ON THE ROAD: FORD FIGO TREND AUTO

It doesn’t look like the old Fiesta

Exactly. Ford did well in this area, when its main rival chose to do the opposite. The Figo is visibly redesigned and looks fresh, stands out from the crowd. There are no apparent marks from the old car. That makes it quite attractive in its segment, thanks in part to that sophisticated front grille with brushed chrome surrounds, lower front bumper, large clear headlights, and rear lights. The boot spoiler has a brake light, while all bumpers and door handles are colour-coded. The interior has also been improved, with better build materials and comfort technologies.

 

Definitely looks improved

It is, in many ways. Sync infotainment is one of them. You can pair it with your smart phone within a minute, and then play tunes directly from there. You can also play from a USB device. Of course you can make phone calls as well by dialling on the phone or activating Voice Control. Reception is good and clear. This Sync does not feature touch screen functionality, but the buttons are easy enough to work with. Other equipment found in this top-of-the-range model includes air conditioning, power steering, electric windows all around, and an on-board trip computer. The steering wheel is not multifunction and the seats are not covered in leather though. All occupants are provided with seatbelts and the rear seats can fold to create extra boot space.

And performance?

The little Figo goes well enough, but could use some extra turbo go in the Gauteng region where it loses some of its power due to the 1 600m high altitude. Natural aspiration should really be confined to engines with eight or more cylinders these days. The powertrain works well as a unit, and the advanced 6-speed automatic gearbox doesn’t search too much for the right gear, unless you suddenly plant the right foot down. In “S” mode the gearbox is a little more responsive, but not enough to properly thrill. Fun to drive? Perhaps 5/10 on that front. Ford installed 14-inch mag wheels to fit around the 175/65 R tyres. The 45 litre fuel tank needs regular top-ups and as you can see from the average fuel figure, it can get thirsty, especially in the urban setting.

Would you buy it?

Yes. It is number two on our list against direct competitors, lacking just a bit of that extra Vivo polish and turbo power. However, it is a highly noticeable improvement on its predecessor in all departments and is ready for a test drive if you are in the market for a new entry-level hatch.

 

QUICK STATS

FORD FIGO 1.5 TREND AT

ENGINE: 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder naturally aspirated

POWER:  88kW / 120 PS at 6 300rpm; 150Nm at 4 250rpm

0 – 100KM/H: 13.4 seconds

GEARBOX: 6-speed automatic

DRIVE: Front-wheel-drive

TOP SPEED:  175km/h

FUEL AVERAGE:  8.8 l/100km

CO2 e:  150g/km

 

PRICE STANDARD: R205 700

NATURAL RIVALS: Toyota Etios, Volkswagen Polo Vivo.

*PRICE RIVALS: Kia Picanto 1.2 Style auto, Mahindra KUV100 1.2 G80 K8, Hyundai Grand i10 1.2 Fluid, Volkswagen cross up! 5-door 1.0, Volkswagen Polo sedan 1.4 Trendline, Honda Jazz 1.2 Trend

BABE-MAGNETIC FACTOR: Low

 

*A price rival falls within R30 000 or so of the subject’s price on either side of its price spectrum for cars over R350 000, R20 000 for cars of between R250 000 and R350 000 and R10 000 for cars below R250 000.

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