I have been closely following this thread ever since it appeared on the TBHP home page and was happy to see all the praise that the new Figo gas been gathering. I had plans to buy the same in 2016 summer, but now I have decided to go for it ASAP due to personal needs and the on-going discounts. Even though I was advised against buying a car in the last month of the year, I am going ahead as the plan is to keep the car for long term use. So yesterday, I reached out to MPL Ford, Chennai to have a close look and test drive of the vehicle. (Even though it’s been 2 months since the launch, I am yet to spot a Figo up close in Chennai!). I am no expert in judging a car from a 4KM test drive and the following opinions are from an aam admi
perspective Before Test Drive
One Mr. Gopinath reached out to me, introduced himself as a Sales Manager and invited me to the Kovilambakkam showroom to check out the vehicle any time before 7:30 PM. I reached the showroom around 12 PM and met him, and got to know the following things before taking the test drive.
- The only offer on Figo is free comprehensive insurance (Not B2B/Zero Dep) for first year applicable only to Titanium & Titanium+ variants and is valid till December (2015 Models)
- For Zero Depreciation insurance, customer needs to pay the differential amount ( approx. 4.3 K for Titanium & 4.9K for Titanium+)
- He mentioned that 3rd year warranty + RSA is free for Aspire Top Models and not for the hatchback
- When asked him about the change in rear seat headrests, he mentioned no change has been done as it is a new model!
- He specifically mentioned that the base model is not available and all other models have waiting periods up to 30 days and booking amount is INR 20,000.
The test drive vehicle (1.5 D Titanium +) was readily available and another person assisted me for the test drive. A lot of discussion has happened on the TBHP forum regarding the positives and negatives of the car because of which I knew what to expect from the test drive. So I am writing only the things that changed my perception about the car.
- The steering is extremely light, way more than I expected it to be. Even after all the discussions I was hoping to get a better feeling out of the same. Contrary to the popular opinion, I felt that my cousin’s Grand i10 1.2 Petrol has a better feel.
- The clutch is also superlight. This is going to be a boon in city traffic, but I felt the return spring action a bit over-enthusiastic.
- As mentioned by many others, the engine needs to be driven to be believed! Plenty of torque in all gears and excellent braking to complement the same.
- There is plenty of legroom; lack of rear headroom is a major drawback (I am 6 feet tall). Also, the test drive vehicle had fixed head rests at the rear and this is of no use to tall people when they sit in upright position.
- I felt the build quality is decent by Indian Standards and comparable to Maruti & Hyundai hatchbacks. Not great, but definitely not bad. I sincerely hope that Ford has not undercut cabin safety by concentrating on cost competitiveness.
The person who accompanied me for test drive told me not to take vehicle above 60KMPH. I saw that the odometer reading was above 2500 and asked him whether the first service was done for this vehicle. He nodded and got into some personal call and remained like that for the rest of the drive. However, he promptly gestured me where I have to take a U – Turn. When I asked him whether I can go further and take the next U-Turn, he insisted that I take the turn there itself After Test Drive
Mr. Gopinath and I sat down and he explained me various cost components for the 1.5D Titanium model which I am interested in.
With the current offer, the OTR would come to INR 7, 77,315 (inclusive of free comprehensive insurance).
Further discussion revealed the following.
- He said there won’t be any dealer discounts as the vehicle is new and moving well. In fact he never gave any room for discussion.
- When asked him about the legality of handling charge, he insisted that it is fair as it covers the costs that they incur in handling the paper work in RTO & otherwise. He even went to the extent of saying that Toyota charges more than Ford ! Frankly I did not know what to tell him !
- Comprehensive cover can be availed from Royal Sundaram/Bajaj Alliance as they have tie-up with them
- Asked him again about the adjustable rear headrests, he showed me the Petrol Titanium + variant on display and said " This is new vehicle and it does not have any ! ".
Now I know why Ford India will never be able to gain the popularity that both Maruti and Hyundai enjoy (referring to my previous showroom experiences). I used to think that the marketing is not effective. Yesterday I got to know that sales team is also equally pathetic or even worse. There was no enthusiasm in his approach, he just brushed away all my queries on possible discounts, explained me some features after explicitly asking for it and even appeared ignorant in some cases. Being a Team-BHP member, I knew whatever there is needed to know about the vehicle. If I was someone who thoroughly lacks the general awareness, I would have rated the showroom experience as “absolutely cold and unprofessional”. Being aware makes it all the more frustrating !
But still, I felt the car is good package for a small family like ours and have decided to take the plunge. But I have the following doubts that need to be cleared before proceeding further. Pardon me if I am asking the obvious.
- The infamous handling charges – I know some of the fellow BHPians have managed to avoid this. Will calling up the Ford Customer Care solve this? If so, when should I make the call - before or after booking the car?
- The Ford website mentions that the current offer on first year insurance premium is applicable only on selected models of New Figo bookings done from November 01, 2015 through November 30, 2015 (both days inclusive) with full payment made on or before November 30, 2015. However, the dealer mentioned that it is valid through December as well. Should I check with Customer Care before proceeding further?
- In the case of additional benefits, which one should I focus on? I mean if there is any scope for bargaining – Additional Warranty vs. Zero Dep. Insurance– Which one should I go for, assuming that they wouldn’t entertain my bargain for both?
- In case I don’t get any free benefits, does it make sense to pay for the Zero Dep. Insurance & additional warranty? (Don’t know much about the service quality of ford in Chennai)
- The accessories I am considering are Car Cover & Parking Sensors (Roughly 4K). Is there anything else that is essential and I should be considering?
- How do I confirm the presence of adjustable rear headrests on Titanium variant? Will the customer care be able to confirm this? (Would love to have this feature as the current set-up is not that great)
- One major problem is that the nearest two showrooms are owned by the same group. Since I did not like my experience with the first showroom, I am thinking whether going to the other one will do me any good or not. Or is it better to ask for another sales person or is that a bad idea?
A lot of research and reading have gotten me to this point where I have decided to make Figo the first car that I would spend my money on (despite the dealership experience). I would sincerely appreciate if TBHPians can help me with the above queries.
Awaiting your valuable suggestions & guidance,