As mentioned, the Figo will be available with three engine-gearbox combinations. There’s a 1.2 petrol with a five-speed manual, a 1.5 diesel with a five-speed manual and a 1.5 petrol with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The dual-clutch auto version first. This one’s 1.5-litre petrol engine makes the most of its twin cams and variable valve timing architecture to produce a healthy 110.5bhp. The power figure makes the Figo automatic the most powerful of the mass market auto hatches in India. In town, the engine’s good bottom end responses help this version of the Figo build speed smartly. However, in slow-moving city traffic, you can feel the clutch engage, so shifts aren’t super smooth. But once on the go, the gearbox settles into its rhythm and responds well enough to changes in throttle position. It’s not lightning fast as the VW Polo’s twin-clutch unit, but it gets the job done.
At light loads, the gearbox will upshift at about 2,200rpm, but drive hard and it will hold to about 6,300rpm before shifting to the next ratio. Unfortunately, the gearbox’s Sport mode won’t let you hold gear beyond 6,300rpm (at which point the engine sounds thrashy) either, but does well to downshift and keep revs right in the heart of the powerband. Those driving on hilly roads will particularly like the engine braking effect of Sport mode. Drivers also have the option to shift gears manually in Sport, but only via the small ‘+/-’ buttons on the gear lever; there’s no traditional tiptronic function or paddle shifters on the steering. The gearbox is responsive to manual inputs, so you will find yourself making use of the buttons when conditions permit.
Performance on the whole is good. The dash from 0 to 100kph takes just 11.1 seconds – the VW Polo GT TSI does it in 11.02 seconds – and in-gear timings are decent as well.
But good as the auto Figo is, it’s the diesel that really impresses us. The engine is the latest version of Ford’s 1.5 diesel you’d find under the hood of the pricier refreshed EcoSport and Aspire, but the good news is that it’s not been dulled down for use in the cheaper hatch.That means power is a solid 98.9bhp! Couple that with a body that weighs all of 1,041kg and you are guaranteed excellent performance. 100kph comes up in 10.5 seconds, which makes the Figo diesel quicker than all the mass segment diesel hatchbacks, bar none.
Real-world performance also feels better than lower-powered rivals from the moment you set off. Responses are good right from idle, with a gentle surge speeding things up at about 1,600rpm. Thereon, there’s an even spread of power right till 4,000rpm. The engine’s not quick revving per se, but remains responsive throughout, even in fifth gear. The diesel engine also runs relatively quiet, though you can feel a buzz on the steering. Also worth mentioning is that gearshifts on the Ford IB5 gearbox are a touch notchy and aren’t suited to quick shifts. Driving in town, we also noted the diesel car’s clutch to be well weighted if springy in action.