A friend is considering buying a diesel hatch, he was mentally prepared to buy a Vista until i introduced him to Figo and Punto. To check out and TD the cars we went to Tata Fiat and Ford dealerships, While the Vista was not available for a TD we managed to drive the Figo.
The Figo looks strikingly too similar to the discontinued Fusion when viewed from the back while the side profile reminds me of the Fiesta with the same doors carried over and the Front though new is instantly recognisable as a Ford. The looks though not as exciting as Punto, Polo and i20 but are not bad at all.
The interiors are quite spacious when compared to the competition, its only the spacious Vista beats the Figo for the space, the legroom is good for a car of this segment. I liked the rear seat except for the non-adjustable headrests, which feel too low for a person of my height.
I did not like the Plastics used for the dashboard, i find them even worse than the 2010 Punto, though fit and finish is better than Punto. What spoils the matters worse is design of the dashboard that feels too dated for a car launched in 2010. Most parts can easily be identified to be lifted straight out of the Fiesta. The red colored dashboard is not to my taste, i liked the black color better.
The Engine sounds louder and more crude compared to the Fiesta, which also comes with exact same engine. The turbo spools up earlier compared to all other diesel cars in the segment, along with the ideal for city gear ratios the car feels perfect for city driving. The bad part about the engine is this engine does not like to be revved and feels best at the bottom part of the rev band.
I found the steering to be faster than even the Fiesta, though the steering is lighter here. The quick enthusiastic steering and the agile handling makes this very fun to drive car in the city, sadly the choice of engines are not enthusiastic enough. The more powerful 1.6 Duratec engine from the Fiesta will transform this car instantly to a Hot hatch, i know the numbers do not justify a powerful petrol.
The ride is very composed and very similar to the Fiesta. Even at speeds the car does not lose the composure. The car crashes only in deep potholes. The road noise also is on higher side compared to other cars in the segment. Overall this car has a very mature ride but still does not isolate the cabin as well as the Punto's suspension.
FE has always been the best part about this engine, my Sister owns a Fiesta SXi and the FE is excellent.
The only issue i feel potential buyers like my friend are afraid of is the high maintenance costs associated with Ford cars, i Ford manages to keep the costs low this car without a doubt is the best VFM Diesel hatchback sold in India.
My friend after driving both My Punto and the Figo is confused whether to buy low end Punto or the Top end Figo