Pretoria - Ford has given its Figo an extensive makeover, giving this Polo Vivo rival a more sophisticated appearance, a brand new three-cylinder engine, fresh features, a simplified model line-up and a better service plan.
And that’s important because the Figo is the entry point for customers into the Blue Oval family, so value for money and low running costs are often a make-or-break factor in the choice of a new car. The new Figo comes with a four-year or 60 000km service plan; it will cover up to four services over a period of four years.
What drives you
The entire line-up is powered by a new, all-aluminium 1.5-litre petrol three with dual independent variable camshaft timing and four valves per cylinder for improved low-down torque as well as top-end power; it’s credited with 88kW and 150Nm, and drives via a standard five-speed box that features an EcoMode with a shift indicator for optimum fuel-efficiency.
Available only on the five-door Trend hatch is a new six-speed automatic transmission with conventional torque converter, which replaces the previous five-speed PowerShift transmission.
What you see
On the visual side of things, the Figo gets a whole new front treatment, with a restyled honeycomb grille in a redesigned front bumper, new fog-light trims and chromed insets in the headlight clusters to give them a sharper visual edge.
The changes to the tail-light clusters are a bit more subtle, but the Figo also gets a new rear bumper. In profile, new plastic wheel covers distinguish the 14 inch steel rims of the base Ambiente versions, while the higher-spec Trend models get new 14 inch two-tone multi-spoke alloy wheels.
The flightdeck gets a cleaner, less cluttered look, especially for the centre stack and the audio controls, set off by new fabric inserts in the doors and more modern patterns for the seat fabric.
What you get
Both trim levels are available in either four-door sedan or five-door hatch format; the base Ambiente derivative comes with power front windows, electric power steering with tilt adjustment, headlight level adjustment and an immobiliser. The built-in audio unit with integrated display has four speakers, Bluetooth connectivity and a USB slot, as well as a device dock for connecting and powering your favourite gadgets.
Driver and passenger airbags, as well as ABS, are standard, as well they should be on any car.
The upmarket Trend trim adds remote central locking, a belt minder for driver and front passenger, power rear windows with child lock, rear window defroster, perimeter anti-theft alarm, and a gear-shift indicator for manual models, while the automatic gets hill hold for clean hill-starts.
It also has a distinctive chromed grille, front fog-lights, and body colour door handles and mirror housings with power adjustment - as well as the aforementioned alloy rims.
What you'll pay
|1.5 TiVCT Ambiente Hatch||R181 300|
|1.5 TiVCT Ambiente Sedan||R187 200|
|1.5 TiVCT Trend Hatch||R190 600|
|1.5 TiVCT Trend Hatch AT||R205 700|
|1.5 TiVCT Trend Sedan||R196 000|
All Figos come with a four-year or 120 000km warranty, a four-year or 60 000km service plan with 15 000km service intervals and three-years roadside assistance.
Willem van der Putte of our print sister publication Drive 360 attended the media launch; look out for his driving impressions on Thursday, both here and in print.