Ford Figo Aspire Hatchback First Drive Transmission

Ford Figo Aspire Overview

Ford needed to expand the choice for customers in the tough compact sedan market, which is currently led by the Maruti Suzuki Dzire. The Honda Amaze and even the Tata Motors’ Tigor are slowly inching up, putting Ford in a spot. So, does the new Aspire deliver on the key ‘fun to drive’ attribute that Fords are famous for?

The new Aspire promises a lot with some ‘segment first’ features such as the 6.5-inch touchscreen borrowed from the EcoSport and the all-new five-speed manual transmission that’s sportier and fun-to-drive. The best part about the new Aspire is that it has got three engines now, giving customers more options and they are all sportier too. It has the all new 1.2L three cylinder petrol engine, and the tried and tested 1.5L TDCi and 1.5L TiVCT engines. The new Aspire also gets bigger 15-inch tyres with premium alloys.The first look of the car tells you the differences easily as compared to the earlier version — the honeycomb grille — makes one identify the new Aspire, apart from the redesigned bumpers both front and at the back, and the bigger alloy wheels.Book a test drive for Figo Aspire in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

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Ford Figo Aspire Exterior & Style

One look at the new Ford Figo Aspire, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a reason to dislike the way this car looks. The exterior design of the Figo Aspire is based on Ford’s much successful Kinetic Design language and the car won’t look out of place when parked with the likes of the Fiesta and the Mondeo. No surprise, then, that the front-end of the Aspire has to be the talking point of its exterior design. The nose of this car is characterized by a wide front grille, which is slightly reminiscent of some premium cars from Aston Martin and MINI. Also, the front-end gets swept-back headlights, which further enhance the sportiness quotient. Moving on, there’s a clamshell-like hood, which gets some interesting surfaces and a discreet ‘power bump’ of sorts. When seen up front, the new Figo Aspire radiates sportiness and unarguably looks a tad more appealing than all its rivals. Overall, it is the front-end of this car that goes on to play a major role in making this car look aesthetically pleasing.

Unlike the likes of Dzire, Amaze and Xcent, the Figo+ sedan was conceived along with the latest generation Figo hatchback. All this means is that the Figo Aspire, which is essentially the sub-4m version of the Figo+, doesn’t suffer from the quirkiness that comes associated with ‘after-thoughts’ like the Dzire, the Amaze and the Xcent. Highlights of the Aspire’s side profile are stylish alloy wheels, blacked-out B-pillars, and rather chunky ORVMs that have integrated trafficators (way more appealing than those cheap-looking ones on the entry-level Amaze variants.) However, it has to be the well pronounced shoulder line that prevents the side from looking bland. True, Aspire’s side profile won’t turn heads, but this car easily boasts of the most proportionate design in its segment.

At its posterior, while the Figo Aspire lacks the dynamism that can be found at its front-end, Ford has ensured that the rear-end doesn’t look bland and boring. The boot lid gets a rather discreet integrated lip spoiler and then, there’s a chrome strip too that runs across the width of the boot lid to infuse some ‘premium-ness’ with the rear facade. Our favorite bit, however, is the chunky wrap-around taillights.Overall, the new Ford Figo Aspire manages to leave us impressed with the way it looks. True, this is certainly not the most handsome sedan from Ford, but all our excitement is justified by the fact that no other sub-compact sedan looks as well proportioned and as aesthetically appealing as this upcoming entry-level sedan here.

Ford Figo Aspire Interior & Comfort

If you find the exterior of the Aspire similar to the old car, we bet you won’t say the same when you step inside. That’s because now you get a dashboard that looks thoroughly modern. The dual tone beige/black cabin now looks contemporary and even the fonts on the instrument cluster have been revised with sporty carbon fibre texture surrounding it. However, the biggest addition is the 6.5-inch touchscreen system and the floating display looks really nice. It is fitted with Ford’s latest SYNC 3 system and is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which adds to the overall experience. The infotainment system is one of the best when it comes to quickness, smoothness and the big icons make it easy to use on the move. You also get two USB ports for charging and connecting your smart phone. Overall fit and finish is still not that great and cars like the Hyundai Xcent and Maruti Dzire do a much better job. Unlike the old car, Ford has decided to skip leather upholstery on the Ford Aspire to keep costs in check.

As the 2018 Aspire is still based on the old car, interior space remains the same. Space both at the front and rear is adequate and the seat shape and support is really good. There is enough knee room at the back and the big windows help make the cabin feel airy. The headroom at the back though is in short supply and anyone above average height, will spoil their hairdo against the roof. It is a very practical cabin too with loads of cup holders, big door pockets and many cubby’s to store knick-knacks up front. Unfortunately rear passengers won’t be as happy, as there are no door pockets and they have to make do with seat back pockets and two cup holders. Boot space is the same as well so you get the same 359 litre boot which is adequate but less as compared to direct rivals like the Hyundai Xcent and the Maruti Dzire.

In terms of equipment the Aspire comes well equipped. You get premium features like automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers and a modern Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabled touch screen infotainment system on the top Titanium Plus variant. It does miss out on features like LED headlamps, daytime running lamps and leather wrapped steering wheel which is offered on rival products. But it more than makes up for that, by offering best-in-class 6 airbags on the top variant.

Ford Figo Aspire Engine & Gearbox

As can be seen in the table below, the latest car from Ford India has got three engine options to offer. While it should be the 1.5-litre Petrol motor that is likely to excite the enthusiasts, the 1.5-litre Diesel, followed by the 1.2-litre Petrol, will bring in the major chunk of sales. We drove both these engine variants and were satisfied with the overall performance of these motors.

The 1.2-litre Petrol engine for the Figo Aspire is based on the same motor that powers the petrol variant of the Figo hatchback that we all know of . However, for the Aspire, this four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated unit has got some major revisions in favour of enhanced fuel economy and performance. This Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) equipped engine is sufficiently refined and revs rather freely. However, low-end performance is not its forte and frequent gearshifts are a must in situations like stop-go traffic. It is on the highways where this motor really impresses. The engine makes for quite a sprightly performer and there’s so much juice on offer towards the top-end of the rev-range that one would be hard pressed to not keep this engine on the boil. Top speed, at above 170 km/h, is nothing short of impressive for a sub-4m compact sedan and even the in-gear acceleration is pretty good. The gearshifts, too, are precise and the shift-action is smooth.

However, among the two engine variants that we drove, it is the 1.5-litre Diesel version that was more enjoyable. This is the same 1.5-litre turbo’ed oil-burner that does duty on the Fiesta and the EcoSport, but has been re-tuned for the Aspire to churn out a maximum power of 100 PS. This might have been done to match the Amaze’s segment-leading power of 100 PS, but what sets the Aspire apart is the way the motor goes on about its business. The turbo lag is minimal and come 1400 rpm, and the Aspire Diesel charges forward with almost a ferocious velocity. The torque is well spread throughout the rev-range and pushing this car to its limit is just too much fun. We recorded a speedo-indicated 185 km/h, which, when compared to the Amaze-D’s top whack of 145 km/h, feels rather stratospheric! The diesel variant is equally athletic even lower down the revs and doesn’t break sweat even when chugging along at 40 km/h in fourth gear, with the tacho needle hovering at a leisurely 1100 rpm. Akin to the petrol variant, gearshifts are precise and the clutch action is light. The NVH levels could have been a bit lower, but frankly, we are almost nitpicking here.

Ford Figo Aspire Driving Dynamics

When it comes to ride and handling the Ford Aspire remains as strong as before. The steering is direct and it is eager to change direction. The Aspire feels a little soft initially and body roll is gentle but not excessive. In fact, the suppleness doesn’t come at the expense of stability and even at high speed on an undulating surface, the Aspire feels rock solid. In terms of comfort too, this Ford shows great composure be it at high or low speeds and the ride quality is flat and it absorbs the worst of road conditions with aplomb. Even the brakes feel strong and the pedal feel is sharp yet progressive.

Ford Figo Aspire Braking & Safety

The Ford Aspire 2018 features standard dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, and seatbelt reminder for the driver and front passenger. The top-spec trim gets six airbags, emergency assistance, and the AT trim features hill launch assist, ESP and traction control system.

Ford Figo Aspire Cost in Chennai

Ford Figo Aspire Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 5,47,286/- (Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT) to 8,10,611/- (Figo Aspire 1.5D Titanium Plus MT). Get best offers for Ford Figo Aspire from Ford Dealers in Chennai. Check for Figo Aspire price in Chennai at Carzprice

Ford Figo Aspire Conclusion

The Aspire is priced between Rs.5.55 lakh to 8.49 lakh – with a lot of features and safety packed in. Even though the company is half mockingly telling buyers ‘don’t follow the crowd’ in its campaign for the Aspire, it is not going to be easy to attract customers. Since it’s launch in August 2015, Ford India has managed to sell around 80,000 odd units of the Aspire. Tata Motors that launched Tigor first in March last year has already sold more than 50,000 units. The new, more improved Tigor has been priced at Rs 5.2 lakh onwards, currently the lowest in the segment.