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Review: A week with the updated Ford Figo 1.5 Trend

2018-09-18 17:00

Sean Parker

Image: Quickpic

Sean Parker gives his impression on the recently-updated Ford Figo 1.5 Trend, how does it perform in the stressful Cape Town traffic, South Africa's most congested city. 

Built at the automaker's factory in India, this is the second-generation and it recently received a mid-life facelift in the middle of 2018. 

We spent seven days with the 1.5-litre Trend and here's what we thought:  

Day one:

The Deep Impact Blue Figo Trend (I know that by looking at the key ring) arrived at our offices on a wet Thursday afternoon and the first thing that struck me was how big of a departure it is from the previous generation.

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Unlike the previous generation which looked very similar to the Fiesta on which it was based on, the Figo stamps its own mark with a round shape and gaping trapezoidal grille on the updated model. The Trend model features front and rear foglights, 14" wheels do duty on this particular model. 

Admittedly, it's more a nondescript design and not the type of car you'll message the neighbourhood WhatsApp group about and show it off too.  

It has cutesy charm that shouts student car and lacks the visual sophistication of its bigger and more expensive Fiesta brother.  


                                                                       Image: Quickpic

Day two:

I did some poking around on what other models are in the Figo range: there are two trim levels available (Ambiente and Trend) and only one engine, a 1.5-litre petrol sans forced induction that can be mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic. 

The second generation Figo uses a torque converter gearbox, whereas the previous model didn't have an automatic option. 

After two days driving the little Ford to work from home I've had some time to reflect. Our test unit is fitted with the automatic 'box and retails for R205 700 out of the box.  


                                                                          Image: Quickpic

Day three: 

This Trend model is pretty well-equipped, you can adjust the level of the headlights, a myriad of storage binnacles, including one on top of the dash that houses a USB port. From a safety point of view, it's nifty to be able to keep items out of sight. 

I really enjoyed the way the six-speed gearbox goes about its business, and the engine's claimed 88kW and 150Nm is peppy enough to scoot around town and beat taxis in the rush hour commute.

Day four:
It was time to test the space of the little Figo which is also sold as the Ford Ka in other regions. Wheels24 readers might remember it, in fact you'll still see a few a on our roads albeit in its older shape. 

Getting back to practicality, the Figo's boot size is quoted at 257 litres and that was (just) enough for me to chuck a few two black bags filled with goods to recycle. The backseats can be folded in a 60:40 split configuration. 

I didn't try out the backseats but I felt there was enough room up front to handle my 1.9m frame, despite me pushing the seat quite back. 

Day five: Five days in and it's dawned how enjoyable it is to potter around town in it. It's got a brilliant turning circle (5.1m) and doesn't take up much space in the garage. 

It's just been lekker driving a small city car and not having to rely on a rear-view camera when parking. 


Day six: As more new cars flood our roads, Cape Town is the country's most congested city, the argument for a car with an automatic gearbox gains traction.

After a week driving the Figo I can attest to my commute feeling less stressful because I wasn't punching the clutch pedal every few hundred metres.

The six-speed auto does a solid job in knowing when to change gears and is a major boon in rush hour traffic. 

Day seven: The average fuel consumption over the week's test was around 11-litres/100km, unexpectedly high for a small engine.  

All in all, it's been a pleasant week driving the updated Figo. At just over R205 000, the Figo faces up to the ubiquitous Polo Vivo and Hyundai Grand i10.  

The Figo has its own charm and certainly has the ingredients that make it a solid little runabout, I was left impressed. But the Vivo sneaks ahead in terms of build quality, sophistication and perhaps being more desirable. 

Read more on:    ford  |  sean parker  |  south africa  |  new models

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