Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Ford Figo: review, price, comparison

Update: Do read Ford Endeavour 2.5 4x2 XLT review here

It is long time since I test drove a car. Lots of new cars are hitting the market and I’ve not driven most of them. Finally took time off and gate crashed MPL Ford showroom near SRP Tools, OMR, Chennai and drove the all new Ford Figo, till Madhya Kailash and back.

ford-figo-sidelook ford-figo-front

For the first time I had a lady sales rep briefing me on the car specifics. Renuka was the sales consultant who efficiently briefed me on the car and its features. I went around the showroom and took lots of photos of the cars as Renuka illustrated the silent features of Figo, the large legroom in rear seat, spacious boot (heavily inspired from Fusion, provides 2/3rd the space you get in Fiesta), the cost aspect and other features. She also patiently listened to my unsolicited advises on what is missing in the car (like Swift has audio control on steering wheel, i10 has sun roof, rear power windows are missing and so on)

Looks: from the rear, Figo is very similar to Ford Fusion, which didn’t do well despite being as good as Fiesta. Sensing that straight lines on Fusion which resulted in unimpressive looks might be a cause for its failure, Figo is made rich with curves. From side and front the looks are pretty fresh.
Car scores good on the styling and looks. Available in 7 colours- While, Silver, black, gray, Colorado red, another variant of gray called Chill and Squeeze, the bright greenish one. Blue, Orange and brown shades (in which fiesta is available) are given a miss.

Interiors: Its spacious and passengers won’t struggle for space as in an i10 or Swift. 5 People can be seated comfortably, though rear seat design seem to suggest that it is meant for 2 adults and a kid. There’s no height adjustment for rear seat headrests. Windows are wide, but no power windows for rear passengers.

The drive: Smooth and responsive at par with Ford Fiesta. absolutely no complaints-I can keep driving it for days at a stretch without complaining. The coloured dash gives a whole new perspective compared to traditional black ones. Lane change indicators (which blink thrice and auto cut off), Rapid deceleration warning, electronic control for ERVM, programmable central locking are nice. I could see the front left extreme of the car, which means I can maneuver more precisely. Built on same chassis and wheelbase of Fiesta, Figo has ground clearance, turning radius and other parameters same as its big brother. Renuka said Figo has 3 mm more ground clearance than fiesta. I believed her for a moment but later it struck me how can ground clearance can be higher when same chassis and wheels are used, I’d to verify later that both have same clearance.
Ford-figo-dashboard IMG_0184
As we went for a drive, I’m told they’ve got about 300 bookings for Figo so far. She didn’t have a split up how many were for Diesel and how many for petrol. Waiting time will be close to one month, as they have delivered only 32 cars so far.(Sea Gray is the most demanded colour, which may have longer waiting period) Warranty: 2+1 year extended warranty or 1,20,000 kms which ever is earlier.
ford-figo-ready-Delivery IMG_0200
As I continued to click more photos Renuka asked in a slightly concerned note: “Why are you clicking so many photos sir?”, then I explained my intention to blog about it, I am not sure if she got what I meant. Since Rajiv Gandhi Salai was empty I easily touched 130 kmph and she became concerned. After checking with another staff who was in rear seat, she told top speed can go as much as 180kmph (“it might be very difficult to control at that speed”-the other person added), but I suspect top speed to be around 160kmph.

What is good?
  • Rapid Deceleration warning is a boon for sporty drivers. Hazard warning lamps (nothing but parking lights or glowing both indicators simultaneously) are activated automatically in case of sudden braking and vehicles behind will be alerted.
  • Peppy 1.4 L diesel engine is at par or better than most of the small cars or even entry level sedans, Bonnet design is such that I can see the left front corner of the car, which is very useful during city manoeuvring, boot space, @ 284 litres is large enough for most of the requirements. The orange coloured dash on Titanium gives a nice look (Ferrari like?). The material is same fibre in a different colour- not leather or wood, but it does the trick.
  • Central locking is programmable-in most of the cars, all doors are unlocked when the car is unlocked-this is good when driving with family, but are not safe while driving alone. In Figo, if you wish, you can program such that only driver door unlocks and not rest of them.
  • Bluetooth connectivity and speed sensing volume control are good
What is missing:
  • Rear doors do not have a power window, even in top end Titanium. Rolling up the window using the mechanical lever is 1990 style and can be painful.(“since you’ll be using AC most of the time there’ll not be much need to roll the windows” was the justification provided)
  • Some features offered by rivals (alloy wheels, audio control on steering wheel, sun roof, headrest height adjustment for rear passengers etc) are not even an option.
  • Mirror on sun visor is provided only for left side passenger and not for driver, so lady drivers pls excuse.
  • While Fiesta had its variant badges near indicators looking at which one could identify if it is SXi,ZXi or Exi. But that is given a miss in Figo. It is difficult to identify the variant. Only titanium has a badge on the rear
Ford Figo Variants:
While Fiesta was available in EXi, ZXi and SXi, Ford has introduced a new basic variant, LXi with Figo. Lxi will have only power steering and AC.  Exi and ZXi are other two variants while top end variant is named as Titanium. Compared to Zxi, Titanium will have dual airbags and ABS extra and at 5.1lakh (petrol) and 6.1 lakh (diesel), Titanium is about 40k expensive than Zxi
IMG_0187 Fod-figo-engine

Ford Figo on road price:
Ford Figo Duratec 1.2 litre Petrol:Lxi, Exi, Zxi and Titanium have on road price (Chennai) of 4.06, 4.41,4.61 and 5.1 lakhs respectively. It includes essential pack, insurance, registration and tax.

Ford Figo 1.4 Duratorq Diesel:Lxi, Exi, Zxi and Titanium are priced Rs 5.15,5.43,5.7,6.1 lakhs respectively
At 6 lakh rupees, Figo 1.4 Titanium is better priced than it rivals Swift VDi, VW polo or i20 Diesel.

Moreover, Figo Titanium saves close to 3 lakh rupees compared to Fiesta Sxi (diesel). 3 Lakh is something one might love to save, in exchange for a boot and sedan. But a point to be noted is that Fiesta and Figo diesel variants house a 8 valve SOHC engine, whereas rival Swift Diesel boasts 16 Valve DOHC engine. (Figo petrol is 16V DOHC, but Fiesta petrol is a 1.6 litre engine compared to Figo’s 1.2). In terms of power, Figo petrol delivers 71PS while diesel delivers 69PS. Swift Diesel delivers 75PS.
IMG_0185 IMG_0191

Compared to Fiesta Sxi, mirror mounted indicator is given a miss, the Digital LCD display on console is also smaller in size. At 284 litres of boot space, Figo is best in class for space and already offers 67% space compared to Fiesta (430 litres). More over, the rear seat is foldable completely.
IMG_0192 IMG_0193

Verdict: Figo is good value for money and fun to drive. It is a better deal than VW Polo or Fiat Punto, more so when you’re looking for a driver’s car. But I feel Swift VDi has a few advantages over Figo, from a drivers’ perspective (more robust suspension and wheels, 16V DOHC engine, all 4 power windows, on steering audio controls etc) Hyundai i20 also has some advantages, but I feel spending 7lakh+ for i20 diesel is not a wise thing to do.

August Update: Drove a ford Endeavor recently.. Read Ford Endeavour review here

Similar posts: Fiat Linea review * Mahindra Xylo reviewMaruti A-Star * Mahindra Scorpio M Hawk vls *

October 2010 Updates: Ford Figo has successfully sold 50000 units and is celebrating the same with a road trip called Discover Smart Drive. In September 2010, Figo was 5th most selling car in India, after Alto, i10, WagonR, Santro and Swift. Figo sold a few units more than its rival Tata Indica.

March 2011 update: Waiting to see if there'll be any special anniversary editions


Mohan said...

Nice detailed review Shrinidhi! The price is really enticing fitting the budget of a middle class folks. I wonder if that car alone didn't have that sun visor. That is really weird if they have not provided one for the driver.

Let me fix an appointment for test driving this car too :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...


Car has sun visor.. I was referring to a vanity mirror on the back of it

Raviraj said...

i was hoping to buy a second hand car, which i was thinking about buying a Zen. Now my attention has tourned towards Figo.

Hope it stays on.

Over all nice review.

Manjunath said...

Hi Nidhi,

Thanx for dropping in, btw nice review yes i had test driven both the cars Figo and Manza though it was just a few kilometers on city roads i got a overall perspective of both the cars their looks, interior, space, engine and performance...

and finally i rounded to Manza based on service, price tag, space and comfort and also i really liked the blue tooth integration similar to figo...

any way still i am in dillema and will finalize between figo and manza within a week, please suggest your inputs and experience if any on it(Manza)...

Shrinidhi Hande said...


I've not explored Manza in detail yet, hence no comments. It looks a bit underpowered for its size... BUt then, Manza is a sedan and Figo is supposed to be a compact car... depends on what r u preferences...