Ford Figo Aspire Diesel (M.T) Driven


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Akash1886

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Ford Figo Aspire Compact Sedan, has been launched in India by Ford at an Ex-Showroom Delhi price of Rs. 4.90 Lacs to 8.28 Lacs

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The all new Ford Aspire comes in 9 variants also having an option to choose from a range of 3 engines specs i.e 1.2 L Petrol, 1.5 L Diesel, 1.5L Petrol AT Ti VCT. Transmissions offered by FORD are DCT (Automatic) and Manual Transmission. Today I drove the Diesel 1.5 L Figo Aspire with manual transmission.

Some of the main Competitors

Maruti Dzire

Tata Zest

Hyundai Xcent

So let’s begin the experience of driving the American Muscle! FORD in India has been providing good and lasting cars from FORD Escort to the Aspire. People’s hearts and souls have been won by Ecoboost Ford Eco Sport and a true Driver’s car, Fiesta and I am sure even Vibhor will agree to Fiesta’s performance. No doubt, they are selling good. The shift in the Indian market for acquiring a compact yet well featured sedan has been seriously taken by the automotive brands and they are providing the customers with their offerings accordingly. There is a sudden influx of well featured compact sedans like Xcent, Zest, Amaze, Dzire et al in our market which provide comfort and economy to the owner at the same time. Now, everything was going nicely, until the much anticipated Ford Aspire landed on the Indian soil and since then the competition in the segment has grown manifolds. Many of the cars in this segment which registered good sales numbers until recently are facing severe heat with the arrival of this promising entrant.

External Looks of Ford Aspire Compact Sedan

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Design and looks play a big role in markets like India where the customers often have pre-set norms and have strong likes and dislikes. When much before the launch I saw this car on display, I was stunned at its stance. I have seen even the Aston Martin up-close and let me tell you, it has a striking resemblance to it undoubtedly. The front grill is so well designed that even non auto enthusiast will compare the design to Aston Martin. The hatchback version of Aspire that is soon to be launched in India is expected to feature the same front profile as the compact sedan. Having driven and seen many compact sedans on offer, I feel, by far Aspire has the wow-factor in terms of looks and unlike many others who first offer a hatchback and then provide a stretched compact sedan of the hatchback, Ford has first launched the compact sedan and is now coming with the hatch version of the same in just 3-4 days time. In my opinion, with sharp features like slightly swept back headlamps and appropriately designed tail lamps hug the body line. Aspire along-with the neat design has well designed boot too that’s in line with the sub-4m norm. So, I feel, overall this is till now, a genuine compact sedan without any uncalled bulges and edges. However, the 1 sore point which I observed from outside was Aspire’s boot space which as per OEM is 359 Ltr but having driven cars like Dzire, and written about them I find, the boot space to be tad low than the existing competitors and apart from that the boot lid has no inner cladding as well which appears to be cost cutting measure.

I have said it earlier and I’ll say it again, “looks of compact sedans are largely criticized by many, but one thing needs to be put in perspective i.e CS cars are the gap filler between Hatch back and a proper sedan. So, in CS, in terms of looks not much can be done to change the basic design of the base car. The reason for rolling out a compact sedan is just to provide the maneuverability of a hatchback and space of sedan to an extent to those who wish to buy a car with looks of sedan and driving ease of a hatchback. In India, people at large believe in having a car that has a separate boot. The "Badi Gaadi" and "Choti Gaadi" syndrome is much prevalent here.”
 
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Akash1886

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Re: Ford Figo Aspire Diesel (M.T) Driven.

Moving to the next important aspect of the car i.e the interior layout of Aspire Sedan.

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Speaking a fact here, I have actually lost the count of how many times have I seen the interiors of the Aspire before and after launch. See, when a sub-4m sedan is designed then its designed with evident space constrains. I have seen 5 pax stuffed inside the cabin and there was apparently no space to move or breathe and that too when it was blazing summer in northern India. Interiors of the Aspire Sedan don’t permit 5 pax in the cabin mainly because rear seats are lacking in under thigh support, the hump of transmission tunnel. Though interiors are well designed and finished including the speedometer cluster, in seating this car can only accommodate 4 passengers. Frankly speaking, if you have a quite healthy family member/friend then you can’t seat 3 pax in rear. The cabin with the beige interiors looks plush and neat and the piano Black door inserts add to the premium feel of the cabin though their finishing could have been even better. Talking of the center ICE panel, the panel resembles a lot to Eco-sport and Aspire being a sub-4 meter sedan, and boasting of such neat interior execution is certainly a big thumbs up. Talking of the head room, a 6 ft person like me can still have decent space left between the head and the roof of the car but If I am driving this car with driver seat pushed all the way back and another tall person sits right behind me, god help the fellow as negligible legroom would be left for the rear passenger.

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Safety Parameters of Ford Aspire Sedan

When I attended the official launch of the Aspire Sedan, we were informed it is the 1st in segment sedan to provide 6 airbags. I was literally stunned to know it because till now no brand has provided it and probably would take time to provide in future. This for me was big plus and would be a big benefit of owning the Ford Aspire. I as a person can compromise on ICE, Navigation and steering mounted controls but certainly can’t compromise on safety. Ford has ably and thoughtfully given the safety top most priority in Aspire as front 2 airbags are standard across the variants. 10/10 to them for this! The enthusiastic executive, who accompanied me on the drive today, told there are features like My-Key that allows drivers to set speed warning and activates the seat belt reminder and would limit the car’s top speed too.
 
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Akash1886

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Re: Ford Figo Aspire Diesel (M.T) Driven.

The major aspect: How does the Ford Aspire scores in Performance

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Performance, It is one of those points for a buyer which either makes or breaks the deal. Talking about Aspire as told already it comes with 2 transmission options i.e AT and MT mated with 1.5 L Turbo Diesel engine with 100PS power and 1.5 L AT Petrol with 112 PS Power and also a 1.2 L Petrol, having 88PS power. All engines are 4 cylinder engines. The manual transmission is 5 Speed and the AT comes as 6 Speed DCT (Dual Clutch). I would like to put across my brief stint with the DCT Aspire Petrol (Please note DCT comes in Petrol Only). Please click here to read the DCT Petrol experience of Aspire Sedan. Speaking of the torque delivery, it is also nothing to complain about, rather, the diesel Aspire is kind of a pocket rocket. The 1.5 Diesel gives 215 Nm torque while the 1.2 L Petrol gives 112Nm and the 1.5 L AT Petrol gives 136 Nm torque.

As I have driven the Turbo Diesel 1.5L Aspire, I am elated with the superb response this car has given to me. In the precisely 6 km TD today morning in Noida, this car’s performance went beyond my expectation. Prior to my driving this car, I received the views from fellow member Vipul and he told me to check the Diesel Aspire out. And yes I am all happy to say, this car is a able and a brilliant performer in Diesel. Now where on one hand, the diesel engine’s performance was impeccable, on the other hand was the unrefined engine noise at speed range 20-40 km/h. The NVH at low speeds is poor in my view because, having driven refined diesel from competitors, I would say Aspire needs to be re-worked in this department. As I test the car’s noise level in idle, I would say, the Aspire fails here both in Diesel Engine and even in Petrol. However, once you gradually increase the speed, the Diesel NVH begins to improve and past 1500 rpm, you’ll have far better NVH and in-cabin experience and let me also share here that in July-end this year, when I saw the Petrol Aspire at Dealership, a person cranked it and the engine noise even in Petrol variant (Titanium) was more than what’s expected by us from it and others in the segment. However, once when I had driven AT Aspire, I noted that NVH gradually became well modulated upon acceleration and inside the cabin, the noise became pretty low. So, in my view, another cause for rough NVH even with cladding in hood in low-speed/idle is the evident lacking of refinement which fails in protecting engine noise transmission to cabin in idle position. Till date, for me, Hyundai’s diesel refinement is benchmark.

As I mainly drove this car between 60-80 km/h range, I can safely say that I did not feel any turbo lag and what we all term as “bottom end torque” or in simple words “the acceleration power used for rolling/pulling the rear Tyre(s)”, I can surely say, Aspire is full of it. While driving the MT Aspire today I actually did not feel the need for frequent gear shifts and I certainly loved the sleek performance that MT has. Again, further what impressed me was the superbly light and easy clutch which is and will surely be a blessing in the ever-annoying city traffic.

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Now, it also gives me immense satisfaction to say that I have driven both 1.5 Petrol AT and 1.5 Diesel. Therefore, I can easily say that in comparison to the Petrol AT, I found the diesel Aspire to be better performer in terms of response and driving pleasure. It clearly shows that with the change in technology, the diesel engines have improved by leaps and bounds in terms of performance.
 
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Akash1886

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Re: Ford Figo Aspire Diesel (M.T) Driven.

Steering, Riding Dynamics, Tyre & Handling Prowess

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One word to say on Aspire Diesel’s ride quality, it is awesome on smooth roads, Those who live in Noida and NCR well know how nice and big-wide roads are there in Noida so it was effortless experience to drive the fun-compact-sedan on these roads but let me tell you all, earlier when I drove the AT at Mathura Road, I was really not impressed with its capability of passing over some very bad road patches. Mind You, Mathura Road has some of the worst road patches. At that time I mentioned correctly, “Talking about suspension, over here I feel more improvisation is needed. On potholes though it did not scrape through but the jerks were pretty harsh”. So thankfully, this was not the case today with Diesel Aspire.

Honestly, as I have driven the car within permitted speed limits, so my observations above are based on it. I have not touched triple digits while driving. If I talk of the Tyre(s), Aspire sedan’s OEM spec is 175/65 R14 and my test car had Apollo rubber. I wish just like Maruti Dzire there could have been an option of 15in Alloys. Maruti Dzire offers 2 rims options i.e 14" and 15". Alloy has 185/65/R15 Spec and Steel has 165/80/R14

Coming to the steering, let me tell you, Aspire has been 1st FORD car that I have driven. Someday, I wish to drive Eco-Sport and Fiesta. Anyways, the power steering is equipped with tilt feature and is a decent performer and felt nice to drive. Half the battle is won, when you get a good input and driving ease from a steering. I felt no pressure while driving it and like many others which I have driven, the steering feels apt for city drive.

My Final Opinion on this compact yet B-E-A utiful looking compact sedan is that, Ford genuinely has worked towards providing a legitimate all rounder for the segment. Going by the fact that no car is 100% perfect, I would say, with its small shortcomings, yet, Aspire scores on performance of Diesel engine and safety measures. I feel at the price point on which Ford is offering Aspire, this car is a bang for buck purchase.

Some basic Info on the Ford Aspire Sedan​

• L/W/H/WB = 3995/1695/1525/2491(mm)

• Ground Clearance = 174mm

• Turning Radius = 4.9 m

• Boot Space = 359 Ltr.

• Fuel Tank Capacity = 42 Ltr Petrol and 40 Ltr Diesel

• Brakes = Front Ventilated Disc and Rear Drum Brakes.
 
Thread Starter #5

Akash1886

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Re: Ford Figo Aspire Diesel (M.T) Driven.

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What I Liked in Aspire Diesel

• Cladding under hood unlike Petrol

• Powerful AC

• Diesel engine is pleasure to drive

• Good Steering performance

• High speed breaking is stable, thanks to EBD and ABS

• Good Storage places.

• Cabin fit and finish is neat

• Vanity mirror for passenger and driver in sun visor. (Earlier in Titanium petrol no vanity mirror was there for passenger.)

• Paint finish is great.

• Panel Gaps are minimal.

What should be improved!

• Boot cladding to be provided.

• Idle NVH needs to be worked upon

• No Push Button in Diesel

• No Diesel Automatic Version

• Not a 5 seater. Only 4 pax can sit.

• No Glove box light.

• Wipers not up to the mark.

• No projector lamps in Titanium version

Salient Features of Titanium Diesel

• Headlamp Leveling

• MID with DTE Feature

• Electric folding ORVM with integrated indicators.

• Fog Lamps

• Alloys

• Rear Defogger

• Guide me home lamps

• Gear Shift indicator (Green Arrow)

• My Ford Dock.

• Auto Door Lock

• Height adjustable front seat belts.

• Steering mounted controls.

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Akash1886

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Re: Ford Figo Aspire Diesel (M.T) Driven.

Some more useful features of the Ford Aspire Diesel in picture​

• External Lights (Front and Rear)

• Underbody flap for avoiding stones, pebbles and drag.

• Well finished speaker grill

• Glove Box

• ORVM Viewing space.

• Steering Tilt Feature.

• Climate Control Sensor

• USB and Sync.

• Front AC Vent

• Boot Lid and Space

• In-door bottle holders

• Well integrated power window switch panel.

• B-E-A utiful front grill.

• Good Quality plastic used in steering levers (Notice the rubber inserts provided to cover the gaps when adjusting the steering).

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Continued in next post
 
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Thread Starter #7

Akash1886

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Re: Ford Figo Aspire Diesel (M.T) Driven.

Please note: Accessories like IRVM with reverse view, chrome inserts, ORVM chrome and ambient lights are add-ons and not part of standard features.

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All Pics of this review are only for The Automotive India. Any re-use needs full credit to The Automotive India.​

Regards

Akash
 
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My First Impression was wow. Thanks a lot for this informative review my friend. It surely helps lots of people. [clap]
 
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Just the right observations and the review is just as same as my impressions on Aspire, great job moderators, have been eagerly waiting for this review,

One more info to add is the regular service pattern of Aspire TDCi has been changed from the TDCis we have known, the Ecosport,Fiesta and Figo, all had almost similar service but Aspire has different pattern, 1st part change comes at 20k kms they are clutch pads and will cost some amount, the earlier Fiesta and Ecosport had these changes occurring at 45k kms or 4 years I think,
So the Aspire does post a different service pattern so owners can keep us updated on this
 
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Here you go. As promised. Thanks for the detailed review.
A genuine attempt by Ford for the mass market. Though this car losses a bit on the build on this process.
 

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Congrats for an another crisp review Akash.

Figo Aspire I drove for quite long and my first impressions were nearly as same as yours and its not for no reason I used to tell you to drive an Aspire on every phone call. The numbers on paper don't do justice to the refined performance this vehicle is blessed with. The power build up is really very good and the way rev needle quickly climbs to 4k rpm in lower 3 gears is simply unmatched for the segment.

What I liked:
  • Well calibrated steering
  • Brilliant performance from a very responsive diesel motor
  • Good FE
  • Suspension is really nice and absorbs most of the bumps with ease; but yes, will still transfer some jerks to cabin though
  • Brakes are really very confidence inspiring
  • All round visibility; like older Fiesta, is really nice

What I disliked:
  • You always know there is a diesel under the hood
  • Doors do shut with a hollow sound, no more the solid thud
  • There is a metallic sound when doors shut, maybe because of the presence of the beading on the roof instead of doors
  • Build could have been better, corners have been cut in this field at least
  • Both the bumpers are negligently short; especially the rear one. I guess even if a Honda City will hit from the back, the Aspire will have its a## open
 
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Congrats for an another crisp review Akash.

[*]Both the bumpers are negligently short; especially the rear one. I guess even if a Honda City will hit from the back, the Aspire will have its a## open
[/LIST]
I'm still trying to figure this out bro?! Since You were mentioning the Aspire bumpers were short , And Honda city has very low bonnet , slightest hit would make the boot open is it??
 

TSIVipul

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I'm still trying to figure this out bro?! Since You were mentioning the Aspire bumpers were short , And Honda city has very low bonnet , slightest hit would make the boot open is it??
That's what I mean to say sirji.

The rear bumper is negligibly short and I really doubt if it can protect from rear ending even by a low slung sedan.
 
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