Aspirations are flowing really high as Ford has driven new Aspire in India at quite competitive price tag. Available in petrol and diesel motors, Aspire offers both manual and automatic transmission though latter is available with 1.5-litre petrol only. Ford is one of the oldest foreign automakers present in India though its expansion lagged behind the ideal pace it should have adopted.
Even many new manufacturers that set their shop in India way after the company, quickly expanded their product portfolio as well as dealership network. For the reasons best known to For only, this company remained in slumber for a long time though now it seems things have started taking a new turn. Ford is planning simultaneously on many fronts; be it new product launches or touch-point expansion as this Blue Oval now want to counted among the top foreign carmakers in India. Newly launched Figo Aspire could play a crucial role in realizing this dream of the company. For this, Aspire has to bring in not only healthy sales numbers but also put back the faith of folks once again in Ford brand. Whether Aspire is able to shoulder such a critical task assigned to it; we find by putting it through our rigorous and tortuous road test review.
It's always been a challenging task to design a sub-4m compact sedan though Ford has pulled off the job quite well. Aspire is undoubtedly one of the most balanced proportion that is around in compact sedan segment and barring the stubby rear three fourth quarter profile Aspire is quite pleasant and stunning to behold. Especially in the front, large Aston Martin inspired grille, shapely headlamps, and aggressive chin make Aspire quite appealing.
Adding to style is clear, uncluttered and fuss-free profile which will please prospects with varying tastes and preferences. That said, move towards the rear and a bit stubby boot spoils the otherwise good design.
There is nothing extraordinary about tail lamps though chrome bar tends to assuage the overall feel of annoyance. In sum, Aspire impresses with its turn-out though it could have been more stunning had boot been carved more judiciously.
Finally we came across a Ford which is genuinely spacious and thoroughly equipped. Cabin in dual tone shade feels nice and spacious. Lot of thought have gone to the space management which is apparent by abundance of space available inside the cabin. Rear bench can easily seat three abreast, and amount of head-room is impressive too.
Black toned centre console has got all the goodies like automatic climate control, six airbags, music-system with SYNC, My Ford Dock, leather steering wheel etc. in top variant. Further, it is important to notice that Aspire is first car in its category that comes with dual front airbags as a standard fitment across the variants.
Aspire has generous boot space of 359 litres which is not best in class, nonetheless large enough to swallow luggage for most of the weekend and weekdays trips. Spare wheel sits beneath the trunk, and is concealed neatly under the rug.
Engine & Transmission
Aspire comes with three engine options with two petrol and one dieselmotor. We drove the latter which is expected to become major growth driver for Aspire sales. With a power output of 100 PS and fuel economy of 25.8 km/l, this engine is typically Ford in every sense of the word. It’s not very refined but amazing in the way it supplies ample of low-end torque. Drivability of the car is just amazing and it feels completely at home no matter whether you are driving in city or on highway. Mid-range is where meat of the slice lies, and one will thoroughly enjoy the way car drives open stretches.
5-speed manual gearbox channelizes the might from the engine to front wheels of Aspire. Gearbox is very direct, precise and shifts are executed with great sense of confidence. Clutch pedal feels light, and its progressive nature makes the whole engine-tranny combination a near perfect one. Brake modulation is perfect also and has a very assuring feel to it.
Ford has nearly mastered the art of Indian roads as all its cars ride and handle extremely well. Aspire is no exception, and has got a great poise under almost all circumstances.
Ride is a little bit on firmer side; especially felt on the bad patches at slow speed though once the whack rises, every problem irons out. Handling can be easily regarded as a benchmark, and no other proposition except Fiat has the match for Ford's finesse, at least for now.
Ford has indeed hit the bull's eye with Aspire. Not only the car has been priced competitively in the range of Rs 4.9 - 8.25 lakh, it also offers segment leading features and space. Excellent diesel engine that offers high drivability and mileage is another strong virtue of the car. Ride and handling of Aspire is in the league of its own which can be easily considered as segment benchmark. Surely there are some downsides including a bit awkward rear profile and a bit gruffly diesel engine though on the positive side, Aspire has got all the basics right. There is nothing inside the cabin that serves only aesthetic as each and every part has its utility. In sum, Aspire tick all the right boxes and comes across as a complete compact sedan. It may not turn out to be a blockbuster but it surely has capability to do good business on box office.
Style & Substance 3.5/5 Ride & Handling 4/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipment 3.5/5
Power-Plant & Transmission 4/5 Fuel Efficiency 4/5
Value for Money 4/5