated and old but then when it comes to offer features it is one of the best. The music system in the Classic comes as a total surprise with its excellent sound output across all ranges. In fact this one scores more than the one on Amaze or even the Fortuner. The music system also plays music via Bluetooth streaming however connecting the phones takes little time.

The AC unit also scores strongly with its effective cooling inside the cabin. The way the unit handled Mumbai heat is commendable. We did not even go past 2 on the AC motor. It is one of the strong AC units we have encountered. Even the rear half of the vehicle gets cold pretty fast.

Coming to the room offered, this one may not have a super spacious cabin like the Sunny but then it offers decent headroom and legroom space for both rows of passengers. The rear seems a bit cramped for taller passengers but not to the extent of putting the passengers to discomfort.

It has a massive glove box. There are no cup holders in the central zone for both rows of passengers. The front door pockets can hold a litre class container while the rear just has pockets to store small articles. It has a boot space of 430 litres. So overall, the interiors score than the exterior. They offer decent levels of comfort.

 

Performance

It is powered by a 1.4L Duratorq diesel engine which churns out 68 PS of power at 4000 rpm and a torque of 160Nm at 2000 rpm. This motor is not as enthusiastic as the petrol but then it shadows the shortcomings of the petrol unit.

It offers more torque so climbing is no longer a task. The gear shifts however are not as smooth. It just refuses to pick up at 2nd gear and compels to be shifted to the first for that extra power. Except for this, it is a smooth engine and does not create any issue while overtaking on highways.

The Classic has always been a good handler and the steering wheel contributes to the same. Maneuvering the car is very easy. Also, there is no body roll even when the vehicle is turned on sharp corners at a great speed. The brake pads don’t lag to control and the vehicle remains extremely confident on high speeds.

The suspension setup may not be the best offered in the segment but even then this one does a decent job. The best part of the Classic’s performance is its smooth engine especially on 4th – 5th gears. It gets extremely calm inside the cabin without compromising on power delivery. I just wish the Classic was more agile but then expecting performance from an entry level sedan is pushing it too much.

The Classic is more of a Point A to Point B commuter and that it does very well. Ford claims a mileage of 32+kmpl but then I won’t dismiss it by tagging it unreal as I know someone who gets a similar figure. It returned a best mileage of 23 Kmpl during our review which is simply fantastic. The mileage of this car has always been a favorite with its buyers.

 

Specifications
Technical Specifications
 Make Ford
 Model Classic
Variant 1.6L Duratec Petrol 1.4L Duratorq
Fuel Type Petrol  Diesel
Engine Capacity (L) 1596/4 Cyl 1399/4 Cyl
Power PS/RPM 101/6500  68/4000 
Torque Nm/RPM 146/3400 160/2000 
Gears 5/M 5/M
Tyre rating 175/65/ R14 175/65/ R14
Dimensions in mm
Groud clearence 168 168
Length  4282 4282
Width 1286 1286
Height 1468 1468
Wheel Base 2486 2486
Fuel Tank capacity 45 45
Minimum turning radius in Meters 4.9 4.9
Fuel Efficiency (Kmpl) 21 32
Ford Classic Competitors
Competition Specifications
Specifications
Ford
Classic
Hyundai
Verna
Fiat
Linea
Variant Titanium 1.5 SX CRDi VGT Dynamic
Ex Showroom price Bangalore 835,533 1,041,453 942,156
Engine Capacity (L) 1399 1396 1248
Power PS/RPM 68 90/4000 93/4000
Torque Nm/RPM 160 210/2750 203/2500
Gears 5/M 6/M 5/M
Dimesnions in mm
Length  4282 4370 4560
Width 1286 1700 1730
Height 1468 1475 1487
Wheel Base 2486 2570 2603
Ground clearance 168 165 165
Features
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes
A/C Yes Yes Yes
Alloy Wheels Yes Yes Yes
Leather wrapped steering wheel Yes Yes Yes
2 DIN MP3 Player Yes Yes Yes
Sunglass Holder Yes Yes Yes
Keyless entry Yes Yes Yes
Fog Lamps Yes Yes Yes
ABS With EBD Yes Yes Yes
 Dual Airbag Yes Yes No
Average fuel efficiency  32 17 20
Conclusion

So with the Classic the deal is very simple. It is a commuter which offers decent performance, good ride quality and a fantastic mileage. The looks are not its strong point but then the interior comfort compensates for that.

The cons that don’t work in its favor are the aggressive competitors. The Amaze and Swift DZire have spiced up the entry level sedan space very aggressively. Both are offered at a competitive pricing. The Swift DZire is an extremely popular sedan. It banks on Maruti’s brand trust and also it offers good performance to add.

While the recently launched Honda Amaze has pushed the game ahead as it promises of premium interior quality at an affordable price. In India Honda has always enjoyed a niche space with its expensive cars which offer great quality. So opting for a niche brand at an affordable point becomes an attractive proposition.

The Ford Classic has a strong build quality and for the same reason it commands a good value in the used car market. The spares are priced on the higher side but then the quality of it is strong. Even opting for a used one makes sense. Hope I can get my hands on the old Fiesta 1.6S petrol someday.

 

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