Ford Figo Aspire vs Tata Zest Road Test comparison Review

Tata Zest has carved its place in the Indian market, and is now well-known as competent, well-rounded car. However with the launch of new Figo Aspire Tata has started feeling jittery as Ford sedan claims to come with similar positioning and target market as of Zest. So which one of these you should buy, read on to find out.

Ford Figo Aspire vs Tata Zest Road Test comparison

Tata Zest has made its mark in Indian market with its superbly comfortable ride, powerful and highway friendly diesel engine, and quality interiors. There is little to doubt that this Tata is by far the most accomplished vehicle that our home-grown auto major has produced.  However, the problem with Zest is that new Figo Aspire has almost similar set of strengths, and is out to lure the same target market Tata is gunning for.  Aspire has undoubtedly the advantage of being afresh though Zest too is not long in the tooth. Ford has priced Aspire quite sensibly and unlike its past blunders, Figo Aspire scores quite high on value for money.  So which side the balance will tilt when these two are pitted right against each other. Will Zest be able to retain its crown of the most well rounded compact diesel sedan or Figo Aspire emerge as a winner. Read on to find which side wins and which side loses.
Performance and Dynamics
Let's go straight to the road performance and see how these duo fares against each other.  Tata Zest is powered by Fiat's 1.3-litre multi-jet diesel engine putting out 90 PS and 200 Nm. In comparison, Ford brings in 1.5-litre oil-burner churning out 100 PS and 215 Nm. Further, Ford has got weight advantage in its favour as it has to move 1048 kg against Zest that drags 1155 kg.
There is no surprise Aspire moves with great alacrity and overall responsiveness of the Ford triumph over Zest by considerable margin. Zest engine is known for its turbo-lag and whereas it responds only after 2000 rpm, Figo Aspire starts delivering the punch right from the start. This makes huge difference in driving character of both these cars in city as Figo requires far less shifts than Zest. On highway too, Aspire feels more freewheeling as its useful power band is wider than of Zest.
Gearboxes of both the cars are nice and direct to operate. Clutch however feels a bit heavier in Aspire than Zest. Refinement, too, favours the Tata as high speed cruising is particularly quite in Zest.
Though losing on performance, Zest holds its esteem on riding front. The car remains unfazed by all sorts of road undulations, crests, and makes you feel like you are driving above the ground level.  Bigger 15" tyres in Zest also help it to round off the potholes better than 14" of Aspire.
Handling though tells just another story as Ford surges ahead with its clinical precision on ghat roads. Its nimbler to drive in city too though steering wheel lacks on feedback front which is quite ample in case of Zest.
Figo Aspire: *****      Tata Zest: *****
Style & Interiors
Park both cars side by side, and ypu can't help but notice their awkwardly truncated boots. Up front, both the car seems attractive though in profile, proportions tells altogether different story. Still, we think its quirky laws of Indian government to blame for this absurdity than respective designers at Ford and Tata. Comparison on dimensional front leaves Zest better off as the car is taller and wider than Ford. It looks more substantial and bigger of the two.
Inside the cabin, Zest comes across as better space proposition. Rear seat is wide and can easily seat three adults abreast. Aspire, on other hand, has got more comfortable cushioning though it lacks on width as on offer in Zest. That said, Aspire comes with centre armrest which makes the long journeys quite comfortable, given only two passengers sitting in the back.
Sit at driver seat and Zest feels rich in luxury and creature comfort.  New steering unit feels modern, have rich feel to it, and dials in instrument cluster also feel quite upmarket.  5" touchscreen infotainment system is one of the USPs of the Zest and though Ford comes with its own SYNC, it just doesn't cut it. Further, cluttered central stack with lot of controls don't evoke positive feel either. Zest has annoyingly lack of storage spaces though Aspire scores high with its cleverly thought out cubby holes.  Quality in both the cars is on par with standards though both lacked in setting any benchmark.
On safety front, Aspire surges ahead with its first in class six airbags feature.  It also offers some novelty features like synchronising phone apps to car's entertainment unit, Bluetooth connectivity, and automatic transmission  of emergency message to authorities in case of any untoward incident.
Figo Aspire: *****           Tata Zest: *****
ECARDLR Verdict  
On value for money, Tata Zest is simply hard to beat. In a true Tata fashion, the car is loaded with features, and all of this is offered at very competitive price. Figo Aspire, on the other hand, is costly to own though we still find it a more viable option than Zest. True, Zest has got modern cabin, more interior space and better ride quality, it still lacks on many other critical areas of consideration.  Ford's lacking in any of these areas isn’t a deal breaker. Ford's rear seat is more comfortable for long journeys, its cabin is well thought out, and plenty of storage spaces around make the journey more comfortable. Over and above else,   it's the responsive and very drivable diesel engine of the Aspire that has sealed the deal in its favour.  
Figo Aspire: *****        Tata Zest: *****

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