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Old 26th October 2015, 15:51   #1
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Default Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Every time a strong wind blows, every sand and dust yearns for being a solid rock and every solid rock longs for flying with the wind!

Mehmet Murat ildan

Or a more colloquially appropriate “the grass is greener on the other side” should suffice. Recalling the day when the biggest car manufacturer in India decided to bring the festival of lights (and some more fireworks) early for what can only be assumed for thousands of customers, this is going remind one of Shakespeare’s King Lear story of treachery and deceit. Wait a minute, for those of us who aren’t bestowed with the ability to take ‘antiplasti’ before the main course, here’s what you can expect from the 2015 New Ford Figo DCT;

What I like:
  • Novelty! Novelty! Novelty! This car will be a rare sight on the roads. Considering the love we bestow on the accomplished offerings from Hyundai and Maruti.
  • The looks of the car will not offend many, at the same time may not impress any.
  • Ease of driving owing to the fantastic gearbox mated to a very capable engine block. 112 PS is more than any other commuter hatchback currently on sale. (Please don't get the Punto Abarth in the picture, such comparison will be a blasphemy)
  • Enough space for a comfortable drive for 4 on board, even the occasional 5th attendant will not be troubled. More leg-room than the longer Polo I had earlier.
  • Ergonomics of the car is pretty sorted. The indicator and wiper stalks are attuned to the generally accepted Indian manufacturing and habits.
  • The ACC works like a charm. At 39' outside, and the temperature control set to 21', the car does not feel like missing out on rear AC vents at all.
  • Pliant ride on the 14" and fatter tires. Handling is not a deal breaker either.
  • Internal trims and plastics are par for the course, without being exclusively better than anyone. Hyundai still sets the bench-mark.
  • Brakes are quite reassuring. On paper it still has discs in the front, drums on the rear; but on a couple of occasions the car stopped well in line and with urgency. Inspires confidence.
  • All black interiors provides a welcome change from the usual beige overdose. The feeling is rather cocooned and comfortable.

What I don't like:
  • Response of the gear shifts may feel stunted under heavy-foot driving. Doesn't shift as purported seamlessly as the DSG.
  • Doors don't have the same weight as the EcoSport. Definite intent shown by Ford in keeping the costs reasonable.
  • Puny tires do not go with the look of the car; an upgrade is vociferously objected by Ford.
  • Owing to the auto-transmission and bigger engine, mileage is not comparable to the competitions 1.2 offerings.
  • Door pads flex inward on operation of the power windows. Nearly not as bad as it did in the Ciaz, but still could have been better.
  • The boot is not the biggest, and this was expected as the Figo is nearly 100mm shorter than Elite i20. I have another car for longer drives, hence it does not bother me as much, for others this may be an issue.
  • Sound deadening/ insulation could have been better. NVH is not obtrusive but could use some amount of damping on the doors to make it better.
  • Whilst seated in a relaxed position, left leg fouls with the center console. I am 6", and should be relevant to most of us.
  • One of the poorest OEM headlights. It fails to illuminate more than a few feet ahead, an upgrade will only marginally make things better. I suspect design of the reflector is at fault here.

If you have a cup of coffee and a lot of time in your hand

And so the story continues… The name was not decided, the make was not decided. It was only when trickles of information of new launches started flowing, was when I started warming up to the idea of looking out for a regular steed. People aware of BKC in Mumbai and the arterial roads leading up to it should also know that no number of steeds (read: horsepower) can possibly help you gallop any faster. People also aware of Palm Beach Road will know the legal limits on Indian highway often becomes the minimum speed expected of you in the right lane. Or the middle lane, or the third lane! So predicament it was for me, as I strived to replace my ageing German underdog. When I got the Polo in 2010, everyone would scorn at the idea of not buying a Swift. Not only was it quicker, cheaper but also backed by an enviable support of service and freely available parts in even the local ‘kirana’ shop. (Figure of speech – Hyperbole)! I still went ahead with my first ever car from an unfancied maker (atleast in India) and spent close to 5 years of absolutely blissful and proud ownership. Of course it would throw the occasional tantrum, but nothing that could sway me away from the love I had for the car. My wife resigned to the fact that she was only second important to me on weekends.

Before this post spirals away into a presumably long ownership thread, I am here to talk about how the dust settled today – on a day, when for a fleeting second, minute and hour, my mind wavered to the fortuitous idea of replacing my two-week car with the snazzy little offering from the Nexa next door. I’m glad I didn’t walk upto my car and drove it to the Nexa dealership and ask some random evaluator to open her up. I would like to think my car would have felt really bad. Really, really bad!

I have driven the car for more than 1200 kms in three weeks. No highway driving, no cruising on roads less travelled. This is my usual usage pattern, albeit I have to admit that this being a new car, I drove it out on weekends too. Generally that’s reserved for the Scorpio (which by the way isn’t too old itself, having bought it in February this year). I am about to summarize my experience of owning the Blue Oval for two-weeks and hopefully a lot more weeks henceforth.

The Why, How and Where… and some bit more

Let me put things in perspective. Team BHP app on my phone is on the first window, Team BHP website shows up in the ‘Very Active’ tab on my office laptop. Attuned with most of the launches happening these days, I made my way to the neighboring Bhavna Ford show-room much before launch of the car. I went on a weekend to check out the Aspire and liked what I saw. On the next weekend, had my wife accompany me to get a TD of the Aspire DCT. I assumed not much will change between the siblings, and on the hindsight it didn’t. The SA was extremely knowledgeable and was available on call whenever I needed any information/ support. Infact it was her, who proactively called me on the day bookings were open and handled all the documentation work required to avail the car. Insistent on Smoke Grey, she placed in a request with the plant and as they say “made it happen”. The experience is a far cry from the neighboring VW showroom, where you are left wondering alone with the cars sometimes.

Infact, what tilted my decision was also the used-car evaluator from the showroom. Not only was their quote competitive, their conduct and eagerness had me save his number on speed dial. All my future cars are definitely going to get a quote from him. After a couple of weeks of waiting for the choice car, the vehicle was made available on the day of ‘Mahalaya’ – an auspicious occasion for us. Although the delivery went deep into the evening, I was not too worked up since it happens to be a very happy moment.

Ex-showroom: 694,498
RTO, LBT (+): 80,145
Insurance: 31,362
Depot Charges: 6,250
Extended Warranty: 5,552 (for 3rd year) + 4,500 (do not recall the exact amount for 4th year)
Exchange of old vehicle: 300,000
Loan processed from HDFC: 250,000 (got a phenomenal rate of 9.4% owing to my existing relationship and an additional insurance cover)

The initial quotation came with 3-year extended warranty. However, on delivery date, a couple of calls to the concerned department from the SA on my insistence, I paid a further premium to avail for 4 years/ 60,000km warranty package. Infact the professionalism of the SA was reinforced again, since he opined the 80,000km package would not help me much owing to my running habits. +1 for that! The customary load-down of the car and its features was not a fleeting responsibility or check box activity for the attendants. It was a thorough walk-through of all the necessary features of the car, included explanation of the service handbook and owners’ manual, activating the electricals and showing me the engine bay. Half way through the demonstration, I had already spent more time in enlightening myself of the car than all my previous purchases put together. Over and above, the Team BHP PDI list was also engaged on my phone and I am sure my ‘johri’-style appraisal of every nook and corner of the car would have looked funny.

The essential package set me back by INR 5,000 (incl. applicable taxes). However, I am almost tempted to say its VFM considering the garbage some other manufacturers give. The floor-mats provided are of very good quality, the mud flaps look well integrated, boot mat covers real estate at the rear and one also gets a Ganapati and perfume for good measure. I am going to add non-illuminated door sill plates and one at the hatch too, once they are made available to the dealership. The other accessories were either not necessitated or exorbitantly priced for reasons best known to them.

Price-list for accessories
price.xlsx

Alternatives considered
Having read all that aforementioned, one would be leant to believe that I had the decision made by some magic from the constellations. However, that’s the farthest one can be from truth. The truth is Team-BHP is a taboo at home and according to my wife, the sole reason why she has learnt to not speak to me a lot. Jokes apart, I have spent more sleepless nights on this car than on a home-stay in the middle-of-nowhere in Goa; the scrutiny of the proposed car could not have been more random. It entailed the 4.4m long S-Cross, the completely dissimilar Duster (thanks to the discounts) and also a genius of an idea to own a pre-worshipped Corolla Altis. However, to narrow down to the top contenders and their perceived +/- in my mind, before the decision was made;

Hyundai Elite i20
  • Was the favorite going into the last round. Infact even a week before the delivery, was wondering why not.
  • The welcome and attitude of the service advisor was a huge plus. Easy to understand why Hyundai has managed to wrest a lot of the initiative from other players in the Indian market.
  • The most sought and thought-after interiors in the segment. The car itself can sell itself, even if the buyer doesn’t start the engine.
  • Unfortunately, I did start the engine and I did drive the car. Bear in mind, since it was the petrol variant, I found the car rather lethargic. 5 minutes into the drive, and I was checking out few of the scores of features given in the car. The drive isn’t engaging to say the least.
  • All this could have been still overlooked, but the final nail in the coffin was the lack of AT. Once I decided on giving my left leg some rest, the car was bid adieu in my mind.

Suzuki S-Cross
  • You must be thinking I am mad. But at 10 OTR for Sigma and 11 OTR for Delta, these were some real anxious moments for the Figo. The car had space in abundance, and the Delta seemed reasonably well kitted.
  • Build quality was easily the best coming from the Manesar unit, and the attitude of the SA showed why the Nexa was born.
  • Lack of AT as an option and the thought of depressing the clutch on a diesel car was enough to have it knocked-off.
  • Tops my list of recommendation to people who are looking for a car (including Dad).

New Honda Jazz
  • The halo product in my list of probable. Before I went for the TD, I was sure of giving this car more than 2-3 considerations, even if there were some issues. Proximity of the Honda showroom to my office lured me to be present on the day of launch.
  • The engine is a gem and inspite of being a CVT, it was easily the most engaging ride of all my test drives.
  • Abundance of space and features on the top variant makes the Jazz a rather competent product in the market. It looks the part too, in what I personally feel is the smartest looking hatch in India.
  • Then I decided to do my customary palming the exterior panels, and Plop!!! It went in like I was Hulk Hogan. All that Jazz about the ace-structure could not convince the orthodox me otherwise.

What does the world see?

The Ford Figo seems like that awkward teenager who has just gotten out of school and into a college. The idiosyncrasies of the previous model have given way to what can be termed as a smart looking vehicle. The car certainly looks nice. Better proportioned than the Aspire in my opinion, which can be biased owing to my dislike for attaching puny little boots to cars that are meant to be hatchbacks. I would like a notch-back ala the first generation Octavia to any of the ‘CS Sedans’ roaming the streets of India. The length of the car is ~100 mm shorter than the touted premium hatchbacks, but is ably compensated by a commendable wheelbase of 2491mm. The dimensions of the car is suited for city driving, wherein oft we are required to squeeze in our cars in tight parking spots. Coupled with mosdest dimensions and crisp styling, the car will not be cynosure on the roads. One will still be enamored by either the styling of Elite i20 with those beautiful rear lights, the angular creases of the Honda Jazz or simply the bulk of the Baleno. Having said that, this car will still manage to garner curiosity from people who know the car well or ones who are observant with this being a new model. This facet has been carried forward from the previous model, which wouldn’t be the show-stopper on a ramp but not offend any designer intrigue.

The front has benefitted immensely from the swept back headlights and the oft-referred-as Aston Martin-inspired front grille. Design elements like the power bulge on the hood adds character line that only enhances the styling further and similarly the rear has been kept pedestrian with a cause. There is an add-on accessory of chrome belt on the boot, which has thankfully been kept optional.

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Infact it is a welcome application of chrome only on the front grille and nowhere else that keeps the design of the car clean. The power bulges on the sides run from the tip of the rear cluster, all the way onto the headlights in a seamless cue.

Acting like a designer with goatee:
  • The only fly in the ointment is ofcourse wiper blades jutting out from its grooves and visible from inside the car. They could have easily applied some more design intellect and gotten them to a lower level and out of sight of the occupants.
  • I would also give the car a bit more chunk on the wheel arches. It’ll not only add to the imposing front, but give adequate space to plug in 195 section tires without having them bulging out of socket.
  • Golden Brown looks yummy on the Fiesta and now the EcoSport. Ford will be well advised to give this color a shot on its palette for the Figo twins.
  • The longish aerial on the front of the car reminds me of forlorn years gone by. A suitably integrated short-stub at front or shark-fin at the rear could have been resorted to. It would have maintained the clean exteriors of the car.
  • The headlights were particularly weak. Infact coming from an HID setup on my Polo and that incredible light throw of OEM headlights of the Scorpio, I felt terribly blind using the Figo’s. I opted for Osram Night Breaker Unlimited H4 60/55w, which isn’t the best but for the time-being doing the job of intra-city runs well enough.

Paint quality is acceptable, with only closer inspection revealing a grainy texture that may result in accelerated fading. The base did not seem too thick, nor has the spot-light reflecting texture that is present in the germans or Tata for that matter. Ford has decided to mix the palette across sensibilities with the normal Black, Grey, and White on offer with the addition of the uber Orange and Maroon colors for the young at heart. That said, I think bumper cladding on the previous model could have been added to break the monotony of the back. It would also add to the character of the car when viewed from the rear, that otherwise looks staid and uninspiring. The rear also misses out on reflectors that tend to enliven cars from Hyundai. Panel gaps on the outside are kept well under tolerance levels and the build can be termed better than some of its competitors. Is it the best? A resounding ‘No’! Doors are tending on the lighter vein and require my muscle memory from VW Polo to be readjusted in order to close the doors. For the first few days I was closing the door only on second attempt. I found the i20 to be remarkably better and weighted than the Ford, but Honda Jazz is definitely in a league of its own with a negative connotation. I would say the Ford is more towards the i20 than the Jazz. Having said that, the fling-open boot lid and hollow-sounding pebble shots on the doors do let you know that the car is neither a Polo nor a Punto.

The halo of the New Ford Figo is the perceived level of safety. The top-of-the-line variant is bestowed with 6 airbags, whereas the car I have procured has two. The Ford Ka was tested to have 4-star rating in Europe and the new version has only been launched in Brazil, and now in India. However, it is looking for a launch in the EU zone in the next year. Considering earlier this year, the Brazilian authorities have initiated the plans of setting up its first crash testing facility and the Indian government has finally woken up from its deep slumber with regards to mandating minimum safety norms, I will be very surprised if this car is deemed to be built-up on a compromised structure. However, recent reports in out forum suggest that the anti-roll bar is not standardized in models lower than Titanium, hence the jury on the safety aspect is still out. The DCT version tips the scale over the ton mark at 1037kgs, that’s almost 150kgs more than the new launched Baleno.

Panel gaps consistent on both sides of the car, a tighter finish would have been appreciated
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Separated at birth anyone? (Grand i10 and the Figo)
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What do you see?

Anyone remember the old Figo with it’s funky little color shade?

The metamorphosis of the car from the awkward teenage years has continued to it interiors too, and in much better proportion than the exteriors. No one will be able to find blatant reasons to complain. Whereas, the interiors of the Elite i20 will leave an indelible mark for the panache it has, the interiors of the Figo keeps it clean and functional. The choice of blackening the plastics obviously answers a lot of prayers on our forum. There are no soft touch plastics, but the ones used are of respectable quality. One will be hard pressed to magnify faults. The clean silhouette of the dashboard culminates in an all-too-resembling Ford styled waterfall console. Without the occasional deviations, Ford as decided to keep the stencil same from cars ranging from Figo to the EcoSport to the Fiesta. This not necessarily a bad thing; however, opinions may differ on this subject. I remember my mother vehemently advocating against the Passat after her years in the Polo and Jetta. The interiors of the car can be deemed acceptable and functional, without being awe-inspiring. The layout itself seems uncluttered and can be instantly associated to the American maker. Infact, the center console provides an uncanny resemblance to the previous i20. The visibility of the car has taken a hit when compared to the previous iteration, as the windows were of XL size earlier. It, however, does not impede or create an unnecessary blind spot for the driver. It does require one to get adjusted to the smaller ORVMs that need to be visited again by Ford during the facelift. Another irritant is the wiper blades jutting out in view of the windshield, further negating any scope of the driver being able to see the bonnet of the car. This needs to be confirmed by drivers using the highest possible setting of the seat, as I tend to keep it at the lowest ebb. At 1525mm, the car height is just about adequate for the passengers in the front; however taller passengers at the rear will definitely have a rearranged hair-style after a bumpy ride. The troubles for the rear passengers only gets magnified due to the presence of fixed neck-rests, and inclusion of the adjustable head-rests as in Aspire would have been a welcome addition. However, we do witness such a growing trend with even the Honda City cutting back on the feature.

The seats on the front half of cabin is supportive and not-sufficient at the same time. The reason for such an ‘oxymoron’ is because on one hand the seat side bolstering will hold the driver and co-passenger in the seat very comfortably, but on the other hand the seat squab itself is not the same. The base of the seat is strikingly flat and somehow I feel like being seated and slipping sideways all the time. This could have/ and can be easily rectified by bolstering up the sides. The choice of upholstery renders its own advantage because of its dark hue and can be termed as ‘child-friendly’. The rear seats are inclined at just the correct angle and the legroom is adequate for a person of my height (6’ ft) to sit behind the driving position of a likewise. Once seated, the back-support provided on both front and rear seats offer enough support for the back and should help people in keeping their crouching tail-bone straight (a welcome feature for us who sit on un-ergonomic chairs in offices). Finding the correct driving position is not a task, thanks to the rake adjustment made available in the car, coupled with height adjustable driver seat. A reach variation would have been welcomed, but not necessarily missed. For AT version, Ford would be well advised to add a central arm-rest, since the left hand is left wondering why it is moving without being used in a car. The Aspire gets an arm-rest for the rear passengers, but given a miss in the Figo. However, the back seat does not fall down (in 60:40 split or otherwise), whereas the Figo bench seat can make way to the hatch. It would have been nice to have both those features, at the same time, on both the cars.

The Figo is definitely not a car where space is at a premium. There are cars like the Jazz and now the Baleno that spoil its customers silly with the space it provides, however I sometime feel the uselessness of that extra legroom that can still seat the same number of passengers. With the front seats recessed to a comfortable position for the driver and co, there is enough room left for the rear passengers.

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Listing down my modest takeaways from the interior;
  • Dual airbag was a bare minimum requirement and found to be rather reassuring in the car.
  • I would have hated to go for the top-end variant, had the DCT been made available only on that. I find the innovative Phone-holder on the console a much better value proposition. It does not budge from its place even in an undulating surface. Additionally, this would mean that we do not have to adopt a 2-din system that includes navigation for the curious few.
  • The arm-rests on door pads are rather accommodating, and so are the three cubby holes on each of the front doors.
  • The power-window module provides for auto-roll for only the driver side. Polo, on the other hand, had it for all of them. It isn’t illuminated either and often one will have resort to fiddling with the switches on a pitch dark night.
  • Having said that, all the buttons inside the car, right from the light, phone, window control to the soft-touch buttons on the music system are of top-notch quality. None of them feel flimsy to use and bob around to only fall off later. They will be able to withstand the test of time and daily usage.
  • The usage of upholstery is quite good. Infact, this would be the first car I may not put art-leather on. Usually that’s the first thing on my mind after car purchases. Ok, again, may not!
  • Visibility of the ORVM has already been extensively admonished, and my opinion does not change. Ford, please give them due consideration for the facelift.
  • Both seat-belts upfront have height adjustable function, I like! There is no seat-belt warning buzzer for the co-passenger, I dislike!

The internal modules seem to be well put together, and cost cutting is not as evidently on display as say the Honda Amaze. Although, there are definite foibles one will get to know that may change their opinion after they spend more time with the car.

The glove-box is not illuminated, and just about enough for the service booklet and my sunglass cover
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Side view of the glove-box reveals why it may add its own tune to the songs you play after a few months
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The rear parcel tray is not as weighted as the ones on Polo, it jumps around in its groove on a bumpy road
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Lot of options to keep your essentials with the plethora of cubby-holes provided. I will be undertaking my own little DIY to insulate all of them with the one I prepared for the first one.
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What do you feel?

The car is reasonably eager with its 1.5 NA Petrol engine. For technical specifications, please visit Ford Engine Configuration. I will lay it out in the way me, a novice, can understand. I don’t believe in abundant horsepower and raw aggression, if the engine mated to the car is not drivable. In my previous iteration, I had rejected the much vaunted 90bhp iVtec on the Honda Jazz to go with the more drivable 74bhp VW Petrol mill (‘a 3-cyl monstrosity’ in the view of many learned brothers on this forum). The one doing duty in this Ford provides usable power across the band, and absolutely fine to use within municipality corridors of Mumbai. I would suspect it will be just as accomplished in legal limits on the highways, unless you want to drag race cars with higher displacement (chances are, you'll not be on this forum reading this review, if you were of that type).

The engine has a subdued note to it, unless your throttle response requires the RPM needle to speed up in a fervent urgency. Even then the engine noise is not intrusive, and would provide that sporty note. Noted the following during brief moments when I didn’t have to be wary of other cars, or pedestrians, or dogs and cows etc.
  • 80kmph @ 2000rpm
  • 100kmph @ 2750rpm
  • 120kmph @ 3000rpm

At none of the aforementioned speeds would one get the feeling that the engine has had enough. I don’t tend to go above those numbers, as I don’t think I need to. Definitely not when the car has not even attended its first regular service! IMHO, this is aided by the specifications of the in-line 4 cyl. engine doing duty in the Figo AT; with 112ps power and 136nm torque, the engine may not be burner like its diesel sibling or the competing VW 1.2 TSI, but has enough grunt to keep the engine note relaxed at high speeds.

Since this is going to be my city car, I don’t mind the chuckability of the steering doing its duty on Figo. There are definitely members who may have been impressed with the HPS unit on the earlier iteration; however the maneuverability of the steering lends its own advantages to this car. It isn’t nearly as light as the one I experienced on the Elite during TD, nor is there as much feedback as I get while driving the HPS on the Scorpio. To sum it up, my left leg and arms are absolutely at peace driving 1-1:30 hours in the maddening Mumbai traffic.

With the entire industry warming up to the idea of ease of driving and customers willing to sacrifice the adage of low fuel efficiency for the comfort of the auto-box, it was indeed surprising that Hyundai decided to not think on those line for its premium hatchback offering. To be brutally honest, had the Elite come with an AT option for Asta variant, we would have been hard-pressed to have looked beyond it. However, it doesn’t and we have the Figo DCT in our garage.

The much talked about DCT. This area has been a little bit confusing for me, as had been correctly elaborated by Witwicky in his review of the 1.5AT Aspire. Driven: Ford Aspire 1.5 AT (Ford Figo-based compact sedan - The Aspire).

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Don’t get me wrong, the gearbox responds perfectly fine under normal driving conditions. Its only when you feel the sudden urge of engaging all the 112 horses in front of you that the gearbox asks “What are you doing?” Then “Are you sure?” and then “Ok!”

That entire process of validating your question and input takes about as much time had it been a real person. Once the gearbox registers your approval, it makes short work of any slow moving laggard ahead of you. Infact I generally get off the lights quicker than most cars and after about 10 seconds, there is quite a bit of distance between me and the other MTs till the next signal says “Thamba! Thamba!” in typical Marathi fervor. All this can be achieved without revving the pants of the tacho and without burning rubber and glazing the already skimpy tires on the car. (Read: not going above 3200 RPM). The auto-box is definitely one of the better ones I have driven, however my comments may be taken with a fork-lift of salt. I have no experience of driving AMTs and the last auto-box I drove extensively was 10 years back when I was in college in the US. The shifts are not seamless, and people who look for suave of the VW DSG may come out of the car thoroughly unimpressed. However, please bear in mind, a lot of that drivability comes from the turbo-charged petrol engine that VW has deployed. If we can make provisions for that, the DCT in Ford seems to be a cut above the other offerings in the segment. The shifts on normal driving conditions happen at around 2200rpm, and a heavy foot can take it above 3500rpm pretty quickly. At normal city-driving speeds, the change of gear is prompt, smooth and hardly perceptible and the kick-down reaction time is miniscule at times when one needs to overtake. Unlike some other cars, one does not necessarily need to plan an overtaking maneuver in advance, but begs to be just enough careful. I will reserve my commentary on the ability of this gearbox after I use the S-mode and the toggle tip-tronic extensively. I have tried the S-mode once out of curiosity. Vowed not to again till the run-in period was over, since after 15 seconds of high-adrenaline, 15 years younger, maddening impulse-running-in-the-brain-nerve driving on an empty road, the engine showed its displeasure with a stench.

The on-road mannerism of the car is pliant and comfortable. Coming from a German hatch, my standards of ride is more tuned to handling than the ride quality; however both of these aspects have been well-managed in the Figo. Triple digit speeds are masked commendably, and the car as they say “pakad ke chalti hai” (grips the road whilst moving). Quick lane changes do not scare the occupants of the car, and body roll in the car is virtually non-existent. Low speed ride isn't what one would term plush or carpet-like. Larger potholes does result in a thud-sound from the suspensions, and momentarily makes the occupants wonder if something just went wrong. The jarring does not have any bearance on smaller potholes, undulations and speed-bumps that our roads throw at us on a regular basis. The composure of the car does not get affected on any obstacle and should keep the larger population happy with the ride comfort. At the cost of sounding repetitive, Ford has managed to get the suspension set-up just right with equal importance given to ride comfort and firm suspension, and they comingle than contradict the virtues of eachother.

Talking of ride quality, for people who have read my previous posts on this topic, I had the tires changed to a meatier configuration of 185/65 R14 Michelin XM2. My rationale for that? Read: Link to discussion on tires for the Ford (Ford Aspire : Official Review).

The engine fills the compartment rather completely
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Cruising speed of 80kmph will keep the needle at 2000RPM, the engine and drive is absolutely relaxed at this speed
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Continued.....

Last edited by GTO : 4th November 2015 at 08:55. Reason: Thanks for sharing! Removing excess spacing
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Old 3rd November 2015, 18:03   #2
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Default re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Got bored?

Let there be some music

The music system for an OEM is rather good. I'm not talking about a person who comes from a 52-speaker surround bedding from Audi Q7 nor the uber-stylish Bose systems that come in the holy trinity. The output from stock speakers are good for the commuter drive the car will be exposed to for 90% of its life with me. Yesterday my trusted guy Amol (Reliable Audio (In-car Entertainment - Reliable Radio (Lamington road & Chembur, Mumbai))) agreed that the speakers were enough to not warrant an immediate replacement. My Harman Kardon setup on my Scorpio does sound better, but it did cost me enough to not have it replicated again, considering the less real estate in the Figo. Sound aficionado may want to change bits and parts, but for a normal Joe on USB and radio, the current configuration should serve just fine.

Neatly laid out 'Nokia-inspired' system. (And say good-bye to your CDs at home)
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How to keep it going?

On my first visit to the showroom, I had glanced upon a banner that was put up on one corner of the showroom, essentially detailing out the cost of ownership advantage that the Figo Aspire had over the reigning D’zire.

RavenAvi had posted on similar lines earlier, which can be read here (Ford Aspire : Official Review).

Samaspire in his post on the Aspire thread had mentioned that Ford has employed 850 child parts, which would essentially mean one can opt to replace smaller, cheaper parts than supplant the entire module (Read Post (Ford Aspire : Official Review)).

The point being, no car is cheap to maintain if you don’t take care of it. And even the purported white elephant from German stables can be kept under reasonable duress on the pocket, if one maintains the service booklet diligently. Have already experienced the after sales service. My excessive, compulsive and rather irritating demeanor to keep my car pristine and squeak free led me to get the left doors realigned because they were making an unperturbed sound on rough roads. I have to admit that I cannot complain on the behavior meted out to me the first time around. One call before I set out for their workshop, senior advisors allotted to attend a rather trivial issue (for most mechanics), diagnosis and alleviation of the problem at the first possible trial and atleast two calls to confirm on later dates to ensure that the problem has not cropped up again.

I wouldn’t have expected this from Ford, and I am pleasantly surprised and content with the initial experience.

Neat little tid-bits that may have been ignored

What I can assume is a Traction Control button
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Boot light, that was not present in my earlier car
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A feature many fancied manufacturers skip these days. It goes a long way in subverting the growl. I accidentally tried to crank the ignition when it was still on, which could be more to do with my flailing eardrums
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The indicators on ORVM protrude from the casing. Requires me to be extra careful of that neighboring auto-rickshaw
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Easily one of the best laid out light-controls this side of D-segment.
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Did someone say buttons? The steering controls the phone as well, no idea why they skipped the phone symbols present on Titanium+. The wiper stalk provides the option for varying speed of swipes.
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The interior trim is acceptable and usage of various patterns lend it brilliant character on the dark hue
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Chunky little steering, but the attention to detail is commendable. No need to leather wrap it IMHO. Notice the play with texture.
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ACC well laid out and easy to control (unlike the touchscreen enabled Honda City)
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That's the best FE display I have seen in two weeks. This is not for people who'll compare the 1.5 with other 1.2 offerings in the segment based on FE.
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Toggle this button downwards, and the ORVM fold back and forth. Unfortunately no option yet to have this activated on ignition
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Boot space was a concern before buying the car, with all the talks of reduced capacity. Not much of a concern for me at this point in time (stashed is the latest acquisition for the car - Jopasu Duster from Amazon)
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My cars are babied, bringing my sister-in-law to christen them 'Badi Beti' (elder daughter - Scorpio) and 'Chhoti Beti' (younger daughter - Figo). The elder one looks over the younger sibling in the garage.
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P.S. Sincere apologies for the grainy pictures, taken from my phone. Hope it doesn't mar an otherwise honest effort at penning my thoughts on a worthy contender from the Ford stable.

On another thought, it is really sad to see how competent machines like the Tata Zest, Ford Figo, Fiat Punto etc. don't get as much recognition in our market. And cometh the belle from Suzuki stable, for those fleeting moments, almost decided to put this machine up for foster care. Just for that moment of indiscretion, I am now ready to put up with her tantrums for the next 3-4 years.

Signing off with the obvious. Drive safe.
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Last edited by GTO : 4th November 2015 at 08:57.
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Old 4th November 2015, 08:59   #3
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th November 2015, 09:21   #4
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Well written, an honest review of a car for what it is vis-à-vis the competition. The Figo & Aspire do have their share of niggles but for the large part they cannot be blamed, specially the smaller Figo which is far better value for money than a Swift or Grand i10. With the hatchbacks getting larger by the year its refreshing to see one well under 4m, a true made for India car. I generally hate light steerings but in this one I didn't mind at all because of its direct response.

If only Ford had nailed the haptics & tactile feel of the controls, gearshift, door shut etc then it would've been a 100% perfect car, as it stands and as you've so rightly mentioned it is lacking in that department quite a bit. Nevertheless the automatic is a good city-car, compact and clutchless and those 2 points by themselves are enough. Once again good review.. direct to the point just the way I like it.
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Old 4th November 2015, 10:03   #5
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by methecupid View Post

Got bored?

P.S. Sincere apologies for the grainy pictures, taken from my phone. Hope it doesn't mar an otherwise honest effort at penning my thoughts on a worthy contender from the Ford stable.
Hey methecupid, your life seems to revolve around a lot of 'F's buddy:

FORD FIGO

FLARE FOR WRITING

FANTASTIC F(P)HOTOS


Very crisp & comprehensive review. Congrats on your latest acquisition and wish you a very happy & fun filled motoring.


Quote:

On another thought, it is really sad to see how competent machines like the Tata Zest, Ford Figo, Fiat Punto etc. don't get as much recognition in our market.
Couldn't agree more with you and I almost hate Maruti & their dumb looking products. But at the end of day, I would be the first one to admit that:

It's far better to have a fuss free ownership & after sales support than buy a Brilliant Engineering product with unacceptable after sales

Last edited by Vik0728 : 4th November 2015 at 10:06.
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Old 4th November 2015, 10:20   #6
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Congrats on your latest acquisition, to the point & crisp review. Hope she serves you well in the times ahead.
Being a previous gen Figo owner, I like the looks of the new Figo. The DCT may not be blazing fast as the DSG, but its reliable & a pleasure to drive in the concrete jungle. Highway performance is also decent IMHO.
The steering & handling from the old Figo may be missing but the rest of the additions will please most.
Wishing you happy miles ahead.
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Old 4th November 2015, 11:06   #7
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Brilliant, crisp review. Appreciate your command over the language and thank you for sharing this delightful write up.

I drove the Figo AT the other day and loved it. The 1.5L engine and the DCT works well together. Effortless driving but not at the cost of speed or surefootedness. My only complaints were the fixed headrests at the rear and rather short ORVMs. Also wish Ford had dialed in a little more fun into steering and suspension. But really glad they offered the big capacity engine instead of the usual 1.2.

The Figo AT is great value for what it offers! Wish you many many happy miles!

Last edited by deetjohn : 4th November 2015 at 11:08. Reason: typo.
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Old 4th November 2015, 11:36   #8
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Thumbs up Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Congratulations methecupid,

Wishing you peaceful ownership with you new Figo.

The Figo DCT is good VFM offering in the AT segment. I test drove the Aspire DCT, the engine is a gem for city commutes, does the job effortlessly, when you floor the pedal, as you had mentioned, the gear box gets confused and after a delay picks up the appropriate gear to surge forward. How efficient is the tiptronic?

Cheers

Last edited by Karthik Chandra : 4th November 2015 at 12:00.
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Old 4th November 2015, 12:14   #9
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Been waiting for the new Ford Figo Review, I almost bought the old Figo two years back but didn't because it was almost at the end of it's life cycle and also because it didn't have power windows at the back.

If this had come out two years back I would have got one too. Thanks for the review and excellent colour choice, wish you a happy motoring.

My friend has been looking for a Petrol Automatic and this couldn't have come out at a better time, will definitely recommend this to him.
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Old 4th November 2015, 12:27   #10
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
Well written, an honest review of a car for what it is vis-à-vis the competition.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Very crisp & comprehensive review. Congrats on your latest acquisition and wish you a very happy & fun filled motoring.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venkat_Figo View Post
Wishing you happy miles ahead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
Brilliant, crisp review. Appreciate your command over the language and thank you for sharing this delightful write up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karthik Chandra View Post
Congratulations methecupid,

Wishing you peaceful ownership with you new Figo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by noelnelly View Post
Thanks for the review and excellent colour choice, wish you a happy motoring.

Thank you very much to all, and I can only wish for me and everyone else to have a fun-filled and pain-less ownership for this or any other car. Have to thank GTO and Aditya for their feedbacks and support to get this up and running.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Karthik Chandra View Post
I test drove the Aspire DCT, the engine is a gem for city commutes, does the job effortlessly, when you floor the pedal, as you had mentioned, the gear box gets confused and after a delay picks up the appropriate gear to surge forward. How efficient is the tiptronic?

Cheers
I have not tried the tip-tronic yet; but the S-mode does tend to hold to the shifts for a wee-bit longer. I will be updating the thread after completing the first service at 2500kms, and using it. Having said that, I would presume it'll be like using the toggle on a PSP (at the cost of sounding naïve and having no other comparables in my head right now), a gated-shift with the orthodox + and - would have been fun.

Last edited by methecupid : 4th November 2015 at 12:29. Reason: Addition
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Old 4th November 2015, 12:33   #11
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Thank you for a lovely and detailed review. This will be one of those go-to reviews for people considering the Aspire or Figo AT! There's only one rating for this - 5 stars!

Quote:
Originally Posted by methecupid View Post
One of the poorest OEM headlights. It fails to illuminate more than a few feet ahead, an upgrade will only marginally make things better. I suspect design of the reflector is at fault here.
I'm disappointed Ford have messed up on this - again. The original Figo had the same problem, and it took a redesigned headlamp unit in the Figo facelift to fix it. Now they've taken a step backwards again. Interestingly, on the Aspire review, Tushar had mentioned:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tushar View Post
The headlamps have improved ! Owners of the old Figo unanimously complained about its weak headlamps.
Quote:
If you have a cup of coffee and a lot of time in your hand
Buddy, I'm in the office, so go on as long as you want

Quote:
However, recent reports in out forum suggest that the anti-roll bar is not standardized in models lower than Titanium, hence the jury on the safety aspect is still out.
Ford have updated their website on this count - all variants of the 1.2 petrol do not have the anti-roll bar. However, the AT and all diesel variants get it. This seems to be driven by the weight of the variants. Check out this post (and preceding ones by samaspire) for more info.

Quote:
At 1525mm, the car height is just about adequate for the passengers in the front; however taller passengers at the rear will definitely have a rearranged hair-style after a bumpy ride.
I don't understand why the headliner has such a prominent downward bulge at the rear, and this is what eats into headroom for the rear seat. The HMSL unit needs some space, but that part only needed room to be lost in the centre, not across the entire width.

Quote:
The choice of upholstery renders its own advantage because of its dark hue and can be termed as ‘child-friendly’.
Seconded. One look at the beige seats of demo Aspire cars will give families a foretaste of how it will look a year or so down the line.

Quote:
Visibility of the ORVM has already been extensively admonished, and my opinion does not change. Ford, please give them due consideration for the facelift.
Forget facelift, I'd be happy if they roll out a wider mirror as an upgrade right now!

Quote:
Lot of options to keep your essentials with the plethora of cubby-holes provided. I will be undertaking my own little DIY to insulate all of them with the one I prepared for the first one.
What material have you used? Is it a rubber sheet?

Quote:
What I can assume is a Traction Control buttonAttachment 1435042
Yep, that's traction control, which you can turn off if required. The car also has stability control which is permanently on. Here's the relevant excerpt from the owner's manual:
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Quote:
A feature many fancied manufacturers skip these days. It goes a long way in subverting the growl.
Insulation beneath the hood in a petrol? Wow, that's seriously good of Ford.

Quote:
Chunky little steering, but the attention to detail is commendable. No need to leather wrap it IMHO. Notice the play with texture.
When I checked out the Figo, I noticed that the bumpy part of the steering (i.e. what we hold in the 3-9 o'clock positions) was somewhat soft touch. So yes, this adds to the comfort and reduces the need for a leather wrap.

Quote:
Boot space was a concern before buying the car, with all the talks of reduced capacity. Not much of a concern for me at this point in time (stashed is the latest acquisition for the car - Jopasu Duster from Amazon)
Given the popularity of the Jopasu duster on TBHP, we can use that as a unit of boot measurement! 2 Jopasu's wide by 1 Jopasu deep![/quote]
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Old 4th November 2015, 13:17   #12
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Nice report. Congrats on an excellent buy. Wishing you miles of happy ownership.

Glad that Ford has come out with the Figo DCT. Fills in that void between high performing AT (GT TSI) which is constrained by reliability concerns and VW's iffy after sales and the regular, non top end, mostly adequate for City driving AT's from the Asian giants.
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Old 4th November 2015, 13:38   #13
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

First of all congratulations on getting the new Figo. Its a very well written and a detailed report, which would be useful for our prospective tbhp buyers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by methecupid View Post
Doors don't have the same weight as the EcoSport. Definite intent shown by Ford in keeping the costs reasonable.
Well, this hasnt been done only to keep the costs low, but also to improve fuel efficiency. I feel a little sad that Ford, that has always been known for giving us driver oriented sturdy cars (Ikon, Escort, Fiesta(old and new), Fusion, Old Figo) has also joined Maruti's bandwagon that gives more importance to fuel efficiency at the cost of build quality .

Nevertheless its a very practical car.Have a great ownership and enjoy your ride.

Last edited by Waspune : 4th November 2015 at 13:46.
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Old 4th November 2015, 13:56   #14
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Hey loved your review.
Keep posting on that fuel economy front too. Love to see your F.E figures as my friend is getting bad F.E figures in his amaze auto and the service centre keeps on replying "It's normal in Mumbai sir".

The Figo looks really good in Grey.
How is the service at Bhavana Ford?

Can't wait to get hands on our grey one!
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Old 4th November 2015, 14:22   #15
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Default Re: Life just got easier - Ford Figo 1.5L DCT (Automatic)

Just what the doctor ordered. I have been considering the Figo Automatic for a while now and was dilly dallying between this, the Baleno CVT and the Ertiga Automatic. This is a great insight into what it feels like owning the Figo DCT Automatic and thank you for penning down such a great ownership report. Was an absolute pleasure to read and a late morning well spent at work. Rating *****

IMHO, if I have to compare only between the Figo automatic vs the Baleno CVT (leaving out Jazz CVT here as it didnt appeal to me much), the Figo scores lot in lot many areas.
- First off, the 1.5L Ti-VCT engine when compared to the 1.2L KB Series.
- 6 speed DCT vs 5 speed CVT.
- And most importantly the DCT Automatic is offered in the Titanium Variant when compared to the Delta variant of the Baleno.
- The Baleno CVT misses out on few very important features like Seat Height Adjustment, Fog Lamps and then Alloy wheels.
- Safety features like ESP, TCS and HLA. Especially HLA is very convenient for novice drivers considering Automatic Car.
- Interiors, the overall plastics felt better in Figo over the Baleno.
- Baleno scores on the FE and then the space offered. While FE is important, space is not a key factor for the car mostly used in City.
- The price is almost the same for both the cars.
- And above all, as you mentioned in the very beginning - THE NOVELTY FACTOR...

Considering all the above, the Ford Figo DCT is a total VFM acquisition.

Congratulations on getting this car and wishing you great times ahead.

I have one question for you. Did you ever get to drive the car with all the 5 passengers loaded and especially on inclines?

Last edited by samabhi : 4th November 2015 at 14:26.
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