Ford Figo reminds me of “My Name is Khan”. The movie is contemporary, so is the car. “My Name is Khan” was a much awaited movie after SRK’s absence for a year, so is the small car from Ford as the company lacked a presence in small car segment. So let’s take a look whether the Figo needs a controversy to sell it too!
The Ford Figo’s exteriors are quite attractive. When I reached the showroom, the car was standing gleaming in bright lime green colour, and I liked it on the spot. Good bold exteriors have been designed aerodynamically and flaunt “kinetic engineering” from Ford. The Figo’s sides carry a bold impact line that gives it muscular look. Well, who likes small docile cars these days? It’s the age of strong cars and this is yet another muscular car after Chevrolet Beat! Nothing wrong there and the Figo looks impressive. The Ford Figo’s strong design curves running between flared wheel arches are something to reckon.
Ford Figo claims to have designed its chassis for the global market. The 2498 mm chassis definitely looks like the biggest one in the B-segment compact cars in India. Now that means you can stretch your legs even more in a small car! In fact, Figo is the longest hatchback model in the B-segment small cars in India.
Ford Figo carries the common looks of the Ford family but that is hardly a surprise. The Ford Figo flaunts its Ford features with its front grille and is typical roofline that reminds me of the Ford Fusion. However, even the top end model lacks fog lamps and rear wiper. The overall front definitely looks like Ford Ikon.
The front is made from a fiber body which is good for urban driving. So if someone bangs in to your car head on, the front fender is flexible enough to bend inside. That surely saves your car from front dents and paint repairs. Check out the images where the sales guy pushes his knee into the front of the car.
The front wipers are well-hidden. They are nearly not visible even if you sit inside the car. Unlike other cars, the wipers are placed well-below driver’s eye level. If you sit inside the car on the driver or front passenger seat, you feel that the car does not have any wipers at all. Something really commendable in design aspect!
The rear is good and unlike Maruti models like Ritz and Swift it does not spreads from left to right endlessly. Neat accents and a trim design, which are well-accentuated with vertically stacked tail lamps. One of the best things about the rear design is that Ford has not only designed the rear window very well, it has also given glass panels on C-pillar. Now that makes backing the car very easy. If you are backing your car, the view is very clear. If you are backing your Ford Figo, you will not have someone yelling, “Hey, Watch Your Back!”
The interiors of the Ford Figo are what made me say that Ford may need serious efforts to sell the car. If a lime green Ford Figo impressed me at the first glance, a first look at its interiors shocked me. The front dash was BRICK RED! It is not ugly but the shocking brick red dashboard may not find many takers. Fortunately, the option for single tone, all-black choice is also available. The plastic of dashboard had a coarse finish which made me wonder if an all-black option will look as good as cars with finer finish. Maruti models, Hyundai models and even the latest Chevrolet Beat have smooth and fine finish interiors.
The dash, though sober, is well designed. On the right, you have a push button to open the boot. If you want to open the hood, then the Ford Figo gives you an option to bend down on front passenger side to open the hood. Now that’s clever, I must say. All these years the hood could be opened from driver right hand side. Now if you have a passenger sitting, you can ask him to push the button on his left leg side. Check out the images that give you a fair idea about for the button for boot on the dash and for the hood as well.
The front dash has airbags for the driver as well as the front passenger. However, the car seriously lacks important interior features like all four power windows. Even the top end model does not have all windows as power windows. Further, to my dismay, I found that the rear window opens only 70 percent. I would have seriously wanted it to roll down fully. Even in Hyundai Santro and Maruti 800 the rear window rolls down completely. I mean, who wants a Fiat-like rear window today?
Interiors are definitely roomy and comfortable. There is enough leg space even for tall people. Moreover, the head space reminds me of Hyundai Santro’s tall stance. Like Ford Fiesta, there is switching of buttons in Ford Figo also. The light buttons are on the left and the wiper buttons are on the right. For people who are used to having light dipper on the right and wipers on the left, driving Ford Figo may need some time to adjust.
Ford has made the doors quite heavy and robust. Customers have varied preferences. Some people like doors to be heavy and strong while some need them feather touch to open and close them heavily. All speakers are also mounted on all four doors for acoustics and surround sound. There are no tweeters in the front dash even when the dashboard speakers are completely absent.
Top end model Titanium comes with audio system done in metallic silver. The gear knob also carries the same design and metallic finish. Steering wheel is not adjustable but is fixed even in the fully loaded model. The front glove box is quite big but the boot really takes your heart away. Boot space is 285 liters which is the biggest boot size in small car segment. It can accommodate your suitcases big enough for a vacation of three months. It is only Ford Figo that can carry so many bags and yet has space to accommodate your hand bag as well.
Side view mirrors can be adjusted with a single knob on driver’s side which has electrical adjustment option. If you turn it to left then you can adjust the left side view mirrors on the front passenger side and similar turning it to right and turning it adjusts driver side side-view mirror. There are two power-window knobs on the driver side window panel. Doors also have large pockets to accommodate even one liter pet bottles. Rear doors have manual knobs to roll the windows.
The Ford Figo carries one of the best safety features in the small car segment today. It offers EBD and Dual SRS front air bags for passenger safety.
Ford offers Radio Data System which is one of the first and innovative features in the small car segment. The Radio Data System has already started in Chennai and will soon spread to other cities of India. The RDS system helps you navigate in thick urban traffic. It tells you about any traffic jam, heavy rush lanes during city driving.
Ford Figo offers keyless entry and the key for ignition is completely different. It also offers central locking options on the key as well as an option to open the boot as well.
The Ford Figo power trains are 1.2-liter Duratec for the petrol Figo and the 1.4-liter TDCi Duratorq in the diesel Figo. The company has fine tuned both the engines for low fuel consumption, reduced CO2 emissions and it comes with 5-speed manual transmission.
The 1.2L petrol engine delivers a maximum power of 70 bhp @ 6250 rpm and max torque of 104 NM @ 4000 rpm. The 1.4L DuraTorq CRDI diesel engine deliver max power of 68 bhp @ 4000 rpm and max torque of 160NM @ 2000 rpm.
Mileage of the car in actual city and highway conditions still remain to be seen. We shall all wait for the first few feedbacks coming in next two months when the car actually starts mapping the Indian roads across the country.
The Ford Figo’s engine has been tuned to roar giving an impression of sports model. Ford hoped to complement its muscular look with a deep grunting engine but to me it actually gave an impression of a diesel engine. (I drove the petrol engine). Now I really need to hear what the diesel model will feel like if petrol has a deep roar!
Though the official communication is that the model is powerful enough for hilly terrains, I had trouble to drive up a hill in third gear comfortably. Still, the engine is quite impressive and powerful on flat stretches, and acceleration is quite good, and the car quite maneuverable.
The main competitors for Figo are the Chevrolet Beat, Fiat Grande Punto, Hyundai i10, the Maruti Swift, and Ritz, and the Tata Indica Vista.
The Figo pricing offers tough competition for Punto, Swift, Ritz, i10 and even the Vista. But, the Beat offers a challenge to the Figo both in terms of power and price.
In comparison to its peers, the boosting factors for Figo are the price, interior space, leg room for both front and rear seats, and build quality. The table below gives brief a comparison of the petrol version of Figo with other top end models.
Ford Figo is a cool car in the small car segment but the car needs serious improvements in the interiors. Ford may have to introduce more features to the car, especially common ones like fog lamps and all four power windows in the top model.
The tall stance and athletic look will attract onlookers but the deep grunt of petrol engine gives a feel of a diesel model. All in all, a good car, but not one to wow about!
Ford has made hard work in coming up with a car which can offer tough competiton for cars in the range of 4 to 6 lakh. The compromise has been made in providing less features for reducing the price. It does give an impression that Ford should have come up with Figo at least one year before. If so, it could have good market share by this time, especially considering the launch of the Volkswagen Polo. We feel that the Figo will have tough time in getting good number of sales.