>>This kinetic blue Ford Figo diesel we are
driving did turn a lot of heads wherever we went. But it’s not just the colour that’s
new. The Figo has got a makeover that makes it
look fresher and more contemporary, with some welcome convenience features too. The headlamps
now have the indicators towards the centre. The bumper gets a new design with a new fog
lamp housing. In profile, the only thing you notice is the
new alloy wheel design. At the rear, only the tail-lamps have been redesigned, swapping
the indicator and brake lamp positions. Ford says there are 140 new changes in the
car, but only few are visible. On the interiors for instance, you notice new seat fabric and
better plastic quality on the dashboard. The big change is the addition of steering audio
controls – mounted behind the steering wheel. The integrated music system with Bluetooth
phone connectivity has one of the best sound qualities you can get in a stock system. Power
mirrors are standard on this variant. Ride quality and handling in the Ford Figoare
really good. The Figo’s steering is precise and feels great to drive. The gearshifts are
quick and easy and the car stays planted on the road, giving the driver a lot of confidence.
ABS equipped brakes and airbags add to its safety.
The Figo diesel is powered by a 1.4 litre engine putting out 68 bhp of power and 160
newton metres of torque. Now that’s not a lot if you want outright
power, but there are two things that are good about this engine – there is virtually no
turbo lag, making it a great car for linear pick up in the city and it is pretty fuel
efficient, with a claimed mileage of over 20 kmpl. During our test we got about 17 kmpl.
The rear seats of the Figo are pretty comfortable, giving it a big car feel with plenty of legroom.
However, one bugbear of the Figo continues – and that is there are no power windows
at the rear, while the window too only rolls down half-way.
But when it comes to luggage space, the huge 284 litre boot can swallow a fair bit of luggage.
The rear seat backrest however does not fold fully flat.
Ground clearance was a concern with the Figo, and Ford claims to have addressed that. As
long as you maintain the right tyre pressures, the Figo should handle most roads easily,
with a slightly stiffer suspension. Overall, the Ford Figo is one of the most
value for money, fuel-efficient diesel hatchbacks you can buy. The new looks and improvements
to overall quality have only made the car better – you get big car space for small
car money with the Figo.