Ford Figo Aspire Review & First Drive

Ford Figo Aspire Overview

Ford has taken its time to update its compact sedan, the Aspire. The good news, however, is that it has done a pretty thorough job. It looks more grown up now, what with its more sophisticated headlight and grille combo. Ford has used a lot more bling in the nose, and with the lower part of the chin finished in black, the new Aspire looks sportier too. There aren’t many changes to the rear except for the redesigned bumper, but what Ford has done is upped the wheel size; top-spec Aspires now run on 15-inch alloy wheels shod with 195/55 R15 tyres. The bigger multi-spoke alloys have a simple yet classy design and the wheels now look more proportionate to the body.

Check for Ford Aspire On Road Price in New Delhi

Also new are the petrol engines and gearbox options. The previous 88hp, 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine has been replaced with the new 96hp, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder ‘Dragon’ petrol engine; first seen on the Freestyle. While this engine packs more power, Ford also claims it is more efficient by 2.24kpl; a considerable amount. In addition, the 110hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine has also been replaced by a more powerful 123hp, 1.5-litre petrol unit (the same three-cylinder Dragon engine that powers the EcoSport). And this time, it gets the same auto ‘box as the Ecosport as well; a 6-speed torque converter unit (used in place of the earlier twin-clutch gearbox). What carries on unchanged, however, is Ford’s very tractable and strong 100hp, 1.5 diesel (codenamed Tiger). If it ain’t broke, why fix it, right? Book a test drive for Aspire in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.

Apart from the cosmetic updates and new engines, there are also many changes to the equipment list. Important additions include a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system (finally), two USB ports, an auto-dimming inside rear-view mirror (IRVM), auto headlamps and wipers, and a rear parking camera with sensors.

Ford Figo Aspire Exteriors

The 2018 Ford Aspire is an updated version of the car it replaces. The headlamps are similar to the ones we’ve seen on the freestyle. The silver headlamp surrounds have been binned in favour of a smoked finish. There’s a generous amount of chrome on the front grille which is now sleeker and features a honeycomb-type pattern. And then, thanks to some more chrome on the bumper, the car looks more premium. But we think, going by its sporty nature, an all-black grille would’ve worked better. Overall, the proportions are the same and the familiarity does work in the car’s favour. At the rear, it gets updated taillamps with revised detailing and a redesigned bumper.

It also gets 15-inch wheels compared to 14-inch ones of the old car. These, however, are available with the Titanium variants only. The 15-inch wheels do add a bit of muscle to the car and give it a more upmarket appeal.

Ford Figo Aspire Interiors

Stylish and modern interiors don the Ford Figo Aspire . The cabin has a neat layout with nothing out of place. The instrument panel is well laid-out with the new Ford steering wheel and fit has a lowing centre console. The top-of-the-line Titanium+ gets a mobile docking system as well.The other variants get the regular music system that we familiar with in the Ford Fiesta and Ecosport. The Sync has Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming. It also has medical assistance where the car automatically calls the emergency number in case of an accident. There is automatic climate control and electrically folding ORVMs.

The Ford Figo Aspire has good overall space management. The front row is very spacious. The second row seats are comfortable for two people only. The third will be a bit of squeeze as the central tunnel is raised and there is no headrest for the middle passenger. The cooling from the AC was decent in the Udaipur heat, but the rear AC vents were missed. With a boot capacity of 359 litres, the Ford Figo Aspire provides decent luggage carrying capacity.

Ford Figo Aspire Performance

The new 1.2-litre, three-cylinder, naturally aspirated Dragon engine made its debut in the Freestyle, and, on the Aspire, it is mated to a new 5-speed manual transmission. Producing a very strong 96hp – the highest among petrol-manual compact sedans – the engine is surprisingly smooth and silent for a three-cylinder unit at low revs. In fact, it feels as smooth as four-cylinder unit.Low-engine speed performance still is a bit lacklustre. Yes, it does feel marginally better than the earlier 1.2 at low speeds, and that is important, but it still isn’t as responsive as it should be below 2,000 or 2,500rpm. And what makes it worse is that low-speed pulling power isn’t great either. This means you either stay in a low gear or be prepared to shift up and down the ‘box often in traffic. Luckily, the new gearbox has short throws and is easy to slot into gear, while the clutch is light too. For Ford Figo Aspire check 

Things get much better past the 2,500rpm mark. The flow of power is much stronger; the Aspire accelerates harder past 3,000rpm and the engine even has a sporty snarl to it, which is nice. In fact from 3,000 to around 6,000rpm, the engine feels so well up to the task, it is quite enjoyable to drive. If only it had a stronger bottom end though.

The 100hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine has been carried forward from the previous Aspire. No major changes have been made to the engine, and as a result, it continues to deliver strong acceleration from just 1,500 or 1,700rpm. Yes, there is a hint of turbo lag, but if you have your foot down, the turbo spools up so fast and delivers such a strong and sustained surge of power, it feels a lot more thrilling to drive than the petrol. What’s nice is that it pulls hard all the way to the redline. Even the clutch is well weighted and the new gearbox is light, precise and a real delight to use.

At higher engine speeds it gets a bit noisy, and for the most part, it’s clear this is a diesel. Still, the taller gearing on the diesel Aspire does manage to make it a better cruiser and feel more relaxed at highway speeds.

Ford Figo Aspire Driving

Simply put, the ride is a considerable improvement over the old car. The upsized wheels on the Titanium do help in gliding over bumps. Both the petrol and diesel variants feel planted most of the time. All undulations are tackled with ease and there is little that can upset them. Even the rougher sections of road will pose little threat to the balanced suspension setup of the Aspire.

There are a few niggles though, the footwell feels a bit vibey, especially north of 80kmph. The rear feels a bit floaty at high speeds as well. The feeling is not intrusive or a deal breaker but it is present. There is a fair amount of tyre noise too that tends to creep into the cabin. This becomes especially prominent on rough tarmac, so state highways can be a noisy affair. In addition, you feel the vibe rather than hear them. Although, music does provide a good distraction. The steering on both cars is quite sharp and precise. Turn ins are precise and you have decent feel from the tyres as well. The petrol, though, feels lighter than the diesel to chuck into corners. The driving experience overall is quite lively and a rare mix of a good ride and fun driving dynamics.

Ford Figo Aspire 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 On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 6,22,722 to 9,18,648 for variants Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT and Figo Aspire 1.5D Titanium Plus MT respectively. Ford Figo Aspire is available in 11 variants and 7 colours. Below are details of Ford Figo Aspire variants price in Chennai,. Check for Aspire price in Chennai at Carzprice.

Ford Figo Aspire Round Up

With its new engines, upgraded equipment and more aggressive pricing, the new Aspire has a lot more to offer now. A proper step up from the one it replaces, this is a car that now feels like it is back in the game. The facelift makes it look fresh, the cabin is now nicely updated, its new gearboxes make it light and easy to drive, and with its new price, the Aspire now undercuts most of its rivals. The new petrol engine may feel a bit lethargic at low engine speeds, some rivals may feel larger inside and out, and others may be better equipped too. But, if you are looking for a car that’s practical as well as entertaining and enjoyable to drive, no other car in this class delivers a stronger performance. Make sure you drive the diesel before you sign on the dotted line; it sure does hit the spot.

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