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Full Review | Ford Figo Aspire 1.5L Diesel Titanium+

Ford Figo Aspire Diesel India

The sub-4 meter compact sedan segment is one the hottest car segment in India and highly competitive as well. Every major automobile manufacturer, who is serious about the Indian market, wants to be in this segment and register volumes in its sales reports.

Ford recently launched the Figo Aspire, a sub-4 meter compact sedan to compete with the likes of Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent, Tata Zest and others. Is it good enough to topple the market leader Maruti Dzire or the next best selling Honda Amaze?

In this review, we test the Ford Figo Aspire Titanium+ 1.5 TDCi (diesel) which retails at Rs. 8.25 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).

Competition Check

Price (ex-Delhi) INR
Engine Capacity
Max Power
Max Torque
Maruti Suzuki
Dzire ZDi
7.91 lakhs
1,248 cc
74 bhp
190 Nm
Amaze VX (O) 1.5 i-DTEC
8.25 lakhs
1,498 cc
99 bhp
200 Nm
Figo Aspire Titanium 1.5 TDCi
8.25 lakhs
1,498 cc
99 bhp
215 Nm
Xcent SX (O) 1.1 CRDi
7.75 lakhs
1,120 cc
71 bhp
180 Nm
Zest XT Diesel
7.37 lakhs
1,248 cc
89 bhp
200 Nm

We tested the Aspire for a good 450 kms in city and highway conditions combined. We put the Aspire through rough, broken as well as smooth tarmac roads to test its suspension and ride comfort. We took a 350 kms single day journey with 5 average sized adults on board (including the driver) to add value to this review.

Exteriors - 4.5/5
When you look at the car for the first time, something related to Britain strikes in your head and you soon realize that the front grille on this Aspire looks way too similar to those signature front grilles of Aston Martin cars. Taking nothing away from Ford, the front grille and the huge sporty headlamps steals the show at the front and makes Aspire the better looking car than any of its competitor mentioned in the above table. 

From the side, it does appear a little bit boxy compared to the Amaze and the smaller 14-inch wheel does not help in enhancing the looks either. The rear can be ignored altogether. That's because the front looks so good and nicely detailed that in comparison to it the rear appears dull and under-designed. It is not bad; it just fails to live upto the benchmark set by the front end.

Interiors - 4/5
The Aspire gets a black and beige dual tone interiors with beige as the more dominant colour. The plastic quality is good enough and there are lot of small storage spaces inside the cabin that come in handy. The leather seats look premium and the rear bench gets centre arm-rest. Only the Titanium Plus get leather upholstery while the rest of the variants get fabric seat upholstery.

Ford Figo Aspire India Interiors

The dash is a mix of beige and black plastic. The centre console has a glossy black finish and lot of buttons to play with which takes time to get used to. The arm rests on the doors are perfectly positioned and are of adequate size, unlike many other cars, and are really useful on long drives.

We were quite impressed with quality of the music system & speakers and really enjoyed playing songs in this car. Safe to say that you won't feel the need to upgrade to a better music system.

The horn is highly audible inside the cabin and is a pain to the ears unless you get used to it. 

Engine & Performance - 4.5/5
The Aspire diesel comes with a 1.5-litre TDCi unit which produces a max power of 100PS @ 3750rpm and max torque of 215Nm @ 1750-3000rpm. On paper the Aspire has the most powerful diesel engine in its class with Amaze's diesel engine being the next best. 

In real driving conditions, the engine performs brilliantly albeit the audible engine noise at higher rpms. There is ample of power throughout the rev-range with very little turbo lag at lower rpms. The 5-speed manual gearbox it a bit inconvenient with its long throws to the change the gears but the good thing is that the gear ratios are tuned so nicely that you do not have to change the gears often. 

You can quite comfortably cruise at speeds of 120-130 kmph in the Aspire. In our test, we managed to touch a top speed of 160 kmph that too with five average sized adults on board. Now that's a seriously powerful engine! 

Ford Figo Aspire India Rear

The brakes have enough bite to bring this car to a standstill from high speeds and is also equipped with ABS. The Aspire takes the corners beautifully and is a real fun to drive in the Sahyadri Ghats, one can hardly experience any body roll.

The clutch lever is a bit hard to press and that really annoys you in traffic where you need to constantly press it and a lighter clutch would save the pain.

Ford claims an ARAI tested mileage of 25.83 kmpl mileage for the Aspire but throughout our testing we could mange only 17.2 kpml in the city and 20.4 kmpl on the highways which is not that bad either.

Comfort, Convenience & Safety - 4/5
The driver seat is quite comfortable for long journeys and is also height adjustable. The height adjustable steering wheel enables drivers with varying body heights to be in a comfortable position while driving. The rear seat bench can easily accommodate three average sized persons although on long journeys the middle one might get a little cranky as in case with any other compact sedan.

The Aspire comes with the MyKey (only in Titanium Plus variant) which not only enables keyless entry but one can also limit the car's top speed. The MySync system (only in Titanium Plus variant) is a real convenient multimedia system which connects to your phone and enables you to make calls, receive calls, read text messages, etc without touching your mobile. For rest of the variants MyDock enables you to mount your mobile on the dash and connect it with the audio system.

Ford Figo Aspire India Interiors

The Aspire comes with automatic climate controlled HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air-Conditioning) system which performs fairly well and is easy to use. Set a temperature and forget it. There is a 12V power socket, along with a slot for Aux cable and USB input. At 359 litres the boot space is not the best in class compared to 400 litres in Amaze, 390 litres in Zest but is bigger than the 320 litres in Dzire.

On the safety front, the Aspire comes with driver and passenger airbags as standard on all variants with the Titanium Plus variant getting a total of 6 airbags. It also comes with ABS with EBD (Titanium variants only) which we would say is a must to have. The ESP (Electronic Stability Program), TCS (Traction Control System) and HLA (Hill Launch Assist) are only available in the automatic variant of Aspire.

Verdict - 4.5/5
The Ford Figo Aspire makes both the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire and Honda Amaze look outdated from outside as well as inside. The Dzire has a great engine and along with Maruti's huge network and brand trust sells like hot cakes.

The Honda Amaze is an equal competitor with another great engine coupled with great build quality. Both the Dzire and Amaze score high on after sales experience provided by Maruti and Honda respectively.

The Ford Figo Aspire is definitely superior than both the Dzire and Amaze and if Ford can emulate the after sales experience of Maruti and Honda, then the Aspire can definitely topple the market leaders.

Full Gallery Slideshow

Ford Figo Aspire

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