I test drove a Ford Figo Diesel in Titanium trim after a long time of not having done any test drives. It was a fairly short one for around 2 kms over bad roads and for around 2 kms on good roads. The car had four guys (myself, a colleague of mine and two salesmen from Ford). I drove mostly on the bad roads and my colleague on the better roads. Done after lunch near office.
- Good leg room in the back and can seat 3 on the rear seats (its got a larger wheelbase than the Swift, Ritz, Indica,I10 , Beat) – in close contact
- Ride fairly good over bad roads and vehicle felt pretty stable
- Good sized rear view mirrors and rear and all around visibility
- Seat material seemed pretty rugged and could live up to some wear and tear – no choice on seat colors though.
- Adequate looking boot space (284 they claim)
- Afternoon sun with red dashboard didn’t cause any reflections on windshield
- The demo car brought for the TD had a “demo car” sticker at the back and had around 25K kms on the odometer. Didn’t notice any rattles during our TD – but also one of the two salesmen was on the phone for a good duration trying to get a good deal on life insurance J.
- AC was felt in the rear even at speed 2 on the blower – however we didn’t get to check how soon it chilled the interiors since the AC was on even before we got in the vehicle. More than 2 the noise of the blower begins to be loud.
- Only Titanium trim comes with ABS & Airbags (not available on lower trims as an option even)
- Defogger shows up from ZXI(mid trim) trim onward – this is a good point – Maruti provides this only on their Top end ZXI trims only.
- 2nd gear seemed to be a bit sluggish – I have only my recent 1.3 petrol Swift to compare with – and in comparison this felt slower to respond – however in 3rd things seemed a bit livelier. Noticed by my colleague as well.
- Turn indicators on the left hand side of steering wheel. Not a deal breaker but annoying as hell if you have/drive other brand vehicles as well. I kept switching on the wipers multiple times during my TD.
- Driver seat position was not comfortable for me with my left knee hitting the dashboard console. Colleague was ok.
- Adjusting the seats couple of times didn’t help get me any more comfortable than when I started.
- Door pockets useful only for papers/magazines etc.
- The plastic on the B-pillars outside had faded to a dull grey like old Maruti 800 bumpers. On pointing this to the sales guy he mentioned it needs polish periodically to look ok.
- The sound of the diesel engine is apparent when pushed in 2nd and 3rd. Got used to it by the end of the TD
- No power windows for rear doors, climate control, fog lamps, steering controls , alloy wheels even on Titanium (highest) trim
- Single folding rear seats (isn’t it time split folding rear seats become the norm ?)
- Rear Wash and wipe only on Titanium
- Boot release button on the dashboard – I kept searching on the floor near the driver’s seat and found only petrol tank release.
- Gear lever seems a bit too long (would have felt better if it was shorter maybe by an inch or so)
- Seat belts are in a fixed position on the B-pillars. If you are not comfortable with the seat-belts – you may find the driving position with seat-belts irritating.
- Odd colored dashboard option
- Even odder combination when paired with the wild green colored exterior (The color is called “Squeeze”)
- Forgot to check the glove box space and for the bonnet release which I didn’t see near the driver’s seat – turns out its on the passenger side.
Cool and interesting features of the Figo (Didn’t get to test these):
- Rapid Deceleration Warning
- Distance to Empty Meter
- 6 Speed Smart Wipers
- Lane Change Indication
- Bluetooth Phone Connectivity
I didn’t get to take it on one of our “highways” – but I guess OMR can be called a highway of sorts. Ford did a price reduction recently in 2012 and this is after a price increase with some additional features in 2011.
Would I buy this car ? Yes – only if I couldn’t afford to wait for something with more bells and whistles for the price and with a more responsive engine. If you are in a hurry and want a diesel engine hatchback with a minimal waiting period – this vehicle does most things well and can be a worthy choice among other options available. Also check the options from this list: http://cars.zimbly.com/2009/07/diesel-hatchbacks-comparison-chart-updated-with-hyundai-i20-crdi/
Only other point to remember is this car has not had any exterior updates since the time of launch – now over 2 years without it means it could happen anytime within the next 6 months to a year. Changes may not be very major but still …worth a thought.