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New baby Ford Figo driven

2010-07-20 07:47
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Ford
Model FIGO
Engine 1.4l petrol; 1.4l TDCi
Power 62kW @ 6000 r/min ; 51kW @ 4000 r/min
Torque 127Nm @ 4000 r/min ; 160Nm @ 2000 r/min
Transmission five-speed manuall
Zero To Hundred 13.1seconds ; 15.8 seconds
Top Speed 169 km/h ; 163 km/h
Fuel Tank 45l
Fuel Consumption 6.6l ; 5.3l
Steering Power steering
Airbags Dual airbags
Front Suspension McPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Semi independent rear twist beam
Service Intervals 20 000km ; 15 000km
Warranty four yearr/120 000km
Price R109 900; R125 000

Sergio Davids

Ford has set its sights on Volkswagen’s popular Polo Vivo. It has brought back its previous generation Fiesta in the guise of the funky new Figo.

Ford's latest model is a funky little city car set to take on Volkwagen’s popular Polo Vivo as well a host of other small hatchback competitors on the market. The new Figo has a rather interesting story. Ford is an American brand, but the Figo (meaning “cool” in Italian) is built in India and, outside of that country, is only sold only in South Africa.

The Figo is positioned as a direct competitor to the Vivo and is priced as a cheaper alternative to Ford’s current Fiesta.

The Figo is offered in two engine derivatives (1.4-litre petrol and diesel) and offered with two specification levels (Ambiente and Trend). The turbodiesel is only offered in the more upscale Trend package.

Familiar elements

If you’re familiar with Ford’s previous-generation Fiesta, then you’ll be at home in the new Figo since it’s based on the earlier model.

The Figo features new front and rear bumpers over its predecessor along with suspension, steering and braking tweaks. The new model’s overall length is shorter, but Ford has retained the wheelbase from the previous Fiesta. One of the enhancements made by the manufacturer is the addition of more space in the driver footwell (the pedals have shifted five cm to the right) to allow your left foot to rest without touching the clutch pedal.

The 1.4-litre petrol engine produces 62kW at 6000r/min and delivers a peak torque figure of 127Nm at 4000r/min. The petrol engine is quite sprightly and, while it isn’t exactly thrilling, it pushes on enthusiastically enough to keep up with fast-flowing traffic. The petrol engine has a claimed fuel consumption figure of 6.6l/100km on the combined cycle.

The 1.4-litre turbodiesel delivers 51kW at 4000r/min while reaching a maximum torque peak of 160Nm at just 2000r/min. The diesel engine is slightly more sluggish than the petrol model, but a lot more frugal in terms of fuel consumption – a figure of 5.3l/100km on the combined cycle is quoted. Both engines are mated to a five-speed manual transmission.

Both models are perfectly suited for city life and while they’re not exactly exciting to drive, I can definitely see the Figo growing on me.

The ride is comfortable, although the suspension is a little harsh especially when going across rough surfaces. The Figo, while it may be based on an older platform, is not without its modern conveniences.

City living

It features doors that automatically lock when driving faster than 7km/h and hazard light that are activated when coming to a sudden stop at speeds under 96km/h.

The inside of the Figo is rather spacious with plenty of head- and leg room for passengers. There are many resemblances to the previous Fiesta, such as in the dash layout and steering wheel. Instrumentation gauges are backlit with red lighting and certain gauges on the Trend derivative benefit from chrome surrounds.
One of the things I really liked about the Figo is that, despite its budget moniker, it doesn’t feel as though it’s shirked off anything in terms of build quality. It definitely feels as though you’re driving a more expensive car (especially in the Trend model).

The Figo is well insulated against wind and road noise even travelling at high speeds. Boot space is adequate and benefits from rear seats that are able to fold flat, adding to the Figo’s versatility.

Standard features on the base model include ABS, dual front airbags, central locking and air-conditioning. Differences between the Ambiente and Trend variants are mainly cosmetic with the latter benefiting from electric windows, chrome finishes, fog lights and alloy wheels.

The Figo’s pricing and the features offered makes it good value for money. For instance, if you compare the Figo to its biggest competitor in the segment, VW’s Polo Vivo (R119 000 1.4l Trend), with the same specification level, you'll end up paying an extra R9 000.

But Figo has its work cut out for it with many manufacturers offering affordable, versatile hatchbacks in the same segment (Suzuki Swift, Renault, Opel Corsa, VW Polo Vivo, Hyundai i20, to name a few).

Overall, Figo presents quite an attractive package with its pricing and features being its biggest selling points.


1.4 petrol Ambiente – R109 900
1.4 Tdci Trend – R125 000
1.4 petrol Trend – R125 000

Both petrol and turbodiesel variants come with a four-year/120 000km warranty and five-year corrosion warranty. A service plan is optional while service intervals are set at 20 000km for petrol models and 15 000km for the turbodiesel.

Ford said it has no plans to bring an automatic model or other derivatives to the Figo range.


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