Ford Figo Aspire Facelift Review & Gearbox

Ford Figo Aspire Overview

Comfortable, spacious and presentable, Ford’s Aspire has a lot going for it. However, it lacked competent petrol engines and the features list felt dated vs the newer competition. Now, though, it has received some significant updates to make the petrol Aspire more appealing and the tech package more compelling.Does the new petrol engine finally make the Aspire petrol an option worth considering? And with the market again shifting towards petrol, has Ford played it smart by giving importance to petrol engines again?

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The Aspire diesel was preferred over the petrol for its exciting driving dynamics. But with the new 1.2-litre petrol, Ford has truly multiplied Aspire’s abilities as it now delivers the Ford experience while keeping everyday needs firmly in focus. Moreover, no other car in its segment offers a petrol engine that is as powerful. Its main rival, the Maruti Suzuki Dzire makes 83PS compared to the Aspire’s 96PS. The K-series trumps Aspire’s TiVCT in terms of refinement. But, Aspire offers a strong mid-range (2500-3000rpm) whereas Dzire relies on top end power (4000-6000rpm). It is also engaging and fun to drive.

Yes, it doesn’t offer the bragging rights of DRLs and projector headlamps but provides all that matters. You get a touchscreen infotainment system and climate control Trend+ onwards, along with ABS, dual airbags and rear parking sensors as standard. In the top-end variant it gets side and curtain airbags, SYNC3 (easily the best infotainment system in its segment) and a reversing camera. Plus, you get a car that can be a breeze to drive in the city and is fun in the corners. And with a starting price of Rs 5.55 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Aspire is lighter on the pocket than the outgoing model. The pricing of the petrol Trend+ variant is similar to the older Trend variant and the new Trend+ is a massive step up from it.

Ford Figo Aspire Design & Look

It will take time for you to digest the fact that the Aspire you see on the screen is the new one. Yes, it’s not a generation change, but even as a facelift, the changes are quite minimalistic.Not that we mind it, because now the Aspire has morphed into a seemingly upmarket small sedan. It all starts with the colours they’re offering. The paint shades are what most would call ‘mature’, including the ‘White Gold’ you see in pictures, and the ‘Smoke Grey’ and ‘Moondust Silver’ apart from the usual black and white. If you like your cars with a bit of spunk there’s a bright red and blue too.

Updates, although subtle, are tastefully done. That grille, in particular, with that 3D honeycomb-like effect makes sure that the Aspire makes a more solid first impression. Look closely and you’d find a new bumper too, and headlamps that now sport a smoked finish. It also gets some thoughtful touches of chrome around the grille, the fog lamps and inside the headlamp cluster. It’s noticeable, and yet not over the top. Just the way we like it.While the front will make it clear to the neighbours you’ve bought the updated model, parking it face in won’t. Spotting changes at the rear takes some closer inspection, and only then you’d find taillamps with revised detailing and a new rear bumper with a faux air vent-like scoop.

Then there’s our favourite update of the lot – the new wheels. Tyre size has gone up from 14 to 15 inches, and it now runs 195/55R15 Apollo Alnac 4G rubber. But, bear in mind this is limited only to the Titanium and the Titanium+ variants. If you pick anything else, you’ll get the older (read: weedy) 175/65R14 tyres. The design of the alloys itself is a whole lot better than the drab looking wheels of the outgoing Aspire, that’s a given. Check for Figo Aspire in msresearch

Sure, there aren’t any wow elements here. The competition offers some serious bling in the form of projector headlamps, daytime running lamps and even machined-finish wheels. Finer details like a dollop of chrome on the door handle, a neater integration of the antenna and LEDs in the taillamps are missing. There’s no denying that the updated Aspire does look noticeably better compared to the one it replaces. That said, we do wish Ford had gone the whole hog here and redone the design a bit more thoroughly.

Ford Figo Aspire Cabin & Comfort

The cabin, though not heavily updated, does get some new nifty features. The variant we drove was the top-of-the-line Titanium+ trim which now gets the new SYNC3 touchscreen infotainment system along with rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps. Buyers will be happy to note that Ford offers a touchscreen infotainment system and climate control from the Trend+ variant onwards. But SYNC3 is reserved for the Titanium+ variant only. The Titanium+ also gets two USB ports, while only one is offered from Ambiente to Titanium. In terms of safety, dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors are offered as standard.

The SYNC3 system works seamlessly and features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The touch is intuitive and the touch interface, coupled with physical buttons makes it relatively easier to operate while driving. Front seats are comfortable and offer better lumbar support than before. There is ample room in the rear to seat two adults in comfort and you now get adjustable headrests as standard too.

However, anyone over six feet in height will feel constrained for headroom and the narrow footwells up front also can be an issue for taller occupants, especially on the passenger side. The reason for that is the larger AC compressor that takes up quite a bit of room up front, eating into the footwell width. There are also no rear door pockets which are a big miss. On the bright side however, you do get a manically powerful AC which negates the need for rear AC vents.

Ford Figo Aspire Engine & Gearbox

Moving to the drivetrain, the Aspire lets you choose from quite a few options depending on your pocket or need. There are two kinds of petrol – 1.2l and 1.5l – and one diesel on offer. The Indian arm of the Blue Oval aptly chose the Blue City of Jodhpur in Rajasthan to give as a taster of the new Aspire. We didn’t get a chance to sample the 1.5l unit, which comes exclusively with an automatic transmission. Apply car loan for Ford Figo Aspire at Fincarz.

But the 1.2l unit we drove for a day instantly feels more refined than the old-Figo-derived unit it replaces. We aren’t new to this 96PS/120Nm drivetrain, having tested it with the Freestyle crossover. But Ford claims that the engine has been tuned differently for the Aspire and it shows. On the highway, it runs more relaxed, needing a mere 2,500rpm to cruise at 100kmph, compared to the Freestyle which needs 500 revs more. We expect this relatively more relaxed nature to translate into better fuel economy – something that left us unimpressed in the Freestyle.

The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which is tuned for a strong low and mid-range. Pottering around in the city and pulling overtakes at city speeds isn’t a cumbersome affair. At highway speeds though, pulling overtakes needs a downshift or two. The lack of top end pull can get annoying, but the throaty note of the engine offers a bit of a respite and is surprisingly good to hear compared to the usual three-cylinder thrum.

The diesel Aspire continues to use its tried and tested (and very eager) 1.5l, 100PS/215Nm TDCi four-cylinder oil burner. Truth be told, I’m glad that it lives. It is a driver’s delight despite being a diesel. Its torque is so well spread out, that there is virtually a second powerband that kicks in around the 120kmph mark when in top gear and it just keeps pulling beyond that too. That’s the zone where most other compact sedans start losing breath or start screaming or start guzzling fuel. This one doesn’t do any of that! View offers on Ford Cars from Ford dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Ford Figo Aspire Ride & Handling

Simply put, the ride is a considerable improvement over the old car. The upsized wheels on the Titanium do help in gliding over bumps. Both the petrol and diesel variants feel planted most of the time. All undulations are tackled with ease and there is little that can upset them. Even the rougher sections of road will pose little threat to the balanced suspension setup of the Aspire.

There are a few niggles though, the footwell feels a bit vibey, especially north of 80kmph. The rear feels a bit floaty at high speeds as well. The feeling is not intrusive or a deal breaker but it is present. There is a fair amount of tyre noise too that tends to creep into the cabin. This becomes especially prominent on rough tarmac, so state highways can be a noisy affair. In addition, you feel the vibe rather than hear them. Although, music does provide a good distraction. The steering on both cars is quite sharp and precise. Turn ins are precise and you have decent feel from the tyres as well. The petrol, though, feels lighter than the diesel to chuck into corners. The driving experience overall is quite lively and a rare mix of a good ride and fun driving dynamics.

Ford Figo Aspire Braking & Safety

On the safety front, the Figo Aspire is the only compact sedan to get 6 airbags in the top-spec Titanium+ variant. Dual airbags are standard across the range. It also gets ABS with EBD; and with the automatic, the Ford is equipped with hill-launch assist, traction control and ESP as well.

Ford Figo Aspire Price in Chennai

Ford Figo Aspire On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 6,22,722 to 9,18,648 for variants Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT and Figo Aspire 1.5D Titanium Plus MT respectively. Ford Figo Aspire is available in 11 variants and 7 colours. Below are details of Ford Figo Aspire variants price in Chennai. Check for Figo Aspire price in Chennai at Carzprice.

Ford Figo Aspire Final Word

With new engines, cosmetic changes and more comfort as well as safety features, the Ford Aspire 2018 offers a better package. Moreover, it sees a price drop over its predecessor. The Ford Aspire 2018 competes with top-selling models such as Maruti Dzire, Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent in the populated subcompact sedan segment. It also poses threat to Tata Tigor, Volkswagen Vento, etc.The Ford Aspire 2018 is essentially a facelifted version of the subcompact sedan, which gets new engine and transmission options, and additional features over its predecessor. Available in petrol and diesel fuel options, the Ford Aspire 2018 variants include four trims. Changes have also been made to the exterior as it borrows styling elements from the Freestyle cross-hatchback. Interestingly, the subcompact sedan now packs more gizmos and gadgets, especially safety features. Even with so many changes,