Ford’s Figo was a car that seriously moved the company up the sales charts. The first-gen Figo was an extremely well built car for its segment – it drove very well, and its ride comfort and driving dynamics were exemplary for its segment. Five years after its launch, we now have a brand-new second-generation model. And we have to say that Ford has worked full time to create a car that not only overcomes the drawbacks of the previous model, but has really strived to make the car feel larger and more premium than before.
Just a glance is enough to tell that the new Ford Figo is a good-looking car, with its curvaceous lines that blend all those body panels together seamlessly. The large chrome grille upfront, and its tipped-forward stance, really make the car stand out. Everything appears proportionate. If we have a complaint here it’s that Ford should have given the car a more contemporary alloy wheel design.
Inside, the Figo literally has acres of space considering its compact dimensions. The car gets all-black interiors with silver inserts. Fit-and-finish and quality of materials are good for its segment, although there are times when you miss the superior build quality of the previous model. Still, the cabin is now far more modern looking, and the car comes loaded with plenty of equipment.
We had the diesel version of the new Ford Figo at the track, which is powered by the company’s 1.5-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine developing 110bhp and 136Nm of torque – and we’re pretty familiar with this engine from the EcoSport and Fiesta. It’s a refined unit with a wide power band and linear power delivery. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, which is smooth but needs to have a more positive shift action – as it feels a little vague. This is the only let down in what is otherwise a great powertrain from Ford, which delivers on the driveability and efficiency it promises.
Like the previous model, the new Figo has commendable ride comfort – with the suspension dismissing undulations and potholes without a bother. Its only when you start pushing at higher speeds around corners that you notice the extra body roll – and the fact that the Figo has lost much of the sharpness in its dynamics. The light steering also has a part to play in this, as you can sense this is a setup suited more for effortless urban driving rather than spirited motoring. The rather excellent steering feedback of the earlier Figo is certainly missed.
But when you look at the bigger picture, you simply can’t ignore the fact that the evolution of the Figo is indeed a step in the right direction – and it certainly has the potential to build on the success of the original…