Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Trumping Competition - Ford Figo Aspire

I have now completed close to 7000 kms run on my Figo Aspire and this post captures my feedback for the car and the brand. Driving Aspire has being total fun over the last five months, I have never relished my driving experience so much before owning this machine.

When I was finalizing my buying decision, I was not placing much emphasis on fuel efficiency figures which Maruti Suzuki and Honda are pushing these days in most of their cars, I was anticipating 17-18 kmpl mileage in city based on my driving style. I have never driven a Ford vehicle before and have read how some brand enthusiasts have critiqued Ford on diluting it's ride and handling DNA to please mass market buyers. The way I look at it is that a company cannot cater to enthusiasts forever and if they do not imbibe features that pull mass market buyers towards their brand it would get difficult to survive in the long run under a scenario where new launches have taken the Indian car market by storm.

Figo Aspire has got the goods in terms of engine power that allows you to drive stress free in the city and does not disappoint on the highways, and I don't think all of us go out so frequently on road trips that we need a muscle car that can run fast and be comfortable being thrown around corners. I am itching to take my Aspire on a long road trip to check how does it fare while driving across different terrain/road conditions. During my 2nd expressway trip up to Lonavla I felt the engine has freed up a notch and does not grunt even while revving up to 3500 RPM mark and I had to literally tame my greed to enjoy high speed driving to keep speed under permissible limits as the car now touches 140kmph mark without much effort.

I also keep finding curious onlookers on the road trying to catch a good enough glimpse of the car at signals and pillion riders on bike who do not miss looking at the front grille for the second time when they pass by my Aspire, more satisfying part is when I receive stares from Maruti Sheep's . Talking about competition both Figo and Figo Aspire have a tough task scaling up numbers after the launch of Baleno which would be like a third homecoming for Maruti Suzuki after long and ongoing success they have enjoyed with Swift and Dzire.

My car has being serviced at 2500 kms schedule with zero charges incurred under first free service, post which suspension, handling, braking and ride quality has improved however the suspension still feels tad stiff while encountering rough potholes. When it comes to after sales service feedback I am satisfied with the overall follow up calls I have being receiving from Ford after purchase and first service, even Talera Ford representatives have being swift in their communication and have attended to my queries and concerns on time.

Sharing some news that strengthen credibility for Ford Figo Aspire as benchmark setting product in it's category:

1) VBox speed test (0-100) run by MotorBeam places Figo Aspire as the fastest Diesel compact sedan, check the video below.

2) Another Drag Race test run by MotorBeam with the closest competitor in terms of engine power and torque - Honda Amaze, clearly left behind!

3) CarDekho and Gaadi.com jointly ran fuel economy test and car performance review conducted by Bunny Punia on Mumbai-Pune-Bangalore highway stretch, Figo Aspire set a new record of covering 994.84km in 20 hours 34 minutes with an overall average fuel economy of 42.02kmpl beating previous best record held by Renault Scala, read more about this here

Details of monthly drive and mileage recorded.
Sep'15 - 1136 km, 18.0kmpl
Oct'15 - 1270 km, 18.5 to 19kmpl
Nov'15 - 913 km, 17.6 to 18kmpl
Dec'15 - 1431 km, 19.3kmpl
Jan'16 - 1309 km, 19.0 to 20kmpl

If you drive with a constant speed on the range of 70-80kmph you can get mileage of 20kmpl easily in the city and close to 26kmpl on highway and I have tested this personally.

This is precisely the kind of balance I was seeking when I decided to upgrade from Beat and did not want to end up compromising on power and performance for the sake of fuel efficiency. There is a driving enthusiast amongst all of us who would not mind stepping on the gas given the right conditions in city/highway and switch back to the pleasure of sedate stress free driving in normal conditions/city traffic, if I had to put it in words it would definitely steal the catchphrase used in an SX4 advertisement - "For the Man in every Gentleman"