Making a strong impact as an automotive manufacturer in large, economically developed countries is hard and it can sometimes even prove impossible. Doing so on a strict budget in poorer countries is even harder, however, as any manufacturer to enter newer markets will tell you. One country which proves to be a struggle for large manufacturers to this very day is India. As a country, they are rather powerful, but the people living there (middle class at least) can’t afford even some midsize sedans the rest of the world considers affordable. Providing them a good, reliable and most of all cheap product is the key to winning over their market then. For the longest time, India has been a one product market, meaning most manufacturers have only offered the market one production in relation to the price and what you’re getting, and it has almost always been a small city car.
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Well, Ford aimed to change that and they seem to have pulled it off. The EcoSport has settled into its stride, the Figo Aspire seems to have a lead on its competitors at the moment and with the brand new Endeavour just behind the corner, it’s time for the new 2016 Ford Figo to make its mark on the segment. Its predecessor proved to be successful, so the question is: Can the new one achieve the same?
The short answer to that question is yes. While the other vehicles are excellent, they only occupy a small portion of the entire market. The segment the Figo is competing in is definitely the one to shine in. At first glance, it seems like an incredible proposition. It can stack up against anything. Price wise you’re getting the same bang for the buck as the Maruti Celerio, but the sheer amount of options you can have makes it an entire class above.
Just one look at the exterior and you’ll instantly see the biggest change. The change that was the old car’s shortcomings: its exterior. While it may not be the best looking car, it’s certainly not bad. It looks modern and fresh but most of all, it has two traditional characteristics: those of all small Indian cars (short rear overhang and tall roofline) and classic Ford accents.
Most small cars in the segment only serve as means of transport, without having any sort of character or sense of individualism about them. Not so with the 2016 Ford Figo. The looks alone are enough to distinguish it from anything else on the road. It’s not over the top, but it’s more than enough to make itself known as a Ford.
2016 Ford Figo Interior Design
The interior received a much-needed upgrade as well. The dashboard design and layout is exactly the same as that in the Figo Aspire but whereas the Aspire gets a nice dual-tone treatment, the hatchback Figo only receives an all-black color theme. We can’t say it’s better because it isn’t but for what it effectively is, it’s more than enough. There are silver accents on the center console fascia, the arm rests, and the steering wheel. The large AC vents receive some chrome highlights but it doesn’t stop the interior from feeling not as nice as other Fords.
Okay, so it isn’t fair from us to be comparing it to much more expensive Fords since it is more than adequate. The plastics give away the budget of the car simply because they aren’t up to par with what we’re used to seeing from Ford, however, they do have a long-lasting feel to them, something most of the competitors still struggle with. All in all, the fit and finish do bring the Figo out of the mud but the quality of the materials themselves is not the best in the segment, although it’s close.
The ergonomics inside the cabin are superb. The cabin has been optimized for the right-hand drive layout and that includes all of the indicators and stalks. Everything is exactly where you would expect to find it and despite the materials not being the best, the controls certainly are. The multi-function cluster on the side of the steering wheel incorporates the controls for the headlights, the boot release, and the fog lights. Those are just a few elements the competitors can only dream of.
The seats are nice although the front seats may feel small for anyone above average height or anyone who is slightly larger. You do get adequate support however as well as decent space in the back seats. There is a center tunnel so unfortunately, you would struggle to fit even smaller sized adults in the back in relative comfort. The 2016 Figo only works great as a four seater but given the size, no one expects anything more.
Under the Hood
Under the hood, you get the choice of one petrol and one diesel unit. The 1.5-liter unit is a Ti-VCT engine available only with the PowerShift 6-speed dual clutch auto. It’s only offered in Titanium guise and it develops 112 PS and 136 Nm of torque. For reference, that makes the Ford Figo the second most powerful hatchback on sale in India, only losing out to the INR 10 lakhs.
The engine is smooth and free-revving, and surprisingly it didn’t even struggle in the lower revs. There’s plenty of power low down but ideally, you want to rev it out to get the most out of it. From 4,500 to 5,500 it really comes alive and gets that charismatic Ford feels we know and love.
The 1.5-liter four-cylinder diesel is a TDCI and it’s the same unit from the Figo Aspire. It generates a great 100 PS at a high 3,750 rpm and 215 Nm at just 1,700 rpm. It’s paired to a five-speed manual and despite its size, it can compete with much bigger diesel cars thanks to the sheer power on tap. The petrol engine returns around 17 kmpl and the diesel around 22.5 kmpl.
Prices for the Ford Figo start at around ₹4,46,600.