The 2019 Ford Figo drives like a breeze, but it could rethink its finishingThe midsize hatchback makes sense for both: driving on Kathmandu’s unexpected terrain or for a weekend ride to nearby hill stations
The new Figo Titanium is the latest midsize hatchback from Ford and it promises power, style, smart technology and enough safety features. The Post took the car for a spin around the Kathmandu Valley for a test, and the verdict is in: the Figo really drives like a breeze.
The wide view from the driver’s seat is an invitation hard to resist. While you will miss twisting the ignition key to start the car, as the Figo comes with a push button start, the ride is stable, smooth and super responsive once the car gets rolling. It’s tempting to hit the gas since the pedals obey physics and the mathematical deductions you make in your mind.
On an open road, freedom is bound to race through your veins. The only thing you would want to do is feel the air on your face and welcome the view ahead. The pedal response is terrifically light and only once during the traffic mayhem at the Maitighar roundabout, while avoiding an absent-minded driver, did the feedback of a hard brake feel harsh. Overall, the hatchback does what you want it to do.
Uphill or downhill, muddy or wet, potholes that come in various sizes and depths or even on the newly built Koteshwor-Kalanki stretch of the Ring Road, the new Figo cruises easily. It doesn’t even disappoint on narrow inner roads, like those in Baneshwor or Patan where two-way traffic passes through inches.
Shifting gears and steering the car, which borrows its new engine technology from the Ford EcoSport, is equally smooth. Upfront, on its minimalistic instrument panel that lights up in relaxing colours, the Figo will guide you to shift gears. Provided the road is clear, the transition will roar with your soul as you rev forward, but this is better done instinctively.
Reversing, turning or swerving and moving forward on the weirdest of road angles and surfaces full of surprises, with traffic to your left, right, front and rear, feels easy and effortless with the all-new power steering the Figo is equipped with. This will definitely curb your road rage, if you are all about staying in your lane. If not that, you have media controls right on the wheel to listen to your choice of music, but you could be disappointed with the quality of the sound system, which is flat even when you adjust the equaliser.
The car is also soundproofed well for a good conversation while you are stuck on the road unless a bike with a tampered muffler is near. While idle, you will surely hit the gas just to ensure the engine is still on. The car sits composed and ready to hit the road whenever you are.
On roll, the car’s suspension will give you the feels and in no time, you will connect with the frame of the car as you confidently command the wheel with a single hand. The brilliant performance of both its front and rear suspension will propel you forward, regardless of the road condition. You can feel the suspension do its job as the car cruises through both smooth roads and uneven potholes with ease.
Decent speed bumps, even on slopes and turns, are least bothersome. You can actually feel the confidence the new Figo instils in you as you manoeuvre your way on roads abandoned by the Melamchi-monsoon madness, and even through poorly imagined parking entry and exits.
The car feels light and yet, it offers a firm grip, no matter how quickly the road surface changes its characteristics. On the Sitapaila road en route to Dhading, which is currently under construction, the car easily cleared all obstacles without once raising as much as a strand of hair. The breath of assurance is convincing and that too in style and comfort as long as you understand what you and the car are capable of.
For Kathmandu, manoeuvrability with ease and good ground clearance are definitely key qualities for any car. And the new Figo can easily pull off a weekend ride to nearby hill stations or even on a vacation to highway destinations. There is enough room for luggage for two and hand-carry.
In the new Figo, you can also adjust the height of the driver's seat. There is enough leg and headroom for adults and your body will soon find its sweet spot in the comfortable seating. Not once during the test drive was this ever an issue.
The hatchback’s interior is a stylish charcoal black but on a closer look, you could be left wishing for overall matte treatment and sturdy finishing of the dashboard with all the visible nuts and bolts and plastic parts. One of the biggest disappointments in what is otherwise a minimalistic dashboard with a neat glove compartment is the upright and immovable infotainment touchscreen that you wish you could just slide it in or make it disappear, or at least put it on sleep mode. But it remains an eyesore even when you dim the screen.
On the outside, the new Figo is sporty and enticing. The front even sports a silver cellular grille and bumper fog lamps but the overall bonnet of the car looks abrupt as curves just seem to disappear on their way to the front. At the rear, the hatchback looks as would a sedan, with its raised structure. The rear windscreen is small and offers a limited view, which is just enough to keep an eye on commuters behind the wheel from the driver’s seat.
The car will definitely steal glances and for all the features it offers, there are few matches in the market for the price it asks — Rs 28,99,000. But Ford, can we have a better parking light on the front for that price?
1.2l Ti-VCT petrol engine
20.4km/l fuel economy as per Automotive Research Association of India
Sporty cellular grille
R15 alloy wheels
Charcoal black interiors
17.78cm infotainment touchscreen with bluetooth connectivity
Driver and passenger airbags
Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
Smart Drive (Hill Launch Assist, Electronic Stability Program, Electric Power Assisted Steering)
Maruti Suzuki Swift
Hyundai Grand i10
What do you think?
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