The Indian Government’s definition of a small car gave birth to an interesting segment in the country which has slowly become one of the most popular and hotly contested category. Most manufacturers have either already converted their popular hatchbacks into sub 4 meter sedans or are in the process of doing so. The latest one one to do so is Ford who will be joining the party in July this year with the Ford Figo sedan, reportedly, under the Ford Figo Aspire moniker. The best compact sedan according to our comparison is the newest entrant, the Tata Zest, but the highest selling compact sedan is the Maruti Swift Dzire and that too by miles. Which is also the car Ford will be and should be looking to beat if they wish to succeed in the compact sedan segment. Since the launch is still a few months away details regarding the sedan are scarce, but based on mildly reliable industry chatter and numerous spy shots we have managed to come up with a few talking points about the Ford Figo Aspire sedan and we shall be telling you what exactly the car could and should offer to successfully take on the segment leader Maruti Swift Dzire. Will it be good enough to fight for the top spot? Or will it be left squabbling with the competition for second place? Check out our hypothesis on the Ford Figo Sedan vs Maruti Swift Dzire below –
[box type=”shadow” ]Also See- Ford Figo Aspire pre-launch report[/box]
The one aspect of the Ford Figo sedan we can talk about about with a high level of certainty is the design, which is essentially a shortened version of the Ford Ka+ sedan sold in countries such as Brazil in order to duck under the 4 meter small car limit. The overall design still works very well and although, there is nothing striking about the looks it is a very well proportioned car and pulls off the stubby boot compact sedan look very well. Which is something the Swift Dzire hasn’t quite manged to do making it look awkward from most angle, except the front. One of the most striking features about the Figo Aspire’s design is the wide front grille which is a trademark of almost all Ford cars on sale in the world. It gets a nice chrome outline with four horizontal slats finished in chrome. Understated, yet classy. Other than that, its all very humdrum and the Figo Aspire isn’t as striking as the rest of the Fords on sale right now. Nice clean lines and a classic three box shape make the Ford look elegant from all angles and definitely better than the Swift Dzire.
[box type=”shadow” ]Also See- Ford Figo Aspire First Look Review[/box]
Moving on to the inside you will find the interiors a bit more striking than the exteriors. The Ford DNA is clearly visible in the centre console which is finished in black with piano black highlights. The centre console consists of basic audio controls and a dial pad which can be used once you have synced your phone. An interesting feature is the docking port located just above the centre console which we will elaborate on in the features section. The overall scheme inside the cabin will be a combination of black and beige to give it a premium feel. The Brazilian version has decent legroom and since the only difference between that and the Indian version is a reduced boot size, legroom should not be an issue for rear seat passengers. Which is, again, something the Swift Dzire falls short on.
[box type=”success” ]With a much more well proportioned exterior and interiors which are a bit more striking than the Dzire’s the Ford Figo Aspire looks set to be better than the Maruti in terms of design and styling.[/box]
The recent facelift has made the Dzire a feature rich package and although, the feature list is still not as good as the Tata Zest‘s it still scores pretty high in this aspect. Going by the general trend we have seen in Ford cars currently on sale we expect the Figo Aspire to be packed with features, especially the top level trims. So expect the car to come loaded with features such as keyless entry, engine start/stop, bluetooth support and possibly a rear aircon vent. The spy shots have also revealed another interesting feature which enables you to dock your smartphone just above the centre console and use that to control most of the cars audio and phone functions. The phone’s GPS can also be used for navigation, all this while your phone gets charged through USB ensuring the battery does not drain out. The docking port can be adjusted to accommodate phones of various shapes and sizes. This feature will probably be offered as an optional extra in place of a standard Fiesta like display screen.
[box type=”success” ]Ford will most likely pack the Figo Aspire sedan with enough kit or even more to take on the Swift Dzire. But, we will have to wait for the official launch to get any confirmation on that front.[/box]
[box type=”shadow” ]Also See- More on Ford Figo Aspire[/box]
Engine & Transmission
According to current speculations the two engines on offer will be a newly developed 1.2 litre TiVCT petrol engine and a re-tuned 1.5 litre TDCi turbo diesel from the Ecosport/Fiesta. The 1.2 litre petrol motor will produce around 80bhp which is good enough for city use, while the diesel could produce power somewhere in the 80-90bhp range depending on the state of tune. Judging by Ford;s usual standards the engines the new petrol motor should be good to drive and fare well against the Dzire’s peppy 1.2 litre K-Series petrol unit. The diesel motor, on the other hand, is the tried and tested unit from the Ecosport and the Fiesta and is known to be one of the better engines out there. In the Fiesta this unit returns a very healthy economy of 25kmpl and that should be sufficient to the average Indian customer satisfied. According to recent spy shots, besides the standard 5-speed manual, there will also be an automatic transmission on offer. This unit will most likely be the 6-speed dual clutch transmission offered on the Ecosport which will, in all probability, be paired with the petrol motor making the Ford Figo Aspire a very good city car. It will also give it an edge over the Swift Dzire which, currently, is not offered with an automatic transmission. And being a Ford, it is almost certain that the Figo Aspire would be one of the better handling cars in its segment.
[box type=”success” ]New engines combined with an automatic transmission and Ford’s brilliant ride and handling characteristics could easily give the Figo Asipre an edge over the Swift Dzire.[/box]
The pricing of the outgoing Ford Figo played a key role in its success in the Indian market and will again be a crucial factor in deciding the degree of success the Figo Aspire manages to achieve. The Maruti Swift Dzire is a bit more expensive than the Tata Zest and Ford would do well in pricing the Figo Aspire similarly to the Zest, if not a little lower.
[box type=”success” ]A starting price of around INR 4.8 lakhs for the petrol and INR 5.5 lakhs for the diesel would help the Figo Aspire in making a really strong case for itself and ensure a lower starting price point than the Maruti Swift Dzire.[/box]
The Ford Figo Aspire has all the ingredients required to make it a sedan worthy of dethroning the Maruti Swift Dzire. It looks better, should be feature rich, will probably handle well and get a good set of engine and transmission options. The one thing that is not on Ford’s side is the brand image and the rock solid after sales and service associated with the Maruti Suzuki brand name. There are also other very capable cars such as the Tata Zest, Hyundai Xcent and Honda Amaze it has to deal with.
[box type=”success” ]If Ford manages to get the pricing right then the Figo Aspire sedan could easily dethrone the Maruti Swift Dzire as the king of the segment.[/box]
So, what do you think about our Ford Figo Sedan vs Maruti Swift Dzire comparo? Do let us know by penning down your thoughts in the comments section below.