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Ford's new premium Figo joins SA’s B-segment battle - We drive the compact hatch, sedan in Pretoria

2018-06-19 09:48

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GALLERY: 2018 Ford Figo

2018-06-18 11:52

Ford South Africa is lifting its game in the local compact car segment with the arrival of its extensively updated Figo hatchback and sedan.

There’s been a flurry of new models launched in South Africa’s B-segment these past few months, namely the Volkswagen Polo Vivo, Nissan Micra and Suzuki Swift. Now, Ford has brought its A-Game to the segment with the arrival of its brand new Figo. 

Available in either hatchback or sedan derivatives, all models are powered by a 3-cylinder, 1.5-litre TiVCT, naturally aspirated petrol engine delivering 88kW and 150Nm.

READ: Ford’s latest compact contender in SA: Premium appeal, new auto for next-gen Figo sedan, hatchback

The 4-door models are mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and has a combined fuel consumption of 5.7-litres/100km and 132g/km CO2 emissions.

The 5-door hatch is available with a new 6-speed automatic ‘box on the Trend models and has a claimed combined fuel consumption of 6.5-litres/100km and 150g/km of CO2 emissions.

However, Ford’s biggest trump card is not the Figo’s stylish new looks, or even its power figures. It’s the Ford Protect offering in the form of the new 4-year or 120 000km Comprehensive Warranty; 4-year or 60 000km Service Plan with 15 000km intervals; 5-year or unlimited km Corrosion Warranty and a 3-year or unlimited km Roadside Assistance all as standard.

What else is new?

There’s a brand new bumper design inclusive of a redesigned honeycomb grille, new front fog light surrounds with creative accents, along with new chrome inserts in the headlights.

The rear features new tail light clusters and a new bumper. The Trend models has new two-tone multi-spoke 14” alloys and updated wheel caps for the 14" steelies on the Ambiente versions.

Safety goodies include dual airbags, ABS brakes with EBD.

What's it like drive? 

It’s amazing how the concept of ‘less is more’ has become a mantra in the industry with engines in new small cars being brought into the market. Following the success of its 1.0-litre EcoBoost Fiesta engine, the new 3-cylinder Figo naturally aspirated engine is no exception either. 

The 1.5-litre pushes out 88kW and with long open roads from Pretoria to Cullinan, we had the opportunity to put the little car through its paces. While it might only be a 3-cylinder vehicle, there’s nothing little about the heart and soul of the car. It’s quick off the line, has more than adequate power and torque to overtake with ease, and enough personality to dare yourself to even chuck it into a corner if need be. 

Gear changes for the manual version are silky smooth and glide to the next cog with ease, but as is expected from an auto box up on the reef, gear changes could be a tad bit smoother. I'm keen to see how the cars perform down at the coast. 

Ford has attempted to refine the Figo and make it a lot more premium, and the brand has done a stellar job. There are loads of crannies and nooks to store all of your stuff, there are all the in-car entertainment parings a young buyer would look for, and it comes with four speakers mated to the sound system. 

 

The car doesn’t only feel solid behind the wheel, but it has a comfortable, high-quality interior. I would, however, have liked to see a multi-function steering wheel to really take it up the premium notch.

Will it pull in the numbers to take on the Volkswagen Polo Vivo? It does stand a good chance to stack up a good tally of units with the latest offering, and it will most certainly be a challenge for the Nissan Micra with its competitive pricing. 

Rivals
Volkswagen Polo



Nissan Micra



Hyundai Grand i10



Renault Sandero Stepway

Prices:

1.5 TiVCT Ambiente Hatch 5MT - R181 300
1.5 TiVCT Trend Hatch 5MT - R190 600
1.5 TiVCT Trend Hatch 6AT - R205 700
1.5 TiVCT Ambiente Sedan 5MT - R187 200
1.5 TiVCT Trend Sedan 5MT - R196 000

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