The Ford Aspire has received a makeover, and it’s not just cosmetic. There are new petrol engines and gearboxes that make their way under the hood of the new Aspire. Available in five variants, the prices start at Rs 5.55 lakh for the base Ambiente petrol and go up to Rs 8.14 lakh for the Titanium+ diesel variant (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi).
Which engine-gearbox to buy?
The Aspire is available with two petrols and a diesel engine option. The 96hp, 1.2-litre petrol engine is available only with a manual transmission and is shared with the Freestyle. The engine is refined and provides a smooth driving experience. With a light clutch and short throws of the gearbox, the petrol Aspire is easy to drive. While there isn’t a sudden surge of power when you floor the accelerator, the engine provides decent performance that is more than enough for daily use.
The 100hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine is also offered only with a manual transmission and is high on performance. The engine is fun to drive and the gearbox in the new Aspire has taller gear ratios, which aid in relaxed highway driving. So, if your usage would include munching a lot of kilometres in a month, the diesel makes for a good choice, since it also extracts better fuel economy (claimed 26.1kpl).
Is there an automatic variant?
The earlier Aspire’s 1.5-litre petrol engine with dual-clutch transmission has been replaced with a new the new 1.5-litre engine mated to a 6-speed torque convertor gearbox (same as the EcoSport). The automatic version is available in just the Titanium variant (just below top-end) for a price of Rs 8.49 lakh. This is costlier than the Titanium+ diesel and makes sense only if you are looking for the extra power and comfort of the automatic gearbox. You also get added safety features that are limited only to the automatic variant like hill launch assist, electronic stability program (ESP) and traction control system.
Is the base variant worth buying?
If you are worried about the safety features on the base Ambiente variant, Ford has that part covered. The base version comes equipped with dual airbags, rear parking sensors, ABS with EBD, and 3-point seatbelts for four passengers. While there aren’t many feel-good and comfort features on offer, the base variant makes sense only if you are on a strict budget.
Which is the best variant to buy?
If you are considering the Trend variant, you should definitely steer clear. Firstly, it is Rs 44,000 more than the base variant, and gets minor aesthetic updates over the base Ambiente trim. Apart from the exterior enhancements, on the inside you get a rear centre armrest, fabric door panel insert, a basic music system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, tachometer, boot lamp and remote keyless entry. All these additions don’t really justify the premium and for Rs 40,000 more than Trend (Rs 84,000 more than the base variant price), you have the Trend+. The Trend+ variant comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with navigation and other features like front fog lamps, rear defogger, automatic climate control, steering mounted controls, rear-view camera, perimeter alarm and power adjustable and foldable ORVMs, which makes for a well kitted car.
The Titanium variant is available for Rs 40,000 more than the Trend+, but there isn’t substantially more kit on offer here. What you get on the Titanium variant is chrome embellishment on the exterior, 15-inch alloy wheels, push start button and height adjustable driver seat.
Titanium+ is the fully loaded variant on offer, at Rs 45,000 more than the Titanium. While the exteriors and interiors are the same as the Titanium variant, you have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, emergency assistance, auto dimming IRVM, auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers, and side and curtain airbags.
The Aspire now undercuts most of its rivals, and offers good performance as well. So, if you are looking for a fun-to-drive vehicle, the Aspire makes for a good buy. Also, in the Trend+ variant the car is well priced and makes for a good value-for-money option.
2018 Ford Aspire video review
2018 Ford Aspire review, test drive
2018 Ford Aspire facelift: 5 things to know
2018 Ford Aspire undercuts rivals on price
2018 Ford Aspire vs rivals: Specifications comparison
2018 Ford Aspire price, variants explained