Ford Figo S

The best driver’s car in evo In­dia’s garage?

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FFORD HAS BEEN DO­ING REL­A­TIVELY well with the EcoS­port. How­ever, Figo and As­pire sales have dropped dras­ti­cally and that has left us in shock. Al­low us to ex­plain why.

Ford In­dia re­cently sent over the Figo S as a long ter­mer to us and it be­came an in­stant hit at the evo In­dia of­fice. Ab­hishek drove it down to Goa on the week­end it ar­rived, com­ing back thor­oughly im­pressed by its high­way man­ners and cor­ner­ing abil­ity. The low­ered sus­pen­sion and stiff­ened anti-roll bars help the Figo S here, as would the 15-inch wheels and tyres, an inch up on the reg­u­lar Figo.

On my first out­ing on the Mum­bai-Pune ex­press­way, I en­joyed the planted and se­cure feel­ing the car of­fers, which is con­fi­dence in­spir­ing com­pared to its Ja­panese and Korean ri­vals in the seg­ment. That’s be­cause the lit­tle Ford has got lots of its tech from its Euro­pean cousins, a re­gion where Ford sells a va­ri­ety of com­pact cars and the buy­ers ap­pre­ci­ate the car’s pol­ish and so­phis­ti­ca­tion, at­tributes that we In­di­ans have only re­cently started warm­ing to in cars at this price. Ford is hop­ing it will make a real play at cus­tomers more con­cerned with price and fuel econ­omy along with Euro­pean-like so­lid­ity and com­fort at high­way speeds. Our Figo S ar­rived with over 11,000 kilo­me­tres on the clock, yet did not feel like it had run that much, a good sign that it’s built well.

To make the new gen­er­a­tion Figo more palat­able to our mar­ket, Ford has added some weight, re­placed the pre­vi­ous model’s mod­est en­gine and beefed up the power on the new 1.5-litre turbo diesel to 99bhp. This makes the car prop­erly fun to drive in town and es­pe­cially while over­tak­ing on the high­way. The en­gine has very lit­tle turbo lag and re­sponds in­stantly to throt­tle in­puts, giv­ing you an al­most petrol­like feel to drive. Early im­pres­sions have been pos­i­tive, as you might ex­pect. Pretty much ev­ery­one who have wrapped their hands around the Figo’s leather-wrapped steer­ing wheel, has come out smil­ing thanks to the car’s stiff struc­ture, com­fort­able ride, and pre­dictable handling. Like some other Fords I’ve driven, the brake pedal is some­what soft and lacks bite through the first inch or two of its travel. It is the only dy­namic trait I don’t like. I would have also liked the in­te­ri­ors to be bet­ter, with more mod­ern touches and a re­verse cam­era or at least park­ing sen­sors.

The over­all driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence does com­pen­sate for the lack of fea­tures though, so does the amaz­ing fuel econ­omy. De­spite be­ing driven with en­thu­si­asm, the car has al­ways de­liv­ered above 20kmpl.

Take a good look at your car buy­ing choices, for this tiny Ford of­fers the max­i­mum Thrill of Driv­ing this side of `10 lakh and it is eco­nom­i­cal too! ⌧

Anirud­dha A Rangnekar

(@anirud­dha_ar)

‘The en­gine has very lit­tle turbo lag and re­sponds quickly to throt­tle in­puts, giv­ing you an al­most petrol-like feel to drive’

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