FOrd Figo Aspire Review & First Dive

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FOrd Figo Aspire Overview

Comfortable, spacious and presentable, Ford’s Aspire has a lot going for it. However, it lacked competent petrol engines and the features list felt dated vs the newer competition. Now, though, it has received some significant updates to make the petrol Aspire more appealing and the tech package more compelling.Does the new petrol engine finally make the Aspire petrol an option worth considering? And with the market again shifting towards petrol, has Ford played it smart by giving importance to petrol engines again?

The Aspire diesel was preferred over the petrol for its exciting driving dynamics. But with the new 1.2-litre petrol, Ford has truly multiplied Aspire’s abilities as it now delivers the Ford experience while keeping everyday needs firmly in focus. Moreover, no other car in its segment offers a petrol engine that is as powerful. Its main rival, the Maruti Suzuki Dzire makes 83PS compared to the Aspire’s 96PS. The K-series trumps Aspire’s TiVCT in terms of refinement. But, Aspire offers a strong mid-range (2500-3000rpm) whereas Dzire relies on top end power (4000-6000rpm). It is also engaging and fun to drive. Check for FOrd Figo Aspire  price in Mumbai at Tryaldrive.

Yes, it doesn’t offer the bragging rights of DRLs and projector headlamps but provides all that matters. You get a touchscreen infotainment system and climate control Trend+ onwards, along with ABS, dual airbags and rear parking sensors as standard. In the top-end variant it gets side and curtain airbags, SYNC3 (easily the best infotainment system in its segment) and a reversing camera. Plus, you get a car that can be a breeze to drive in the city and is fun in the corners. And with a starting price of Rs 5.55 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Aspire is lighter on the pocket than the outgoing model. The pricing of the petrol Trend+ variant is similar to the older Trend variant and the new Trend+ is a massive step up from it.

FOrd Figo Aspire Style

Now though Ford has tried to address these shortcomings with the updated 2018 Aspire. It gets updated exteriors, a new dashboard layout and brand-new petrol engines. Are the changes significant enough to trouble its rivals? We got behind the wheel of the compact Ford sedan to find answers.

To spot the changes made to the exterior of the 2018 Aspire, you would need to look really hard. Upfront you get an all-new bumper that looks edgy thanks to the sharp creases around the fog lamps. You also get honeycomb elements in the new grille which looks more matured than before. Surprisingly you don’t get projector headlamps or even daytime LED running lamps which has become a norm for a car at this price. The top Titanium variants also get bigger 15 inch alloys which look more proportionate and also fill the wheel wells better. At the back the 2018 Aspire looks identical to the old car, except for the new bumper that looks sportier. Overall with the update, the Aspire looks more grownup and mature than the old car.

FOrd Figo Aspire Space

The Aspire’s interior is not entirely new, so it remains to be a well laid out, ergonomic, spacious and comfortable cabin. But Ford has made some significant changes to help distinguish it from its predecessor. A similar beige and black dual-tone theme is carried forward, but the seats have now been restyled to offer better support. And they are comfortable too even if they are not adorned in leather. The dashboard has also been revamped with a new 6.5-inch floating touchscreen system. This unit is similar to the one seen on the new EcoSport and Freestyle. Even so, the Aspire still misses out on a rear air-con vent which is on offer on competitors like the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Hyundai Xcent.

There are neither seat back pockets nor bottle holders on the rear doors. On the other hand, the 6.5-inch touchscreen unit provides quick access to Ford’s new in-car connectivity SYNC 3 system. This is equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and is very easy to use. Moreover, worth a mention are the upmarket features like an engine start-stop button, auto climate control and illuminated USB sockets.

FOrd Figo Aspire Gearbox

The biggest change in the updated Aspire are the new petrol powertrains. Ford’s compact sedan now comes with the Dragon series petrol engines. The 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine has been carried forward as is. So we will be focusing more on the new petrol powertrains.The Dragon series 1.2- and 1.5-litre petrol engines have been carried over from the Freestyle and the EcoSport. The 1.5-litre engine makes 123PS of power and 150Nm of torque but it’s available with the 6-speed AT gearbox only. The 2018 Ford Aspire facelift we drove had the 1.2-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine that produces 96PS of max power and 120Nm of torque, which makes it one of the most powerful engines in its class. It is mated to a new Getrag 5-speed gearbox which, according to Ford, assists in providing a better fuel economy than before. For more details on FOrd Figo Aspire check Tony-allen

Although, it does need to be revved if you want to have fun, but the sweet spot lies just above 3000rpm that is not only approachable but also more forgiving on the consumption front. You only need to rev it all the way up to 6000rpm if you really intend to test the limits of the vehicle. At sedate speeds, it is equally well mannered and there is ample torque available to perform quick overtaking manoeuvres.

This is a major improvement compared to the old 1.2-litre engine that had to be revved hard even at low-medium speeds for overtakes. While it isn’t as peppy as the Dzire petrol, it does come close. 0-100kmph takes 12.01 seconds vs the Dzire’s 11.88s. Even in the climb from 30-80kmph, the Aspire petrol takes 11.47 seconds vs the Dzire’s 10.39 seconds. That said, the Aspire doesn’t feel as engaging to drive as the Freestyle. The gearing is set on the taller side, so acceleration isn’t as brisk. This has been done in the interest of fuel efficiency and has worked. With a tested mileage of 15.92kmpl in city, it marginally betters the already frugal Dzire (15.85kmpl) but falls behind on the highway at 19.52kmpl vs the Dzire petrol’s 20.90kmpl. The end result? The Ford Aspire is no longer a diesel-only pick.

The 5-speed gearbox itself is a treat to use. The shifts are precise and the clutch is light. Third gear again, like for the diesel, is the car’s sweet spot where it can pull from 20kmph to 120kmph with ease.

The 1.5-litre diesel, on the other hand, makes a sprightly 100PS of max power and 215Nm of torque. This engine gets a new Getrag 5-speed gearbox too. Let’s talk about the diesel first. It retains its punchy nature and accelerates like a bullet as soon as the needle goes past the 1800rpm mark. Its acceleration is relentless and the 215Nm of torque makes itself felt in more ways than one. You can be in any gear and a gentle push on the throttle is all that’s needed to propel the car forward. Out on the highway, you can leave it in 5th and not worry about shifting down even if the speed drops to the lower fifties. You can also power out of corners in a gear higher than you normally would and the Aspire always responds with a bucketful of torque

The new Getrag transmission feels light and precise. Effort while shifting is minimal, though you do need to get used to the collar for putting into reverse. It is at its most versatile in third as it will pull from 30 to 110kmph with ease. It is equally comfortable sitting at triple-digit speeds and a dab of the right foot is enough to perform even the most unplanned of overtaking manoeuvres. It is still a treat to drive with ample torque at your disposal.

FOrd Figo Aspire Driving

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 Safety

On the safety front, dual airbags and ABS now come as standard across the Aspire range. But what gives the Aspire an edge over its rivals is that it’s equipped with electronic stability program (ESP) on the top variants and the new SYNC 3. This one, like before, has the Emergency Assistance feature to notify the nearest hospital in case of a collision.

FOrd Figo Aspire Price in Mumbai

Ford Figo Aspire On Road Price is 6,38,166/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,47,833/- in Mumbai. Ford Figo Aspire comes in 7 colours, namely Deep Impact Blue,Smoke Grey,Sparkling Gold,Tuxedo Black,Ruby Red,Oxford White,Ingot Silver. Ford Figo Aspire comes with FWD with 1196 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 87 bhp@6300 rpm and Peak Torque 112 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Ford Figo Aspire comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

FOrd Figo Aspire Final Thought

Ford has played their cards well with the Aspire facelift. Its looks are a differentiating point, cabin is well designed and reasonably spacious with some new equipment. However, it still misses out on some basic features like DRLs, projector headlamps and rear AC vents, which have now become a norm in this compact sedan segment. Nonetheless, the Aspire nails the spot with class-leading safety equipment, most powerful engines in segment, excellent driving experience and prices lesser than its outgoing model. It’s also competitively priced between Rs 5.5 lakhs to Rs 8.14 lakhs (ex-showroom) undercutting the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Honda Amaze by good margins. An Aspire to aspire for then then?

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