Developing a car for the finicky Indian hatchback buyer is no easy task. Just about every large car manufacturer has given it a shot, but only few have found real success. Ford happens to be among the notable inclusions in that short list. The last-gen Figo, launched in 2010, was its first mainstream hatchback for India, and straight off, Ford had got the formula right. Tough and practical without being too serious or dull, the Figo had it all. It was impressive enough to walk away with Autocar India’s Car of the Year award in 2011.
What you see here is the new Figo. ‘New’ because there’s little in common between the two generations of cars. This one’s built on a modern platform, features three different engines and can even be had with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Given that a lot of the car’s developmental work happened in India, there’s also the promise of the new Figo being even better suited to our conditions than the last one.
Could Ford have hit the bull’s eye once again? A detailed road test of the petrol automatic and diesel Figos gives us a clear answer.
The Figo has plenty up its sleeve to ensure it can stretch each litre of fuel far. Of course, the low kerb weight helps but Ford has also given the Figo plenty of aero tweaks to make the car as aerodynamic as possible. There’s a rubberised lip spoiler up front that pushes the air flow under the components of the engine while there’s a ridge behind the mirrors to smoothen air flow around the windows. The Aspire also has small protrusions behind the rear wheel arches to prevent drag-inducing vortices from forming around the bumper. It all helps because the Figo diesel’s ARAI-tested fuel economy of 25.8kpl is among the best in class.
Top trim Titanium + Figos come with Ford’s Sync infotainment system. In today’s world of touchscreen everything, the system’s monochrome display looks dated, but usability-wise it’s fine. It’s easy to connect a phone to the system and what’s also nice is that voice-activated commands for music and telephone work without the need to put on an accent. However, the main highlight of the system is its ability to automatically use your phone’s network to alert emergency services in case of an accident.