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Old 5th December 2010, 16:19   #1
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Default Small Car - The Paradox of Choice! My Ford Figo

Finally, let me present you the paradox of choice I faced like each one of you go through buying new car these days.

With every new car launch, and the greedy desire to posses new car I thought on ...
What is a car ? Is it a style statement ? a personal mode of transport ? A wealth flaunter ? a humble passion ? Why the heck do I need a car ? Beat the traffic ? Family can travel together ? I have money to burn ? Faster than public/company transport ?

Bangalore traffic - A great leveler
Yep, I drove, I look company cab, I switched to BMTC bus, I upgraded to BMTC Volvos, I took a rick, I hired taxi, I changed houses, I changed company I turned every stone I came across, making sense of purpose of life ? I fancied days where after a hectic work, I could go to El-camino for dinner, drive to Naz for a 5$ movie and drive back on Montego for starbucks and spend the little night life at Stevens creek and go back home to catch up enough sleep to be recharged fully the next day.
Am just like you all, I belong to Species: Work hard. Genre: party harder, I tried to replicate that with half things on target - Hectic days work, try a movie at Form and go back home to catch-up sleep to recharge for the next day. Well that's it, these work-forum-home trips was so brutally harsh on me I just had to make a choice - work or play ? What is that I can afford to do ? It had to be one thing at a time. This isn't the old Bangalore when you had time for all the numerous exhibitions inbetween all the work hours.

Having my feet firmly grounded to what can be practically done and what can be confined to dreams, I had the quick realization that happiness lies in enjoying whatever life throws at you, max it out. I had to re-align all my passions with whatever the city threw at me. That made to think deep, step back and really give a though of what is required.

Car options - Upgrade
Its only when I think to sell my 800, it dawns upon me what an extremely good car its been through the years. It has never failed me in middle of roads, always spirited, always game for a race be it in city, highway, ghats, pukka roads come rains, hail storms be whatever it may be it has always gobbled up the challenges. Its tiny, yet it can accommodate anything putting to shame Hermione's little bag.

It returns the favor when you turn it on, its a free spirit just like the first time driver commanding it. It's got nothing to lose. And when you want to upgrade from such a performer who has set extremely high standard in reliability, cost of maintenance, resale value its almost futile to find a match in any other car. When all these realizations set it it had already been close to year and half.

Ref: long term ownership report - (5-Speed M800 - 99,999 kms)http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-term-ownership-reviews/57890-5-speed-m800-99-999-kms.html

The search begins, keeping in mind what I want to do on a day to day basis. Life is too short to be enjoyed only on weekends, life cannot be scheduled on holidays, a car cannot be enjoyed only on highways it has to be day in and out. It has to be now, every moment you are in the car. The enjoyment cannot be driven whether there is stop and go traffic, whether it is raining, whether its scorch hot outside ? It has to face the grind of life.

That was the biggest reasoning for the new car. I knew I will never find any other car that was so low on maintenance cost, highly reliable, so much flexible like my 800. It would be foolish to compare, I had to stop and move on, I had to look for a car that I could enjoy every moment. Something that I can enjoy when stuck in traffic jam, was easy in brutal-on-clutch stop-and-go traffic, I could be stuck in the up ramp trying to exit PVR while the road block clears. something that can accommodate the occasional burst of pals making it for a marriage/outing. Something that can help me carry the loads of stuff returning from my in-laws place - that large jack fruit, the numerous shopping at farmers market en route, all that stuff we end up carrying with us. Above all it cannot be a slow car anymore, the roads, the highways, the golden quadrilaterals all had opened up numerous possibilities - the new car had to be able to cruise at 100-120, it should be loaded on safety. The time had come to give safety a top priority, it can no longer be an options rather a MUST have. You can no longer bet on your life for a 50k less when finance is available at ~10%. That works out approx 700 bucks in EMI.

With that the elimination was as easy (or tough) as screening resumes. So I had quietly zeroed in on Ritz Zxi and waiting for the Euro-IV norms to hit the city. It was a long drawn plan, and I had to plan for future where the possibility of where banning registration (for resale) for cars which are too off the then Bharat-Stage ratings.

With all this, it was quite easy task - It had to be A-Star zxi, Swift Zxi, or Ritz Zxi. I did a price-feature comparison between Ritz zxi and Ritz VDI+ABS and couldn't believe what a rip off the diesel versions were. Obviously just because the Engine is great, I cannot buy and then spend extra 35 grand for worldly pleasures, worse I was suggested tire upgrade during test drive itself!!!

Something, probably I missed out on other cars was I did all my test drive in peak hour traffic, I was determined that the car has to be enjoyable in day-to-day rides and not just on weekends with empty roads, 'coz weekends are so rare these days, work occupies every hour that's available. With that (and long long before) swift-D was eliminated, because of the black-hole of turbo lag. That's where I enjoyed the Ritz with K-series. I took at least 3-4 test drives of the A-Star, Ritz. Ritz was once the final choice voted by family.

Looking back, I also strongly feel that Swift with K series engine was launched about 6-8 months late.

Waiting for the Euro-IV norms, Punto, i20, Polo happened. I didn't like the polo interiors - so didn't proceed with test drive. i20 was super cool car, slightly above my already stretched budget, in fact i20 was test driven several times.

About the Tata-Fiat dealerships - It all started here ...
This needs special mention, I have been many times to Concorde at dairy circle, When I went with someone in family to check out Punto - We end up test driving Vista - end up buying the ltd edition white Vista, well it was a turning point. Took the vista out to Hampi for a short 2 day tip - It had only about 3k on Odo. I was impressed by the space, handling on bad roads (cdurga-hospet) , cruising at 130ish along with a Palio (sport). Post C'durga, enroute to Hospet the Vistas suspension was put to play and I was totally brought in by its handling. It was this trip that got my attention & convinced me buy on the new generation of Diesels. The real inception point I would say.

Then Ford Figo was launched, I did check it out several times. Took a test drive. Was hell confused between Ritz and Figo [read Maruti vs Ford in reality]. I decided to take a second test drive, The short drive was enough to convince me on the drivability of the car. The space inside was begging to compete with the high standards of Vista. So it was decided, without further delay before another new car gets launched - family said lock kiya jaye - its now or you will never buy one. So Figo was booked.

Lease vs Loan
Well it was a easy decision, 13.5% +vat+serviceTax+uncertainity of Direct tax code versus 9.6%flat for 5 years from Axis Bank - A straight 24% saving in interest right away. Lease plan was dumped, in return was rewarded with Loan approval in 2 days. Got more lucky, somebody cancelled their Figo booking and I was in line - Loan was ready too, just 2 weeks of booking.

I thought I was getting lucky - however the delivery day had other things in store for me, Dealer screwed up royally on delivery -- They couldn't add up numbers and kept on saying some payment balance was due -- I was about to walk-out - fellas wasted my precious time. I was in no hurry to get the car that day had trunk loads of work however they said deliver will happen and I went there only to see the drama unfold.
Another screw-up was my chassis number was wrong on the tax receipt - immediately brought to their notice and was later told that the correction would be seen in RC book. My RC book has correct chassis number.
Freebies received: extended warranty - It was another round of long follow-ups, like the Airtel guys who keep asking for document proofs, I had to give salary slip, etc numerous times. Calling Ford directly helped here. I stopped asking the dealer, opened a complaint with Ford and things promptly followed.

The Drive to first service
It was rather quick in about a month time, limited to 100% city drive a mix of ring roads and stop and go traffic. My car started with economy of 12.x kmpl on first tank full and finally was 13.xx kmpl at first service. The summarize the experience during the first 2.5k kms:
Horn - Extremely hard to operate,
louder engine noise compared to test drive cars (obviously).
After a few hundred kilometers, there was noise of rear suspension which was fixed during first service and has never returned till date.
I also had unique problem, the a/c thermostat cable was stuck (missed the factory PDI check) and would slip when moved from its default position. The cable issue was fixed right after I reported it and didn't had to wait for first service.

From first service to second service
After anxiety of new car had settled down, The real journey of exploring the car began, Pleasant surprises on discovering the well thought features of Bluetooth connectivity, trunk opener when it needs to be opened everyday for security checks, the numerous chimes, the enormous boot, The really good music system (with loudness on/ff & speed sensitivity) getting to drive a petrol like diesel. With miles added the car started to free up - It was taking 4th gear at 40, economy was coming close to 13.8 kmpl in city. The engine was freeing up itself to be revved, rpm was crossing 2.5k regularly. occasionally hitting 3k rpm.
Did a first highway trip to Sringeri - The feeling was mixed - probably too much thought on economy. I got 18 something and it was only 5k on ODO.

A few months later on, 7K on odo, The car was more and more freeing up to revs, Did a Pondi (Puducherry) trip with 4 ppl & lugguage. The car was well composed throughout. Aircon was used liberally and the trip was amazing - got an eco of 19kmpl, many times a/c running at 2nd speed (a rarity in Figo).
Second service had arrived, much before I initially thought of it less than 6 months on road.

Post second service
Some of the major changes noticed is -- Car begs to be revved. It takes 3rd gear at around 35 kmph at 1000rpm and pulls effortlessly there on(without a/c). It has a new found liking in the lower power band of 900-1400rpm. City drive is like driving an automatic. With all the learnings of first 10k kms put to test (driving the torque) - The car cruises efortlessly in 120-140kmph on the highway. Its every very effortless to cruise at 120. It equally effortless to drive in crawling traffic in second gear at as low as 900 rpm. My Figo has arrived. The Pandoras box has been opened. This is one of the car you must consider in its cetegory. The reading from 2 tank fulls after second service are 14.8kmpl and 15.34kmpl (353/23). The milage is sensitive to air pressure so make sure you maintain the airpressure every 15 days. Am using 31 psi now. Atfer 350kms it had come down to 29psi. And if you are taking people.

I will leave you with the pics of some cool features this car offers that tips it when it comes to price-performance-features comparision
a) Airbags+ABS/EBD with 1.4 ltr Diesel engine
b) Bluetooth Sterio -- I have tried all sorts of thing on this - connect to blue tooh and transfer songs to another phone blah blah.
c) outer rear view mirror - Electric control -- The Ford standard device seen world over.
d) Big car, big on space be it trunk, leg space or whatever
e) Deep bottle holders in front
f) spacious rear seats
g) commanding road view
h) Steering feedback
i) Killer pricing

Accessories fitted
a) 3M Platinum series 35% sun film (4.5k)
b) Figo fog lamps (4.5k)
c) Philips x-treme bulbs (1.1k)
d) 3M underchassis coating (done at second service, 2.7k)
e) 3M exterior enrichment (1.3k, done after body repairs)

Service Experience
I would rate Lathangi ford service at 4.5/5. And their body shop workmanship as 5/5
Num of visits to service centre 3: A/c cable issue, First & second service.
Num of visits to body shop: once, got spot approval for

Wish list
a) Stanley leather/car detailing, need reviews from Figo owners.
b) 15" alloys - I guess I have to sit thru warranty period for this.
c) At least 5 mm increase in underbody height or more stiffening of suspension - It scraps when loaded.
d) Obviously if you have kids, this car is not kids safe in rear.

Service costs
The first 2 service cost be 1300/-ish (includes re.50 washer fluid).

*) bonnet opener plastic pull lever broken during second service, am still waiting for the call when the stock arrives.
*) Squaking suspension sound fixed in first service (never came back) - Even after the drive to Pondi along Thindivanam
*) Wipers leave a misty tail on glass which evaporates after 2 seconds - Waiting for Bosch wipers.

*) Its a extremely good value for money car in its category - It returns big bangs for the bucks you put in. A highly enjoyable car by driver & co passengers. My decision to move out of Maruti has been rewarded well.
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Old 5th December 2010, 18:22   #2
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@ownerofazkaban: Let me be the first to congratulate you, wish you many happy miles with your Figo. Your thought process mirrors mine so closely its eerie!! I too have a M800 5sp which has done 70k km and was thinking of replacing her, but she's been so much fun that I always keep finding excuses not to let her go. I too have safety as my first priority and that probably will be the one factor why I may let her go (may as well keep her as a second city only car).

If it isnt too much trouble, could you post a quick comparo of the M800 5sp and the Figo TDCI wrt city driveability?

Last edited by Volt : 5th December 2010 at 18:32. Reason: typo
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Old 5th December 2010, 18:53   #3
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Congrats man. The lil Figo does seem to have its share of minor problems. But they are minor.

More miles to you.

BTW - I just realized I have the same phantom thermostat problem. I keep it in the 10.00 position and by next morning its back to its starting position. Got to get that fixed.
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Old 5th December 2010, 22:37   #4
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Congrats buddy. Happy and safe motoring... Nothing beats white and Titanium is the best choice...
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Old 5th December 2010, 23:40   #5
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Hearty congrats on a very wise choice! The Figo is the best value hatchback on the roads today. Did you buy it yesterday during the midnight Ford sale? I know a gift would be a minor thing compared to your purchase, but you can verify with your dealer if you classify for the offers as you would have purchased only recently...
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Old 6th December 2010, 00:36   #6
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Good write up of your experiences so far and glad to hear you are enjoying every bit of it.

Great to know the engine frees up even more after some time. Mine is just about to touch the 3K mark, and already enjoying every bit of driving it around.

What I have noticed is that this TDCi just loves long drives and highways, I get shocked seeing how frugal it is during such runs. On the contrary, taking it on frequent short runs, I am scared to look at the DTE drop

Wishing you many more happy miles ahead!
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Old 6th December 2010, 01:20   #7
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Great Write Up. Enjoy your car! Figo wins hands down on practicality and driveability.
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Old 6th December 2010, 14:27   #8
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Default Unsafe for kids? Why?

Originally Posted by ownerofazkaban View Post
d) Obviously if you have kids, this car is not kids safe in rear.
I am curious to know why you would call this unsafe for kids in the back seat?
I have a kid and I am considering this car in the coming months.
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Old 6th December 2010, 15:04   #9
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Congratulations - It is an excellent buy!!! My brother too got the Figo Titanium albeit the petrol version and the way the vehicle handles is simply fantastic. It gives only about 10~11 kmpl though. It has run only 2500 and is just back from the first service so hoping that the mileage would improve in the coming months.
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Old 6th December 2010, 17:42   #10
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Great choice. I am getting the delivery of my white Figo ZXi TDCi tomorrow sometime. Will post the whole process of buying and deciding. My second Ford
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Old 8th December 2010, 17:17   #11
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Default Re: Small Car - The Paradox of Choice! My Ford Figo

Ownerofazkaban, very nice write-up. It really touched me. I like the life association bit. It is very true that our choices are mainly dominated by forces we least like.
Figo is one vehicle, where you feel like driving a real car, not an appliance.
After several TD of Figo I am recommending the car to any one who is purchasing a new hatchback. Unfortunately later I found the choices of people are usually more conformist kind than that of self. My latest mission is to convince my father-in-law to buy a Figo. Lets see how that goes!

Anyways I hope you have a great time in your car. The engine has proven itself in the country for the last 4-5 years and should give good service. I know one Fiesta diesel which has done over a lakh kms in 2 years and doing great.
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Old 8th December 2010, 18:27   #12
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Default Re: Small Car - The Paradox of Choice! My Ford Figo

Congratulations. The white colour does look good on the car. I am so glad that you chose a car with safety features like ABS & airbags. Wishing you a safe and pleasant drive.
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Old 8th December 2010, 18:32   #13
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Default Re: Small Car - The Paradox of Choice! My Ford Figo

Congratulations!! What a nice report, ownerofazkaban. Please post some more pics to the thread and keep updating. Drive Safe.
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Old 8th December 2010, 19:11   #14
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Default Re: Small Car - The Paradox of Choice! My Ford Figo

Congrats on the latest purchase. The car looks fabulous. Drive safe.
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Old 8th December 2010, 22:21   #15
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Default Re: Small Car - The Paradox of Choice! My Ford Figo


I wouldn't dare compare these two. However do check out the 800 vs Nano thread. If you want a city only car, Nano is the car to buy.

Thanks Brix, RGK, selfdrive, Jayded, vignesh_ny , arvind71181, abhi1309, abes, prince_pervez,
Thanks for all the encouragement.
@ S U N
The issue in front is missing window winder locks, Slightly elder menacing kids are always a challenge when it comes to stopping them from winding down & peeping out.
and at the rear, unless they are accompanied by elders, they could seriously end up opening the door while on the move. The chimes might help but with kids it might be too little too late. The half winding windows actually are of good help here.

Yes Sir, will surely do. Hopefully I can post the latest pics with the bhp stickers and maybe a flip video.

I am seriously thinking there is a bug in DTE computation, am working to prove it. My theroy is refill tank full when 40% of fuel is left, before it crosses second marking. My thrid tank full is expected to give in higher 15 or 16 kmpl with 100% city. Hopefull by mid next week I should have the reading.

Last edited by ownerofazkaban : 8th December 2010 at 22:22.
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