Driven – Ford Figo facelift

Nithyanandh

Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!

It won’t be an overstatement if one says Ford Figo solely revived Ford India’s fortunes. Launched in 2010, Figo instantly became the VFM champion in B Segment and its strong driving dynamics and spacious interiors served as deal clinchers.

Ford figo facelift red Ford Figo facelift blue

[The Colorado Red is sporty and the new Kinetic Blue is cool]

No wonder that Ford was able to achieve a cumulative sales figure of more than 2,35,000 units in such a short span.

With the Figo facelift, Ford has just iced the cake. The company claims that the new Figo carries as many as 14o changes with 10 of them being styling modifications. The engines are said to be calibrated for improved initial pickup.

Ford Figo facelift
Bright Yellow is funky from all the angles

So what has changed in the new Figo? We drove the car along Mumbai’s popular streets in the middle of the night to find out.

Ford Figo facelift Exterior

As long as you don’t drive around in one of the two new coloured Figos, most of the uniformed onlookers wouldn’t notice the changes at once.

Ford Figo facelift front Ford Figo facelift rear

[Front fascia has the most number of changes; Changes to rear escape first glance]

The yellow car looks the funkiest of the lot (how many of you are turning it into Bumblebee?) and the shade complements the hatchback’s lines and surfaces really well.

Ford Figo facelift right profile Ford Figo facelift left profile

[Except the alloy wheels nothing is new in the side profile]

Apart from the two new colours, the front fascia is characterized by the hexagonal air dam which Ford calls as the next level of Kinetic design language. The headlamps have reprofiled contents, the turn indicators are brought down near the grill.

Ford Figo Facelift front left three quarterFord figo facelift front right three quarters

[Hexagonal air dam adopts kinetic design language and the fog lamps are new]

The grill is now outlined in chrome and a closer inspection reveals that the the lines running near headlamps and grill adopt a slightly different trajectory. The fog lamps get bezel treatment and the housings underwent the cosmetic surgery too.

Ford Figo facelift rear right three quarters Ford Figo facelift rear three quarter

[The reverse lights come down and the break lights move up]

The profile has no noticeable changes except the new alloy wheels. That brings us to the rear. The changes are very subtle and usually escapes the first glance, but closer look reveals some neat touches.

Ford Figo facelift rear spoiler Ford Figo facelift fog lamps

[Roof spoiler is more pronounced; Fog lamps get bezel treatment]

The roof line for example is more accentuated than before, providing a subtle hint of an integrated spoiler. The brake lights are given a promotion and the reverse lights are brought down.

Ford Figo facelift tail lamps
Etching in the brake light cover looks fantastic at night

The etching on the tail lamp covers certainly improve the aesthetics when the lamps are on at night and this came to light as the drive was arranged at night.

Ford Figo facelift Interior

The shape and the materials of the Figo’s dashboard remain unchanged but the upper half of the dashboard now wears the Riviera Blue shade.

Ford Figo facelift interior
The Riviera blue shade for the dashboard is better than the old red

The audio control stalk interrupts the knee if you are a well built person and using it takes takes getting used to. And while operating the audio stalk your fingers are just a few inches away from the buttons on the audio system!

Ford Figo facelift steering column mounted controlsFord Figo facelift steering

[Music controls placed on steering column stalk; Steering wheel grip is slightly different]

We felt that the steering wheel mounted control would have been more appropriate. The control stalks on the steering still embrace LHD configuration.

Ford figo facelift front seats
The accentuated blue sew pattern provides a nice feel and the seats have better lumbar support

The front seats offer better comfort with additional lumbar support and the 3D sew patterns on the seat fabric provides a good feel, but the thigh support is still on short supply. The blue color of the fabric blends well with the dashboard color.

Ford Figo facelift rear seats
Blue seat fabrics complement the dashboard; No structural changes on the rear bench

Ford Figo facelift Drive

We drove the petrol Figo and the 1.2 litre 71 PS motor is smooth and puts out a nice sound when given the beans. The power delivery starts off with a weaker note but gets better in the mid-range and the engine doesn’t protest to reach the upper reserves of the power band. The progress is quick enough if the motor is kept in the boil but that said, more horses would have better exploited the potent chassis.

Ford Figo facelift engine bay petrol
The 1.2-liter Duratec petrol engine is smooth but we wish it was more powerful

The gear shift now takes less effort and the positive shift feel remains. The communicative hydraulic power steering is as always a delight to use. The car goes round the corners just like the old car and we are happy to know that the Figo’s ride and handling balance – the prime reason why we like the Figo – is left untouched.

The Figo’s AC cools the cabin quickly, thanks to the biggest HVAC compressor in its segment. The headlamps of the old Figo were the point of concern with their below average road illumination. Ford has tried to address the issue by having a larger reflecting area on the headlamps and company claims that the brightness is improved by 20% as a result. In real world conditions, the illumination is marginally improved, especially the high beam.

Verdict

The Ford Figo facelift carries all the positive attributes of the old car along with quite a few minor improvements. While the looks may still not sweep you off your feet, the pricing which asks only for a very little premium over the outgoing model has further enhanced the value for money proposition of the Figo. However be warned! The prices may go northwards post the festive season.

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