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Review: 'A surprising package' - Why the new Ford Figo is great for families in SA

2018-09-08 13:00

Robin Classen, Janine Van der Post

Image: Quickpic

With the Ranger Raptor and Focus - all of which are coming to SA next year - Ford will continue its new model assault on the local market. The two new models will be addition to the new Figo, Fiesta and EcoSport launched earlier in 2018.

According to Naamsa figures, the Figo is a popular car at times selling more than the Fiesta.

Mixing it up

Ever since the first generation hatch was launched in 2010, I've become used to seeing them on the road but seeing it in sedan guise takes some getting used to.

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

I had a ball of a time with the 82kW naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre TiVCT engine and on more than one occasion I forgot it was naturally aspirated. I put this down to its immediate and swift throttle response when asked to perform driving duties. I could overtake with ease with its 150Nm on tap.

What really sold me was taking on a long stretch of road; It stuck like glue along the beach roads of Bloubergstrand and handled the odd bump and undulations like a pro.

Fuel consumption is largely dependent on your driving style and can increase sharply if you're heavy on the throttle.

I particularly like the Aston Martin-esque grille it offers something different to the entirety of the car and overall it borrows much of its design elements from its Fiesta sibling.

Another nifty feature was the gear selection indicator on the dash; when revs exceed 3000rpm an 'Up' arrow pops up letting you know its time to switch cogs. If the car is labouring in a gear while you're taking a turn or pulling away, the 'Down' arrow lets you know its time to switch to a lower gear.

Controls are intuitive and a great addition to the cabin is the incredibly useful compartment perched on the dashboard where you can store a cellphone, wallet or sunglasses.

The extra space at the rear really is a boon for passengers and overall there's plenty of space for three adults with ample leg and elbow room.

The boot provides more than enough space for grocery-run or weekend getaway with the family - you have the option, space and convenience to do both.

I drove the previous generation Figo and while it did the job of the daily commute, its long-bodied successor creates and ticks more boxes.

For its price (from R177 600), it is worth paying but there is always the smaller version if you don't need the extra space. 

                                                        Image: Wheels24 / Janine Van der Post

Team opinion

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post says: Affordable cars are all the rage and when you're providing a product to a family or buyer who might be purchasing their very first vehicle, affordability and reliability is everything. So enter Ford's smallest offering, the Figo.

Built on a sturdy reputation and boasting the blue oval, the Figo already has built its credibility as a great affordable alternative. On test we had the 1.5-litre TiVCT sedan model in our garage. Power figures are 82kW at 6300rpm and 150Nm at 4250rpm. 

Having driven numerous entry-level vehicles during the past few months, the Figo is definitely one for the chart topper's list. The Ambiente version offers simplistic motoring but has enough standard features worthy of its competitive price tag starting from R177 600.


It has aircon, manual windows and a CD/MP3 player. What I liked though was that even though this is a basic derivative, the doors locked automatically once you start the vehicle, a huge safety boost in SA. It also has oodles of storage compartments. 

Ford says the Figo has a claimed combined fuel consumption of 5.9-litres/100km, while the urban cycle is rated at 8.3-litres/100km. The latter is the more realistic figure as I struggled to come close to the combined figure. 

Ride quality is pleasant and it's a car for the family. It's even suitable for weekends away as the boot is rather large considering the size of the vehicle. While the hatchback version looks sportier, I would much rather prefer the sedan mainly due to the extra luggage space which I generally need on a daily basis when dropping off and collecting a toddler (and the more than necessary kit and gear my child requires). 

It's a great little all-rounder and it's the sort of car I would purchase for my mom as a daily drive or my daughter if she was all grown up and headed off to university. Definitely worth considering as an option for first-time car buyers.


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