Recently had an hour-long test drive of the Figo Aspire.
These are my views about the car: 1. Looks and design:
The front of the car is unique and handsome while the sides and rear are quite plain and I personally would prefer the Zest over this in terms of exterior appeal. Well proportionate and handsome car though. 2. Interiors:
Funky interior design theme similar to the Fiesta and Ecosport. Some controls like the headlamp settings and Infotainment system are quite fiddly and needs getting used to, but overall quality and layout is quite user-friendly and comfortable. 3. Space and comfort:
Adequate amount of space and supportive seats. The design of the rear seat head-rests are worth a mention; they are extremely well designed according to the curvature of the neck and much more comfortable than those of rivals. Compared to Tata and Maruti's front seats, the Figo's front seats are a bit flat. Comfortable driving position and rear seats as well. 4. Practicality:
Adequate sized boot and lots of cubby-holes and bottle holders. Well suited for long drives. 5. Infotainment system:
Sound quality of the audio system is quite good. SYNC feature available on the Titanium+ variant is extremely useful. Voice command and Bluetooth works well. 6. Build quality and strength:
Although not as strong as the Ecosport or the Endeavour, the Aspire is better built than the Dzire, Xcent and Amaze. But the door closing doesn't give a satisfactory quality "thunk" as the Zest does. 7. Power:
Only the Diesel Titanium+ variant was available for test drive. This engine has a displacement of 1.5 Liters; produces around 100 bhp of max power and 215 Nm of torque.
First impressions are quite good as there is absolutely negligible amount of engine noise creeping inside the cabin. No vibrations at the pedals too. But annoyingly, there seemed to be a tiny bit of throttle response as the throttle took a fraction of a second to respond or react to the flex of the accelerator pedal. This phenomenon was more evident while driving at speed and after changing gears. Despite that annoying factor, the engine response was quite good and there was very little turbo-lag. Low-end responses were quite good and the engine was quite relaxed even at 2500rpms. However the turbo spools up in a linear fashion, instead of the sudden surge from the FIAT's Multi-jet which I am quite used to. The gear-throws were precise, but not as slick as that of the Dzire's. 8. Refinement:
There is very little engine as well as wind noise creeping inside the cabin. The vibrations are so dampened that it becomes quite disconnected at cruising speeds. Nonetheless the refinement levels are great! 9: Handling and Ride Quality:
I expected the Aspire to handle as great as the older Figo or the Fiesta. But to my disappointment, this one didn't feel that special to me. The steering has lost most of it's weight and feels too light; not as bad as the Xcent or Amaze though. It was easy to manoeuvre and the steering feels precise, but it doesn't feel so confidence inspiring at speeds as the older Figo's.
Ride quality is quite pliant as well as stable. The body was well controlled over rough undulations. Low speed ride, although a bit stiffer than the Tata Zest, is quite comfortable. 10. Safety:
2 airbags are standard on all variants of the car. 6 airbags are available on the Titanium+ variant. ABS
is standard only on the Titanium and T+ variants though. Add more features such as ESP, Traction control and this is one really safe Compact sedan. 11. Price and Value:
The base variant of the Diesel model retails at around 7.10 lacs on-road while the top end Titanium+ variant retails at around 9.80 lacs on-road. For the price range, the Figo Aspire offers good amount of safety, quality and value and is aggressively priced against the Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent. Verdict:
My rating 8.5/10
The Ford Figo Aspire seems to be a strong competitor to the already impressive rivals. It scores higher than it's rivals in the safety department, but loses out in the exterior styling department.
This car surely has more appeal than the Dzire or the Amaze, but the Zest and Xcent are a bit more attractive than the Aspire. The Ford Aspire a fantastic car, but my personal choice would be the Tata Zest, just because of that X-factor.
Pics will follow soon...