As a city car the Ford Figo automatic works well. It is convenient, has light controls, and though with my commute of almost 100km a day, I need to fill it up more than once a week, it's still a car one can comfortably live and commute with.
But, what about intercity travel? If you are going to go mile munching on the Figo AT once in a while – say twice or thrice a year – and will mostly use expressways or four-lanned national highways, it’s no problem. The Figo cruises effortlessly at 100-110kmph, has enough grunt to propel you to much higher figures to overtake, and unless you hit a really poor section of road, neither its ride nor its ground clearance will be an issue.
However, on a winding road – and this is for those who love driving – the Figo isn’t exactly a driver’s delight. If the road is well surfaced and you aren't going hell for leather and prefer feeding inputs gently, the Figo makes corners with a settled, solid feel. The turn in doesn’t require much effort or planning, and though there's a bit of body roll, if the steering inputs are gentle it’s no trouble for the car or its occupants.
If you drive the Figo a little too enthusiastically however, you will get understeer. And a poorly paved surface brings with it a bigger challenge. Besides understeer, a patchy or broken surface around a corner also gets the Figo’s suspension to thud around. And, it can feel a bit skittish too. It’s not the best of experiences, but at least with the electronic nanny, things never feel out of control
But, here’s the thing. We drove the new Figo S recently and the suspension and tyres on that car make for a much quieter, and a more planted and engaging drive. Sadly, the S is currently available only as a petrol or a diesel manual. Given the convenience of this dual clutch automatic, we'd love to see the Figo AT get the S treatment as well. It will certainly make the car more agreeable.
What is good about the Figo AT already is the boot space on offer and the smart stowage spaces all round. For four people, there’s enough place to keep bottles and the front two cup holders are handy as well. As for the boot, it can hold one large suitcase along with a travel bag. Just make sure the suitcase isn’t too heavy because the Figo with its high loading lip height and a parcel tray that doesn’t flip up with the boot lid isn’t too ‘loading’ friendly.
Pictures by : Kapil Angane