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Old 23rd November 2015, 19:24   #1
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Default My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20160313_171810_richtonehdr.jpg

Likes
  1. C1 sedan for the price of a B2 hatchback (a BIG upgrade from the Maruti Alto)
  2. Better built than the Marutis & Hyundais
  3. Safety - 2 airbags and structurally very sound
  4. Easy to maneouver, drive and park
  5. Silent on the outside - really silent on the inside ("pin drop silence" comes to mind)
  6. Good FE: Around 13kmpl in the city (well, a big town) and over 18kmpl on the highways
  7. Everyone just goes WOW on hearing that I got THIS car for JUST 6.3 lakhs
  8. Great fun to drive on the highway
  9. Easy on the back during long drives - for driver and passengers (if you get the posture right)

Dislikes
  1. Poor low end torque - the engine is lethargic at lower RPMs. You have to work the gears to get moving (a change in driving style will solve this problem to a large extent)
  2. Audible thuds on hitting potholes, in an otherwise silent cabin
  3. Ride quality is springy at slow speeds (under 40 km/h) over bad roads (vs Alto)
  4. Frustrating to drive in big city, stop-and-go traffic. You will have to ride the clutch. (Related to point 1)
  5. Poor paint depth - even small scratches can prove costly
  6. Stock tyres are inadequate - they do not give you the confidence to do high speeds
  7. Poor rearward visibility due to the high boot and small rear windshield

Things I would have liked to have (but budget did not permit): These are features the higher, Trend variant has at about Rs.1 lakh extra
  1. Tachometer
  2. Boot Lamp
  3. The OEM ICE with MyFord Dock and steering mounted controls
  4. Rear Power Windows
  5. Electrically adjustable ORVMs

Brief intro about the variants
The Ford Figo Aspire was launched on 12th August 2015 with 3 engine choices in 4 variants:
  1. 1.5 litre Diesel - available in 4 manual variants: Ambiente, Trend, Titanium, Titanium+ (THE engine of choice for most Aspire buyers)
  2. 1.2 litre Petrol - available in 4 manual variants: Ambiente, Trend, Titanium, Titanium+
  3. 1.5 litre Petrol Dual Clutch Automatic - available in Titanium variant only

The Aspire was the first in it's class to offer 2 airbags as standard in all variants, and 6 airbags in the top Titanium+ variant.

This review delves on my Ford Figo Aspire 1.2 Litre Petrol - Ambiente variant

This review is just my perspective on my car, and I've only talked about things that I felt were important to convey. The official review has more extensive coverage of each individual feature, and expert opinions.

Last edited by Aditya : 5th December 2016 at 07:28. Reason: Spacing
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Old 23rd November 2015, 19:38   #2
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It's taken me a whole year to complete this ownership review and the only one that should bear the blame for this delay, other than me, is team-bhp itself . There is probably not a single day that I haven't logged onto the forum since I became a member, but every time, I get engrossed in reading the latest "New Topics" or "New Posts, and then something takes me to some old classics, and in reading all these my ownership review got delayed... and delayed. On the good days I managed to complete 1 paragraph, but mostly it was just 2 lines per day. It's just in the first month, and now at the end that I've done most of the writing. What started off as an Initial Ownership Report has now become a Long Term one.

All photographs have been captured by my humble Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with the assistance of my now 4-year old son Idhant.

INDEX
Chapter 1: The Hunt Begins
Chapter 2: The Booking Saga
Chapter 3: Delivery Pangs
Chapter 4: Catching Ford with its Pants Down
Chapter 5: A Dream Fulfilled
Chapter 6: Ambiente vs Trend - A Pictorial Comparison
Chapter 7: The Upgrades
Chapter 8: Living with the Aspire
PREFACE

Now that I think back about the 2 years of my car buying process, I wonder how I landed up here. From wanting to buy a pre-owned second car, to exchanging our Alto to a better pre-owned car, and then finally buying a brand new second car. The struggle to get the car delivered on time; making Ford admit that they lied about the anti-roll bars; and in between all that - becoming a member of t-bhp.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-samaspire-ford.jpg

As I was writing this, I went through another saga of dealing with Ford's service - but that's another story for another day. (PS: It's got a happy ending)

The end result is that I am the proud owner of a fantastic car that gives more bang for the buck than any other car.

Introducing to you my Ford Figo Aspire

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-samaspire-presenting.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-samaspire-extra.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 5th December 2016 at 07:30. Reason: Spacing
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Old 25th November 2015, 15:21   #3
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Default Sam's Aspire Ambiente: More for Less

Chapter 1: The Hunt Begins

We have always had a car in the house, except for 5 years out of the 13 that we were in Bombay. They were the Ambassador, a couple of 800s, Dolphin, Fiat, and the current Alto. When I became old enough to drive we had the Fiat (Premier Padmini) at home and this became my teacher, or rather my school where I learnt to drive. It was a '74 model that was re-registered in '78, which we bought in '96 for about 50,000 and exchanged in 2008 for 13,000. I loved it's registration number MEN 9552 - 'men', and it was so much fun to drive. (If anybody knows where this car is now, please let me know. I'd love to buy it back.)

MY first new car was bought in 2008 and it was the Maruti Alto LX. After driving our Premier Padmini for 12 years, this was a good upgrade.

6 years after using the Alto, a seed was slowly growing in my mind - the need for another car. As one car was always at office, I felt it would be convenient to have a spare car that my dad/wife could use.

I was on the lookout and would occasionally browse the net, check out others' cars, and do some research. My partner in crime was my dad - a very accomplished driver himself who started driving at 15 and was, in his younger days, even a travelling salesman for Rajdoot bikes, Bajaj scooters and farm tractors.

The thought that was going through my mind at the time: Keep the Alto and buy a used Maruti 800 as a second car for within 1 lakh (No loan) [Option1]

Option1 had me browsing the net every night, but I could not find any good cars in our budget. Simultaneously, we were also scouting out the used car yards in and around Udupi. One of these dealers suggested to extend our budget and buy a 2013 model Ford Figo that had just 12,000 km on the ODO for 3 lakhs. Since we were very firm on our budget (LOL), we rejected that offer. But this suggestion gave life to Option2.

Sell the Alto for around 1.8 lakhs and buy a used sedan for around 3 lakhs (No loan) [Option2]

My research on OLX taught me that my budget would fetch me a Honda City, Ford Figo or a Petrol D'Zire. We were not too keen on the Swift as my Mom had a bad experience with it (she got sciatica - severe back pain - due to one trip in a Swift over potholed roads). So again we were on the look out at the used car yards, but nothing came of it. The good ones were out of budget and what was within, was not acceptable.

We thought, "What the heck. Let's buy a new car", This brought us the next option. Exchange the Alto and buy a better, new car (Loan) [Option3]

This is where things got interesting. Dreary yard visits transformed to spanky, showroom visits.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20160304_093235_richtonehdr.jpg

I set a few benchmarks:
  1. Should be comfortable for my parents to travel in - both had back problems.
  2. Steering should be light and easy - the Alto didn't have power steering and my wrist has started giving me problems. As I earn my livelihood by using computers, my wrist was a very important consideration.
  3. Should be fuel efficient - better, or at least as much as the Alto.
  4. Ride quality has to match or better the Polo (my benchmark).
  5. Should be safe.

Also we were only looking for a petrol car as our running did not justify a diesel. And as I have been environmentally inclined since my school days, the more polluting diesels were not for me.

THE CONTENDERS

Volkswagen Polo

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My sister has a Polo and I love the way it rides and its tank like build. VW was promoting 3.99% interest rate and the updated features. Even though I knew about the over-the-top service costs, I still wanted to check it out. This was the first showroom we visited as it was on the way to office. The car felt refreshingly strong and the test drive was a dream. The way it glides over bad roads and feels planted at high speeds is something. But alas the offer was only for the diesels and hence out of our budget.

The Marutis

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Next stop was naturally the local Maruti Suzuki dealership - Abharan Motors, Udupi. Since we had decided that the EMI should be 6000-7000 the choices we had included the Wagon-R, Stingray (yuk), and the Ritz. There we also saw the new Celerio - my 2008 Alto feels better built. None of them was convincing and the valuation they did for our Alto was less than what a second hand dealer had offered us.

Datsun GO+
This one had me hooked for a long time.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-datsungoplus.jpg

I was deeply entrenched in doing all my research, going to various automotive sites every chance I got. It was here that I read about the Datsun GO+. On paper it was the perfect car - looked good, had the Nissan pedigree, and best of all it could seat 7. All for just 6 lakhs. I convinced my family that this would be prefect for us - showed them the video reviews, the TVCs, etc. I had decided that this would be it - until I took a Test Drive, that is. During the TD I realized that the ride quality is not even as good as my Alto. But because the T-BHP review said the ride quality was good, I asked the SA to provide me another car to compare with, but he did not. Plus the poor safety feedback in the review that I was trying to ignore, was not ignorable any more. So that was it for the GO+.

Tata Nano AMT

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-tatananogenx.jpg

I liked it as it was the perfect city car. But my family was not convinced that it would be an upgrade. So it was dropped as the replacement car, but 1st choice for a maybe [Option4] Keep the Alto and buy the new Nano AMT (Small loan)

Nissan Micra Active

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I had seen it during the Datsun period as it was in the same showroom, but it came into consideration much later. It ticked all the boxes plus it had ABS + EBD and 2 Airbags. Called them for a test drive and the car they brought was an ill-maintained, 4 year old Micra. Their justification was that it had all the same features as the Active, and that I should ignore the bad suspension and rattles as it is an old car. I still wonder how they expect someone to buy from them. DROP!!! I still get calls from them despite me telling them, every time, that I have already bought something else.

Ford Aspire

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-fordfigoaspire.jpg

I was doing all the TD bookings at carwale.com and I usually got a call back the next day. One day I came across the Aspire and booked a TD for that too. Surprisingly, Ford called within 2 hours and the Mangalore dealer called within the next 30 minutes to confirm the TD. This got me interested in learning more about the car. On paper it was perfect - the base model which was in our budget had 2 airbags and anti-roll bars (something no other competitor offered). The TD car was the diesel Titanium+ and it was the clincher. Everyone in the family was convinced. The SA suggested that I go for the Trend variant. He had guessed that we were potential buyers and asked us to book the car immediately. Since I wanted a Petrol, I asked for the petrol TD to confirm booking, which he was seemingly reluctant to do. He later told me that the Petrol TD car was yet to arrive, so I decided to wait for it.

Hyundai Xcent

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Next day we went to the Hyundai showroom to check out the Xcent, a direct competitor to the Aspire. I wanted to strike out the alternatives before confirming the Aspire. They did not have a display car so they showed us the Grand i10. Then they offered me a TD of the Xcent. Nothing about the car stood out for me. I was never a fan of its looks, but the TD car was not maintained well - had a few dents and scrapes. Also as I was looking to buy the base model, a lot of the unique features of that car like the rear AC vents would be missing in my car. Without the bells and whistles, Xcent is just an ordinary car. Most importantly, it did not give me the "feeling" that I got when I sat in the Aspire.

Maruti Suzuki DZire

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The Maruti guys were also following up regularly and one fine day they showed up with the Dzire - but it was the diesel, despite knowing that I wanted the Petrol. The base Dzire had the same problem as the Xcent - less features, no appeal. This is where the Aspire stands out - even the base model has a premium feel to it and offers features the competition does not. The Dzire also had one major drawback - I don't like it's looks. I wouldn't be seen dead driving a car that looks like a 30 year old girl with huge silver braces in the front, and the backside of a 80 year old. And I didn't want to be '1 of a million'.

Tata Zest

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-tata-zest.jpg

This one was never in consideration because of its looks. It's just not complete. It is purportedly a CS but it is hardly so. If you are driving behind it, you cannot be sure that it has a boot. Other than the DRLs there's nothing that stands out about it from the outside. For me it's more like a rich, fat, Indica. But because of the rave reviews here and the features it offers, I did study it, only to be disappointed with the mileage figures.

The also rans
I had also considered the Fiat Punto (bad mileage) and the Toyota Etios Liva (bland) but they did not amount to much.

Finally after all this time we had a winner and it was the Ford Aspire. It was head and tail above the competition, and most importantly we all loved it.

Last edited by Aditya : 5th December 2016 at 07:31. Reason: Spacing
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Old 14th April 2016, 08:10   #4
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Default re: My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente

Chapter 2: The Booking Saga

Test Drive - 1

Couple of days after the dealership confirmed the test drive, the SA, Mr. Arun Shetty, calls to say that he would be bringing the car to my office the next day at 10.00. Since they were yet to get the petrol variant, the TD car would be the diesel. We reach office early by 9:30 (usual time is after 10.00) to complete some urgent work and then go for a long drive. It's 10:30 and there's no sign of Arun. On enquiry he replies that he's with another client in another part of the town and would be delayed even more. The wait is frustrating - the car finally arrives at around 1:00 pm, but by now Dad has gone home after losing interest.

I go down towards the car and see a small crowd around it. I get closer and the first glimpse has me impressed - the Aspire looked stunning in Red. After a few pleasantries and a brief description about the features, Arun hands me the keys; I don't think I heard even a single word of what he said - I was ogling the car.

I get in the car and it feels RICH. Coming from an Alto, this is luxury - the interiors feel airy, the plastics are premium, the steering feels great to grip - I just feel happy inside it. I familiarise myself with the car, adjust the seats for reach, and then I get to adjust the steering height (alto does not have this feature). Nice.

I start the car and it's silent inside. Hmm, not bad.

The short ride around the city is good - the car is easy to manoeuvre, stop-and-go acceleration is impressive, and did I mention that it's silent inside. I take it over concrete roads and there is only a slight change in road noise. Good.

Then we take it on the highway!! WOW. The car touches 100 in no time. Surprised, I pull back on the accelerator for a minute; and then give it the throttle again. And it's off like a rocket again. No other car had done this for me before, and boy am I impressed.

By now I was convinced that this was it - the whole package of luxury and fun was perfect for me. Now it was up to the family. I drive up the hill to our home at Manipal and the Aspire does it effortlessly - I don't even need to use the 3rd gear. As we reach home, the first thing I do is to park it in the regular spot. I have to check if it fits in the driveway without any impediment or obstructions - no problem here. There are steps when you open the passenger side door and any low GC car would hit these steps. The Aspire clears it by 5mm; if it had hit the steps, we probably wouldn't have bought the car!!

The family comes out and there is a look of pride on their faces; I know they are happy. I take my mother, father, wife and son on a short drive over our regular roads - a mixture of good and broken tarmac. Both my parents have back pain and that is one of the main reasons for the upgrade. The car performs impressively with little fuss over bad roads. Mom comments that she can now comfortably sit up with folded legs on the front seat (and without her knee hitting the gear lever like in the Alto). My son his happy that he can stand on the seat without hitting his head on the ceiling. Dad does not feel any back pain and my wife is worried that she will now have to drive the Alto regularly.

I tell Arun I like the car, but would like a test drive of the petrol variant as that is what I would be buying. He promises to get it as soon as it arrives.

Test Drive - 2: August 24, 2015

Finally after 2 weeks the Aspire 1.2 Petrol arrived for the TD. That happy feeling was back again when I sat it this car. The drive started and it was super silent. As we drove around for a bit I realised that the car felt choked while changing from 1st to 2nd gear. Arun told me not to compare it with the Diesel and that there was a slight difference in torque. Then he said that it was because it had just run 300 km. I believed him and told him to get the car back after 1st service. (We were still waiting for the official T-BHP review then).

I was otherwise convinced about the car and I now had to decide on the variant. Arun's advice was that the Trend was the most VFM of the lot. My budget was 6 lakhs and only the Petrol Ambiente would fit in, but I had no idea how the Ambiente variant looked, I asked Arun to send me some photos of the interiors.

This is what he sent me:

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-img20150824wa0036.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-img20150824wa0039.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-img20150824wa0037.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-img20150824wa0038.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-img20150826wa0024.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-img20150826wa0025.jpg

The interior looks bland, doesn't it. This did not exude luxury.

Then I asked for photos of the Trend variant.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-img20150825wa0048.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-img20150825wa0050.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20150830_144753.jpg

This was good - other than the SYNC system, the interiors were more or less identical to Titanium+, and I anyway preferred the MyFord Dock over the SYNC system.

Being in advertising, I know that photos will never represent reality, so I decided to visit the Cauvery Ford showroom at Padil, Mangalore. It was a Sunday and there was going to be just one person to show us around. Arun had informed me that there was one Ambinete that was to be delivered the next day. My plan was to see the variants in person, choose the colour, and pay the booking amount next day.

So my 3-year old son and I set off on this 70km drive to finalise our car only to be disappointed - the Ambiente was delivered the previous evening. But we did spend a couple of hours there familiarising ourselves with the Aspire. I saw a Trend, a Titanium+ and a DCT, along with the Ecosport and the last Fiesta.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20150830_152830.jpg

My mind was cooking up ideas on how to up the specs of the Ambiente if I buy it. I recorded this video of the petrol engine inside the empty showroom - impressively silent.



Meanwhile, my son discovered something exciting in the backyard - JCBs!!! This was like a dream come true for him.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20150830_142426.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20150830_142552.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20150830_142648.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-1.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-2.jpg

He was trying to convince me to buy the crane instead of the car.

After some fun with these monsters we left there to visit the other Cauvery Ford outlet in the city. This had some more shades of the Aspire.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-3.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20150830_160417.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20150830_160147.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-white.jpg

Other than the blue, I got to see all other colours, and Ingot Silver was our choice. We were specifically looking for lighter shades as it would be parked on the roadside for most of the day and scratches were guaranteed. Little did I know then that this would not be my daily drive - else I would have chosen a dark colour - probably the Blue.

Arun wanted me to pay the booking amount immediately, but I was insisting on seeing an Ambiente before doing that. I had known that he had delivered couple of them nearby and requested him to show me those. It took him some time, but we finally got to see them. Both were diesels, one white and the other gray.

In comparison, the Trend looked better but it was a lakh more - EMI difference of about 2000. I could actually afford that. Then Arun throws in a curve ball - why not take the base diesel? Good point. The price was about 30k more than Trend, but I loved the way the diesel drove. Until this point we had never considered a diesel as our running was low and I was of the opinion that diesels pollute more than petrols. I spent the next 2 days researching Petrol vs Diesel.

Found this calculator by jessie007
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post2817743 (Petrol versus Diesel Cars)

Tried every possible permutation to try and increase my yearly running but it was of no use - my quota would never cross 1000 kms per month. So petrol it was. Here, the pragmatic in me decided that if I was ok with Diesel Ambiente then why do I need the Petrol Trend.

One ownership review in particular helped me finally book the Aspire - this one by KreativeGeek.

September 7, 2015
Booked the petrol Ambiente by paying 30,000 and was promised delivery before 10th October. Arun had come to my office to complete the formalities and collect the cash.

This was the culmination of a 2 year long hunt.

Last edited by Aditya : 5th December 2016 at 07:33. Reason: Spacing
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Old 14th April 2016, 08:11   #5
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Default re: My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente

Chapter 3 : Delivery Pangs

Having finally booked the car we were all eagerly waiting for it arrive home. I was busy researching accessories and studying up on the Aspire, when I got a rude shock.

September 18, 2015 : The Team-BHP review is out, and it terms the Petrol engine as mediocre. All this while I was under the impression that the Petrol TD car had not run-in yet and that was the reason for the unimpressive low-end performance. I began to wonder if I had made the wrong choice in booking the petrol. I called Arun and asked for another TD of the petrol (which never materialised). Some more research and I realised that almost all petrol engines in my budget behaved this way and worse. I resigned myself to the fact that I would not get the torque that my Alto had.

September 25, 2015 : Finally l become a member here and my first post (Ford Aspire : Official Review) was a comparison between the Ambiente and the Trend.

The Quotation
Here's the breakup of my quotation from Cauvery Ford, Mangalore.

Ex-Showroom : 5,03,128
Ford Preferred Insurance : 22,649
Registration : 78,194
Incidental Expenses : 9,500
Bank Charges : 316
3rd + 4th year Warranty : 13,053
Essential Kit : 5,100

Total On Road : 6,31,940
Exchange value of Alto : -1,60,000

I was working out ways to save money on the quotation:

Handling Charges: Ethically they are not supposed to charge this and some states have even outlawed it. On inquiry they said that this was the cost of getting the registration done, plus cost of logistics. The quotation stated that if I do registration personally then 3,500 has to be paid as handling charges. The difference of 6000, they said, is the cost of registration, agent charges, etc. I inquired with the same agent and his charges were 2000. Potential Savings: Rs.4,000

Insurance: Ford India has 4 preferred insurance providers that they have cashless facility tie-up with: A) Bajaj Allianz, B) Royal Sundaram, C) IFFKO Tokyo, D) United India Insurance. The dealer allots them cars on rotation. I tried getting insurance directly from the same insurers from their respective websites. Bajaj rates were the same as in the Cauvery Ford quotation. Iffko did not have the Ford Aspire as an option. United India website was down. Royal Sundaram called back and quoted 15,880 with additional benefits of 24x7 roadside assistance + unlimited claims in a year without affecting NCB + 2 lakh insurance for co-passenger + daily allowance. Potential Savings: Rs.6,769

Bank Charges might be waived as it was meant for the Registration DD.

Essential Kit: Another rip-off. Includes mud flaps + fabric floor mats + fabric boot mat. The prices for which total to 4,200 according to the Ford site. Arun said it also included the polishing that they do before delivery. From this I only wanted the mud flaps (~500). The fabric mats would stink in our coastal weather (I had seen them in a friend's car and all 5 mats were in the boot). Instead, I would get either DIY noodle mats or 3D mats from eBay for 1950. I lieu of the savings, I planned to get the reverse sensors for 2,900. Even this seemed overpriced as sensors with display were available on Flipkart for 900, but I still decided to go for the company accessory as otherwise it would effect warranty.

Total Savings: At least Rs.11,000

Around this time Ford announced that they had started selling spares over the counter, and the Aspire's 850 child parts would be available in these stores.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post3788676 (Ford starts over the counter sales of spares in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Goa)

As I was contemplating getting Trend parts for my Ambiente, I contacted one such store in Chennai. While interacting with them over WhatsApp, I got a sneak peek into their internal ordering system.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20151017-08.59.18.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20151017-08.59.37.jpg

Looks very comprehensive and you can easily imagine how they have separated the car into 850 child parts. Way to go Ford.

Delivery Delayed
The delivery, as promised on 10th, did not look like it was happening. The dealership was saying that it would be difficult as the base, Ambinete production was not a priority for Ford (probably true as it would have the lowest margin). The Mangalore sales head and Arun's boss, Mr. Umesh suggested that I either take the higher Trend model or the new Figo instead. "You will save 1 lakh and get the same car with just the compromise in boot space." Not wanting to let go of the Aspire, I refuse that offer - but I keep inquiring about a delivery date.

Frustrated by their helplessness, I mailed Ford Customer Care (FCC). No reply. Next, I posted on the official Facebook page of Ford India - this was the first time that I had contacted them. FCC called me immediately and offered to speak to the dealer. The dealer called me 10 minutes later and said that they could arrange for the Aspire, but in orange colour instead of Ingot Silver. But that colour was not acceptable to anyone in the family. So we were back to square one and my problem was still not solved. They then got the new Figo for a test drive saying that they had it in stock for ready delivery.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20151010_115735.jpg

I politely refused again and gave them the final deadline of 21st October - we had a family pooja and I wanted to have the car by then. It was also a very auspicious time. By now I had established a communication channel with Ford Customer Care (Mr. Zakir was the point man). I was informed that as soon as my car was ready in the factory at Sanand, Gujarat, I would get the VIN number. Delivery would take 10 days after that, as it had to travel to Mangalore by road. So I told the dealer and FCC that if I did not get confirmation by 12th then I would go for some other car. The Hyundai guys were ready with their Xcent (now with optional ABS and Airbags) and the new Baleno had just been launched. I actually called up the Nexa guys for a test drive and they promised to call back as soon as their TD car arrived - I'm still waiting for that call.

FCC had promised to get back to me on Monday the 12th, but as there was no news till 3 pm, I again messaged on the FB page and Zakir promptly called again. This time he said "the dealer does not have an allotment of the required model for this month, but we are trying to do something as a special case."

I liked Ford's responsiveness but maybe it was the FaceBook effect, plus the fact that I was also CCing the upper management at Ford. And that I was posting about the issue regularly here on T-bhp.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The dealer allotment process

This is how it works with Ford (for Figo and Aspire). Each dealer has to order his vehicles 3 months in advance. They do it based on bookings and assumed demand. So, if the variant and the colour you want is in stock with the dealer, you get instant delivery. Or if it is in the next 2 months order list, then you will get it as soon as it comes. They have some leeway to change the variant and colour of the cars in their order list. But if the car you want is not any of these, then you have to wait for a minimum of 2 months, unless you use your influence or contacts with the dealer.

I find it strange that Ford has no issues with making customers wait for 2 months for cars that are not selling that well. The worrying thing is that the system hasn't changed, even after 1 year.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

By now it was sure that I would not get delivery by 21st, but I had decided to stick with the Aspire as the competition was not good enough. The only good thing that came out this hullabaloo was that the Ford GM (India) knew who I was (apparently even he was in the loop trying to resolve my issue) - not that he could do anything about it.

Finally on 15th Zakir calls and informs me that the car will be billed from the factory on the 18th, dispatched on the 20th and would reach Mangalore around 27th. So I should be getting delivery by month end.

For some reason, the dealer is kept out of the loop. Mr. Umesh calls me the next day and tells me that they are unable to get allotment from Ford for my car in the colour of my choice, and asks me to choose some other colour. I'm taken aback by this turn of events and tell him about the call from Zakir. Now it was his turn to be surprised. He then tells me that he would confirm it with them, but asks if they have given me the VIN number. Obviously they hadn't - VIN is only allotted once the car is billed.

Finally on 22nd, Zakir calls and gives me the VIN; I'm elated. This meant that the car was ready to be dispatched from the factory. I immediately telephone Mr. Umesh and tell him that I've got VIN number, but I find that they are closed for the Dasara festival. The vehicle could not leave the factory until they get some paperwork from the dealer, so my car was stuck. Finally on 24th my car started it's 1500 km long journey to Mangalore. 10 days of journey meant that I would be getting delivery in the 1st week of November.

Here my uncles were hoping that I would get delivery in October because if I did not, then it would break a mini chain of new car deliveries in our family - Vento in July, GLA300 in August, Creta Auto in September.

But I was over the moon that finally my dream was going to be fulfilled.

Last edited by Aditya : 5th December 2016 at 07:34. Reason: Spacing
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Old 25th June 2016, 19:43   #6
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Chapter 4: Catching Ford with its Pants Down

I had read a post by bhpian arunphilip which mentioned that you could get a lot of info from a Ford VIN, and I, being my curious self, had to find out more.

This is the ETIS FORD link to check your Ford VIN. The model will show as B562.

I extracted my car info from ETIS and compared it to a friend's Diesel Aspire. Here's the link to that post (Ford Aspire : Official Review).

The big shock here was that the Front Stabilizer Bar (Anti-Roll Bar) was absent in my car. The anti-roll bar was one of the key selling points of the Aspire for me, and that had disappeared!!!

I checked the Ford website again just to be sure that I'm not mistaken.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-india-ford-screenshot.jpg

This was a feature printed in all the brochures and publicity materials, and most of the car websites showed it as a feature of the Aspire. Shocking.

I immediately called Mr. Arun and then Mr. Umesh, and they were both clueless. Mr. Umesh suggested (as did arunphilip) that maybe it was just a mistake on the ETIS site and not with the car - you don't expect Ford to be so sneaky. I was hoping for the same. For confirmation, I contacted FCC on Facebook, and Zakir promptly called me back and promised to have the technical team look into it.

I also decided to write to people higher up in the management chain. There were a few back and forth mails, where I had also mentioned that I was regularly posting about this problem on t-bhp. Here I would like to thank bhpian aeroamit for providing me the contact details of one of the senior managers at Ford India who actually did something.

After multiple follow-ups (and probably after his intervention) I got this final reply from Ford:

Quote:
Dear Mr. Samarth,

Greetings from Ford India !!!

We are in receipt of your mail & noted down the contents,

We would like to inform you that Front Stabilizer Bar / Anti-Roll Bar is not available in Aspire 1.2 Petrol Ambiente Model. There was an inadvertent mistake in our website and we thank you for bringing this to our notice. We have taken this up with concerned department for correction.

Please feel free to contact us if you require any further assistance in this regard.

Regards,
Nithin

Ford India Customer Relations
Toll Free No 1800-425-2500 / 1800-419-2500.
After choosing the perfect car for me, this was so disappointing. There was a point when I thought I'll just cancel my delivery and look for some other car. I felt so cheated.

This is what i had posted then:
Quote:
Is there any regulator that we can complain to, and make Ford pay for this. Because every buyer of Ford Figo Base & Ambiente variants, and Ford Figo Aspire Ambiente variant (Petrol & Diesel) has been cheated.
Then I discovered this thread by bhpian Flatout on anti-roll bars (An undamped spring - The Anti-roll Bar)

This convinced me to some extent that I will not be missing out much without the anti-roll bars. AND - I was already in love with the Aspire. There was no going back now. (You wouldn't cancel your engagement when you find out that your fiancée is missing a finger - would you? Stupid analogy, but you get the point.)

Next day (30th October) was another shocker. I received another call from Ford in the morning and they said that after some "intensive investigation" they found out that there is "NO ANTI-ROLL BAR IN ANY VARIANT OF 1.2 PETROL" - Aspire and Figo. The Ford website was also updated with the same information.

Here's the link to that discussion: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...ml#post3837291 (Ford Aspire : Official Review)

I left this issue at that, content that more buyers would not be led into making decisions based on wrong information. I still wonder if cars from the initial batches ever came with anti-roll bars. Maybe we can still sue Ford for false promises

PS: @Ford management, if you are reading this, then I'm still waiting for a thank you, or at least an acknowledgement for saving you from cheating more buyers.

Last edited by Aditya : 5th December 2016 at 07:36.
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Old 31st October 2016, 09:08   #7
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Chapter 5: A Dream Fulfilled

That same afternoon of 30th October (Friday), I received a call from Mr. Umesh saying that the container truck carrying my car would reach the showroom in the evening, well ahead of the supposed 10 days. He probably wanted to get the sale in the books for that month, so he asked me to transfer them the money the same day so that they could complete the pre-delivery formalities and deliver the car to me the next day. Though I was just as eager, I could not let any of this happen without a PDI, so I decided to go to Mangalore in the evening and have a look at the car.

This is the first time I laid eyes on my Aspire:

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-1.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-2.jpg

Guess where I checked first?

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20151030_192914.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-antiroll.jpg

Notice the missing anti-roll bar?

The odometer read 25. After a short drive inside the compound, we sat down for some negotiations. I had planned to not take the essential kit from them (just the mud flaps) and get the insurance and registration work done by myself. He agreed on the essential kit. Royal Sundaram had given me a Zero depreciation insurance quotation of Rs.15,880 for a better package than what Ford was offering for Rs.22,500. He could not match that offer, but said that it would be a hassle if any claims arose in future. I knew better, so I held my ground until he agreed with a caveat that I have to get the insurance by next day morning.

For vehicle registration he convinced me that it would be hassle free and time saving if they do it, so I agreed. The handling charge of Rs.9,500 was discounted to Rs.6,250. I had asked for the maximum available warranty of 5 years, but now Ford had an offer of free 3rd year warranty. So that much amount was again discounted.

I wanted the reverse sensors painted in body colour (as mentioned in the Ford website), but they said that it would effect functionality. They were ready to install black sensors but I did not want 4 ugly dots on the bumper, so I decided against buying them. The extras that I finally bought from them were the Mud Flaps (~500), seat covers (7,000), Waxoyl underbody coating (4,100) and body colour painting (~2,000) for the door handles and ORVMs (they are black in the Ambiente). Finally I asked him if there were any freebies; I was promised a Ganesh statue.

The breakup of the final bill was as follows:
Ex-showroom Price: 5,03,128
Free 3rd year Warranty: -3,939
Incidental Expenses: 6,250
Accessories: 14,090 (Underbody Coating + Seat Covers + Mud Flaps + Painting)
4th & 5th Year Warranty: 19,999
Insurance: 17,500
Road Tax: 78,192
TOTAL: 6,35,220
We had decided not to exchange our Alto, so finally we ended up with option 5. Keep the Alto and buy a better, new, second car (Loan) [Option5]

They would get the vehicle ready by next evening and expected me to take delivery then. But that being a Saturday, would be inconvenient for us. So I asked them to deliver the car on Sunday, for which he reluctantly agreed.

Next day was hectic. I bought the insurance online from Royal Sundaram; the total was Rs.17,500 with added benefits of spare car clause, windshield protector, engine protector, unnamed passenger cover, driver cover and full invoice price cover. A copy of the policy was mailed to the dealership. Then I had to run to the bank as soon as it opened to transfer money to Cauvery Ford. The bank loan had been sanctioned a month earlier, but it still took some time as Saturday's were half days then, and the bank was crowded. They did the RTGS to Cauvery Ford and a scanned copy of the receipt was also mailed to them.

In total, I ended up paying them Rs.30,000 extra, which Arun had said that I would be getting back when I took delivery of the car. I had planned to add the audio system and sun films immediately after delivery with that money, but now he tells me that the money would be credited to my account from their Bangalore Head office after 10 days (it was credited to my account after almost a month).

D-Day: Sunday, 1st November, 2015
The big day was finally upon us. We left home by bus at 10:00 am as we had to reach the showroom by 12:00 noon. The Ford guys were supposed to pick us up from the bus-stand at Mangalore but they didn't. So a friend took us to the showroom which is about 5 kms from the city. When we reached there, we could see no one but the watchmen.

The car was in the delivery bay, ready to be delivered.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20151101_113428.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-delivery2.jpg

After some time, while I was checking out the car, the Sales Advisor Rivan came and called me to complete the paperwork. He ran me through their delivery checklist that included a short briefing about the car. After signing the documents, we came back to the car where he demonstrated the car's features to me. I was doing my PDI as this was going on, and saw a few grease stains on the seat covers and door panels. I had told them the previous day to remove all unwanted stickers - this had not been done. But there was a half removed sticker on the petrol lid. I also found a few grease stains on the outer body. Rivan himself tried to clean up as much as he could - I appreciate his efforts on that. (The seat cover stains though, are still there after one year). There was also a layer of dust on the car from being in the open overnight, which I cleaned myself.

After all this, our car was ready for delivery at 12:30 pm. It was such a moment of pride for us.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-delivery.jpg

As we were ready to leave the showroom I realised that the driver side floor mat was missing. This one is not an accessory and is listed as one of the loose parts that are dispatched with the car from the factory (others being the wheel covers, 2 keys, antenna if applicable, owner's manual, reflector triangle and the license plate hardware).

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161202_145225.jpg

When I asked Rivan about the mat, he said that since I hadn't opted for the 'essentials kit', I do not get any mats. After I insisted, he spoke to Mr. Umesh, then removed a mat from some other car and put it in mine. Also missing was the God statue that I was promised. Even that was given only after I asked for it. I know that Cauvery Ford gives a framed copy of the delivery photo to every customer; I never got that either.

After going home, I also noticed that the power window button panel was stained and scratched.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20151101_163611.jpg

All in all, it was a poor delivery experience.

Link to my post that day:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...ml#post3838636 (Ford Aspire : Official Review)

Odometer reading at the time of delivery was 65. From the showroom, we went for refuelling, and after topping her up I drove to my uncle's house nearby. Contrary to what I had read here, there was more than 10 litres of fuel in the car at the time of delivery.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-delivery4.jpg
At my uncle's house, facing big brother. That's the month old German in the shadows.

Our next destination was Ambalpady Temple, Udupi, for the mandatory Vahana Pooja.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20151101_165249.jpg

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20151101_165638.jpg

Finally the Aspire brought us home at 7:30 pm. Our dog, Chintu, welcomed his new companion with a few excited barks.

My dream had been fulfilled.

Last edited by Aditya : 5th December 2016 at 07:44. Reason: Image orientation, spacing
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Default re: My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente

Chapter 6: Ambiente vs Trend - A Pictorial Comparison

I had researched a lot on the Aspire before I bought it. As my budget could only afford the Trend variant, I had created a list of differences between the base Ambiente and the Trend variants to help me decide. After buying the car I did a lot more research and here's a pictorial representation of the same. The photos on the left are from the Ambiente and the smaller photos on the right are of the Trend.

Along with the photos, I have mentioned the easiest possible options and cost of adding these missing features wherever possible.

Many thanks to moderator Tushar for giving me permission to use photos from the Official review in this comparison.


The MISSING Things:
  • Front Fog Lamps: Available as Ford Genuine Accessory (FGA) worth Rs.3800 (but with only 6 months warranty). The headlight switch assembly will be replaced to one as in the other variants. But the front Fog lamp indicator on the MID will not work.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-01-aspire-fog-lamp.jpg



  • B-Pillar, C-Pillar Black Stickers: Can be installed by any accessories shop.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-aspire-pillar-stickers.jpg



  • In Car Entertainment System: Available as FGA - Head Unit with 2 speakers - Rs.8500. Better aftermarket units can installed at this price, but note that only a 1 DIN system can be installed.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-02-aspire-ice.jpg

    If you want to add a 2 DIN unit then this replacement panel is available on ebay.in for Rs.3500.

    Name:  2 din panel.jpg
Views: 17300
Size:  57.5 KB



  • MyFord Dock: The best smartphone holder in my opinion, but is it worth that much? Available as FGA - MyFord Dock with 2 speakers Rs.8300 to complete the ICE setup. FYI, the Aux port will not work.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-04-aspire-myford-dock.jpg



  • Steering Wheel Controls: No ICE - no audio controls on the steering wheel.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-aspire-steering-controls.jpg



  • Tachometer: A big miss. Cannot be added later as far as I know. Options are to install an external unit aftermarket, or buy an OBD reader and use the phone as a Tachometer.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-03-aspire-tachometer.jpg



  • Rear Power Window Switches: Because there are no rear power windows, their switches are also absent.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-05-aspire-power-window-switch.jpg



  • Rear Seat Armrest: Aftermarket solutions are available if you really need it.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-07-aspire-armrest.jpg



  • Mirror on the Driver Side Sun Visor: Instead there is the ticket holder strap.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-08-aspire-sun-visor.jpg



  • No damping on the firewall in the engine bay: Doesn't make any difference as the cabin is silent even without it.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-09-aspire-fire-wall.jpg



  • Boot Lamp: No lighting for the boot area.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-aspire-boot-lamp.jpg



  • Bumper Lip: I'm not sure of this one, as I've seen some Ambientes with it and some without.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-10-aspire-bumper-lip.jpg



Things that are DIFFERENT in the Ambiente:
  • Front Grill - Silver painted vs Chromed bordered: Available as FGA. For Rs.5,000 you get a full chrome grill as in the Titanium+.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-01-aspire-chrome-grill.jpg



  • ORVM - Unpainted Black without Integrated Turn Indicators: Can be painted Body colour.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-02-aspire-orvm.jpg



  • Door Handles - Unpainted Black: Can be painted Body colour.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-03-aspire-door-handles.jpg



  • Applique on the Boot Lid - Silver Painted vs Chromed: Available as FGA - Rs.5,000.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-04-aspire-rear.jpg



  • Turn Indicators on the Fender vs Chrome insert: à la GTOs BMW

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-05-aspire-indicator.jpg



  • Circular AC vents without Chrome border: Available as FGA - Rs.1,200 per piece.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-06-aspire-ac-vent.jpg



  • Steering Wheel - Plain vs Piano black painted insert

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-aspire-steering-wheel.jpg



  • Handbrake Lever - Plain vs Chrome tipped

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-aspire-handbrake.jpg



  • Door Insert - Plastic vs Fabric

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-07-aspire-door-fabric.jpg



  • Fog Lamp Switch: No fog lamp - no switch

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-08-aspire-fog-lamp-switch.jpg



  • ORVM Controls - Manual vs Electrically adjustable

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-09-aspire-orvm-controls.jpg



  • Rear Windows - Manual vs Power Windows

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-10-aspire-rear-windows.jpg



  • Gear Knob - Plain vs Glossy with Chrome Garnish

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-11-aspire-gear-knob.jpg



  • Door Arm Rests - Plain vs Piano Black: Can be painted piano black.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-12-aspire-painted-armrest.jpg



  • Door Lock - Plain vs Piano Black: Can be painted piano black.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-aspire-door-handle.jpg



  • AC Control Dials - Plain vs Chrome Ringed

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-15-aspire-ac-dials.jpg

Last edited by samaspire : 4th December 2016 at 21:48. Reason: Adding content
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Default re: My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente

Chapter 7: The Upgrades

Since my Aspire is the base Ambiente variant, I had a blank canvas to work on. This has now become my project car. I don't plan to do anything flashy with it; just improve / preserve the aesthetics and add functionality.

The following is a list of additions/alterations that I have done to my car so far:
  1. Leatherette Seat Covers: Ford Genuine accessory, installed by the dealer before delivery - Rs.7000. Looks rich, but better quality options are available aftermarket for the same price.

  2. Under Body Coating: By dealer, before delivery - Rs.4000

  3. 3M Paint Protection Film for Door Handle Grooves: The area behind the door handles is guaranteed to get scratched by fingernails, so adding a layer of Paint Protection Film was imperative. This was the first thing I had planned to do after delivery. So after dropping my family at an uncle's place, I went to 3M CarCare, Mangalore - Rs.800

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20151101_132356.jpg







  4. AC Switch Protection: The AC button is similar to my Alto's and I've seen what happens to it from years of use.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20151117_151226.jpg

    So one of the first things I did after bringing the car home was add a layer of protection over it.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-ac-button2.jpg

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-ac-button3.jpg

    The solution was simple - clear nail polish. I asked my wife to apply it as she's more adept at handling brushes than I am.

  5. ICE Setup: My plan was to buy a good car audio system with bluetooth calling (only a 1 DIN slot is provided), along with 4 speakers, so that I would get all the functionality of the Titanium. As luck would have it, an uncle gifted me a Pioneer Head Unit, but this one did not have bluetooth. I had asked the Ford guys to install it for me, but they refused saying that they are not allowed to install non-Ford accessories. On their suggestion, I took my car to Car Decor Mangalore for the audio install. I purchased 2 pairs of Pioneer Speakers that would be mated to my Pioneer HU. The antenna from the previous generation Figo was a match to the Aspire's connector. One thing to note here is that the wires are already laid out for the Antenna and 4 door speakers. All we have to do is connect them. Since it was their 1st Aspire they took some time in removing the HU panels and finding the right connector, but the final result was clear, crisp sound output. I'm no audiophile, but I'm happy with the sound quality. Rs.6,000
    The only thing lacking now was bluetooth connectivity.

  6. B, C Pillar Stickers: While they were installing the ICE, I asked them to also sticker the B and C pillars. They did not do it properly - it looks bad from up-close and they even managed to cut a small piece of the rubber beading. Rs.200

  7. Tinted Sun Films: This is a necessity in our coastal weather. Got the lightest available film (70%) and installed it on the doors and the rear windshield at A2Z Car Accessories, Udupi. Rs.1500

  8. DIY Noodle Mats: Guided by this thread I went about installing Noodle Mats in my car.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-noodle-mat-2.jpg

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-noodle-mat-7.jpg

    I would say that it is a very good install. The area under the driver's heel is a known problem area, so I have kept a piece of an old rubber mat there. Rs.1200

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161124_091755.jpg

  9. DIY Boot Matting: Bought a vinyl sheet and cut it in a shape that fits into the boot. Its waterproof and easy to clean. Rs.400

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161124_092055.jpg

  10. Interior Panels Painting: The centre panel that houses the Head Unit and the central AC vents + Door Handles + the armrests were all painted in Piano Black as in the higher variants at the Ford Body Shop.

  11. Rear Boot Chrome Strip: Replaced the painted boot strip with the OEM chromed one.

  12. Side AC Vents: Chrome trims installed on the circular AC vents as detailed in this thread (DIY: Chrome highlights for the interiors). Now, I've changed them to the OEM chromed ones.

  13. Roof Padding: As I have mentioned before, the cabin of my Aspire is a very quiet place. But during rains, you could hear water falling on the roof. I checked under the roof liner and saw that damping was done only on the passenger side, not above the front seat. Apparently it's an issue with all Aspires. I asked the guys at Ford to add some damping there and they readily obliged. This whole rainy season was noise free for me.

  14. Reverse Sensors: I've bought this hole free electromagnetic sensor kit, but the installation was screwed up. It does not work alongside the Dashcam, so it's been disabled for now. Rs.700

  15. Dashcam + Reverse Camera: My most expensive online accessory yet. A product that serves as Dashcam (Front and Back), Reverse Camera, wide rearview mirror and as parking monitor. Rs.2,200 from AliExpress.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161124_091707.jpg

  16. Fog Lamps: Installed the OEM Ford fog lamps. Rs.1,200

  17. LED Dome Light: I've replaced the stock bulbs in the dome lights to LEDs - Rs.50

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161124_091630.jpg

  18. Neck Pillows: Ordered from ShopClues for Rs.150

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161125_091646.jpg


  19. The Small Accessories:
    After booking the car I had started looking for accessories online. This got so addictive that I ended up creating a thread on (Small, yet value-adding Accessories for your car)

    The following are few of the items from that thread that are installed in my car:


Other than the things done to, and items installed in the car, there are a couple of things that I've done for my car.

Car Shed Extended: The existing car shed was not big enough for 2 cars, so I had new extended roofing installed.

Bosch Car Wash ordered from Amazon.



FUTURE UPGRADES
Some of the things that are in the planning / considering stages:
  • DRLs
  • Ambient Lighting
  • Android ICE
  • Armrests - Front and Back
  • Door Beading
  • Backseat + Boot Charging Point/s
  • Front Parking Sensors
  • Wireless Charging Pad
  • Folding Rear Seat
  • Puddle Lamps
  • Rear Cabin Light
  • Roof Wrap
  • Wheels & Tyres



UPGRADE SUGGESTION TO FORD for the Aspire Facelift
  • Touchscreen ICE with Android Auto
  • ABS for all variants
  • Re-tune the petrol engine for a little more life in the low end
  • Better Tyres
  • Optional 15" wheels
  • DRLs
  • Boot Struts
  • Integrated Reverse Camera with Parking Sensors
  • Auto-dimming IRVM
  • One touch auto-open Power Windows for all doors
and if you really want to stand out
  • Integrated front and back Dashcams
  • Heads up Display

Last edited by samaspire : 3rd December 2016 at 09:52. Reason: Adding content
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Old 6th November 2016, 23:50   #10
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Default re: My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente

Chapter 8: Living with the Aspire

I have just completed a year with my Aspire and what an memorable year it has been. I'm more in the love with it than ever before. Every time I park the car and go, I automatically turn around and give it another admiring glance. It makes me invent reasons to go for that long drive. My wife says I'm more interested in the car than I'm in her.

I'll detail my observations of my car in line with Team-BHP Review Guidelines.

Note that my point of reference for most things here is my 2008 Maruti Alto Lx (without power steering). Though I have test driven a few vehicles, and have been a passenger in a few more, I am guided by the 8-year experience with/of my Alto.

Number of kilometers at the time of writing this review
Was 800 km when I started writing this review, and its now at 9,200 km on the Odometer.

Usage Pattern
This is not my daily drive. I take my Alto or the Scooty to office as any vehicle I take, will be parked on the roadside where it is sure to get scratches and dents. The Aspire got 2 small dents and a few scratches from the handful of times that I did take it to office.

I use it mainly for long drives (anything over 10 km ). We have done 4 round trips to Bangalore (~900 kms) and 2 to Chikmagalur (~400 kms).

After I became a BHPian, I was introduced to Manipal Auto Club (MAC) by a very very very senior BHPian carfreak. After joining MAC, I found out that the small town of Udupi/Manipal had quite a few more BHPians - sashas, Deep Blue, manipal and drzskeb (plus Samurai, but I knew about him before this). So, my Aspire also goes on these monthly MAC-Drives to nearby exotic locations, that add to the kilometres.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20160828_092049.jpg

Exterior Styling & Design
Being a design professional, I would not have bought any car that did not appeal to my aesthetic sensibilities - I did not even test drive a few cars because they looked bad.

The uniqueness of the Aspire is in its Aston Martinesque front - beautifully designed and clutter free.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-samaspire-aston-martin-front.jpg

The front does not smile like the others, but shows an aggressive face. The overall design is symmetrical and almost every part gels with the design theme. The lines wrap around the body seamlessly, flowing over the sides into the tail lights and continues across the high boot through the chrome applique.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-samaspire-boot.jpg
My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-samaspire-boot2.jpg

As this is a compact sedan, the boot is short and ends abruptly. Though not perfect, it looks better than its competitors currently in the market.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-samaspire-worst-angle.jpg
This is the worst angle for the Aspire.

Rating: 5-stars

Overall Build Quality
Overall build quality is pretty good, and the car is structurally sound, but the sheet metal thickness is not like the other Fords. This is where most people feel that the car lacks the Ford DNA, but I do not equate build quality with sheet metal thickness. It is better than the Marutis and the Hyundais. Thinner sheet metal means that it will dent easily and you have to be extra careful of where you park your car.

But the metal thickness is not the same everywhere - the bonnet feels like its made of thicker sheets. That, and the front doors are pretty heavy and behave like other Ford cars, but its the rear doors that spoil the party. They feel light and close with a not so reassuring thud. This probably could have been mitigated to some extent if they had provided rubber beading on the doors. (An interesting article on door sounds by BMW)

Similarly, the boot is very light and tinny. Combine that with the fact that there is no real bumper, any hit from the rear is a sure boot replacement. I have seen and felt the rear panels of the export variant and they are THICK. You get a thud when you bang on it - not a ting like in my car.

Fit and Finish is good, but panel gaps are excessive at some places.
My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161124_092146.jpg

The boot lid, for example, has almost a 1 centimetre gap from the bumper's top.
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Overall, it feels like the build quality gets poorer as you go towards the back of the car. Looks like Ford did not spend enough time in development while cutting the Ford Novo Ka Sedan's size to under 4 meters for the Indian Market.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-novofordkasedan20165.jpg
The Ford Novo Ka Sedan as sold in Brazil

Rating: 4-stars

Paint Quality
This is my biggest grouse with this car. The paint quality is visually very good, but paint thickness is very bad. A small scratch will show you the primer underneath. Compare that to my sister's Polo, and it feels like that has 5-6 layers of paint on it. Its got a lot of big dents, but none show what's underneath.

My car shows a lot of fine scratches in the front bumper area and around the wheel well, caused by stones and dirt. Will have to check if they can be removed by polishing. This was one of main reasons for choosing a lighter colour car - these scratches would have been very obvious in the darker colours.

Rating: 2.5-stars

Wheels & Tyres
The India spec Aspire comes with 14" wheels, whereas the export models have the option of 15 inchers. The tyres are either MRF ZV2K or Apollo Alnacs for the lower models. My car came shod with MRFs and they have poor road grip at higher speeds - they do not give you confidence to do speeds over 110kmph. Up to that speed, they are adequate, and I have no trouble taking corners or overtaking on the Ghats. But if I had known what I know now, while buying the car, a tyre change on delivery would have been the first thing that I would have done.

Rating: 3-stars

Interior Design & Quality
The Aspire's interiors were a refreshing upgrade for me and the interiors were probably what got me hooked in the first place. It feels luxurious. The dark grey + beige interiors create a feeling of space inside the car, but they are prone to getting dirty. My seats have caught all sorts of small stains from a year of use - despite taking care of them. I had leatherette seat covers installed before delivery, so I would not know how the OEM fabrics seats would have fared - far worse I presume. Once-a-year interior detailing is recommended.

The plastics are a mix of soft touch and hard, but nothing feels cheap. The door armrests and the centre HU panel are piano black (not in the Ambiente, but I have had mine painted), and they are fingerprint magnets. You will have to clean them regularly. BUT, they make a big difference to the feeling of premiumness of the interiors - after I had them painted, it felt like a richer car.

The door panels are also beige so they will attract dirt from hands and shoes. Cleaning them as soon as it happens is recommended. A good thing about mine being the base variant is that there is no fabric insert on the doors. This would have gotten wet every time one opened the door during the monsoons - and even otherwise, fabric + sweaty arms is a bad combination.

The power window switches on the doors are well positioned to use and feel well built - not something that will break soon. The rear doors have manual windows with rotary winders, and they are very smooth to operate. Compared to my Alto's winders, these are a class above. But, the need for rear power windows are sorely felt when you want to lock the windows to prevent kids from opening them.

All the internals are well concealed - there is no metal visible anywhere.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161120_093433.jpg
Case in point is this cover behind the steering wheel.

There are no visible wires under the dash. Unless you are looking for them, you will not see any wires anywhere.

My variant has a vanity mirror with flap in the sun visor on the passenger side, which has proved to be very useful for the ladies. The driver's visor does not get a mirror (which would be pointless), but it does get a ticket holder strap.

Rating: 5-stars

Interior Space & Comfort
The interior of the Aspire is a good place to be in - spacious and airy. As detailed in the official review, the cabin doesn't feel cramped even for two 6 footers sitting back to back. But at the other end of the spectrum is "What about short folk like me?" I'm 5'4" (the average Indian male height) and my family is similarly restricted vertically, and we are all slim built - everybody under 60 kg. For the 4 of us, the Alto was a spacious car - 5 were manageable. Coming from that, the Aspire is like an Innova.

The driver's seat is very comfortable for short and long drives, as long you get the sitting posture right. For example, my arm started aching after one particular long trip and I started to think of ways to alter the seat cushioning to fix that problem. I even bought a lumbar support thingy to help me. It was later that I realised that the seat back was bent one notch more than my correct angle - and that caused the arm problem. One notch up and I'm pain free.

The front passenger seat is apparently the most comfortable seat in the car (I wouldn't know - I have hardly ever travelled in that seat). My mom and my dad, both with back issues, do not feel any discomfort while sitting in this seat during long drives. My mom even sits with her feet up and it does not interfere with the gear lever - there is enough space between the front seats.

The rear row comfortably seats 3 of us. We have travelled over 70km with 4 adults + 1 kid in the back seat, and though it was cramped, nobody complained. The fact that there is lot of legroom at the back helped here. There is also no armrest so the backseat is comfortable for all. But my dad has complained of back pain on long drives in the back seat. I'm planning to visit a good upholster to add some additional soft padding for the back seat.

Under thigh support and headroom is perfect for us on all seats.

Rating: 5-stars

Interior Storage, Practicality & Boot Space
The fact that the designers have given a lot of thought in development is most obvious in this department. The Aspire is loaded with storage spaces; problem is that almost everything is in the front.

Each front door has 3 bottle holders plus a slot to keep a small umbrella. The top of the dashboard has space to keep mobiles or knickknacks. This is where the MyFord Dock is, in other variants. A little below, under the AC dials, is a slot to keep your smartphone. It's got rubber padding to prevent vibrations. There are 3 bottle holders near the handbrake lever, plus 3 rectangular slots to keep things like wallets, car remote, etc. Then there is a small "hidden" space on the right side of the dashboard that is only accessible when the driver door is open. Maybe you can keep stuff there which you don't want to be seen in the cabin. I used to park my microfiber there, but now I hardly use it.

The glove compartment looks premium and very well built but it's lacking in space - my Alto's has more. The lid is more than 2 inches thick - don't know why.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161125_091951.jpg
That space could have been added to the interior space. Better still, the space inside the lid could easily hold documents if it were made openable. The glove compartment in neither cooled nor lit.

For the rear seat passengers the bottle holders in the handbrake console are easily accessible, but there are no bottle holders on the doors. That space is taken up by the speakers.

The OEM seats have a pouch at the back, and my seat covers also have that space. I keep my car documents and first-aid kit in one of these.

The parcel tray at the back is 2 stepped and grooved to ensure that nothing slips off.

The 359 litre boot is adequately spacious and can take 2 large, 3 medium and 3-4 small bags. And some more smaller stuff if needed. Only issue is that the boot hinges take up space - you cannot keep anything in line with the path of the hinge. Boot struts as in the international variant would have solved this problem.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-strut.jpg
This is another problem caused by the half-baked car length reducing process.

Rating : 5-stars

Driving Position, Ergonomics, Controls & MID
As a driver with short legs, I have to pull the seat almost all the way to the front (one notch lesser than max). At this position there are a couple of issues:-

a) Sometimes your knee touches the rotary headlight switch and turns it on while alighting. The warning chime is the saviour here.
My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161125_090637.jpg

b) Your dirty footwear touches the A pillar panel and the plastic door panel while getting out,
My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161125_090523.jpg
My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161125_090539.jpg

and the seat plastic panel while getting in.
My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161125_090716.jpg

This makes them dirty.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161125_091212.jpg
This is my jugaad for that. Cellophane tape - just replace it when it peels off. Cheap and best.

Once you are settled in the driver's seat everything is within reach - you don't have to strain or stretch to get/do anything. The audio controls are nearby (mine doesn't have steering controls), the water bottle is just behind your left elbow (or near your right leg), and the best is the AC switch position. Put the car in 3rd gear and your index finger points directly at the AC switch.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161125_092343.jpg

This is an inadvertent bonus for this petrol engine; imagine you need more power to overtake or climb a hill - you slot it into 3rd while simultaneously switching off the AC and you get the "turbo mode" (Alto users will understand, but here it's a small difference). Similarly, while up-shifting from 3rd, just switch on the AC as you are changing gears.

One thing that is sorely missed is a driver armrest. I have installed one in my Alto and have been spoilt by it. The left hand feels tired after a long journey. (I'm planning something, that will hopefully preserve all the bottle holders)

The 2 control stalks behind the steering wheel are well built and robust. The controls are intuitive and well thought out. But the movement of the stalks is hard. It takes effort to put the indicator on - not smooth like my Alto. The MID controls are on the tip of the indicator stalk and it's a welcome change from the one's that Maruti provides (2 long, ugly protrusions from the MID screen).

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161120_093421.jpeg
There is a groove separating the stalk and it's tip, and your finger fits perfectly into that groove while dim-dipping the headlights.

You have to stretch your fingers to blow the horn because the horn can only be played by the centre part of the steering wheel. I would have preferred it to be closer to the edge like the Alto.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161120_093559.jpg
The 6-speed wiper controls on the LHS stalk is very useful during the torrential rains we face in this part of the country. The top speed was enough to get through the heaviest of rains. And slowest speed was perfect for the irritating drizzle. The controls are 2 layered - the serrated rotary switch has 5 speeds, the rate of which is controlled by the 3 speed stalk lever. You press the tip of this stalk to activate the window washer.

My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161120_093514.jpg
The instrument cluster is simple and not distracting. 3 dials and a small single colour MID (Multi Information Display) screen. In my car the first dial is empty as I did not get a Tachometer.

The fonts used in the cluster are crisp and easy to read - the sober lighting does not effect vision.

The MID view is cyclic, but because it's controls are at the tip of the indicator stalk, you tend to accidentally press that switch while using the indicator. Then you have to cycle through the entire set to come back to the display you want (I always keep it on real time mileage). It would have been nice if it were possible to cycle both ways with a rotary switch like the wiper's.

You get only 1 trip meter - 2 would have been better.

Rating: 4-stars

Lighting and Electrical System
The Euro style light controls are just below the AC vent on the right side, and they feel very premium. The rotary dial controls the parking lights and headlights. First slot switches on the parking lights, while the 2nd lights up the headlights. The 'push to reveal' headlight level controller in the centre feels very classy. Press the centre and another rotary knob reveals itself - rotate it to adjust the throw of the headlights. Press it again to put it back in hiding.

Few things about the lights:
  • Headlights switch off with the engine.
  • Parking lights will remain on for about 30 seconds after you close the doors. That's the 'follow me home' feature.
  • You cannot switch on the headlights with the rotary switch until the key is in ACC position (1 turn of the key),
  • but you can switch on the headlights (low beam) by pulling the indicator stalk towards you even if the key is not slotted in.
  • If you put on the turn indicator without the key, then either the left or the right parking light will switch on, depending on which way you moved the stalk.
  • If you do not lock the car, then the next time you open the door (after a gap of at least 30 minutes), even the cabin light will not switch on. The car is in sleep mode until you unlock the car with the remote, or turn the key.

Rating: 5-stars

Visibility & Size of Mirrors
Another point of grouse in the Aspire club. The IRVM is apparently small, but I find that it covers the entire rear window. Its another issue that the rearward visibility itself is very poor, even when you turn your head and look. Rear-view camera and parking sensors are recommended. The mirror has manual dimming controls, which does what it's supposed to.

The rear parcel tray reflects sunlight onto the rear windscreen hampering visibility a little in the afternoons. Recently while driving through the Ghats, I found that the dashboard also reflects the trees onto the front windscreen causing problems in visibility, but I think this was because the service centre applied a little too much polish on the dashboard.

I now have a Dashcam installed that goes on over the IRVM. The Mirror is wider and its got an anti-reflective blue screen, so glaring headlights behind me are a non-issue now.

The ORVMs with manual controls are on the smaller side, but give adequate visibility if adjusted properly. This thread (Eliminating Blind Spots - How to correctly adjust the mirrors) by BHPian PatchyBoy was of great help.

I still have blind spot mirrors installed, but they are directed towards the ground - this helps greatly while parking.

Rating: 4-stars

Air Conditioner Cooling & Effectiveness
The Aspire has a very power AC that cools in any temperature. The fact that there is no rear AC vent is inconsequential. Even if the car is parked in the hot sun for hours, give it full blast with the front windows rolled down, and it will cool the car in a minute. AC speed 1 is enough if there are no passengers at the back, else its speed 2. It is also at these 2 speeds that the fan makes the minimum noise. At 3 and 4, the buzz from the fan is unpleasant.

Rating: 5-stars

Disclaimer: Before reading the next few sections, you should know that I'm not qualified to analyse the technicalities of engines, gearboxes and suspensions. I'm not a mechanical person and can only offer my views as a layman. I'll just try to put across observations based on my experiences with my car. I may come across as a novice, but that is what I am.

Engine Performance & Driveability in the City:
This 1.2 litre petrol engine has copped a lot of flak from all quarters, for being the weakest one of the Aspire threesome. But I find it great fun to drive despite its weaknesses.

Switch on the ignition and you can barely hear the engine from inside the car. There is no vibration. In the initial days, there were a couple of times that I tried cranking her up again, without realising that the engine was already on. The engine has been tuned for mileage in an effort to appeal to a wider audience. This has caused it's biggest weakness - POOR LOW END TORQUE. No two ways about it, really gets on your nerve sometimes.

Imagine you are driving along in 3rd or 2nd gear and you slow down for a second for some reason. Then you press the accelerator to get moving. The engine does not react - feels like someone is choking it. The car will not move until the revvs build up. The solution is either change the gear or ride the clutch to raise RPMs. Now, that I have adapted my driving style to overcome this weakness, it's not much of an issue.

But the first gear is still an issue. Eg. At shopping mall ramps, if I have to stop on a slope while climbing up, then the revs don't build up fast enough in 1st gear to move the car without rolling back a bit. I have to resort to using the handbrake, which I've never had to do with my Alto. The first time it happened, the parking attendant had to keep a block behind the rear tyre - that was so embarrassing.

Honestly, if you are not a sedate driver, this is not a car that can be used in stop-and-go city traffic. If you like to get moving and want to squeeze into gaps then your legs will kill you from all the gear changes. In this kind of traffic you can't just putter around in 2nd gear - you will need to downshift. And upshift early to 2nd because 1st gear is very short.

But in bumper-to-bumper slow-moving traffic (>20kmph) this car is a revelation - it will eagerly squeeze through, giving you the pickup you need, along with good mileage.

Rating: 3-stars

Engine Performance & Driveability on the Highway
Makes me smile just thinking about it. 'How I make excuses just to go on that long drive.' Or 'how I convince my family to visit that far off relative.'

This petrol engine comes into its own on the highway with amazing pickup and refinement. Someone should take it on the racetrack and time it - I'm sure it will give a few surprises. Though the 1st gear is short, 2nd pushes you back in your seat and goes all the way over 80kmph, and 3rd takes it beyond 100 in no time (I go by feel, as I don't have a tacho). And it's a lot of fun hearing that engine growl at high RPMs, leaving others in the dust. Trust me, I've surprised a few, more powerful cars.

Beyond 3rd, the 4th and 5th gears also have very good in-gear pickup. I don't need to downshift if I need to overtake another vehicle while travelling at 110kmph. But if I'm sedately cruising along, at a steady 80-90, then a downshift will be needed to overtake (this is the only place where the poor low end makes its presence felt on the highway). Otherwise, it's so much fun to drive.

Rating: 5-stars

My Overall Opinion on the Engine
Great if most of your driving will be on the highway. Bad if you mostly drive during rush hours in a metro. I live in a big town, and this not my daily drive, so I'm more than satisfied with the engine.

Gearshift & Clutch
The Polo's gearshift was my benchmark while choosing a car, and the Aspire's comes close to that. While the Polo's notchyness was smoother, the Aspire's gear shifts are not as smooth, but good enough. The gear lever is perfectly positioned and gears fall easily.

Clutch is light but the play is longish. I would have preferred it to be lighter still as the engine demands more gearshifts in the city. No engine vibration is felt on the clutch pedal, nor does the gear shaft move about while driving.

Rating: 4-stars

Overall NVH Levels
As I have said in the beginning, this a very silent car. You can hardly hear the engine inside the cabin. Traffic and wind noise are well damped, and road noise hardly ever creeps into the cabin. I actually wish I could pipe-in sound from the engine bay into the cabin, as I prefer to change gears based on engine noise. Now, if the AC is on, along with the music, I have nothing to go by other than instinct.

Rating: 5-stars

Fuel efficiency: City and Highway
This engine is very sensitive to accelerator input - "lighter your foot on pedal, more mileage get you will" - Yoda. The speed or the gear does not matter. Inversely, the mileage goes for a toss the more you push the pedal.

In the city, if you can control your foot, you can get 16kmpl even in 2nd gear. For a distance of 5km on a good road with normal traffic I have managed to extract 21kmpl (all figures based on the MID). This is the road from my home to office and I have achieved this successfully many times. But it requires a lot of restraint. With a heavy foot, the same road gives me just 13kmpl. So if you are a sedate driver you will get good mileage.

It's a similar story on the highway. If you can manage with minimum throttle input, then you are guaranteed good mileage. I am not a sedate driver and almost every time I plan to extract the max mileage I get enticed by the open roads and that plan goes for a toss. Maintaining steady and light throttle input requires a lot of patience and restraint. I get bored after some time, and start to feel drowsy, so I normally don't do it. But I have managed to do it a few times.

Here are my observations on mileage:
  • 200+ km on a 6-lane highway (Chitradurga to Bangalore), with a mix of aggressive and sedate driving, maintaining speeds over 100 = 18kmpl
  • Same journey continued inside heavy Bangalore traffic for about 30 minutes = 18kmpl dropped to 16.5kmpl
  • I do this 60 km Udupi - Mangalore stretch on the 4-lane NH 66 regularly. Aggressive driving - 15 kmpl, Sedate driving - 18.5 kmpl (includes a bit of city traffic on both ends)
  • My latest trial was on a mix of winding, twisty roads for 20km + NH66 at night with minimum traffic for 30 km - 18.9kmpl

Bottom line: Minimum throttle, maximum mileage.

I use the FillUp app to track the fuelling of all my vehicles, and these are the results from it (tank full method)
Date Range: 13 months
Average Economy: 12.86kmpl
Minimum Economy: 11.07kmpl
Max Economy: 14.76kmpl
Distance driven: 8953 kilometers

Rating: 4-stars

Suspension & Ride Quality
Overall, the Aspire offers a comfortable ride for all passengers - over good roads and bad. But take it over bad roads at speeds under 40 km/h and the ride quality becomes springy. There are also audible thuds on hitting potholes, in an otherwise silent cabin. This apparently was the case with other Fords as well.

At highway speeds, bad roads are dismissed with ease, and road undulations are well controlled.

Bottom line - you will not be tired at the end of a long drive.

Tyres make a big difference to the stability and handling prowess of the Aspire. In stock form the handling is good only for speeds under 100, over good roads. They will take curves with confidence and overtakings with ease. But give it some gravelly road and you have to slow down - they don't grip well enough. Similarly, they start wallowing while cruising at speeds around 110kmph.

I have had the car lose grip and fishtail on hard braking over good roads at 80kmph, on a couple of occasions. Not sure if it's an issue with the brakes or the tyres. But owners who have upgraded to better tyres have no such complaints.

Rating: 4-stars

Steering
The EPS is a big change from the hydraulic steering of the older Figo and a big miss for Ford fans. It was a welcome change for me coming from the non-power steering Alto. My wrist had started giving me problems and a lighter steering was a necessity. The Aspire also has Pull Drift Compensation that prevents vibrations from the ground being transmitted to the steering wheel. In actual day-to-day use I have found that it is effective 90% of the time, but some vibrations do get through.

The steering is very light at parking speeds and weighs up nicely as speeds increase. At highway speeds its stiffer and gives good road feedback (though, not as much as the Alto). I still feel that it should have been heavier at speeds over 100, but you should have no fear of accidentally going off lane (has happened to me in an i10). I think the Pull Drift Compensation is at work here also.

Rating: 5-stars

Braking
My driving style is very defensive and I always err on the side of caution (my brake usage is minimal and my Alto's brake pads lasted 65,000 kilometres). I always slow down in anticipation, so I hardly ever encounter emergency braking situations. This gave me 19 years without a single accident. The one time I had to brake in panic, I didn't know what to do and ended up crashing my car.

I'm still not sure about the Aspire's brakes though. Maybe it's because I drive the Alto on more days than the Aspire. But I find the Aspire's brake bite is not as gradual and smooth as the Alto's. Because there is play in the pedal, if I brake the same way as in the Alto, then the brake bites later but suddenly. Saying that, there is no question on the brakes' effectiveness. Even without ABS.

Ground Clearance
At 174mm the ground clearance is adequate and I've not scraped the ground even once in the one year that I have owned the car.

Rating: 5-stars

Safety & Related Equipment
This is the comforting factor that allows me take those long drives - SAFETY. 2 airbags, 5 seat belts and 4 adjustable headrests are standard across variants. Sheet metal may be thinner, but the structural frame is just like the older Figo - Solid and Safe. The body cage is very sound and designed to absorb impact. Trust me, I know. I have also seen an Aspire that crashed head-on into a tree and a new Figo T-boned by a truck - all passengers got away safely.

Rating: 5-stars

The Smaller, yet Significant Things
  • If you switch off the engine with the headlights on, and you open the door, a chime will ring continually until you switch off the headlights
  • The doors auto-lock at 20kmph
  • A warning chime rings if any door is open when the car stars moving. It also chimes if someone opens the door in a moving car.
  • There is a slot on the C-pillar cladding to park the rear seat belts (this was one thing the official review missed)

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20160321_091702_richtonehdr.jpg
    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20160321_091729_richtonehdr.jpg
  • The AC will switch on automatically if you turn the temperature dial counter clockwise from minimum position.
  • The power windows, music system, cabin lights and the 12V point will remain on until you remove the key AND open any one door. They will not switch off if the key is removed but door hasn't been opened, or vice versa.
  • Boot can be opened by double clicking the 3rd button on the remote.
  • Boot can also be manually opened from the inside by a pull tab. (This would be useful if someone kidnaps you and puts you in your own boot - you would know how to get out. But then, as soon as you open the boot, the driver will hear a door-open warning chime and you are screwed. I suggest you wait till the car has stopped and there's nobody close by.)
  • The boot opening action is very violent. I noticed this the first time I went to see the car in the showroom. I sat in the driver's seat and pressed the boot open button. The whole car vibrated and there was a noise like someone hit the car from behind. Actually, it was just the boot lid bouncing wearing off its inertia from opening fast. The problem is with the springs that hold the boot - they have too much tension.
  • Once the engine is started, the car will not crank up again if you mistakenly turn the key again.
  • The door fibre panels flex and move when the window glass slides up and locks into position. This seems to be a design flaw. The alignment of the panel is not in line with the glass as it slots into the metal at the top.
  • There is no rubber beading on the doors.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161121_091446.jpg
    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161121_091429.jpg

    Water and dust/dirt tends to get in the gap between the doors - even while washing. Mind you - nothing enters the cabin, but still its a mess you have to clean.
  • There is no rubber beading here for the glass. Why not?

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161121_092337.jpg
    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161121_092348.jpg
  • The child lock needs to be activated with the key (or anything of a similar size)

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161121_091305.jpg
    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161121_091341.jpg
  • There was this extra-large sanitary pad looking thing on the inside of the bumper. Extra padding maybe?

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-sanitary-pad.jpg
  • This rubber boot may be missing in some Ambientes - as in, the hole for the boot itself is absent. I saw it in a car that was bulk ordered by Muthoot Finance Group (1800 cars). So we can assume that the new base Taxi variants will not have it. Can be the cause of future vibrations.

    My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente-20161121_091258.jpg
  • There are 3 types of wiring harnesses for the Aspire; Type 1 for Titanium+, Type 2 for Titanium and Trend, Type 3 for Ambiente.
  • Ford has made an effort at keeping the pricing of wear and tear parts low. But proprietary and cosmetic parts are really expensive - maybe it's the same for all manufacturers; I don't know. For example, the big FORD logo at the back costs 1800 and Rear Chrome Strip costs 5000. In comparison, the Dicky door costs 2600 and the Rear windshield glass costs 1700.

Any Niggles, Problems or Part Replacements
  • The IRVM has started vibrating and it will be replaced under warranty.
  • Both headlights are showing discolouration in their reflectors from the heat generated by the stock bulbs. The service centre has taken photos and shared it with the company. Will update when the issue is resolved.


Quality of After-Sales Service
Good. I have serviced my car at Mangalore and Udupi, and both seem eager to please. The service advisers give you personal attention and keep you updated on the phone. Ford has kept a tight leash on the dealerships, and because of that they (the local guys) are quick to resolve any negative feedback. I'm not saying they do not mess things up - but they do go out of their way to correct their mistakes.

Rating: 5-stars

Cost of Upkeep & Maintenance
Cheap. In an effort to get rid of its tag of "Ford maintenance is costly", Ford revamped their service pricing for the entire range with the launch of the Aspire. Now you can know your service bill even before you keep the car for service. My 2nd service cost me just 1500, including oil change.

Rating: 5-stars

Last edited by Aditya : 5th December 2016 at 15:38.
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Old 5th December 2016, 07:47   #11
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Default re: My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2016 at 10:48.
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Old 5th December 2016, 10:30   #12
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Default re: My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post

This review is just my perspective on my car, and I've only talked about things that I felt were important to convey. The official review has more extensive coverage of each individual feature, and expert opinions.
Congrats samaspire on your latest acquisition

Ford Aspire/Figo were important launches for Ford and though they have not really set the charts on fire, one can never ignore the VFM factor they bring to the table.

I have not driven the 1.2P engine, but that 1.5 TDI is one of the best in the market today, and personally I would pick this over any other diesel engine <10 Lks today.

Wish you a happy motoring and drive safe.

Quote:

Things I would have liked to have (but budget did not permit):

[*]Tachometer
I can understand about the other features you have listed but seriously this is is just plain 'CHEAP' on Ford's part.

Hopefully Ford update their Figo twins with Touchscreen, armrest, etc to get them up to the competition.
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Old 5th December 2016, 11:55   #13
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Default Re: My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente

Finally !!!! .

Very detailed, thoughtful and well written Review, Sam. Well done, loved reading through it. You have pointed out the weak & strong points of the car nicely.

Another accessory you might want to add is the front driver's armrest. It is a generic one but it is a near perfect fit on the Figo/Aspire.

I agree with your observations about the 1.2 petrol engine. It is extremely quiet (inside the cabin) and refined. But on the outside with the A/C on, its quite loud(compared to say the 1.2 Grand i10 or the Xcent), probably because of a more powerful compressor. The car does well at speeds above 60 kmph till about 110-120 km/h. Thereafter it seems to lose steam. The A/c on the Figo/Aspire is clearly the most powerful in its class, cools the cabin in no time.

Its nice to see that even the lower variants of the Aspire get adjustable rear head restraints (something I wished the Figo had).

Wish you many more happy and safe miles with your Aspire.

Last edited by skanchan95 : 5th December 2016 at 11:58.
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Old 5th December 2016, 13:52   #14
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Default Re: My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente

Wonderful review of the Aspire 1.2 petrol manual, Sam!

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
Though the 1st gear is short, 2nd pushes you back in your seat and goes all the way over 80kmph, and 3rd takes it beyond 100 in no time
Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
Average Economy: 12.86kmpl
Minimum Economy: 11.07kmpl
Max Economy: 14.76kmpl
Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
Engine Performance & Driveability on the Highway
Makes me smile just thinking about it.
The diesel Aspire indeed offers a sweet combination of good power and fuel efficiency.But in these days of resurgence of petrols,Ford should also actively start advertising this 1.2 petrol with first hand observations from owners like you, to try to boost the flagging sales of the Figo twins,as general perception of people is that Ford petrols are inefficient and thereby to be avoided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
Ground Clearance
At 174mm the ground clearance is adequate and I've not scraped the ground even once in the one year that I have owned the car
In addition to the adequate GC,the rear end of the Aspire doesn’t sag much with load, which helps a lot.I was once returning from my native place through rural roads,which though paved well, had these huge speed-breakers at frequent intervals.My car had 5 people and a boot full of sacks of approx 90kgs of coconuts and potatoes. When the car was slowed down adequately and the speed breakers negotiated diagonally,it cleared the humps without scraping. However at the end of the day the Aspire is a sedan and obviously you just can’t fly over an oversized speed breaker with full load without scraping, if you spot it suddenly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
Things I would have liked to have (but budget did not permit): [*]Tachometer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
I can understand about the other features you have listed but seriously this is is just plain 'CHEAP' on Ford's part.
Indeed this is an unacceptable cost-cutting in a 2015 launched car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
UPGRADE SUGGESTION TO FORD for the Aspire Facelift
• ABS for all variants
Looks like Ford has partially listened to your suggestion and added ABS & EBD to the Trend variants of the Figo twins,as highlighted by BHPian VKumar-
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...ml#post4101264 (Ford Aspire : Official Review)
Hope it is not a repeat mistake in the website,just like they did previously with the anti-roll bars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
He was trying to convince me to buy the crane instead of the car.
Time to add the JCB to the wishlist for your 3rd ‘car’.
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Old 5th December 2016, 16:23   #15
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Default Re: My 2015 Ford Aspire 1.2L Petrol Ambiente

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
Chapter 7: The Upgrades
[*]Dashcam + Reverse Camera: My most expensive online accessory yet. A product that serves as Dashcam (Front and Back), Reverse Camera, wide rearview mirror and as parking monitor. Rs.2,200 from AliExpress.
Excellent review.
I have been reading your posts on the Aspire official thread.
Can you please post more details about the Dashcam + Reverse Camera
The installation and camera pics.
I am really interested in getting them for my Aspire.
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