The Ford Figo does look compact, but there is ample of space on the inside. The brownies and the features, make Figo one of the most spacious hatchbacks in its segment. Not only that, but also the boot space is good for its size. It is the feel of the plastics that fails to impress us.
For its compact hatchback proportions, which will make it easy to drive and easy to park in the city, the Figo boasts a lot of space for passengers. Five adults can sit very comfortably without any squeeze at all. The front row seats have sufficient support for your thighs, and the support on the rear is decent if not good. But the kneeroom in the second row is definitely one of the best-in-class. It's also got a big 284 litres boot for all the occupants' luggage.
For the tech-savvy man on the move, the Figo is also equipped with class leading technology. So you have the benefit of a USB compatible stereo system that also offers the benefit of hands free telephony via its Bluetooth function, which allows the driver to pair his phone with the music system. Thanks to this Bluetooth feature the driver can access his full phone book, hold calls, swap calls, mute calls and even stream audio from his mobile phone. This not only makes the Figo a Smart car to own but also a safe car to drive since it means that the driver never has to fiddle with his phone while on the move. In addition, the Figo also gets first in segment features such as lane change warning indicator, rapid deceleration warning alongside intelligent features like distance to empty reading and 6-speed smart wipers. Now, it also gets steering column mounted audio controls for easy accessibility while driving.
LXI : The LXI is the base model in the Ford Figo and it gets minimal features like the air conditioning, power steering. This is the model targets a A+ segment customer who can jump to the B segment and get similar features in a bigger vehicle.
EXI : The EXI is the version after the LXI. It gets the features that LXI gets and also some additional ones like keyless entry, power windows for the front and also electric release for the boot.
ZXI : It is the ZXI that gets more features than the EXI. The ZXI sports tiltable steering wheel to adjust the height for fine tuning, in built music system with USB and aux input. This music system also gets telephonic Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming. Also there are the rear foggers for a clear view of the rear in winters.
Titanium : Titanium is the top of the line version of the Figo and it comes loaded with various brownies. The list includes electrically adjustable ORVMs, ABS with EBD, steering column mounted audio controls, driver seat height adjustment, dual airbags and also front fog lamps, other than the ones on the ZXI.
The interiors of the Polo are well designed and even the bells and whistles now on offer are good in the segment. It is only the rear seat space that is a bit of an issue.
The Polo might be the smallest of all Volkswagens, but the German manufacturer has ensured their current smallest hatch also has high quality interiors. The fit and finish of the plastic is amazing and even the look and feel of the materials of the good too. The Polo now even offers most of the features that other B+ segment hatchbacks offer. It has a new music system with SD card reader, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux connection too. The Polo also has steering-mounted audio controls too.
The front row seats are large and feel comfortable just like any other big German car. These seats are good enough for a long drives and one won’t feel tired either. The second row of interiors isn’t that spacious as the first row as the knee room is a bit too tight for tall occupants. The boot isn’t that large also.
The Figo is offered in two engine variants, one the petrol while the other is the diesel. The oil burner is the pick of the two as it is more drivable than the petrol. You can lug it into a higher cog and the oil burner pulls cleanly, showing no signs of struggle. This is Ford India’s one of the most tried and tested engines and it is highly frugal as well.
Under the bonnet the Figo gets a choice between two engines – the highly efficient 1.4 litre TDCi Duratorq common rail diesel engine and the 1.2 litre Duratec petrol engine.
The 1.2-litre petrol engine on the Ford Figo produces a maximum power of 70bhp at 6250rpm and a peak torque of 102Nm at 4000rpm. The refinement levels of the engine are fairly decent. The engine packs in a fair bit of punch, assisted by the Sequential Fuel Injection system. The 1.2-litre engine is little down on the torque, and you do feel this especially when in the 2nd or 3rd gear and most Indian drivers are bound to lug the car in these gears in traffic.
This engine comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. This is an extremely quick shifting and precise gearbox. It's a total joy to use and one wouldn't mind doing countless gear-shifts through the day. As per the ARAI routine test cycle, the fuel efficiency of the Figo 1.2 is 15.6kmpl.
The 1.4-litre DuraTorq engine on the Figo is the same mill that also powers the Ford Classic, and also propelled the Fusion and the Ikon. This oil burner delivers 68bhp of power at 4000rpm and a maximum torque of 160Nm at 2000rpm. This is one of Ford's most tried and tested product. The NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels on the Figo are low, even though on cold starting there is a typical diesel clatter. It reduces once the engine warms up. There is more than sufficient power for any kind of driving, be it inside the city or cruising on highways. The diesel also is mated to slick shifting short throw 5-speed gearboxes that are a joy to use and make driving a truly pleasurable experience.
The power produced by the Polo engines is good, but the petrol and diesel have some drivability issues, especially when you consider the gearing that seem to be designed for European market.
A new Volkswagen engine has been used on the Polo. It has the new 1.5-litre diesel engine that replaces the 1.2-litre and even produces 90bhp instead of 75bhp. This mill has a strong mid-range and high end. There is a lot of turbo lag and the engine needs to be revved above 2000rpm to reach the power band. The power produced by most of the competition including the Swift is a lot more linear than the Polo. Volkswagen has upgraded the engine for more power and soon the GT TDI will be available with the same engine but 103bhp of power.
The five-speed manual transmission has short throws and the box is slick. It doesn’t feel even a bit rubbery. The ratios are good for highway driving, while in the city one has to work out his way to extract some good performance. The fuel efficiency of this mill is good as the 1.5-litre mill from Volkswagen is extremely frugal.
1.2-litre turbo petrol:
This is the new 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine and it is different from the regular 1.2-litre petrol as that is a three-pot mill. This engine produces 104bhp of power, which is equivalent to the 1.6-litre petrol engine that once powered the Polo. The NVH levels are fairly low, except for cold starts when the engine is noisy. The engine screams as it revs above 4000rpm. Blip the throttle, and the transmission responds immediately, and at the time it shifts smoothly while cruising. This is an all-aluminium engine and it has been turbocharged as well. Even though the power produced by this engine as same as the 1.6-litre, it is the torque spread that is much better on this new engine. As even the engine is lighter and has a lower displacement, it is more fuel-efficient. With this engine, Volkswagen gets the duty-cut as the displacement is under 1.2-litre.
Another segment first is that it is a seven-speed direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG). The gear ratios on this box are tailored as per the Indian driving cycle for maximum utilisation of power. There is also tiptronic transmission, if you like to make those manual shifts. We sorely missed the paddles shifts. From what we learn, Volkswagen could introduce the paddle shifts at a later stage.
1.2-litre petrol engine:
The 1.2-litre petrol engine on the Polo has the same displacement like the diesel engine. This is also a three-pot mill that produces about 75bhp of power. This engine has good power and even the low-end torque is good. The mid range is strong and the power increases with the rise in engine speed. We aren’t impressed with the NVH levels as the engine is louder than one would have liked.
The five-speed manual transmission has short throws and the box is slick. It doesn’t feel even a bit rubbery. The ratios are good for highway driving, while in the city one has to work out his way to extract some good performance. But it is the fuel efficiency that hasn’t impressed us, as it returns about 9-10km/l in normal city driving.
Despite being the smallest Ford car in the country, the driving dynamics are as good as any other Ford. This helps Ford to make a bold statement with the Figo. The ride of the Figo is well sorted, despite it being a tad stiff. The handling of the Figo is good and one of the best in its segment.
On the move, the Figo’s classic Ford DNA is instantly evident, courtesy its superior ride quality and its enhanced dynamic abilities. It springs on independent McPherson strut with dual path mounts at the front, while the rear gets the semi-independent twist beam and coil springs.
On twisty roads the steering feel and response is top class. It actually wants you to drive and enjoy your stint at the steering. The suspension is tuned such that the Figo aces in the handling department displaying minimal pitch or body roll as you drive at some pace around bends. But at the same time Ford has managed to keep things pliant enough for occupants to be isolated from the shocks and jars of the road beneath. Being a hydraulic power steering, its weighs well as the hatchback gathers speed.
The ride and handling of the Polo has been tweaked for a perfect combination of both. The handling of the Polo is very nimble and even the ride is sorted, though it is wee bit stiff.
The Polo chassis has been designed for Polo Cup Racing and hence this design can take a lot more engine power and torque than what it is currently being sold with. The Polo chassis is extremely agile and the hatchback does handle well. The Polo is as good as any other Volkswagen vehicle when it comes to handling.
The ride of the Volkswagen Polo is also well sorted. The McPherson struts on the Polo are well sorted and ride is supple. The springs absorb most of the jolts and undulations the ride a lot more comfortable for occupants. The light steering wheel ensures convenient driving in the city and also tire-free long trips.