2021 Ford Figo Petrol Automatic: First Drive

Published On Jul 22, 2021 By Rohit for Ford Figo

Ford has brought back the 6-speed torque converter gearbox on the Figo but in a more sensible package. Will the resurrection of the automatic gearbox draw in more buyers?

Since April 2020, when Ford discontinued the 1.5-litre petrol automatic variants, the Figo has been the only mid-size hatchback alongside its stablemate, the Freestyle, to miss out on an automatic gearbox. This has resulted in potential buyers looking at other brands, causing a drop in the Figo’s popularity. Thankfully, Ford has now reintroduced the automatic option for the Figo but with the 1.2-litre engine, again making it the only model to get a proper automatic in the segment. So, does the automatic still offer ease of driving in the city and better driving convenience as before or should you stick to the manual? Let’s find out.

Figo MT Variants

Figo AT Variants

Difference

Titanium (Rs 6.82 lakh)

Titanium (Rs 7.75 lakh)

+Rs 93,000

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Titanium+ (Rs 8.20 lakh)

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Engine And Performance

As mentioned, the 6-speed torque converter automatic is now offered with the Figo’s 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol, alongside a 5-speed manual. This engine makes 96PS of power and 119Nm of torque with both transmission options. This engine was always fun to drive with good low-end torque and now, with the 6-speed automatic transmission, it has become even more likeable. Firstly, the refinement is impressive. Vibrations hardly pass on inside the cabin, whether you are accelerating, cruising, or the car is simply in idle state. It’s super smooth from the get-go, with the well-tuned creep function dialled in, however, heavy throttle inputs at the start can cause a bit of a jerk. 

One of the biggest advantages of the Figo’s torque converter automatic is that it offers smooth and quick shifts, especially when compared to an AMT. And with the engine offering good torque for city drives, it doesn't have to shift too many times in traffic. Even for overtakes, it likes to pull in the same gear, reducing the time lost in downshifts. All these factors combine to offer an effortless city drive. It is here that the Figo scores more points, unlike its AMT-equipped rivals such as the Maruti Swift and Hyundai Grand i10 Nios

On the downside, this engine lacks the punch needed at high rpms on highways. For overtakes, it downshifts and because there is not much power available beyond 5000rpm, it struggles to offer good acceleration. This will make you plan overtakes in advance. The Figo automatic also comes with a Sport mode, which holds on to the gears longer and even offers aggressive downshifts at the required times. Having said that, the acceleration still isn’t exciting.  As per our tests, the Figo automatic took 16.01 seconds to complete the 0-100kmph sprint. For best results, it is advisable to manually upshift close to 5000rpm, using the ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ buttons on the gear to remain in the powerband. 

Surprisingly, the claimed efficiency here is less than the 1.5-litre AT in BS4 avatar. This transmission (paired with the 1.5-litre petrol engine) had a claimed fuel efficiency of 16.3kmpl. But now with the 1.2-litre petrol unit, the 6-speed torque converter is claimed to offer a mileage of 16kmpl.

Ride and Handling

The Figo automatic ticks the right boxes when it comes to ride comfort. Whether you are driving on well-built roads or even potholes, the hatchback’s suspension setup won’t let you down. It cushions you well over the harshness of the surface rather quietly. The cabin movement is well controlled too with nicely damped suspension. Even at high speeds or on the highways, the Figo automatic sticks to the ground and runs flat, settling quickly after going over undulations or level change. 

Ford has managed to get the right combination of drive, comfort, and sportiness in the Figo automatic. The steering is light and communicative, thereby inspiring confidence to take on tight corners and/or sharp turns, making the hatchback stay well planted in its route. 

Look, Features, and Technology

The Figo’s only new feature is the automatic transmission. Ford has neither tampered with the equipment list nor made any cosmetic changes. Here’s a quick recap of its looks, equipment list, and safety features:

  • The Figo has started showing its age now, compared to its rivals, due to its plain looks and the absence of projector headlamps and LED DRLs. However, it does keep its style game in check with blue accents on its exterior, reserved for the top-spec Titanium Blu trim.

  • In terms of features, the Figo automatic covers all the essentials: a height-adjustable driver seat, automatic headlamps, auto AC, push-button start/stop, up to 15-inch alloy wheels, and rain-sensing wipers. However, it still misses out on a wireless charger, cruise control, and rear AC vents.

  • The Figo doesn’t compromise on the safety front either. It gets up to six airbags, a rear parking camera, ABS with EBD, and rear parking sensors. It also comes with a few AT-specific safety features, such as hill-hold assist, electronic stability control, and traction control system.

  • Ford has equipped the hatchback with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, paired with four speakers, and FordPass connected car tech. Sadly, it skips on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but you do get in-built navigation. 

Verdict

As stated earlier, the Figo has once again become the only model in its segment to offer a proper automatic gearbox, while its rivals come with AMTs. So you’ll have an effortless and comfortable drive if you’re majorly within limits. However, if you are someone who travels frequently, the Figo automatic may not be the best choice due to the lack of power at higher rpms forcing you to plan your overtakes well in advance. 

Another point to note is that it now looks dated, against its rivals, and also lacks a few creature comforts. But it makes up for it by offering up to six airbags, a proper automatic gearbox, as well as an effortless drive and suspension setup. The Figo automatic is perfect for buyers looking for an easy-breezy drive in the city, with the focus being on a well-cushioned ride and engine performance. What makes the deal sweeter is the price. The top-of-the-line Figo automatic will cost you less than the top-spec Maruti Swift AMT.

Ford Figo

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
Titanium Diesel (Diesel)Rs. 7.92 Lakh*
Titanium Blu Diesel (Diesel)Rs. 8.37 Lakh*
Ambiente (Petrol)Rs. 5.82 Lakh*
Titanium (Petrol)Rs. 6.82 Lakh*
Titanium Blu (Petrol)Rs. 7.27 Lakh*
Titanium AT (Petrol)Rs. 7.75 Lakh*
Titanium Plus AT (Petrol)Rs. 8.20 Lakh*

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