Search for a new car
My first car was a Hyundai i10 Era (1.1L iRDE) bought in 2008. It served me well for almost 8 years. No major niggles and after 8 years decided that I should go for a change….a new car. Few questions as usual kept me occupied for the next few weeks . Listing them below :
1. Hatch, Sedan or Compact SUV : Had to be a hatch. My parking can at the most accommodate a sub 4 m sedan. SUV was ruled out. Compact Sedan never impressed me specially the quirky boot integration in most of them.
2. Budget: 8L (I was expecting ~1.3L for my i10). So net outflow ~ 6.7L
3. Variant: I was hell bent on going with the top variant only. I used to own a Hyundai Era ( the base model) and realized that aftermarket fitment can never match the fit and finish of the OEM
4. Petrol or Diesel: Petrol (since my daily commute would be ~50kms). Deep within , the idea of a diesel engine was also brewing. I recently got a chance to drive the VW Vento diesel and was really bowled over by its sheer power and performance.
5. Cars shortlisted for TD : Polo , Figo and Grand i10 (Test Drive both petrol and diesel version of all the cars)
: Solid build and good looking too. Feels premium and upmarket . Ride quality is good with mature road behavior. However both the engine's felt sluggish , rear legroom was a concern and the ASS
was costly too. Hyundai Grand i10
: Having owned the previous generation i10 for 8 years , the Grand i10 was a notch above in all aspect . The 1.2L engine was peppy , excellent refinement, superb fit and finish and loaded with accessories and features. The 1.1 L diesel was also pretty good. Disappointment comes when you sit behind the steering wheel. Steering is too light , high speed behavior above 80kmph is not very inspiring, body roll is not to my liking when cornering . Overall all I felt that the Grand i10 was a feature rich car but lacked the solidity and confidence of its European rival. Ford Figo
: The petrol 1.5L AT was not available for TD. This time tried the 1.5L diesel first and the engine really impressed me. Punchy engine was a pleasure to drive. Petrol was also good but nothing when compared to the diesel sibling. The diesel just blows the petrol away in all aspects. Ford was also the one to offer best discount and exchange value of my i10.
Finally decided to go ahead with the new Ford Figo 1.5L TDCI diesel. Color chosen was oxford white Initial impression and observations :
1. The 1.5L diesel is a gem of an engine. Extremely eager, fun to drive. Easy to drive in bumper to bumper traffic without much upshift. Adequate torque available from 1400 rpm. Minimal turbo lag ensures easy maneuvering within city traffic. The turbo kicks in post 1700 rpm and at this point be whatever gear you are in …….just press the A pedal and she would zip past most other cars on the road. Even when you are cruising at 5th gear on open stretch of roads, it’s very easy to accelerate and overtake without changing gears.
2. Decent interiors though not as upmarket as a Hyundai. Everything falls in place and within easy reach. My earlier i10 had beige interiors and though it made the cabin look airy and spacious, I had a tough time to maintain. With all black interiors inside the new Figo, hope it would be easier to maintain.
3. Looks and Design: With the Aston Martin look alike front grill, the new Figo does look smart. Rear might not be as aggressive as the front one but the car seems to generate interest wherever it goes. Unlike a Maruti or a Hyundai , the car will maintain its exclusivity on the roads for the next few months.
4. Mileage: Around 16.5 Kms a litre which I think is pretty decent given the fact that I did not have a chance to venture on highways till now. 16.5 Kms per litre when the average speed of car was 20Km per hour (as reported by the MID) for the odd 1600+ kms traveled
5. There is a vibration as you start and stop the engine. The cabin shakes and the engine makes its presence felt. Once you accelerate, the NVH levels are pretty good for a diesel engine. Minimal noise creeps in the well-insulated cabin (till 2200 rpm). Will update once I get the opportunity to revv her beyond 2200 rpm which I am planning to do after the 1st service due at 2500 Kms.
6. Stock audio system is good with standard features like USB, Bluetooth. Steering mounted controls with option for receiving and rejecting phone calls when paired through Bluetooth.
7. AC/Climate control works well. Its almost 35 degrees in Kolkata (February mid) and the AC does a decent job to keep things cool.
8. Stock IRVM is not wide enough. Got it replaced with a rear parking camera and a wider IRVM with LCD display. ORVM are tall but not wide. Not much of a issue though since they can be adjusted as per one’s requirement.
9. Ride quality is comfortable. Absorbs potholes and bumps with ease with 5 people on board. Suspension is on the softer side and rear seated passengers should not complain.
10. As said earlier the new Figo is a joy to drive because of the punchy engine. To complement that, it’s equally stable and feels planted at high speed. You don’t feel that sense of nervousness at high speeds above 80kmph and the car does gives you a lot of confidence. Cornering ability is good at legal speeds (not tested at high speeds). Has a bit of body roll but nothing to make you worry.
11. The EPS is light and precise and comes in handy during city traffic and tight parking. The steering does weigh up a bit but still you have to have steady hands when driving above 100 kmph. Feedback from the steering is at the most average. My colleague who owns the older generation Figo was not much impressed with the new EPS as compared to the hydraulic unit of the older one.
12. The rear seat is comfortable and spacious, enough legroom with very good under thigh support. With the driver seat being adjusted to my height (5’ 11” ) there is good legroom for the rear passenger. 4 can seat at premium comfort and 5 with a bit of adjustment. The tall floor hump at the rear is something which I wish had not been there. Fronts seats though comfortable are not very wide and healthy well-built adults would find it a wee bit small.
13. The 14 inch alloys look inadequate as compared to the car’s overall dimension. The Ford KA which sells in international market comes with 15” alloys. You can upsize tire but not the rims which will void the warranty as confirmed by Ford India.
14. The MID provides the basic information which for most of the owners would be sufficient. It’s not as stylish or detailed as an i20 but nevertheless does the job.
15. Build quality is not typical Ford. The new Figo was parked next to an Ecosport and you could feel the difference. The door panels do feel a bit light though much better than a Hyundai or a Maruti. Panel gaps are consistent though and the paint quality is equally good. Ruby Red and Oxford While looked stunning in the showroom.
16. One reason for choosing the higher Titanium variant was the plethora of safety features that came with it namely dual airbags, ABD and EBD
. The top variant would have been the best choice in terms of safety given the fact that its loaded with 6 airbags but finally had to settle with one level below due to budget constraints.
17. Some standard features like rear vent ac , parking sensor and rear camera are missing. They are offered as add-on accessories though. Accessory prices from Ford are priced higher than what is available online / dealers.
18. A ground clearance of 174 mm is adequate for Indian roads and speed breakers and I have not scraped the underbelly till date. Boot capacity is standard by a hatch standard. Conclusion:
The Ford Figo is a very practical hatchback which offers good value for money. It has nothing special to set itself aside apart from the 1.5L TDCI diesel engine which for me was primary reason for going ahead with my purchase decision. For me it was the engine performance and the driving dynamics which were of utmost priority and the new Figo doesn’t disappoint in both these areas. It’s low rpm torque delivery makes it an efficient daily point to point commuter. And on open stretch it’s sure to bring a wide grin on your face once you floor the A pedal! Additional accessories bought till date
: IRVM with rear camera , parking sensor with display, Side protection beading , shark fin. Also replaced the stock 60W headlamps with 100/90W philips bulbs and relay. Coming to the cost break up of the car
Ex Showroom : 6.93L (2015 October model)
RTO : 43640
Insurance (Zero Depreciation) : 26400
Handling charges : 10000
On Road : Rs. 773,040 Discounts and Offers
Buy back for my 8 year old Hyundai i10 : 80 K
Exchange bonus : 18K
Insurance (Zero Depreciation) : Free
Handling charges : Waived off
3 rd year extended warranty
Accessories : Floor mats, mud flaps, perfume , boot mat
Net cost : Rs. 638,460 (after exchange and discounts) Accessories cost
Steering cover : Leather steering cover for better grip. (Rs. 500)
Parking camera and IRVM replacement with auto dimming IRVM : Too tight parking in my housing society . Neatly done by Ford dealer . Make Nippon. (10K)
Parking Sensor : Got it done outside . Ford dealer could only provide black sensor. (2K)
Headlamps : Philips rally 100/90W with Philips relay. Stock lamps were OK but not to my liking. The illumination was sufficient but the throw was not adequate for me. (1.8K)
Shark Fin : Ordered from Ebay. Replaced the original antenna . Looks a bit odd though with front placement ! (Rs.500)
Scuff Plates with Figo branding : Rs.800
Leather seats : Again neatly done by Ford dealers. Stitching and quality is very good. (6K)
Side protection molding : Couldn't get an aftermarket one. Got it done again from showroom albeit at a higher cost . Rs 1200