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.

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 In addition, the 110hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine has also been replaced by a more powerful 123hp, 1.5-litre petrol unit (the same three-cylinder Dragon engine that powers the EcoSport).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?

Ford Figo Aspire Look

Not that we mind it, because now the Aspire has morphed into a seemingly upmarket small sedan. It all starts with the colours they’re offering. The paint shades are what most would call ‘mature’, including the ‘White Gold’ you see in pictures, and the ‘Smoke Grey’ and ‘Moondust Silver’ apart from the usual black and white. If you like your cars with a bit of spunk there’s a bright red and blue too.Check for Ford Figo Aspire price in Pune at Tryaldrive.

Updates, although subtle, are tastefully done. That grille, in particular, with that 3D honeycomb-like effect makes sure that the Aspire makes a more solid first impression. Look closely and you’d find a new bumper too, and headlamps that now sport a smoked finish. It also gets some thoughtful touches of chrome around the grille, the fog lamps and inside the headlamp cluster. It’s noticeable, and yet not over the top. Just the way we like it.

While the front will make it clear to the neighbours you’ve bought the updated model, parking it face in won’t. Spotting changes at the rear takes some closer inspection, and only then you’d find taillamps with revised detailing and a new rear bumper with a faux air vent-like scoop.Then there’s our favourite update of the lot – the new wheels. Tyre size has gone up from 14 to 15 inches, and it now runs 195/55R15 Apollo Alnac 4G rubber. But, bear in mind this is limited only to the Titanium and the Titanium+ variants. If you pick anything else, you’ll get the older (read: weedy) 175/65R14 tyres. The design of the alloys itself is a whole lot better than the drab looking wheels of the outgoing Aspire, that’s a given.

Sure, there aren’t any wow elements here. The competition offers some serious bling in the form of projector headlamps, daytime running lamps and even machined-finish wheels. Finer details like a dollop of chrome on the door handle, a neater integration of the antenna and LEDs in the taillamps are missing. There’s no denying that the updated Aspire does look noticeably better compared to the one it replaces. That said, we do wish Ford had gone the whole hog here and redone the design a bit more thoroughly.

Ford Figo Aspire Comfort

Get into the car and you are greeted by the familiar two-tone black and beige dashboard. The major change on the inside is the addition of the 6.5-inch touchscreen with the Ford Sync 3 system on the top-of-the-line Titanium+ cars. The unit is seamless in operation, very responsive and offers a level of slickness similar to that of most smartphones. The interface is intuitive and easy to understand, the display goes bright enough for even drives across a desert and what enhances the experience manifold, is the presence of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Even connectivity has been enhanced with an improved Bluetooth system and an extra USB slot (Titanium+ only). And if you look closely, the dials have been upgraded too. They now get a carbon fibre-like texture; much nicer than the plain looking earlier dials.For more information on Ford Figo Aspire check Scriptcafe

With its new rubberised screen control knobs and additional chrome, the cabin has been given a bit of a lift too. The piano black surfaces, carried over from the earlier car, add to the premium feel, there are no badly built bits and most of the plastic bits feel hard-wearing. Quality levels, however, are a step down from those seen in the Dzire, and what the Ford also lacks is that sense of space the Maruti cabin delivers.The Aspire’s cabin is as practical as ever, especially up front. The door pockets are very accommodating and are smartly designed to hold bottles of all sizes; the glovebox is massive and there’s even a nicely executed stowage area between the seats where you can keep all sorts of odds and ends.

Overall visibility from the driver’s seat is good. Even tall drivers can find a comfortable driving position quite easily, and the wide front seats provide good under-thigh and shoulder support as well. More importantly, the seats cushioning is just right.Legroom in the rear is good as well due to the Aspire’s long wheelbase (the longest in its class), and the seat, though not as good as some rivals, offers good support and a nicely reclined backrest. Shoulder room is tight though, as is the headroom, especially for passengers taller 6ft.

Ford Figo Aspire Gearbox

Moving to the drivetrain, the Aspire lets you choose from quite a few options depending on your pocket or need. There are two kinds of petrol – 1.2l and 1.5l – and one diesel on offer.  We didn’t get a chance to sample the 1.5l unit, which comes exclusively with an automatic transmission.But the 1.2l unit we drove for a day instantly feels more refined than the old-Figo-derived unit it replaces. We aren’t new to this 96PS/120Nm drivetrain, having tested it with the Freestyle crossover. But Ford claims that the engine has been tuned differently for the Aspire and it shows. On the highway, it runs more relaxed, needing a mere 2,500rpm to cruise at 100kmph, compared to the Freestyle which needs 500 revs more. We expect this relatively more relaxed nature to translate into better fuel economy – something that left us unimpressed in the Freestyle.

The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which is tuned for a strong low and mid-range. Pottering around in the city and pulling overtakes at city speeds isn’t a cumbersome affair. At highway speeds though, pulling overtakes needs a downshift or two. The lack of top end pull can get annoying, but the throaty note of the engine offers a bit of a respite and is surprisingly good to hear compared to the usual three-cylinder thrum.

The diesel Aspire continues to use its tried and tested (and very eager) 1.5l, 100PS/215Nm TDCi four-cylinder oil burner. Truth be told, I’m glad that it lives. It is a driver’s delight despite being a diesel. Its torque is so well spread out, that there is virtually a second powerband that kicks in around the 120kmph mark when in top gear and it just keeps pulling beyond that too. That’s the zone where most other compact sedans start losing breath or start screaming or start guzzling fuel. This one doesn’t do any of that!

The diesel engine is now mated to a new five-speed manual transmission. The new gearbox is lighter, and it slots more confidently, and with short throws and likeable clicks between the shifts. The clutch pedal travel is still as long as the outgoing unit, but the clutch engagement takes place earlier than before and therefore, you don’t have to keep mashing the clutch pedal all the way in, in bumper to bumper traffic. In a nutshell, it isn’t as cumbersome to work as before. Going by how good the Aspire diesel’s highway manners are, I would have liked a dead pedal to rest my left foot on.Both these engines are very unique in their character, then. While the petrol is perfect for an urban runabout, the diesel is more suited for an enthusiast while being a lovely high cruiser.

Ford Figo Aspire Driving

Ford agrees, and they have indeed fixed that on the updated Aspire with a more progressive braking. It is complemented by a decent grip from the tyres, which are now 15-inchers on the range-topper. It’s electronic power steering and the suspension setup are tuned in signature Ford fashion for a precise feedback and taut handling dynamics respectively. The steering might seem to be on the stiffer side for some, but the ride quality isn’t. It’s supple. When the Aspire was conceived, the engineers at Ford would have liked a slightly stiffer suspension setup for a flatter ride through corners, but they had gone with a softer setup instead, giving in to consumer demand for a comfier ride. That remains unchanged, but it is still quite a likeable package for the enthusiast as well as the casual driver and I like that balance.

Ford Figo Aspire Safety

On the topic of safety, the Aspire pulls Ford’s signature trick out of the hat and secures the cabin with up to six airbags on the Titanium Plus trim. Dual airbags and ABS are standard. It also boasts of an electronic stability program, traction control, and hill start assist on the automatic variant.

Ford Figo Aspire Price in Pune

Ford Figo Aspire On Road Price is 6,29,283/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,47,069/- in Pune. 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 Bottomline

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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