The last thing you need after wasting precious time in just commuting in any major city is stress. And believe it or not, driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic and living with the uncertainty that perpetually clouds your ETAs can be quite stressful. What you need then is some water, some food, good music and an automatic car to keep you sane during those long commutes.
With the Ford Figo automatic, I have managed to tick at least one of those boxes. The Figo AT, has in fact, proved to be a good commute companion. The thing I love the most about the car is its unobtrusive dual-clutch auto ‘box. It’s not the most seamless or alert among dual-clutch autos on sale in the country or in its class, but that’s mostly true when one is in the mood for hard driving.
On regular commutes wherein I didn’t end up using more than part throttle or 3,000 of those engine revs, the Figo shifted about its business quite faultlessly. Slot it into D and with one less thing to do – actually two, if you consider your left foot sits idle as well – I actually ended up arriving home less tired and frustrated. An automatic brings in a sense of calm to one’s driving which many of us do not notice until we actually drive one.
Add the large 1.5-litre engine to this mix with nearly 140Nm of healthy torque and I rarely ended up struggling with overtakes. The throttle response too is predictive and almost instant. In fact, the drivetrain combo works so well, I not only ended up outpacing traffic involuntarily, even picking gaps in traffic became second nature. And because I was never grappling to move ahead, the whole exercise of beating the traffic was a lot safer and gentlemanly unlike my experience with some of the lesser-powered options.
There are other things that make the Figo a good city car. The steering for one is decently light but it is also full of feel and very accurate. The positioning with respect to the driver’s seat is well judged too. So, whether I am making three-point turns in a narrow lane or trying to squeeze into a tight parking spot, with the Figo, it wasn’t much of a hassle.
In fact, I had almost held my thumbs up for the Figo, until I realised it doesn’t get rear-parking sensors. This 1.5 Titanium Ti-VCT AT is the most expensive Figo on sale. So, to find that Ford decided to be miserly about parking sensors left a bad after taste. What this also means is – especially if you are as sissy a driver as I am – you’d be asking your fellow occupants to step out and guide you every time you need to back the Figo into a challenging parking spot. Not cool.
I am also not a fan of the overall visibility on the Figo. There’s nothing to complain about when it comes to front visibility; the car’s front-end edges are easy to read and place. But, the A-pillar is a challenge while negotiating crossroads. Ditto for the C-pillar, which almost always gets in the way when looking back to make sure it’s clear to join a main road. Low speed ride is another aspect where the Figo fails to shine unlike most other Fords we have driven.
As I see it then, with that good gearbox, a potent engine, lovely steering and some food and water by my side, the Figo does make for a good city car, the average visibility and lack of parking sensors notwithstanding.
Photos By : Kapil Angane
Read Ford Figo Long Term Report 1 HERE.
Read Ford Figo Long Term Report 2 HERE.