Ford Figo Tdci test drive

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Ford India limited have always have had mixed reactions with their car launches in India. Some from the Indian public just go ga-ga over their cars whereas others openly jeer at the thought of Ford vehicles. One thing is for sure and widely accepted- that critics just love Ford cars. They are fun to drive and value for money propositions. However inspite of been in this country for so long, they haven’t been able to get a lion’s share. This is because they had no volumes player. In India or any market, to be a volumes player, a manufacturer has to have their presence in the small car market. To take advantage of this and to exploit the Indian market conditions, Ford India limited have launched their small and built for India model, the Ford Figo. Most of the manufacturers in this segment don’t have both petrol as well as diesel engines and so to have a distinct advantage and to give the car buying audience a wider spectrum, Ford India limited have launched the Ford Figo with both the petrol and diesel variants. I got to test drive a diesel Ford Figo Tdci Titanium model. How the journey went is detailed in the review given below.

Looks

The Ford Figo Tdci is built on the old Ford Fiesta platform. An entirely new Ford Fiesta is planned for the Indian markets by first quarter of 2011. It looks much like the Ford Fusion but sits lower than it. Ford’s kinetic design theory elements can be seen in the Ford Figo Tdci’s grille. This grille though looks better than any from Ford’s stables. The Blue Oval logo is placed in the center of the grille. The pentagonal head lamps are of the wrap around types. The air dams look sporty with their wide appeal. Even on my Tdci variant, fog lamps were an option, though slots for the same are already provided for in the bumper. The windscreen is highly rakish and has a first for a small car, rain sensing wipers.

The side profile shows body colored mirrors. The Ford Figo Tdci is equipped with 175/65 R14 tubeless tyres. However there are no alloys. The wheel covers look quite out of place and Ford India limited could have done well to give those on the top end variants. The rear of the car is totally bland but has an SUV type vertical tail lamp stack. The rear bumper has a black plastic cladding on it and isn’t body colored. There are also reflectors placed on the black cladding. Again a first in small cars feature, a rear washer and wiper are present on the Ford Figo Tdci.

Interiors

The Ford Figo Tdci sits lower than its cousin Fusion and hence you have to crouch to get into it. Our top end variant had the most beautiful and thought out dash board in any car. These had the coral hue. As the Ford Fusion Tdci’s ad suggests, it doesn’t get stained quite often. It can also be cleaned easily. It is made out of soft to touch materials. The meter dials are a straight lift from the Fiesta car. The rack and pinion steering wheel feels nice to hold but is devoid of steering mounted controls for audio. Lots of brushed aluminium has been strewn around the cabin to give it a more up market feel. There is lots of storage space inside the cabin.

The front as well as the back seats are totally comfortable and are well bolstered. Like all other Fords, the Ford Figo Tdci’s driver seating is spot on. The rear seats are more like a garden bench but they still are good to seat 3 people because of the width of the car. Unfortunately there is no power windows at the rear. The rear glass also doesn’t open fully and makes one feel claustrophobic. The boot capacity is quite high at 287 liter for a small car. The 60:40 rear seat arrangement liberates about 896 liters of boot space.

Handling and ride quality

No matter which car they make, Ford India limited have always got their ride and handling perfect for the Indian roads. The suspension for the Ford Figo Tdci is a complex one. It is McPherson Strut with Dual Path Mounts type for the front tyres and Semi Independent Twist Beam, Coil Springs for the rear ones. Based on the Ford Ikon as well as Fiesta platform, the ride quality is quite subtle with it neither been too hard or softly sprung.

The handling is the best in class after the Maruti Swift. The only place where it couldn’t best the Swift was in the grip levels from the small tyres. The hydraulic power sensitive steering wheel is a joy to use and placed the car exactly where I wanted it to be. It dials in the exact level of feedback one expects from it. The 5 speed gear box is a sweet shifting unit.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

As discussed earlier, the Ford Figo is offered in India with choice of two engines. The one we tested is the diesel motor and so I would be able to elaborate on its experience. It is the same 1.4 liter common rail diesel from the Ford Fiesta and Ikon punching 69 PS at 4,100 rpm and producing a peak torque of 160 Nm at 2,100 rpm. On the Ford Figo Tdci, this engine seems quite sprightly to drive. There is decent power to lug around the light car as compared to its sedan cousins. The gear ratios are shortly geared and make driving chores in the city far less daunting. On the highway though the Ford Figo Tdci felt a bit lacking. Don’t get me wrong, it can cruise all day long at 120 kmph and I pushed it to a maximum of 153 kmph speed but the engine was quite vocal at this speeds. It reaches from 0-100 kmph in 14.2 seconds.

Braking is at par with the segment norm and brake duties are done by Discs at the front and drums at the rear. There is also ABS and EBD on the Ford Figo Tdci. 2 airbags, front, side impact absorbing beams and 3 point ELR seat belts for all the 5 occupants connect with the safety aspect.

Fuel efficiency is of paramount concern for any Indian. The Ford Figo Tdci inspite of my heavy right foot returned 14.4 kmpl in the city usage and a healthy 20.4 kmpl on the open highway.

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Verdict

Ford India Limited are looking to increase their sales figure and hence their share of the Indian market. The Ford Figo Tdci is one such car on which they are banking their fortunes on. It is a small car with large car like seating capacities, has enough on the equipment list, is a hoot to drive and quite fuel efficient as well. There are 4 variants of the Ford Figo and they are the Ford Figo Tdci Lxi, Ford Figo Tdci Exi, Ford Figo Tdci Zxi and the featured Ford Figo Tdci Titanium. The Lxi variant is available for Rs. 4,47,900{ex-showroom, Mumbai} to Rs. 5,29,900 {ex-showroom, Mumbai}  for the Titanium variant.

Ford Figo Tdci Specifications

Engine: 1.4 Liter DuraTorq CRDI Diesel Engine
Max Power: 68 BHP @4000 RPM
Max Torque: 160 Nm @ 2000 RPM
Transmission: 5 Speed Manual
Boot space: 283 liters
Length: 3796mm,  Width 1682mm and  Height 1426mm
Wheelbase: 2489mm
Wheels: 14 inch steel wheels, tubeless type with wheel covers
Brakes: Front Disc and Rear drum
Front Suspension: Independent McPherson Strut with Dual Path Mounts type
Rear Suspension: Semi Independent Twist Beam, Coil Springs
Fuel tank capacity: 44 Liters

One Reply to “Ford Figo Tdci test drive”

  1. I owned and drove maruti800,Santro Zip,Zen Estello but the feel in Ford figo is amazing compared to others.
    After selling three cars i went for Ford Figo and decision i took was perfect.After driving this car you wont even feel to sit in other cars, forget about driving.

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